Can I make a claim for workers’ compensation if I work from home?
If you are an employee who is working remotely because of coronavirus, and you are injured in the scope of your employment, then yes: you can make a claim for workers’ compensation. These claims can be a challenge to file on your own, however, so working with a workers’ compensation attorney is to your benefit.
In order to make a successful claim, you will need to show that you were in the course of employment when you were injured, in other words that you were “at work” when the injury occurred. To do this, you may need to provide documentation such as:
- Proof that you were “logged/clocked in” to any timekeeping software your company uses
- Emails, texts, phone logs, or recorded video/phone chats that either show or discuss what happened
- Medical records which show the injury, or which show you sought treatment for the injury
Just as in any workers’ compensation claim, there does not have to be a witness to your injury, and you do not have to be “at your desk” when the injury occurred. Because you are responsible for your own living space, however, you may face certain challenges when presenting your claim. This is why you want an experienced Maryland workers’ compensation lawyer to represent you.
Does the CARES Act change anything regarding workers’ compensation?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act – a $2 trillion dollar package – significantly expands the eligibility and dollar value of unemployment insurance benefits for affected U.S. workers – but it does not add any money, nor change any laws or regulations, with regard to workers’ compensation. This is because workers’ compensation is a state law program.
However, non-employee workers such as gig workers, the self-employed, freelancers, and independent contractors are eligible for unemployment benefits under the CARES Act. Gig workers are eligible to obtain this supplemental compensation for work they lost after March 27, with continuing payments to be made until July 31, 2020.
Applying for unemployment benefits
The most efficient way to access the benefits you are owed is to apply online with the unemployment office in the state in which you were last employed. It is best to do this early in the morning or at night when traffic volume to these sites is the lowest. You can apply for those benefits here.
At Plaxen & Adler, P.A., our Maryland workers’ compensation attorneys are here to help with any difficulties you may be facing applying for and accessing your rightful workers’ comp benefits. To arrange a free case evaluation, give us a call today at 410.730.7737, or send us a message through our contact form.