Hurt While Volunteering? You May Be Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Minnesota Volunteers Workers’ Compensation 

Tennessee may take the title of the Volunteer State, but Minnesota is home the likes of individuals who have acquired the term, Minnesota Nice. These individuals oftentimes give their services and take on volunteer positions.  What happens if that nice, helpful volunteer work results in injury to the volunteer?  You might be surprised to learn that, in some cases, you can recover workers’ compensation benefits.

Who is eligible?

The reason that benefits may be available is that Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits are available to “employee.”  The word “employee,” in turn, is defined to include certain types of volunteers.

While private volunteers are generally not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, state law specifically describes many types of government volunteers who are.  They include:

  • Volunteers in correctional institutions
  • Emergency management volunteers
  • Volunteers in natural resources
  • Volunteers for nonprofit community service projects in the construction industry;
  • Minnesota Historical Society volunteers
  • Volunteers at veteran homes

This is not an exclusive list; there are other, similar categories of volunteers who are eligible for workers’ compensation if injured on the job.

Note that for all of the categories of volunteers listed above, there is generally a legal requirement that the volunteer be in some way officially affiliated with the applicable governmental organization in order for the volunteer to be eligible for injury benefits.  For example, emergency management volunteers must have been acting under the direction and control of the state, and volunteers at veteran homes must have had their services accepted or contracted for by the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs.

Calculating Benefits

While each statutory provision for different types of volunteers carries its own specific wording on how workers’ compensation is to be calculated, the provisions generally state that in the event of injury or death of the worker, the daily wage of the worker, for the purpose of calculating compensation, is the usual wage paid at the time of the injury or death for similar services performed by paid employees.

So if you were being a good Samaritan and hurt, you should contact a Minnesota Workers’ Compensation lawyer to see if you can get help with your injury.

Rosengren, Kohlmeyer & Hagen Law Office Chtd.
Mankato, Minnesota