With more people working from home than ever before, there are much greater odds of sustaining a work-related injury while out of the office. Slips, falls, and repetitive strain injuries can easily happen with home-based work, and they may warrant compensation in the right circumstances.
First of all, however, a worker who is an independent contractor does not qualify for workers’ compensation. Illinois workers’ comp covers only employees, not self-employed independent contractors. As such, if you are running a home-based business of your own, you won’t qualify for compensation from any of your clients.
On the other hand, many employees telecommute rather than work in a dedicated office space. If this is your situation, you can receive compensation for an injury you sustain while in the course of fulfilling your employment duties at home.
For example, if your job involves a lot of computer usage, you might develop carpal tunnel syndrome, which would be fairly easy to connect to your employment duties. Slipping or tripping can also qualify for workers’ compensation if it results in an injury during normal working hours.
Qualifying for Workers’ Comp when Working from Home
While work injuries that arise at home technically qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, these types of claims are a bit more tricky than conventional workplace injuries. Insurance companies will look for any way possible to deny benefits to you, so they may try to show that your injury occurred at home without any connection to your job.
Connection to employment duties
To qualify for benefits, such as medical bills and lost time at work, you’ll need to show that your injury arose out of the course of performing your normal employment duties. Keeping records showing that it occurred during normal working hours can help solidify your claim in the event that it’s denied.
Any workplace injury should be promptly reported, especially in the case of a work-at-home injury. The chances are fairly high that you won’t have any witnesses to testify that your injury resulted from your employment, and that can make things a little more difficult.
Promptly reporting your injury to your supervisor is one way to overcome this challenge, particularly if you do so by email. That way, you’ll have a record of the injury being reported as well as the date and time.
When seeking medical care for your injury, it’s best to do so promptly in order to maximize the chances of your claim going through. In addition, make sure your doctor knows that your injury arose out of your employment, even if it occurred at home. Remember that insurance companies will try to minimize their responsibility, and a doctor’s note stating that your injury occurred at home can help them do that.
Hire a workers’ compensation attorney
A workers’ compensation attorney can help you improve the chances of your claim going through, even if it occurred while working at home. We can help you navigate the process, fill out all necessary paperwork at the right time, and secure the benefits you need to recover from your injury.