Workers who have been hurt on the job while working for uninsured employers can now apply for financial help through the Colorado Uninsured Employer Fund.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Division of Workers’ Compensation began accepting applications Jan. 1 to the fund.

Administered by an independent board appointed by the governor, the fund pays medical bills for applicants who are accepted into the program.

Previously, Coloradans injured while working for employers without workers’ compensation insurance faced costly medical bills and few options for recovering lost wages.

Joe Barela, executive director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, said a healthy workforce is essential to a thriving employment environment.

“The opening of this fund ensures that all workers have an opportunity to receive quality medical care after being hurt on the job,” Barela said in a news release from the Department of Labor and Employment.

- Advertisement -

Colorado employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, and according to the news release, the state will continue to fine employers who fail to obtain coverage.

Money collected from these fines is added to the uninsured employer fund to assist injured workers.

To be eligible for assistance from the fund, an employee must have sustained an on-the-job injury on or after Jan. 1 while working as an employee for an uninsured employer and must have a final order from a judge finding that the employee is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

More information, guidelines and an application for assistance from the fund can be accessed here or by calling 303-318-8700.

Companies interested in strengthening workplace safety, saving money on premiums and understanding coverage requirements can find information on the department’s website.