Kentucky Workers Compensation

Every state in the country requires workers compensation coverage for most employers. While it may seem like just another expense, this coverage protects both your employees and your business in the event that an employee becomes ill, injured, or dies while in the course of their employment. If you own a business in Kentucky, or if you send your employees to work there, you need to understand the laws specific to this state.

What is Workers Compensation Coverage?

Workers compensation is a type of insurance that pays income and medical benefits for your employees if they become injured or ill as a consequence of their employment. Death benefits can be paid to survivors if your employee’s accident or illness is fatal. By carrying workers compensation coverage and using it properly, you are protected against lawsuits from employees and their family.

Understanding Workers Compensation in Kentucky

While every state has many similarities in workers compensation coverage regulations, Kentucky has specific regulations that employers must understand in order to avoid noncompliance with the law.

  • All employees in Kentucky, even part-time, must be covered by workers compensation coverage
  • Subcontractors and independent contractors are not required to be covered by an employer’s coverage and must carry their own.
  • Kentucky offers a private market and a state fund, the Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance Authority, to purchase workers compensation coverage. The state fund is often used when employers cannot obtain coverage through the private market. Rates are often higher in the state fund.
  • Sole proprietors and partners are excluded from workers compensation coverage but can opt in.
  • Corporate officers are included in coverage but can opt out.
  • Members of LLCs are excluded from coverage. Members who participate in the business decisions and profits and losses of a benefit may be included in workers compensation coverage.
  • Employers may provide the option of a managed health care provider for injured employees.
  • Employees may opt to continue seeing the physician who performed emergency care or treatment instead.
  • Employees using the managed health care service may also seek a second opinion outside of the group – at the employer’s expense.
  • Employers must keep a record of all injuries for an employee during their employment.
  • Employers must report injuries to their Kentucky workers compensation providers within three working days of notification of the injury or illness.
  • No income benefits are paid for the first seven days unless the injury or illness persists longer than two weeks.
  • Employers are responsible for attorney fees if a court orders income benefits to be paid.
  • Benefits increase by up to 30% if an employer didn’t comply with safety regulations, resulting in the employee’s accident.
  • Benefits decrease by up to 15 percent if an employee intentionally fails to follow safety regulations, resulting in the accident.
  • Employees cannot be fired, harassed, or discriminated against for filing a workers comp claim.

Workers compensation insurance is a requirement in Kentucky. It’s best to understand your rights, as well as your employee’s, so that when an accident does occur, you’re prepared. The team at Americas Workers Compensation is ready to answer any questions you have about your current policy or to give you a free quote on a new policy. Contact us today!

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