Workers’ compensation is an insurance program designed to pay for medical costs and lost income of people who are hurt at work or while performing work duties. It has long been a cornerstone benefit for people employed in all industries, especially those who can encounter job site hazards. With the coronavirus pandemic shifting so many jobs into work-from-home positions, it begs the question: Can remote workers still get workers’ compensation benefits?
A key factor in workers’ compensation coverage is that it should kick in after a job-related accident or injury, regardless of who is at fault for it. This descriptor does not bring the location into account. It merely requires that the worker was doing something for their job when they were hurt. To this end, remote workers should still be able to get workers’ compensation coverage despite not going into any place of employment.
Are Accidents at Home Also Accidents at Work?
An issue that remote workers might encounter when trying to file for workers’ compensation is the questionable cause of their accident. As a no-fault system, workers’ comp will provide benefits to a worker even if their own honest mistake caused their injuries. But that does not mean they are automatically covered in all situations. The accident has to happen during or due to a work-related task, which is where this discussion gets cloudy.
Imagine you are working from a home office at a computer setup, where you do all of your work. Does your workers’ compensation coverage only apply to accidents or injuries that happen at your computer? If that is the case, then how do you ever prove to the responding insurance company that your accident happened there and in the course of your employment? Given the inherent gray areas in work rules and regulations, while working remotely, it is advised that you work with a workers’ compensation attorney to build a claim with confidence.
Repetitive Stress Injuries While Working from Home
As a remote worker who uses a computer workstation from home, you might be at the biggest risk of suffering a repetitive stress injury (RSI). Carpal tunnel syndrome, in particular, is common among workers who sit at a desk and type on a keyboard for long hours each day. Will you be covered if you suffer an RSI that forms gradually across many months or years of office work?
You should be able to get workers’ compensation for your RSI. The average workers’ comp policy includes coverage for these types of injuries since they have become increasingly common across the decades as more and more jobs became computer-centric. If you have been diagnosed with an RSI after working from home, then you should have a greater chance of filing a claim without the insurance company challenging it for proof since the link between computer work and RSIs like carpal tunnel syndrome is well established.
Do you have more questions about getting workers’ comp while working from home in Florida? Call (407) 269-5877 and speak with an attorney from Todd Miner Law in Orlando.