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Intro to workers' compensation

Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of protection that covers both employers and their employees. Most businesses are required to carry workers’ comp to ensure that employees are able to access adequate care should an on-the-job injury arise. This coverage also protects businesses from liability arising from catastrophic workplace accidents.

For employers, there are two main advantages. One benefit is that the employer’s company is protected from liability in the event of a work-related accident or illness. Another benefit is that workers’ compensation insurance also ensures that employee medical bills and other related expenses are paid. These payments come from the insurance company, not the employer, so the employer is not required to cover the costs in the event of an expensive work-related accident.

For employees, there are several benefits of workers’ compensation, some of which include partial wage replacements, medical treatment, and rehabilitation costs. The insurance company compensates employees in the event of work-related accidents or illnesses. Workers’ compensation insurance can also cover employee death benefits and support for a lateral shift in job duties if that employee is unable to return to their former job as a result of their injury.

Many states require that business owners purchase a commercial workers’ compensation policy. The business owner will then receive a certificate of insurance to prove that they have an active policy. This certificate is an important document because clients may require it as proof of insurance, particularly for large projects.

Work injury compensation eligibility depends on the employee’s injury or illness being considered a “covered” event. This means that the event must meet specific criteria, such as:

  • the employee must be on the clock
  • the accident or incident must have occurred on work premises (or jobsite location)
  • the employee must be free from the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the incident

Depending on the state requirements for workers’ compensation coverage as well as differences in individual plans, covered events could vary and are not necessarily limited to the list above.

In the event of a work-related illness, the employee must also prove that the illness was brought on by work-related duties and not by other life events.

Although an employee may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, the duration of these benefits depends on several factors. The only way to know exactly how long workers’ comp lasts is by fully understanding the injury or illness and the extent to which it disables the employee or prevents the employee from working. It’s important to review and understand these terms in your policy.

About Us

Learn more about CompSource Mutual, proudly provided workers’ compensation insurance coverage to Oklahoma businesses for more than 85 years.

Filing for workers’ compensation

An employee can only receive compensation for their work-related injury or illness if they have properly filed a claim. It can be tricky to determine when and how to file for workers’ comp, as it is a combination of effort on the part of both the employee and the employer.

Once a work-related injury or illness occurs, the employee should:

  • Notify their supervisor right away
  • Provide documentation, such as timesheets or vehicle mileage records
  • Take pictures or video of relevant equipment or the injury itself

The business owner also has important obligations to complete when a work-related injury occurs. The supervisor or owner should:

  • Compile and make copies of all documentation from the employee
  • Fill out an incident report or accident report
  • Call or email the insurance company right away to file the claim

Business owners should also have the following information ready when they file the claim with their insurance company:

  • Policy number
  • Total number of employees on payroll
  • Tax information
  • Contact information

How long does workers’ comp last?

The length of the workers’ compensation benefits that the employee will receive depends on the type and severity of the injury or illness. It also depends on the location of the business, as workers’ compensation implementation varies widely between states.

There are a few types of long-term benefits, known as workers’ comp disability:

  • Temporary partial disability
  • Temporary total disability
  • Permanent partial disability
  • Permanent total disability

For all benefit types, the total payment amount and length of payment always depends on the injury type and severity of the injury. How long workers’ comp lasts depends on the treating physician—that is, how they diagnose the injury—and the insurance company.

In Oklahoma, temporary total disability payments max out at 70% of the employee’s previous income for 156 weeks, or 3 years. Permanent total disability payments may continue for 15 years or until the employee reaches the age at which they can access their Social Security benefits.

Policy term length can be adjusted at the discretion of the provider under certain circumstances.

Why CompSource Mutual

CompSource Mutual aims to protect and serve Oklahoma’s greatest asset, its people. Our expertise from serving Oklahoma businesses for more than 85 years, uniquely qualifies us to offer top-notch workers’ comp protection at a fair price. When accidents happen, policyholders can access a robust network of resources to support injured workers and covered businesses. Our experienced team is trained to guide you through the straightforward workers’ compensation insurance claims process from start to finish.

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Visit our Claims page to find out more about how to file for workers’ comp, and what happens after a claim has been filed.

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In Oklahoma, workers’ comp benefits can last up to 156 weeks, with the potential for a 52-week extension if more time is needed to reach maximum medical improvement. Each state has varying formulas and ways of determining how long workers’ comp should last. Additionally, each state has different rules about total compensation and length of benefits. In Oklahoma, for example, temporary total disability benefits max out at 70% of the employee’s weekly wage or 100% of the state’s average weekly wage.

Yes, but carpal tunnel syndrome is a particularly challenging injury to attribute to work-related duties alone, as it frequently occurs outside of work. Carpal tunnel syndrome can have many causes and is not unique to any one kind of job. To receive injury compensation for carpal tunnel syndrome, the employee must prove that the carpal tunnel was directly caused by their work duties, and not by any other activities.

A disability rating is a percentage assigned to a qualified injured or ill employee to classify their level of impairment. This is directly correlated to the level of disability benefits to which they are entitled. Different body parts and types of injuries may be rated differently, which factors into the type of benefits (temporary or permanent) and how long the workers’ comp will last for that employee.

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