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Workers’ Compensation Insurance in North Carolina

Workers' Compensation Insurance in North Carolina

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

North Carolina requires all employers with at least three employees total or at least one employee that works in the presence of radiation to obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance. In North Carolina, an “employee” is generally defined as any individual who performs services for another and is not an independent contractor. 

The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA) defines all of the requirements for Workers’ Comp in North Carolina, and the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) 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 North Carolina?

Almost all workers are covered under Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina. 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 North Carolina, 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

Disfigurement Benefits

Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

Death Benefits

What are the penalties for breaking North Carolina 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 Secure Coverage

Failure to Pay Benefits


Failure to Maintain Accident Records and Reports

How much does Workers’ Compensation Insurance cost in North Carolina?

According to the National Academy of Social Insurance Workers’ Compensation Report (November 2020), the average employer cost for Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina was $0.90 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 North Carolina?

The claims process in North Carolina begins with the employee. If an employee suffers a work-related injury or illness, he or she must report the condition to the employer in writing within 30 days of the injury or accident. Any delay in reporting may result in delays in the claims process or denial of the claim.

The employer or insurer can then investigate the incident and must file a report with the NCIC within 30 days of being notified of the accident, indicating whether a claim will be approved or denied. If a claim is denied, the employer or insurer must notify the employee in writing, along with any applicable medical providers and the NCIC. If the claim is not denied, the insurer must begin paying benefits to the injured employee within 30 days of being notified of the accident. If the claim is disputed, a hearing can be requested with the NCIC.

North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Insurance Resources

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

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