Can You Claim Workers’ Comp When Working Remotely from Home?
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people into their homes, leaving many workers wondering if they can receive workers’ comp for an injury.
The coronavirus has impacted everyone throughout the country in different ways. While some have been furloughed or have permanently lost their jobs, others have to find new ways to work, mainly inside their homes. Although this has benefits and drawbacks for workers, it has also raised some interesting questions. One of those inquiries is whether employees working from home are still entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. As with so many other legal issues, the answer is that it depends.
When Can You Receive Workers’ Comp When Working from Home?
Generally speaking, workers who are injured on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, the most important language in the legal statute is that employees must have been performing duties within the scope of their employment.
As such, when employees are injured while performing their employment duties, they can receive workers’ compensation, even when they are working remotely from home. For example, if an employee was required to perform computer work while at home and they developed carpal tunnel syndrome as a result, they can file a claim for workers’ compensation.
When You Cannot Receive Workers’ Comp When Working from Home
Just as employees can receive workers’ comp if they are injured while performing employment duties at home, those same benefits are not available when workers were not performing work within the scope of their employment at the time of injury. For example, an employee may work for their company on the computer all morning. When it is time for their break, they may cut themselves while preparing their lunch. Due to the fact that they were not performing duties within the scope of their work at the time of the injury, it is unlikely that they could file a claim for benefits.
Steps to Take if You are Injured While Working Remotely
Although working remotely is quite different than working in your traditional workplace, the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim remains largely the same.
The first, and most important, step is to tell your supervisor or manager as soon as possible after the accident. Nebraska’s statute does not provide a specific timeline, but you must tell your employer ‘as soon as is practicable.’
After you report the injury to your supervisor or employer, they must provide you with a claim form. It is essential that you fill out this form completely and accurately, so there is no delay in receiving the treatment you need. Your employer should never fill out the form for you but if they insist, make sure you read it through thoroughly and ensure all information is correct before signing it. It is often a good idea to speak to a lawyer prior to filling out this form, as an attorney can ensure the form is filled out properly.
Call Our Nebraska Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today
Claiming the benefits you need from workers’ compensation is not typically easy, and it has become even more challenging for people that have started working from home. If you have become hurt while performing your employment duties at home, our Omaha workers’ comp lawyers at Andres Law Offices are here to help. We will ensure your claim is filed properly and on time to ensure you receive the benefits you need as quickly as possible. Call us today at (402) 491-4003 or contact us online to speak to one of our skilled attorneys.