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I work out of state – Where do I apply for workers’ compensation payments after I’m hurt on the job?

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What Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Workers’ compensation insurance, commonly called workers’ comp, is a type of insurance policy that provides benefits to workers who get hurt on the job. It also includes coverage if something in the work environment causes an employee to be sick. Benefits can include the payment of medical bills, reimbursement for lost wages, and long-term disability if the employee is not able to go back to work. The laws governing workers’ compensation insurance vary widely by state.

How Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Function in a Distributed Workforce?

Many employers have employees who work outside the state that is home to the headquarters. This practice is known as a distributed workforce. Employees may work out of their homes and travel all over the country or a particular region. They may enter into an employment agreement in one state but never actually perform any work there. What does this mean for workers’ compensation insurance?

If you work out of state and you are injured, you may have options as to where you file your claim.

Which State Has Jurisdiction in a Distributed Workforce?

Employers, especially small businesses, often buy workers’ compensation insurance in just one state, even though the company has employees in multiple states. The policy may or may not cover claims by out of state workers. A lack of coverage is a significant liability because an injured employee gets to choose which state in which to file a claim.

  • An employee can file a claim in the state where he or she does most of his or her work.
  • An employee can file a claim in the state where the on-the-job injury took place.
  • An employee can file a claim in the state where he or she resides.

If the employee lives and works in the same state as the company’s headquarters, then that state is the only option. However, what if an employee lives in Texas, works for a company based in Oklahoma, and gets injured while on a business trip to Florida? The employee can choose any of those three states in which to file the work comp claim.

What Should I Do if I Am Injured While Working Out of State?

Follow your employer’s policies on reporting the accident and getting medical care for emergencies. Because of the complexity of jurisdictional issues, you should then consult an experienced and knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer in Abingdon, VA before you make any decisions about where to file your claim.



Thanks to The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into workers compensation and working out of state.