Are Telecommuting Workers Eligible For Workers' Compensation?

Posted on: 29 June 2020

Telecommuting is becoming a more common phenomenon as businesses look for ways to cut costs and find that they do not need to provide a physical space for their employees to perform their jobs. However, just because you are not working in a building controlled by your employer doesn't mean that you won't suffer an injury while telecommuting.

Performing Work Duties at Home

Even when you are at home, you are in the course of employment when performing direct duties for your employer. This can even be the case when performing an action that is required by the employer while at home such as when a police officer is required to clean his gun.

Another type of injury is when a worker is performing work continuously and suffers from an occupational disease. For example, the worker might suffer from wrist strain and be unable to work at full capacity. However, occupational disease claims are much more likely to be denied by an insurance provider.

A workplace must adhere to the safety standards of a comparable workplace. For example, if you are performing work that is inherently dangerous, you must follow the same safety standards as you would if you were performing your job at a conventional workplace. Your employer also has to track whether you are in the designated work area.

If the equipment your employer provides you does not meet safety standards, your employer will definitely be liable for any injuries you suffer. If you use your own personal equipment, you may still file a worker's compensation claim if you are injured.

Proving an Injury

One of the challenges of suffering an injury while telecommuting is proving that your injury was work-related and not the result of another incident. Because you may not have any witnesses to your injury, you won't have witness statements as an option when proving that you were injured due to work-related activities.

Receiving Compensation

The amount of compensation you are entitled to is governed by state law and is very exact. You will first qualify for other temporary partial or temporary total disability. When the examining physician determines that you have reached the state of "maximum medical improvement," the physician will determine whether you are still disabled. If you are disabled, you will be entitled to permanent partial or permanent total disability benefits. However, your claim might be denied if you do not work closely with a workers' compensation attorney.

For more information, speak with a workers' compensation attorney