If you are seeking workers’ compensation benefits, you must demonstrate that your injury or illness is work-related. Although the “work-related” requirement may appear to be a straight-forward rule, it can be complex.
Situations that are considered “work-related” when an injury occurs include:
- Preexisting conditions – If you have a preexisting condition and your job aggravates it in a manner which leads to injury or illness, then the injury is possibly covered by workers’ compensation.
- Company events – Company parties, picnics, and event softball games are often covered by workers’ compensation.
- Misconduct – If you were injured while breaking a workplace safety rule or while doing something else that your employer doesn’t allow, your injury may still be covered by workers’ comp. Of course, this depends on your level of misconduct, such as self-inflicted injuries.
The following are common situations that are not considered “work-related” when it comes to recovering workers’ comp benefits:
- Travel – If you are commuting to or from work and you suffer an injury, it probably isn’t covered by work compensation. However, if you are traveling for work, not to your fixed work site, then your injuries will be covered.
- Lunch breaks – In most cases, injuries or illnesses that occur on an employee’s lunch break are not covered under workers’ compensation. However, if you were also picking up lunch for your employer, then the injury might be covered. If you slipped, fell, and suffered an injury in a cafeteria on the company’s premises, then your injury might be covered.