Working from home or remotely has been a growing trend over the past few years, and it is likely that this trend will continue as more people become comfortable with working from home.
If you are one of these people, it can be difficult to know what your rights are under workers compensation laws. It is important to understand how these laws apply to remote workers because many companies do not offer this benefit to their remote employees.
You may also have questions about how much you will receive if you become injured while working remotely.
This guide will help you with all these, especially in understanding Workers Compensation for remote employees in North Carolina.
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What is Workers Compensation?
Workers Compensation Insurance (WC) is designed to provide benefits to injured employees who suffer from job related injuries or illnesses.
The purpose of WC insurance is to compensate employees for lost wages and medical expenses incurred due to workplace accidents
Is workers compensation for remote employees in North Carolina required?
In North Carolina, employers that employ three or more people are required to carry Worker’s Compensation Insurance. This means that they are responsible for paying certain benefits to their injured employees.
However, some employers do try to get around the rules by making their employees remote. Workers who work from home are still covered under workers' compensation laws.
In fact, according to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, just because an employee is remote or formally labeled by their employers as "independent contractors", that does not mean that their employers cannot be held liable for the injuries they end up suffering while working.
In other words, even though the employer might not want to pay out for the injury, the law says otherwise.
North carolina workers compensation should cover injuries that happen while working remotely. You need to prove that the injury was related to the job.
For example, if you are injured while doing housework or cleaning up after yourself, then you probably won't qualify for workers' comp. But if you are injured while performing a task that relates to your job, then you may be eligible for benefits.
What counts as a work-related injury at home?
Home-based workers may be eligible for workers' comp if they're injured while performing a job-related task or benefit their employer in some other way.
If you are injured while working from home, you must show that the accident happened while performing a duty related to your employment.
• Your injury has to be causally connected to your employment. This means that there had to be a direct causal connection between your employment and the occurrence of your injury.
• Your injury had to arise out of and in the scope of your employment. This means it had to happen while you were carrying out your job responsibilities. It also means that it had to be reasonably foreseeable that you would be required to carry out such tasks.
• Your injury had to be incurred during the course of your employment. This includes both on-the-job injuries and off-the-job injuries that occur while you are traveling to or from work.
• You must have worked long enough hours to be covered under the law.
• Your injury can't be due to any willful misconduct on your part. This means that you didn't intentionally injure yourself.
How do you make a workers comp claim from a work from home injury?
The main reason why we work from home is for flexibility. However, it also comes with risks. Make sure your employers know about your injuries and how they affect your ability to work. Also, make sure you document everything.
You should see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident occurs. The doctor should examine you thoroughly and tell you what he/she thinks happened. Make sure you do not miss any important information about your injury.
You can then file a claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC). The NCIC handles all claims filed by employees against their employers. When filing a claim, you have to provide proof that the injury occurred during the course of your employment.
Your employer has to give you permission before you file a claim. They may ask questions about how the injury happened, what caused it, and whether there were any witnesses.
The NCIC will investigate your claim and determine whether you are entitled to compensation. It will look into whether your injury qualifies as a compensable workplace injury. This means that your employer owes you money based on the injury.
The NCIC will also consider whether you are eligible for medical care. Medical treatment is usually covered by workers' comp. However, if you receive medical care outside of North Carolina, you may be able to get reimbursed through the North Carolina Bureau of Health Services.
You may be able to recover lost wages due to your injury. Lost wages are generally paid through workers' comp. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may be able recover future earnings.
What happens when you cannot prove that your injury is work related?
There are several reasons why you might not be able to prove that you are entitled to workers' comp benefits. Some common ones are:
- You did not report the injury or seek medical attention right away.
- You did not show up at the hospital or clinic where you received treatment.
- You did something wrong, like fail to follow instructions, lie to your supervisor, or take drugs.
- You did nothing wrong but still got hurt.
- There is no one or nothing (like a CCTV) that witnessed the event.
- If you cannot prove that your injuries are work related, you may not be able to collect benefits.
- In most states, you must prove that your injuries were caused by an accident that arose out of and in the course of your employment to be eligible for benefits.
How much will I get?
This depends on many factors. If you are injured while working for someone else, you may only qualify for partial benefits. Partial benefits are paid for part-time work. These benefits are called “partial” because they cover only a portion of your income.
If you are injured while working at home, you may be eligible for full benefits. Full benefits are paid for total disability. Total disability means that you cannot go back to work.
In some cases, you may be able get both partial and full benefits. For example, if you are injured while working from home, you may be partially disabled and unable to work. At the same time, you may be fully disabled and unable to return to work.
What if my employer does not offer workers' comp insurance?
If your employer does not offer workers’ compensation coverage, it is important to know what your rights are. The law requires employers with more than 3 employees to provide coverage. Your state's Department of Labor has information about how to file a complaint against an employer who fails to comply with the law.
If you do not have access to any other type of health insurance, you can apply for Medicaid. This program provides free medical services to people who meet certain criteria. To find out if you qualify, contact your local Social Security office.
Is there anything I should know before filing a claim?
The first thing you need to know is whether or not you are going to receive any money. It is possible that you won't be able to recoup all of your losses.
It is also possible that you will never be able to work again. This is especially true if you suffer permanent damage.
You may also want to consult a vocational rehabilitation counselor. He/she can help you determine whether or not you are capable of returning to work.
If you are a remote employee in North Carolina needing helping with your workers' compensation claim, we can help you, just click here to connect.