Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Laws
Kentucky workers’ compensation laws require every employer with one or more employees to carry workers’ comp coverage.1
This el seguro de compensación para trabajadores
policy helps protect you and your employees from the costs of a work-related injury or illness.
For instance, if your employee is injured on the job, it can help pay for their medical treatment. If that same employee is unable to return to work right away, this coverage can also help pay a portion of their lost wages during recovery. You’ll also want workers’ comp to help protect your business from lawsuits filed against you due to a work-related injury or illness.
Where can you buy workers’ compensation insurance for your business? You can purchase a policy through a state fund or through a private insurance provider, like us.2
To learn more, obtener una cotización
Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage
Kentucky workers’ compensation coverage is mandatory for nearly every employer in the state. While coverages may differ depending on the insurer, workers’ comp typically helps cover:
Partial lost wages
Workers’ compensation requirements in Kentucky mandate businesses with one or more employees to carry workers’ comp coverage. You’ll also want proof of coverage, which is a document from your insurance provider with important information on your policy. In some cases, this is also known as a certificate of insurance. Every employer in Kentucky must display proof of coverage at their office.3
To learn more about workers’ compensation insurance and how to obtain proof of coverage, obtener una cotización
What Does KY Workers’ Comp Cover?
Kentucky workers’ compensation insurance can help cover:
A work-related accident or injury, which includes paying for an employees’ medical treatment.
Illnesses caused by exposure to harmful chemicals or allergens in the workplace. The most common occupational disease in Kentucky is coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, also known as black lung.4 Workers’ comp can help cover your employee’s medical treatment costs needed to get healthy and return to work.
Repetitive stress injuries that occur from doing harmful motions or activities. Workers’ comp can help cover an employee’s medical expenses needed to treat a work-related repetitive stress injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Missed wages if an employee takes time off to recover from a work-related injury. Workers’ comp can help replace some of their lost wages until they can return to work.
Ongoing care needed to treat a work-related injury. This can include physical therapy or multiple surgeries. Workers’ comp can help cover an employee’s ongoing care costs.
Funeral costs if a worker loses their life while on the job. An employee’s family can also receive death benefits.
Disability if a work-related injury or illness leaves an employee disabled. Employees can suffer a permanent partial disability, permanent total disability or temporary total disability. Workers’ comp can help provide disability benefits to injured workers. For example, one of your employees that got hurt in a warehouse accident can receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits.
Kentucky Workers Compensation Exemptions
Under Kentucky workers’ comp laws, certain employees are exempt from coverage, including:
Any person employed in agriculture
Members of a religious sect or organization that oppose insurance benefits
Domestic workers employed in a private home with less than two regularly employed workers
Any person temporarily employed less than 20 days as a handy worker to do remodeling, maintenance, repair or similar work in a home
Any person working in return for aid or sustenance for a religious or charitable organization
Waiving Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Coverage
According to Kentucky law, employees can reject workers’ compensation coverage by filing a Form 4 Waiver with the Department of Workers’ Claims. The waiver is effective until voluntarily withdrawn.5
If an employee waives coverage, they keep the right to sue their employer for a work-related injury or illness. The employee has to prove negligence or wrongdoing on the employer’s part.6
Kentucky law prohibits employers from using Form 4 Waivers as a condition of employment. Employees must sign waivers voluntarily by employees to be upheld. If an employer requires an employee to submit a Form 4 Waiver, the employer could be subject to civil penalties.7
What Should Your Employee Do if They’re Hurt on the Job?
It’s the employee’s responsibility to report all injuries or illnesses immediately to their supervisor.8 Most employers have policies for reporting injuries and following the process helps facilitate the payment of benefits.
Employees should report a repetitive injury or work-related illness as soon as they learn of it.
Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Fee Schedule
The Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims puts fee schedules in place. The Kentucky Workers' Compensation Fee Schedule explains the amount that providers can charge for services when treating a work-related injury or illness. Medical providers can't charge more than the amount in the fee schedule.
Time Limits for Filing KY Workers’ Comp Claims
Written claims for workers’ compensation benefits need to be filed with the Department of Workers’ Claims. These claims must be filed within two years of the date of injury or last voluntary payment of disability benefits.9
For occupational diseases:
Claims must be filed within three years of a diagnosis or after symptoms first appear, whichever is earlier.
The maximum period to file occupational disease claims is five years after the employee was last exposed to the cause of the disease.10
Common Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Questions
How Long Can You Receive Workman’s Comp in KY?
If your employee is fully disabled, they’ll be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits until they reach Social Security retirement age. If your employee has a partial disability rating over 50%, they can receive workers’ compensation benefits for up to 520 weeks.
Who Chooses the Physician?
In Kentucky, an employee may choose their own physician. If an employer enters an authorized managed care program, employees have to select a physician from a list. Employees can change their physician choice once, no questions asked.11
Who Pays the Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Although Kentucky has state-funded workers’ comp, the Department of Workers’ Claims doesn’t pay benefits. Employers are responsible for payment of benefits. This is usually done through insurance companies.
How Are Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Rates Calculated?
The amount the employer pays for workers’ compensation insurance depends on different factors, including:12
Industrial job classifications of the employer
The amount of payroll
Having programs in place can help reduce the premium cost, such as:13
Workplace safety practices
Modified duty programs for injured employees
Managed care programs
Certified drug-free work plans
Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Claims and Quotes
If there’s a dispute with workers’ comp claims, an employee can hire a lawyer and enter into an attorney-client relationship. Administrative law judges review these disputes. The judges can also review settlement agreements in the state. To file a claim in Kentucky, visit our workers’ comp claims
You can also learn more about coverage by getting a free quote
from us today. We’re proud to have served small businesses like yours for over 200 years, working to make sure you get the kind of insurance coverage you need.
1,2 Commonwealth of Kentucky: Department of Workers’ Claims, “An Overview of Kentucky’s Workers’ Compensation Law”
3 Commonwealth of Kentucky: Labor Cabinet, “Answers”
4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 Commonwealth of Kentucky: Department of Workers’ Claims, “Guidebook to Workers’ Compensation”