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Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Kentucky

Workers' Compensation Insurance in Kentucky

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

Kentucky requires all employers that employ one or more workers and are not solely engaged in agricultural work to obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance. In Kentucky, an “employee” is generally defined as any individual who performs services for another and is not an independent contractor.

The Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA) defines all of the requirements for Workers’ Comp in Kentucky, and the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims (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 Kentucky?

Almost all workers are covered under Workers’ Compensation in Kentucky. 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 Kentucky, employers are required to provide the following benefits to employees who are injured in the course of employment:

Medical Benefits

Temporary Total Disability

Permanent Total Disability

Permanent Partial Disability 

Death Benefits

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

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

Failure to Comply With Coverage Requirements


Failure to Report

Failure to Make Timely Benefit Payments

Claim Handling Violations

How much does Workers’ Compensation Insurance cost in Kentucky?

According to the National Academy of Social Insurance Workers’ Compensation Report (November 2020), the average employer cost for Workers’ Compensation in Kentucky was $1.00 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 Kentucky?

Employees should report any work-related conditions to their employer as soon as possible. Employers should report to the DWC any injuries that cause an employee to be absent from work for more than one day. Workers’ compensation claims can be filed online using the DWC’s litigation management system. Employees must file applications within specified time periods which can vary depending on the type of injury. The DWC will schedule benefit reviews. Employers must accept or deny claims within 45 days of a scheduling order. 

Employers and employees must attend benefit review conferences. If there are any areas of dispute, additional hearings will be held. An administrative law judge will issue a decision. If they believe there are errors in the decision, involved parties may ask for reconsideration within 14 days of the date of a written decision. Parties who object to the administrative law judge’s final decision may appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Board. 

Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Insurance Resources

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