Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Laws

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Mar 30, 2011

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Kentucky workers’ compensation laws detail the kinds of injuries and illnesses for which a worker may recover benefits, and the types of benefits an injured or ill employee may receive.

Claims under Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Laws

Kentucky workers’ compensation law provides that benefits be made available for injuries caused by accidents at or related to an employee’s workplace, or for an employee’s occupational disease. Accidental injuries may include those caused by tripping, falling, or slipping, but do not include self-inflicted injuries or injuries that occur while a worker is intoxicated or using drugs. Occupational illnesses are those diseases or medical conditions that arise because of hazardous workplace conditions, or more generally from the scope of the worker’s employment. Such conditions might include radiation poisoning, black lung disease, or carpal tunnel syndrome, among others.

Death benefits for support are also available to surviving dependents of a deceased worker who dies from his work-related injury or disease.

Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Hospital visits, doctor appointments, and other bills incurred in treating the employee’s occupational injury or disease will be paid for directly by his employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The cost of traveling to and from appointments for medical treatment and the wages a worker loses during time spent in these appointments may be reimbursed by his employer’s insurance provider as well.

To compensate for an injured or sick worker’s loss of wages, the worker may be paid income replacement benefits. There are several kinds of income replacement benefits available in Kentucky, such as:

1) Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD): An employee may receive two-thirds of his pre-injury average weekly wage each week if he has a medical condition and is temporarily unable to work while he recovers from his condition.

2) Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD): Because of his work-related injury or illness, the employee will never be able to do any kind of work. Such an employee will receive two-thirds of his pre-injury average weekly wage each week, but not more than Kentucky’s average weekly wage.

3) Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD): PPD is applicable when the worker can work in some capacity, but not to the same extent as before his injury, and his injury or illness will not improve any further. The employee will be paid a certain amount of money depending on his percentage of disability impairment.

Note that Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits are not available in Kentucky. If you are injured but can still do some work (even at a reduced wage), you will not receive income replacement benefits.

Lastly, death and funeral benefits may be paid to the dependents of an employee who dies from his occupational disease or injury. The worker’s dependents will get up to $7,500 for funeral expenses and other death benefits to replace the deceased worker’s lost earning potential.

Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Statutes

Kentucky workers’ compensation provisions are located in the Kentucky Revised Statutes.

Employers Subject to Workers’ Compensation: Kentucky Revised Statutes, Chp.342 § 11; Covered Employees: Kentucky Revised Statutes, Chp.342 § 11; Benefits: Kentucky Revised Statutes, Chp.342 §§ 20, 40; Claims Procedure: Kentucky Revised Statutes, Chp.342 §§ 185, 190, 195.

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