Are you covered by workers’ compensation in Louisville?

Workers’ compensation is a state-law required insurance program that pays employees for their lost work and medical bills when injured on the job. Although workers’ compensation seems incredibly straightforward, it can actually be quite complicated, and it is important to know if you are covered or not. The basic requirements for workers’ compensation are the following:

#1. Your employer must have workers’ compensation insurance.

In Kentucky, any employer, even if they only have a single employee, has a legal obligation to have workers’ compensation insurance. Even if you are working for an out-of-state company, if they are operating within state lines, they are required to have Kentucky coverage.

#2. You must be an employee. 

In Kentucky, volunteers, domestic workers and independent contractors are all excluded from coverage. However, volunteer police, fire and ambulance workers are still covered. It is also important to note that federal employees, like postal workers, are covered by separate federal statutes. Kentucky is also unique in that you are able to waive workers’ compensation and maintain your right to sue your employer. You can waive your right to workers’ compensation by signing a Form 4 Waiver.

#3. Your illness or injury has to be work-related.

Your illness or injury must arise during employment and it must be work-related. Injuries typically covered include low back injuries, broken bones or hearing loss, and an example of covered occupational diseases include black lung disease in coal workers. Workers’ compensation will not cover injuries that happen during your commute to and from work, but they do cover injuries sustained during work-related travel.