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Do Remote Workers Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

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Remote employees in Illinois may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured while performing work-related duties.

Benefits for Remote Workers

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, working remotely has become the new normal for millions of American workers. This raises many questions about work-related injuries and workers’ compensation benefits for remote workers. When injuries occur, remote workers may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to cover medical expenses.

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. In Illinois, workers who are injured in the “course and scope of employment” are covered under workers’ compensation insurance provided by their employers. While remote workers have put a spotlight on the entitlement of benefits, workers’ compensation attorneys assert that this is not a novel concept under state laws. Generally, remote workers are entitled to benefits as long as injuries are work-related.

When a remote worker suffers injuries, he/she has the burden of proof to show that injuries occurred while acting in the interest of his/her employer. In some cases, proof may be difficult without a workers’ compensation attorney to navigate an injury claim. To show proof of a work-related injury, a remote worker may be asked some important questions:

  • Did the employer require the worker to engage in the injury-causing activity?
  • Did the employer approve the remote activity prior to the injury?
  • Was the employer benefiting from the worker’s actions when the injury occurred?

When disputes about benefits arise for remote workers, a workers’ compensation attorney can address legal questions and provide evidence for sufficient proof of work-related injuries. While an employer does not have control over the conditions of a remote worker, courts usually find that this is not a sufficient reason to deny workers compensation benefits. Under state laws, employers are responsible for providing the same safe work environment for remote workers as they provide for on-site workers.

By implementing work safety guidelines, employers can limit injuries for remote workers. Employers should clearly define normal duties and working hours for remote workers and establish guidelines for a safe work environment. Training can be provided to help remote workers set up workstations with ergonomic equipment. By creating a remote work policy that outlines expectations, employers can help to prevent work-related injuries for remote workers.

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As the founder of the firm, Neal has devoted his life to working for the worker. His achievements are numerous and beyond reproach. He is most proud of his work in helping clients obtain valuable benefits, such as a wheelchair ramp to his home or lifetime medical care.

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