Kentucky Workers’ Compensation: An Overview of What You Need to Know

Workers’ compensation was designed to provide medical benefits and wage replacement to those injured while they were employed. It is also designed to protect workers from diseases developed or contracted due to exposure in the workplace.

Each employer is responsible for providing workers’ compensation insurance or insuring themselves. However, certain employees are exempt from this coverage, including: agricultural employees / employers, domestic workers, some religious organizations, and those who voluntarily decline coverage.

While each employer is responsible for providing coverage, there are certain state-specific rights and limitations.

Kentucky workers’ compensation coverage

In Kentucky, workers’ compensation is understood as the “exclusive remedy,” which means that the protection received for any injury suffered forces employees to give up their right to sue. Employers cannot be penalized by employees in a civil court case. The benefits received may include:

  • Partial salary replacement
  • Medical treatment coverage and
  • Payment for restoring an injured worker to sufficient employment.

In the case of a death-related injury, employers pay a lump sum to the employee’s estate that allows burial expenses to be paid. This payment amount changes annually, however, income benefits are awarded to the spouse as well as other surviving dependents.

Because Workers’ Compensation can be an unpleasant subject, many disputes are resolved during a compromised agreement that involves both parties. If a solution is not determined, the parties will have to litigate the claim through a process that begins with a claim adjustment request, filed under the Department of Workers’ Claims. Once this paperwork is completed, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is assigned to the case to facilitate a benefits review conference.

During the benefits review conferenceBoth parties have the opportunity to discuss the positives and negatives of the case, while working towards an agreement. If the claim is not settled, the Administrative Law Judge will schedule a formal hearing within 30 days.

After the hearing, a decision must be made within 60 days, either granting or denying medical benefits or income assistance. The solution may include rehabilitation benefits, if necessary. Through this process, the outcome is determined with the help of witnesses and medical professionals.

As a result, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) cannot require the employer to pay income benefits in a lump sum. If either party disagrees with the decision, you can file an appeal. This goes through the ALJ once again, and if further appealed, it can go to the Kentucky Court of Appeals and finally the Supreme Court.

In kentucky workers’ compensation insurance coverage it is issued to all employees in order to stay on the job and to help with work-related medical expenses. For business owners interested in purchasing workers’ compensation insurance, certain agents specialize in offering this product.

Similarly, if you need legal assistance in this area, certain attorneys focus on workers’ compensation litigation. When it comes to workers’ compensation, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities. Keep in mind that these vary considerably from state to state.