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Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Oklahoma

Workers' Compensation Insurance in Oklahoma

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

Oklahoma requires all employers who have at least one employee to obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance. In Oklahoma, an “employee” is generally defined as any individual in the service of an employer under any written or oral contract of hire or apprenticeship.

The Oklahoma Administrative Workers’ Compensation Act (AWCA) defines all of the requirements for Workers’ Comp in Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) 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 Oklahoma?

Almost all workers are covered under Workers’ Compensation in Oklahoma. 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 Oklahoma, 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 Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation laws?

Failure to adhere to the Workers’ Compensation laws set out by the AWCA can result in significant fines and even imprisonment. In order to avoid any costly penalties, it’s important to consult the AWCA 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 File Reports


How much does Workers’ Compensation Insurance cost in Oklahoma?

According to the National Academy of Social Insurance Workers’ Compensation Report (November 2020), the average employer cost for Workers’ Compensation in Oklahoma was $1.21 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 Oklahoma?

Employees must provide oral or written notice of a workplace injury within 30 days of the incident. Employees must also provide notice of an occupational disease or injury due to cumulative or repeated trauma within six months of the injury. Any delay in reporting may result in delays in the claims process or denial of the claim.

The employer must send an Employer’s First Notice of Injury to the Commission within 10 days of first receiving notice or having knowledge of an injury resulting in more than three days of lost time. The employer has 15 days to decide whether to accept or deny that the injury is compensable under the AWCA and must provide notice of its decision to the Commission by filing an Employer’s Intent to Accept or Controvert Claim.

If an employer contests a claim, he or she must also send a copy of the form to the employee. This may prompt the employee to file a claim for compensation with the Commission and to request a hearing.

Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Insurance Resources

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

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