Workers’ Compensation FAQ

We’ve noticed while building our blog we’ve had quite a few questions from visitors, and they all tend to be variations on the same few questions, so we thought we’d create a FAQ to answer some of those questions at a glance!

Under work comp laws can I receive payments for any injury or illness?

You are only eligible for workers comp payments if you:

  • are hurt on the job
  • aggravate a pre-existing injury
  • develop a work-related illness, such as asbestosis or carpal tunnel syndrome

Generally, the rule is injuries that occur in the workplace, or that occur while “furthering” the business of your employer, such as travelling to a work-related appointment, will qualify you for workers comp payments. This includes if you are working on site outside of your office; for example loft conversion for a company like this one: http://www.mertonloftconversion.com/.

You can ask for work comp payments if you are at fault for your injury at work. Generally, accidents that occur while commuting to or from work, or during work breaks, do not qualify for Pennsylvania workers compensation.

Under work comp laws, can I receive payments for repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel?

If you can prove that your injury is caused by your work, then yes, you can ask for workers compensation. Work that requires repetetive motion can cause RSI injuries such as Tennis Elbow and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Under work comp laws, can I receive payments if I was injured while volunteering?

These situations are slightly more complex; workers comp normally requires you to be paid for your work in some way, if you are volunteering, then you are not being paid. However, certain organisations; particularly those that provide a public benefit such as ambulance workers, firefighters and special or community police are able to provide their workers with workers comp.

We highly recommend you contact a lawyer specialising in workers comp in order to investigate if you are eligible for workers’ comp during volunteering work you are carrying out.

Under work comp laws, can I receive payments if I was injured in a car accident while driving to a work seminar?

This has been a topic of much discussion: Yes, you ARE eligible for workers comp in this situation, as you were doing required work for your job in travelling to a seminar they’ve asked you to attend.

Though workers comp doesn’t apply while commuting to or from work, when you are travelling to a business appointment, or another event where your presence is required, you’re then travelling while “engaged in the business” of your employer. This then becomes time when you are eligible.

Under work comp laws, can I receive payments if my work injury was my own fault?

You can receive payments if your work injury was your own fault, and regardless of who’s fault it was. There are caveats to this which we will explain in a moment though. It’s important to note that intentional, self-inflicted injuries are not covered under workers compensation.

Under work comp laws, can I receive payments if I am a traveling salesman and I’m injured in a car accident while driving home from a sales convention?

Generally speaking, workers who have no fixed place of work – like consultants, traveling salesmen, and freelancers – are covered once they take to the road. This is because the transient nature of their business. Work comp covers just about every injury in this case

Under work comp laws, can I receive payments if I am injured at work while under the influence of alcohol or drugs?

In this case, it’s most likely you won’t be eligible for workers comp payments. You would have to prove that your injury was not caused by your inebriation, and this is notoriously difficult to do. As well as this, most companies have a no tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol which you would be in breach of regardless of if you were injured or not. This would invalidate you for any benefits.

Under work comp laws, can I receive payments if I am injured on my lunch break?

The likelyhood is you would not be eligible. Generally, any personal breaks and time taken are not covered under workers comp laws. Breaks, smoking breaks, lunch and commuuting to and from work are times you are not covered.

The exception to this is if you are travelling to a lunch hosted by your employer, then you have a chance of receiving workers comp payments. This is another time we would recommend you see a lawyer specialising in workers comp.

Can I receive work comp payments if a previous injury was aggravated on my current job?

This very much depends on if your injury is related, but a new one that has occured due to your job, or a re-occurence of the old injury. If the case is the former, then you will be eligible for workers comp, however, if it’s the latter, things become much more complex.

If your pre-existing injury re-occurs or becomes aggravated due to work, then we highly recommend you get in touch with a lawyer to discuss the situation.

Can I receive work comp payments if I was injured at home while doing work for my employer?

This case depends on if you were asked by your employer to work from home or you chose to do so yourself. If you chose to, then you wouldn’t be eligible for workers’ comp. If your employer asked you, then you will be covered as this was required by your employer.

Can I receive work comp payments if a scar results from a work-related injury?

Absolutely. If you were to receive a scar due to your work, then you would be able to gain additional workers comp. You don’t need to have missed any work days due to the scar to gain the comp as well.

We hope this FAQ has been of use to you!