Tax Info: Locum Tenens Physicians and Unemployment Insurance

July 15th, 2015 2 Min read Tax Info: Locum Tenens Physicians and Unemployment Insurance Blog
tax-info-bubble-600When a locum tenens physician is placed in an assignment by CompHealth, it is important for the physician to understand that he or she is working as an independent contractor, not as an employee. There are many distinct differences between independent contractor status and employee status, and while independent contractor status provides many tax advantages, there are certain benefits CompHealth should not offer physicians, by law, who are independent contractors.

Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment compensation is a benefit that is available to individuals who meet all three of the following criteria:
  • They have worked as employees
  • They lost their job through no fault of their own
  • They are able and available for work
This benefit is not available to independent contractors. As an independent contractor, a locum tenens physician should not file an unemployment claim based solely on the ending of one or more locum tenens assignments. CompHealth does not provide unemployment insurance, so any unemployment claim a physician might file associated with a rightful employment termination should not list CompHealth as an employer.   If the physician worked as an employee before or after a locum tenens assignment and was terminated involuntarily, he or she may certainly file an unemployment claim. CompHealth, however, should not be listed as a previous employer nor should any compensation from CompHealth be reported as wages on the unemployment claim.

Workers Compensation

Workers compensation insurance is a government-mandated employee insurance that is provided
by employers to cover health costs incurred as 
a result of accidents that happen while on the job. Because CompHealth is not a locum tenens physician’s employer, it does not provide workers compensation coverage. Therefore, a locum tenens physician should not file a workers compensation claim if he or she is physically hurt while on a locums assignment. Physical injuries are typically covered by health insurance. If coverage for lost earnings from an accident is important to a locum tenens physician, he or she must secure this insurance coverage on their own. It is always wise for independent contractors to consult with a tax or financial advisor when determining correct filing procedures. For more information about being an independent contractor, download this guide to Working as an Independent Contractor.