Republished with permission from ReduceYourWorkersComp.com
Workers Compensation Laws change frequently. This is only a summary; a complete copy of the most up-to-date version can be found at:www.WorkCompResearch.com , an excellent service.
In Kansas workers compensation coverage is compulsory as to all employment, including corporate executives and employees of charitable organizations. Coverage is elective for individuals, partners or the self-employed. There are some exceptions. Real estate brokers and real estate salespeople on commission are excluded from the compulsory requirements. Also, farm labor and employees of any employer whose gross annual payroll is $20,000 or less are excluded from compulsory coverage.
To obtain workers compensation coverage in Kansas, the employer has two options which are
purchasing a workers compensation insurance policy from a state approved insurance company
applying to and being approved for self-insurance status with the Kansas Department of Labor.
being a part of a group-funded self-insurance plan that has been approved by the Kansas Department of Labor
The employee must provide notice of the injury to the employer with 10 days and up to 75 days with just cause. The actual claim of the employee must be served on the employer within 200 days after the accident, or last payment, or within 1 year of the employee's death with death occurring within 5 years after the date of the accident. WCxKit
In Kansas, the employer selects the medical provider for workers compensation claims. The employer is required to provide all reasonable and necessary medical care free of any charges to the employee. The employer is also liable for up to $500 of employee incurred medical bills at a non-authorized doctor. The employee can also apply to the Director of Workers Compensation for a change of doctors. The employee is entitled to all medical treatment needed to cure or relieve the effects of the injury. Prayer or spiritual treatment is permitted by agreement.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
The temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are calculated as two-thirds of the employee's average weekly. The maximum amount of TTD benefits that can be paid is $555.00 per week. The state maximum is subject to annual increase/decrease each July 1st, based on the state's average weekly wage. The state minimum weekly benefit is $25.
The first 7 days of disability (the waiting period) is not paid to the injured employee unless the employee is disabled for more than 21 days. TTD benefits can be paid until a cap of $100,000 has been reached.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
In Kansas if the employee is able to return to any type of work, but at a lesser rate of pay then the amount the employee was earning prior to the injury, the employee is entitled to temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. The TPD benefits are paid at two-thirds of the difference between the pre-injury wage and the post-injury wage. The TPD benefits are paid for up to a maximum of $100,000. The TPD benefits plus the post-injury pay rate cannot exceed the state's maximum indemnity benefits rate.
Permanent Partial Scheduled Disability
Kansas uses a Schedule to establish the value of an injury to all extremities, the shoulders, eyes and hearing. Each body part has a set number of weeks it is worth with a shoulder being worth 225 weeks of compensation and the number of weeks decreasing with other extremity body parts having lesser value down to a toe, other than a big toe, being worth 10 weeks of compensation. A 20% loss of use of the arm, which is scheduled at 210 weeks, would result in a permanent partial scheduled disability award of 42 weeks (210 weeks X 20%).
Permanent Partial General Disability
When the employee sustains a permanent partial general disability of a body part not listed on the Kansas Scheduled Injuries list and the employee is not permanent totally disabled, the employee receives permanent partial general disability. If the employee is able to return to work and is earning at least 90% of the average weekly wage, the employee is given a percentage of the whole body impairment based on the AMA Guidelines, Fourth Edition. The maximum in weeks is 415 weeks. An employee with a 10% rating would get an award of 41.5 weeks of compensation. The maximum an employee can collect for permanent partial disability is $100,000.
Permanent total disability
Kansas permits the employee to collect a maximum of 415 weeks of indemnity benefits for all types of indemnity combined, but the total amount of benefits collected for permanent total disability is $125,000 instead of $100,000 (the amount of TTD benefits paid to the employee is included in the $125,000 indemnity benefit cap).
The burial expenses in Kansas are covered for a work-related death up to $5,000. The death benefits for a dependent spouse and children follow the same guidelines as TTD benefits – two-thirds of the average weekly wage – currently a maximum of $555 week, and a minimum survivor's benefit of $370 per week, except there is a dollar maximum for death benefits in the amount of $250,000 with children, or $200,000 without children. If there is no spouse and no dependents, the death benefit is reduced to $25,000. WCxKit
Vocational Rehabilitation is on a voluntary basis in Kansas. However, once it is started, it cannot be terminated without the agreement of the employee. The vendor of the vocational rehabilitation may be changed for good cause supported by substantial evidence. If so, the employee may select the replacement vendor from a list of three qualified vendors provided by the employer.
Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Manage Your Workers Compensation: Reduce Costs 20-50%www.WCManual.com.Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
Disclaimer: WorkersCompensation.com publishes independently generated writings from a variety of workers' compensation industry stakeholders. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of WorkersCompensation.com.