27 Apr Can You Still Get Arizona Workers’ Compensation Benefits When You Are Required to Work from Home and Have an Accident?
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Remote Workers
Remote worker eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits operates the same as workers’ compensation eligibility for on-site workers in Arizona. The pandemic has taught employers that many positions can be worked from homes, such as accounting, marketing, sales, and other computer-based jobs. Many employers also found that productivity output was either the same as working in the office, or better, according to an article by Business News Daily.
Workers found that stepping into their home-based office in the morning with their cup of coffee, was much better than getting on congested highways to go to work. This also reduced the likelihood of having motor vehicle accidents. Another perk was avoiding office politics and gossip by not spending time around the water cooler.
Workers at home also took more breaks (a good thing) but they were also shorter. So long as remote workers kept the same work hours as they worked while in the physical office, they could keep a better work/life balance with their families too.
Mothers with young children, however, found that their children required more attention because everyone was now staying home during the pandemic. Unless the husband or any older children could help by babysitting, then mothers had a harder time staying on track with work obligations and meeting deadlines.
But what happens when remote workers sustained injuries while working at home?
Accidents at Home
If the employer requested that employees continue working at home during and after the pandemic, then accidents that occurred at home would be covered by Arizona workers’ compensation insurance. Eligibility for workers’ compensation, however, is based on whether the accident occurred while doing something related to the required work. Here are several scenarios for review.
- The employer wants a printed copy of a report and the worker must go get a packet of printing paper at the store. On the way there, the worker has a car accident. Any injuries that occurred would be covered by workers’ compensation. If the worker could still work while injured, the medical bills would be covered.
- The worker decides to take a break and go running around the block for about 10 to 15 minutes. While running, the worker trips over a crack in the pavement and sprains an ankle while falling. The worker could still work, but the justification for workers’ compensation insurance to pay the medical bills is questionable. The employee’s argument could be based on trying to stay healthy so the employee could continue to do good work for the employer.
- The third option in the same case is if the employee does the exercise while running to the store to buy the paper. While running back home, the employee trips and falls, spraining the ankle. This would be a stronger case for the insurance company to pay for the medical bills.
Having the Right Equipment for Working at Home
Not everyone has a great office chair to sit in for hours on end while working. It would be hard for employers to fully outfit every single remote worker with not only work-based computers, printer/fax combinations, or to provide internet services too. Now employers might have to pay for purchasing ergonomic office chairs as well. Employees could purchase these chairs on their own and get exactly what they want. They also get to keep the chairs too. Such a purchase is also tax-deductible for the employee.
Always File a Claim if You are Injured While Working at Home
You may not be sure if your work-related injury is covered by Arizona workers’ compensation insurance. Arizona Injury Law Group offers experienced and Certified workers’ compensation lawyers and legal services for injured workers. Call for your free consultation immediately if you need help now! 602-346-9009.