Injured While Working at Home: Will Comp Cover?

Can an employee injured while working at home collect workers’ comp benefits? The answer is yes, but only if they were engaged in “reasonable and sufficiently work-related” activities under the circumstances, according to a New York appeals court.

Christopher Capraro was hired by Matrix Absence Management to work at home as a claims examiner. Matrix provided him with computer equipment, and Capraro asked if the company would also cover the expense of new office furniture.

The company refused, so Capraro ordered himself a new chair, desk, and drawer, which were delivered to his home unassembled and in boxes. Capraro was allegedly injured as he carried the boxes into his home office.

Can’t Establish Claim

He stopped working and filed for workers’ compensation benefits, but a workers’ compensation law judge found Capraro’s injuries weren’t work related.

The Workers’ Compensation Board upheld the judge’s decision, and Capraro filed an appeal.

An appeals court reversed the board’s decision, finding that if Capraro was engaged in a work-related task when he moved the boxes he could receive comp benefits.

The court ordered further proceedings for the board to make that determination.