I Work from Home – Can I Get Workers Compensation?

Workers Comp Lawyer

Thanks in part to technology, the modern workday no longer necessarily involves a physical commute. In fact, it’s estimated over 3.7 million employees will work from home this year, a number that has more than doubled in the past decade. While telecommuting reduces the risks associated with getting on the road, it doesn’t mean injuries can’t happen. When they do, many telecommuters are left worrying if they are eligible for the same workers’ compensation as their on-site counterparts. Educating yourself on how workers compensation applies to telecommuters can ensure that you’re treated fairly if or when the worst occurs.

You Have Rights

The good news is that working from home doesn’t mean you give up your rights to compensation should you be injured while working. Much of your outcome will depend on the specifics of your case, but the odds are increasingly in favor of telecommuters. While many rules surrounding workers compensation vary greatly from state to state, in general, workers compensation programs have to accept claims for injuries that happen in the scope of work. That is not limited to where the injuries happen. This means you could receive benefits if you:

  • Slipped and fell in your home performing a work task
  • Developed carpal tunnel syndrome related to prolonged desk work

or suffered any number of injuries at home. As is the case with an on-site worker, an at-home employee faces the burden linking their injuries to the work they were doing.

Understanding Limitations

Whether injuries occurred at home or in the office, any related workers compensation claim is subject to statutes of limitations. That means workers have a limited amount of time to both notify their employer of their injury either verbally or in writing, and to file the claim. The deadlines can vary greatly from state to state, with some stretching past four years. When the clock starts ticking can also be very different in each state, so it’s a good idea to talk to an attorney as soon as you think you might be eligible for compensation.

More and more people are trading in a morning commute for a seat in their home office. And as technology advances, yet more workers are expected to take advantage of the convenience of telecommuting. States are recognizing this and acknowledging that working from your home doesn’t make you less of an employee and doesn’t mean you forfeit your rights. Talk to a knowledgeable workers comp lawyer in Milwaukee, WI today and learn more about your workers’ compensation eligibility.

Thanks to Hickey & Turim, SC for their insight into workers compensation claims for employees who work from home.