As a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, more and more employees are working remotely. If you suffer a work-related injury while working from home, you may wonder if you are still eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Fortunately, remote employees still have the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits if their injury arose out of and in the scope of their employment.
California Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
The California workers’ compensation lawyers at Kneisler and Schondel have many years of experience successfully handling their clients’ workers’ compensation cases. Our attorneys work tirelessly to obtain the best possible results for injured workers in California. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation to meet with one of our attorneys and move forward with filing your claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Eligibility Requirements for Workers’ Compensation in California
In California, there are some requirements that must be met in order to have a valid workers’ compensation claim for benefits. The first requirement is that you must be an employee. Generally, independent contractors do not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits unless they have been misclassified as independent contractors and should be considered employees under the law.
Another requirement is that your employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance to receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you find yourself in a situation where your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, you do have some other options. You can pursue compensation directly from your employer, or you can make a request to the Uninsured Employers Benefit Trust Fund to pay for your benefits. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you navigate this process.
Additionally, your illness or injury must be work-related, and you must file your claim within the required timeframe, called the statute of limitations. Keep in mind that for your illness or injury to be considered work-related, it does not necessarily have to happen at your workplace.
What Makes a Work Injury Work-Related and Compensable Under California Law?
A California employee is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for work injuries that arise out of and occur in the course of their employment. Basically, this means that you were injured or suffered an illness while performing your job duties and that the injury or illness happened because of your job.
For example, if you were lifting something as part of one of your job duties and injured your back while doing so, it would likely qualify as a work-related injury. On the other hand, for example, if you become injured or suffer an illness while at work, but not necessarily because of your work duties or employment, it may not be compensable under workers’ compensation laws.
What Benefits Can I Receive If I Have a Valid Workers’ Compensation Case?
If you have an accepted workers’ compensation case, regardless of whether you were injured working from home or working at your employer’s workplace, you will typically be eligible for the same types of benefits. One of the major benefits available to injured workers under workers’ compensation is the payment of medical bills for treatment of the injury or illness. Medical bills can add up fast, so it is often a relief for injured workers to learn that they are not liable for their reasonable and related medical bills.
Another workers’ compensation benefit is temporary total disability payments. If an injured worker is unable to work due to their injury, they may receive temporary total disability payments. These payments are designed to compensate injured workers for the paychecks that they miss while recovering from their work injuries.
If your work injury causes a permanent change to your medical condition, then you may also be able to receive permanent disability. The amount of money you may receive for a permanent disability payment depends on a few different factors, including the severity of your injury, your average weekly wage, and the type of injury.
In cases in which an injured worker is unable to return to their former job or to a job position modified to accommodate any permanent disability, that worker may be eligible for supplemental job displacement benefits. This benefit is designed to help injured workers learn new skills to help them find a new job that they are able to successfully perform when they reenter the workforce.
Your workers’ compensation attorney can help you learn more about the specific workers’ compensation benefits that you are eligible for and can help you file your workers’ compensation claim. Contact us today at Kneisler and Schondel to get started with seeking the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve.