My research shows that employees are covered by the Kentucky Workers Compensation Act from wage loss due to workplace injuries and occupational diseases. Most Kentucky employers are subject to the Act and are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance or become self-insured, even if they have only one part-time employee. Employers must post a notice informing employees of their rights in the workplace.
There are some exceptions, including farm workers and workers employed as domestic servants in a home with less than two full-time
employees. Additionally, employees who are protected by federal laws (such as railroad and maritime workers) and members of certain religious sects are exempt from coverage. Business owners are not required to obtain coverage for themselves, but are not covered unless they specifically purchase workers’ compensation coverage for themselves.
I know that if they are injured, employees must notify an employer immediately, preferably in writing. Failure to notify could result in denial of benefits. An employee must obtain medical care, which should be paid for by the employer. The employee may select the physician or medical facility to render care. If the employer is enrolled in an approved Managed Care Plan employee selection of physicians is limited to the Approved Provider Network, except in certain emergencies. For injuries requiring continuing care, the employee must designate a treating physician. A form to do so will be furnished by the employer or its insurance carrier.
Although benefits are granted even if an employee’s mistake or carelessness caused the accident, disability payments may be reduced by 15% in cases where the worker’s intentional violation of a safety law or regulation caused the injury. Likewise, if the employer’s intentional violation of a safety law or regulation caused an injury, a safety penalty may be imposed against the employer. The income benefits of an injured worker to be increased by 30% if the injury was caused by a violation of a safety law or regulation by the employer.
I have read that workers’ compensation law recognizes three types of disability — temporary total, permanent partial and permanent total — and establishes disability income benefit payments for each type. Disability benefit payments depend upon the employee’s average weekly wage and on the extent of disability.
A claim must be filed with the Department of Workers Claims within two years of the date of injury, or last payment of temporary total disability benefits.