Employees working from home may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, depending on the specific circumstances. Here are a few things you should be aware of.
Workers’ compensation generally covers injuries sustained while working at an employer’s workplace. However, what about injuries sustained while working at home? Can you be compensated for such injuries?
When Do Injuries Outside of Work Qualify for Workers’ Comp?
Here are a few scenarios where workers compensation may cover an employee working from home:
Work-Related Errands or Tasks: Your employer’s insurance may compensate you if you get injured while carrying out work-related tasks such as meeting with a client and other errands.
Cumulative Injuries: Some work-related injuries don’t occur instantly but rather due to degenerative situations that take months or years. To be compensated for such injuries, you generally must prove the following:
1. Specific work activity that led to the injuries.
2. Effects of work activity on the employee.
3. Signs experienced while doing the repetitive work.
4. Opinion of a medical practitioner as to whether the employee’s work activity contributed to the injuries.
Mental Disorders: It’s not just physical injuries that qualify for workers’ compensation. Stressing events such as fire or other disasters while working from home may cause psychological injuries. As an employee working from home, you may be compensated for such injuries, depending on the circumstances and if they were sustained during working hours.
Proving that your employment directly caused an injury may be challenging. An experienced work injury lawyer can help you prove your case.
“What if I’m an Independent Contractor?”
Independent contractors are generally not covered by workers’ comp laws. However, it’s worth noting that your employer may have improperly classified you as an Independent contractor to exempt you from workers’ compensation. Therefore, it’s always advisable to check your job description to determine if you are an independent contractor or not.
You may not be an independent contractor if:
- You receive monthly or bi-weekly wages
- You’re not allowed to subcontract projects to others or work with other clients
“What Should I Do if I Am Injured at Home?”
Employees must take reasonable steps to ensure a safe working environment. This includes ensuring that the home area meets the health and safety standards set by the Missouri workers’ compensation policies. Other factors to consider include:
- Understanding your employer’s instructions on how to work safely from home.
- Understanding when and how you should report potential health and safety issues.
- Designating a work area that family members are not allowed to hang out while you are working.
If you meet the above criteria, then you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Speak With an Experienced Work Injury Attorney 24/7
Were you hurt while working from home? The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann is here to help. Our experienced attorneys can evaluate your claim for free and help you determine what you are legally entitled to.
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