The workplace has experienced a fundamental change this year. Numerous workers are telecommuting, and it’s believed that this may be a permanent fixture, at least part-time, of most offices.
This begs the question of whether workers’ compensation coverage is available to remote employees. The answer will most often be “yes.” However, as with being physically present in the workplace, the injury must be work-related.
Did your injury arise out of the course of your employment?
Just because you may have injured yourself at home during your scheduled working hours doesn’t mean you will automatically be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The injury must arise out of the course of your employment. In other words, you must have been doing something related to your job when the injury occurred.
For example, you’re pacing back and forth while on the phone with a colleague. You end up tripping on the edge of a rug. Workers’ comp should cover your injury. On the other hand, if you decide to take a quick mental break and walk the dog around the block and end up tripping on an uneven sidewalk, your injury will probably not be covered.
It’s your responsibility to show that your injury was tied to a work-related activity in some way. This can be difficult. Although it may be embarrassing to have an accident in the office, you will likely have a least one witness. At home, the only witness may have been your dog, and the dog can’t testify on your behalf.
When your claim comes down to just your word, details are essential. You should discuss your options with a skilled legal professional. Together, you can find out how to put forth the strongest possible claim for workers’ compensation benefits.