Many of us have experienced a substantial change in our working environments this year. Spending your entire workweek in an office may be a thing of the past.
How does working from home impact your claim for workers’ compensation? Are you still eligible to collect benefits if you’re hurt in your own home? In general, any injuries you suffer while working from home should entitle you to workers’ comp benefits. The biggest hurdle to overcome is showing that your injury was actually work-related.
You must have been performing a job-related duty
Just because you were hurt during working hours does not mean you will automatically qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. You must have been performing a job-related duty to be eligible. This doesn’t mean your claims are limited to carpal tunnel or repetitive motion injuries.
For example, let’s say you’re conducting a work-related phone call. As you’re pacing back and forth in your home office, you trip and injure your ankle. You were performing a job-related duty at the time of your injury. You should qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
On the other hand, let’s say you take a quick mental break. You decide to take a five-minute walk. You end up tripping a broken piece of pavement, resulting in a serious injury to your leg. Despite occurring during the workday, the injury didn’t happen while you were performing a job-related duty. You will not be eligible to recover workers’ compensation.
Lack of proof can be a factor
If you trip and fall in the office, you might suffer an injury to your body. You will also suffer the embarrassment of tumbling in front of your coworkers. An injury suffered at home should protect your sense of pride. However, without any witnesses, your claim will come down to your word.
You should detail the circumstances surrounding your accident while they’re still fresh. You should also inform your employer of the accident as soon as possible, even if the injury doesn’t appear serious at first. Working with a skilled legal professional who can help guide you through this process can help you put together a strong claim.