The Women's Journal

Worker’s Comp & Working From Home

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By Heather A. Long, Esquire

When COVID-19 disrupted the world in March 2020, countless employees, who may have never worked from home before, found themselves adapting to a new way of life. Home offices were set up and virtual meetings commenced. With more and more employees logging in remotely, what happens when they are hurt working from home? They may be able to file a Worker’s Compensation claim. 

Delaware Worker’s Comp covers injuries sustained at home 

Most employers are required by the state to have Workers’ Compensation Insurance. The insurance covers benefits that employees can access if they are injured. These benefits include: paid medical expenses, wage benefits, mileage coverage, scarring disfigurement, and permanent impairments benefits. 

Generally, injured employees can receive benefits if their injuries were sustained while acting “within the scope of their employment.” When evaluating whether or not an injury occurred within the scope of the employment, we look at the totality of circumstances, time, and place, for which the injury occurred. However, this does not mean the employee must be on the employer’s property to be within the scope of their employment. For example, if a driver is struck by another at-fault vehicle while completing a delivery on behalf of their employer, that crash would be covered by Workers’ Compensation.  

For employees working from home, courts have ruled that they are entitled to the same benefits as traditional staff working on company property. Employees working from home must also be injured “within the scope of their employment.” Was the employer benefiting from the task that injured the employee? Was the task required? An injured employee would have to answer those questions in addition to explaining what they were doing and where they were at the time of the injury. 

Injuries caused by actions deemed “incidental” to the employment may also be eligible for compensation. When a Delaware woman working from home was injured when she fell while exiting her house on a scheduled break to smoke a cigarette, her injures were covered by Worker’s Compensation. Although smoking a cigarette may be an act of “personal comfort,” the employee had no intention of leaving her property, which the Board found to be her employer’s premises. Since she was on the employer’s premise, the act of smoking a cigarette did not take the employee outside the scope of her employment. 

What should I do if I get hurt? 

If you are hurt while working from home, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Make sure to document your injuries and activities leading up to the incident. Report the injury to your supervisor or human resources staff. In addition, you may want to reach out to a Workers’ Compensation attorney to assist you in filing a claim. 

If you are injured, Kimmel, Carter, Roman, Peltz & O’Neill, P.A. is here to help. Kimmel Carter has been dedicated to fighting for our clients’ rights since 1972. 

For more information, or to schedule a free consultation, please call (302) 565-6132 or email Heather A. Long, Esq. at [email protected] 


Heather has been an attorney for over ten years, and is currently practicing Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Law. Heather worked her way through law school as a paralegal in a personal injury firm. After passing the bar exam, she spent several years working as a defense attorney, representing local, regional and national companies. With the knowledge gained about the inner workings of these companies, she now represents injured workers and personal injury plaintiffs.  

Heather is a graduate of Widener University School of Law, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Heather is licensed to practice law in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Heather is a graduate of Widener University School of Law, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Heather is licensed to practice law in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.