Workers Compensation Laws in North Carolina

North Carolina employers are required to purchase worker's compensation insurance to cover their employees, with certain exemptions.  Employees with fewer than 3 employees aren't required to cover their workers with the insurance.  And sawmill and logging operators with less than 10 employees, those operating less than 60 days in a six-month period, and whose principal business isn't sawmill-related, are also exempt.

If an employer has more than 10 full-time non-seasonal laborers, then worker's compensation insurance is required.  Employers are not required to cover other domestic employees.

There is no state fund available where employers can purchase worker's compensation insurance, but they may self-insure, choose a private carrier, or choose coverage through groups of other employers.

Benefits

The employer is entitled to choose the care provider, and medical benefits are paid for the duration of the worker's disability with no time or spending limits.

Permanent total disability and temporary total disability payments will continue the entire time the employee is deemed disabled and unable to work.  Permanent partial disability payments can continue for up to 300 weeks.

Rates are determined by sixty-six and two-thirds percent of the worker's wages.  The minimum weekly payment for all three disability classifications is $30, while the maximum payout for all three is $786 weekly. The maximum payout of permanent partial disability payments over 300 week is $235,800.

Disfigurement, Death and Attorney Fees

In the case of serious disfigurement of the face, head and body, when no compensation is otherwise available under the North Carolina schedule of injuries, some benefits may be available for the disfigurement, up to $20,000.  Occupational hearing losses and physical rehabilitation benefits are available, but vocational rehabilitation is not cover by North Carolina worker's compensation laws.

Death benefits and a burial allowance are available for the spouse or spouse and children of a worker who dies as a result of job-related injuries.  A minimum benefit is provided regardless of the employee's former wages.

Attorney's fees may be awarded to the injured worker on a case by case basis, with no statute setting a percentage, maximum or minimum amount of coverage.

Concurrent Unemployment and Disability Benefits

If a worker can draw unemployment benefits at the same time he or she is eligible for temporary total disability or permanent total disability benefits, the amount of disability benefits may be reduced by he amount of unemployment benefits drawn.

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