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Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Delaware

Workers' Compensation Insurance in Delaware

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If your business has employees in the state of Delaware, you’ll need to make sure you adhere to Delaware’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 Delaware?

Delaware requires all employers with one or more employees to obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance. In Delaware, an “employee” is generally defined as any individual who performs services for another under a contract of employment either made in Delaware or to be performed wholly or partly in Delaware and is not an independent contractor.

The Delaware Workers’ Compensation Law (WCL) defines all of the requirements for Workers’ Comp in Delaware, and the Delaware Office of Workers’ Compensation (OWC) 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 Delaware?

Almost all workers are covered under Workers’ Compensation in Delaware. 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 or exempt from Workers’ Comp coverage:

What Workers’ Compensation benefits do employees receive?

Under Workers’ Compensation in Delaware, 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 Disability Benefits

Disfigurement Benefits

Death Benefits

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

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

Failure to Maintain Coverage

Failure to Report Injuries

Failure to Pay Benefits

Retaliation or Discrimination Against Employees

How much does Workers’ Compensation Insurance cost in Delaware?

According to the National Academy of Social Insurance Workers’ Compensation Report (November 2020), the average employer cost for Workers’ Compensation in Delaware was $1.44 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 Delaware?

Employers must report any occupational injury or illness to the OWC within 10 days of learning of it. Employers must pay medical expenses within 30 days of being billed for the expenses. If the employer contests the charges or requires verification, the employee must be notified in writing. If employers want to have the right to dispute a medical claim later, they may include a statement with the medical payment that declares the claim is in dispute. 

After learning of an employee’s work-related condition, the employer must send a notice to the employee within 15 days, either accepting the claim, denying the claim, or explaining that it is unable to make a decision. The reason for a denial or inability to make a decision must be included. If the claim is accepted, Workers’ Compensation benefits must be paid within 14 days.

Delaware Workers’ Compensation Insurance Resources

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

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