Can You Get Workers’ Compensation Working From Home in SC?

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While remote work had risen during the pre-corona period, the pandemic dramatically shifted it into overdrive. Today, many Americans have embraced remote working as the new normal due to its outstanding work-personal life balance. However, it has left many remote workers wondering if they are covered by workers’ compensation insurance when working from their South Carolina homes.

South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act requires all companies with at least four employees to have workers’ compensation insurance to benefit injured employees. However, the line tends to be blurry regarding work-from-home injuries.

Most employers and insurance companies use these complexities to their advantage. Our South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney at David Aylor Law Offices will help you understand your situation and prove that your injuries are work-related. We will get you the compensation you need. Call us today for a free case evaluation and to determine your next steps.

South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Laws

South Carolina Law charges employers with the responsibility to provide a safe work environment for their employees. This includes both on-site and remote workers. Under South Carolina’s Law, workers’ compensation covers employees’ injuries arising out of and during employment. Fortunately, the laws are focused on workers and not the workplace. This means that the location doesn’t matter, and you could be eligible for workers’ compensation if injured while working from home.

The same laws that apply to someone injured at a construction site or warehouse also apply to you if injured while working from home. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that employees qualify to receive benefits, regardless of who is at fault for the injury sustained. But you have to prove the injury is work-related.

Did the injury arise out of and in the course of employment? In this case, “arise out of” refers to what the victim was doing during the time of incidence, while “course of employment” is when the injury occurred. The workers’ compensation protects workers if they sustain an injury, whether at home or any other location, provided they are on duty.

An experienced attorney can help you determine the legal action to take depending on specific facts of your case. If you are working at home at the direction of your employer and whatever activities you are engaging in at the time of the accident benefit your employer, then you are likely eligible for compensation

What Kind of At-Home Activities Can Be Work-Related?

Personal and professional aspects complicate workers’ compensation claims in remote work. Proving an injury related to work can be challenging because you can still sustain such injuries during your personal routine.

You have to establish that the injuries you sustained while working from home are related to your duties. Here are a few questions to help you figure out if your injuries entitle you to workers’ compensation while working from home:

  • Did your employer approve of the task that led to your injury beforehand?
  • Was the task you were performing benefitting your employer or work-related?
  • Is the activity you were engaging in during the accident part of your work duties?

Such scenarios include:

Getting burnt with coffee as a result of distraction from work

While you can get burnt during your regular home activities, your injury occurred because you were distracted by your work. The injury happened at your home office and is within your scope of work.

Falling down the stairs while on a work-related call

Perhaps you receive a call from your employer, or you are talking to a potential client and slip down the stairs. In this case, you are eligible for workers’ compensation because the call benefited your employer.

An employee drops a box of company products on their foot, resulting in injuries when delivering the products to clients

While the worker is not within their work office, which is at home, the activity is within the scope of their employment and directly benefits the employer.

Having a workers’ compensation attorney who is familiar with at-home activities that can be work-related is crucial when seeking workers’ compensation for remote employees. Consult with us about the facts of your case, and we will investigate whether the accident occurred when you were on or off duty.

Common Types of At-Home Work-Related Injuries

One can sustain different kinds of work-related injuries when working from home. They include:

  • Slip, trip, and fall injuries
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Burns
  • Electric shocks
  • Repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Migraines
  • Eye fatigue
  • Psychological injuries

If you have suffered from any of the above injuries, you may need medical care and some time off your job. This could lead to financial strain making your life difficult. South Carolina’s workers’ compensation can help you recover some of these damages, including:

  • Ongoing medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills due to work-related injury or illness
  • Disability benefits
  • Funeral expenses if a work-related injury or illness caused the death of an employee
  • Mental care bills

Our well-versed workers’ compensation lawyers in Charleston will consider your type of injuries to calculate and determine the fair compensation you need to recover. Ensure you document any important receipts and records related to your injury that may help to determine the severity of your illness or injury.

What Are the Exceptions to Workers’ Compensation While Working from Home?

While workers are generally covered by workers’ compensation insurance, a few exceptions exist. For instance, if an employee trips and breaks their arm while rushing to comfort their child while working from home, they may not qualify for workers’ compensation.

Other non-eligible groups include:

  • Independent contractors
  • Casual employees
  • Licensed real estate agents
  • Agricultural employees
  • Workers with an annual payroll of less than $3000
  • Federal employees in Charleston

Your attorney will assist you in determining whether or not you are covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

Call Charleston Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at David Aylor Law Offices Today

If you are injured while working from home, you may benefit from workers’ compensation. The courts agree that employers cannot state a lack of control over their employees’ home-based work conditions as a reason to deny workers’ compensation claims.

However, it is best to retain an experienced lawyer to protect your interests and navigate the complex laws governing workers’ compensation regarding remote workers.

Call David Aylor Law Offices at (843) 548-1571 for a free case evaluation if your workers’ compensation claim has been denied.

Workers’ Compensation FAQs

Are there any important deadlines I should be aware of with workers’ compensation claims?

In South Carolina, you have 90 days to report a work-related injury to your employer and 2 years from the day of the accident to file a workers’ compensation claim.

How can I make my home office safer?

Look out for tripping hazards in your home such as loose wires and cables, keep your work area well-lit, and sit in an ergonomic chair.

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