What You Need to Know About Workers’ Compensation Laws in Kentucky

If you are injured at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation money. Here’s everything you need to know about Kentucky workers’ compensation.

Workers’ compensation laws exist to protect employers and employees from the cost of work-related injuries and illnesses. Kentucky law dictates any employer must provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Workers’ compensation insurance covers the cost of the work-related injury or illness.

Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Insurance

If an employee is injured on the job and must go to the hospital for treatment, workers’ compensation insurance helps pay for the medical treatment and any lost wages during the recovery period. Workers’ compensation insurance also protects the employer from lawsuits filed by injured employees.

In total, Kentucky workers’ compensation insurance covers medical costs, partial lost wages, disability benefits, and death benefits.

All employers must display proof of workers’ compensation insurance coverage in the office. Employees can obtain insurance from insurance companies, self-insurance groups, self-insurance, or state funds.

Related: How to Handle a Workers’ Comp Deposition

How Does Kentucky Define Employer and Employee?

In Kentucky, an employer is any entity or person with one or more employees. Employers include the state, city, and county.

Kentucky defines an employee as:

  • Anyone working under contract for hire.
  • State, county, or city employees.
  • Executive officers of corporations.
  • Volunteer firefighters.
  • Individuals who sell and deliver newspapers.
  • Anyone performing services in a business or trade profession.

As long as you fit the definition of employer or employee, workers’ compensation laws apply to you.

Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Exemptions

These are people who are exempt from workers’ compensation laws in Kentucky:

  • Agriculture employers and employees.
  • Individuals working for sustenance, if they are working with a charity or religious organization.
  • Private domestic workers if they work less than 40 hours per week and there are less than two domestic workers in the private home.
  • Voluntary rejects.
  • Voluntary carpools.
  • Individuals covered by federal act.
  • Certain religious organizations opposing insurance benefits.
  • Individuals temporarily employed for less than 20 days as handy workers to do remodeling, maintenance repair, etc. in a home.

Since Kentucky law’s exemptions for workers’ compensation can be complex, click here to learn more.

What if I am an Injured Employee?

If you suffer from a work-related injury or illness, you should report the injury or illness immediately to your supervisor. Your workplace should have a policy for reporting injuries, so follow the process to receive the payment of benefits from workers’ compensation insurance.

Kentucky statutes specify you have two years from the date of your injury to file a workers’ compensation claim. If you suffered an occupational disease, you have three years from the diagnosis or three years from when symptoms first appear to file a claim. The maximum period to file an occupational disease claim is five years after you were last exposed to the cause of the disease.

Hiring a lawyer to help you navigate the relevant legal procedures is recommended.

Can I Waive Workers’ Compensation Coverage?

If you are an employee, you can waive coverage by filling a Form 4 waiver with the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims. The waiver is effective until voluntarily withdrawn. If you waive coverage, you still have the right to sue your employer if you suffer an injury on the job. You will have to prove your employer committed negligence or wrongdoing if you choose to file a lawsuit.

Related: EMR Letters in Workers’ Comp Claims

Kentucky law prohibits employers from using Form 4 waivers as conditions of employment. Waivers must be signed voluntarily. If an employer does require signing a Form 4 to be employed, the employer may face civil penalties.

FAQs About Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Laws

How are insurance rates calculated?

If you are an employer, how much you pay for insurance coverage is based on your industrial job classifications, amount of payroll, and loss history.

Your premium costs can be reduced if you have:

  • Workplace safety practices.
  • Modified duty programs for injured employees.
  • Managed care programs.
  • Certified drug-free work plans.

How long can I receive workers’ compensation insurance?

If you are fully disabled, you can receive coverage until you reach the social security retirement age. If you have a partial disability rating over 50%, you can receive coverage for up to 520 weeks.

Can I still sue even if I have workers’ compensation insurance?

Yes, if there is a dispute with the workers’ compensation claims, you can hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Laws, get your free consultation with one of our Employment Attorneys in Kentucky today!