Tennessee Worker’s Compensation (WC) regulations can be confusing. We are often asked – am I required to have WC coverage? What are my risks if I don’t have coverage? Should I, as the owner, include myself as having coverage or not?
The fact is, the answers to these questions often vary based on the type, size, and make-up of your company.
If you have employees performing work on your behalf, it is generally a good idea to have WC coverage – even if not required to by law.
If your main workforce consists of Sub-contractors, you may not need WC coverage yourself; but you may need them to carry WC coverage on their own employees.
In it’s most basic definition, Worker’s Compensation policies pay benefits to employee’s who are injured at work. This includes:
Medical treatment and care
If an authorized treating physician restricts an injured employee’s ability to work, such as limiting the number of hours worked or the type of work performed, it is very important that the physician’s instructions and restrictions are followed at all times. Failure to report for light duty offered by your employer may terminate your temporary disability benefits.
Temporary Disability Benefits
Disability begins when the authorized treating physician takes an employee off work. Temporary disability benefits replace lost wages and are due beginning on the eighth day of the disability. If the disability lasts fourteen (14) days, benefits will be paid back to the first day of disability. Temporary disability benefits are usually two-thirds (⅔) of the injured worker’s average weekly wages earned during the 52 weeks prior to the injury. If you are able to work, but your average weekly earnings are reduced because of work restrictions, you may be entitled to partial disability benefits.
Requirements for workers’ compensation may be difficult to understand as the law does not clearly specify every possible situation. Small businesses for which the workers’ compensation law may apply should seek the advice of legal and insurance professionals and obtain coverage if necessary.
You need a partner to help you determine your risk, and the best plan of action to implement a policy to protect you. Contact us today to get started.