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Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Colorado

Workers' Compensation Insurance in Colorado

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If your business has employees in the state of Colorado, you’ll need to make sure you adhere to Colorado’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance laws. Workers’ Compensation provides medical and financial benefits for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses or for their survivors in the case of an employee death.

Who needs Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Colorado?

Colorado requires all employers who have at least one employee to obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance. In Colorado, an “employee” is generally defined as someone who works part-time or full-time for an organization or individual and is not an independent contractor.

The Workers’ Compensation Act of Colorado (WCAC) defines all of the requirements for Workers’ Comp in Colorado, and the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) monitors, enforces, and administers the program. Ensuring your company is in compliance is critical, as there are serious penalties and fines for those who fail to abide by state regulations.

What employees are covered under Workers’ Compensation in Colorado?

Almost all workers are covered under Workers’ Compensation in Colorado. If you provide work or services for an employer, and you are not an independent contractor, you will likely be eligible for Workers’ Compensation Insurance.

The following are categories of employees that are eligible for Workers’ Comp coverage:

The following are categories of employees that are generally excluded from Workers’ Comp coverage:

What Workers’ Compensation benefits do employees receive?

Under Workers’ Compensation in Colorado, employers are required to provide the following benefits to employees who are injured in the course of employment:

Medical Benefits

Temporary Total Disability Benefits

Temporary Partial Disability Benefits

Permanent Partial Disability Benefits

Permanent Total Disability Benefits

Bodily Disfigurement

Death Benefits

What are the penalties for breaking Colorado Workers’ Compensation laws?

Failure to adhere to the Workers’ Compensation laws set out by the WCAC can result in significant fines and even the closure of your business. In order to avoid any costly penalties, it’s important to consult the WCAC or your insurer to ensure you are in compliance. Below are the major ways in which companies can be penalized:

General Violations

Failure to Purchase Coverage

Unpaid Benefits

Failure to Admit or Contest Liability

How much does Workers’ Compensation Insurance cost in Colorado?

According to the National Academy of Social Insurance Workers’ Compensation Report (October 2019), the average employer cost for Workers’ Compensation in Colorado was $0.97 per $100 of covered wages. This figure is estimated across all insurers and all industries, so the cost to your particular business may vary.

How does the Workers’ Compensation claims process work in Colorado?

The claims process in Colorado begins with the employee. If an employee suffers a work-related injury or illness, he or she must report the condition to the employer within four days for an injury and within 30 days for an occupational disease. Any delays may result in a denial or reduction of a claim.

The employer must submit an injury report to the DWC and also let them know within 20 days if they will admit or contest liability for the claim. If a claim is admitted, the employer must begin paying benefits immediately. If a claim is denied, the employee can request a hearing, but this request must be made within 45 days.

Colorado Workers’ Compensation Insurance Resources

For more information on Colorado Workers’ Compensation laws and requirements, please visit the following resources:

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