Increased‌ ‌Remote‌ ‌Work‌'s ‌Impact‌ ‌on‌ ‌Workers’‌ ‌Comp‌ ‌Coverage

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the look of the workplace for countless Americans. More people than ever work from home, but that doesn’t mean that accidental injuries don’t still occur. 

Many workers who now perform their duties at home face confusion about benefits if they get hurt on the job – but not in an office or at a job site. 

If you’ve been injured while working from home, contact the North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers at Ward Black Law right away. Our award-winning team is ready to evaluate your claim for free and help you seek all the workers’ compensation benefits the law allows.  

Get a free and confidential initial consultation by calling or texting our office or by reaching out to us online now.

Does Workers’ Compensation Cover North Carolina Employees Working from Home?

While some employers may try to take advantage of the pandemic to deny employees their due compensation for an injury, your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage should cover employees who are injured while working from home. 

Workers’ compensation is designed to protect employees who’ve suffered work-related injuries or illness regardless of fault. That includes workers who work in a non-traditional setting, such as their own home.

How Does Workers’ Comp Work for Remote Employees in North Carolina?

The critical thing to keep in mind when it comes to workers’ compensation coverage for remote employees is that the injury must be work-related for workers’ compensation to apply. In other words, just because an injury happened while you were working from home doesn’t mean that workers’ compensation will pay your claim. 

To get workers’ compensation benefits for an injury sustained while working from home, you will have to show how the injury was related to your duties. 

Here are a few questions to consider if you’re trying to figure out whether your at-home injury qualifies you for workers’ compensation:

  • Were you performing a work-related task or otherwise benefitting your employer when you were injured?
  • Were you asked or required by your employer to perform whatever task led to your injury?
  • Did your employer approve of the activity that led to your injury in advance?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” there’s a good chance your injury qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits. A few common injuries that people working from home could experience include:

  • Slip-and-fall injuries 
  • Neck and back injuries 
  • Burns or electric shocks

Is Workers’ Compensation Required for Remote Employees?

The North Carolina Industrial Commission says that any employer with three or more workers must carry workers’ compensation except in a few specific instances. That includes companies that employ people working from home. 

Many companies had employees working from home before the pandemic. These workers were eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Even with many more people working from home due to COVID-19, these workers and others who are now working at home remain eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Businesses often try to get around workers’ compensation requirements by misclassifying workers as “independent contractors.” However, the North Carolina Industrial Commission has held that just because an employee is labeled as a contractor does not automatically make them ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits. 

Some “independent contractors” might be considered employees under state law for the purpose of awarding workers’ compensation benefits, depending on the degree of control the employer has over the employee’s schedule and activities. 

If you think your employer has unfairly denied workers’ compensation benefits you are rightly owed, you should contact an experienced lawyer right away.

How to Make a Workers’ Comp Claim for a Work-From-Home Injury

Here are the steps you should consider if you suffer an injury while working from home:

  • Notify your employer both orally and in writing as soon as possible. Having a record of your injury is an important first step in seeking workers’ compensation benefits. You should notify your employer as soon as you can. Be sure to make a report in writing for future reference. If you can’t make the report yourself because of your injuries, have someone do it for you. This should generally be done within 30 days of the accident.
  • See a doctor as soon you can. Getting prompt medical treatment is vital to minimize the long-term effects of a work-related injury. You’ll have to see the doctor chosen by your employer, but you can often get a second opinion from your own doctor. Be sure to note your doctor’s instructions carefully and follow them exactly.
  • Report your injury to the North Carolina Industrial Commission. You can find the necessary claims forms to report your injury on the NCIC’s website. Make sure you fill out all the required forms carefully and completely.
  • Save your medical bills, receipts, mileage traveling to the doctor, pharmacy bills and any other records related to your injury. The more documentation you have to support your case, the better. You’ll need to document your injuries to claim your benefits. These records will also come in handy if you need to take legal action against your employer to pursue the benefits you’re owed.
  • Contact an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer. Workers’ compensation cases can be complicated. Most people need an attorney’s help to pursue the full benefits you deserve under the law.

Let Our Greensboro, NC, Workers’ Comp Lawyers Help

If you’ve suffered a work-related injury while working from home, contact a knowledgeable North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney at Ward Black Law right away. We know that these are unprecedented times. Many injured workers just like you do not know where to turn for help. Fortunately, our team has the skills, resources, and experience necessary to help you seek all the benefits you are entitled to.

Call or text us, fill out a contact form, or chat with us live to get a free case evaluation.