Workers Compensation Laws in Oregon

In Oregon, worker's compensation insurance is required.  Employers can provide worker's compensation insurance through a competitive state fund or a private insurance carrier.  Employers may also self-insure.  There are no waivers permitted for employers with a small number of employees, so all employers must purchase this insurance.

Oregon's worker's compensation act, unlike some other states, also applies to agricultural workers.  Domestic servants' worker's compensation insurance, however, isn't required by statute, though employers can provide this voluntarily.

Benefits

For claims of temporary total disability, the benefit amounts to sixty-six and two-thirds percent of the worker's wage. The minimum weekly benefit is $50 (or 90% of the worker's wage, if less than that) and the maximum is $1051.21 per week.  These benefits can last as long as the worker is disabled.

For permanent total disability, the same sixty-six and two-thirds percent applies, as does the minimum weekly payment of $50 or 90% of the worker's wage, whichever is less.  But the maximum weekly benefit for permanent total disability is $790.38.  The payments can last as long as the disability. If Social Security benefits can be drawn during this time, then that amount will be subtracted from the disability benefits.  Also, for workers injured between July 1, 1973 and October 23, 1999, an additional $5 per week  for each of up to five dependents is paid.

For permanent partial disability claims before 2005, the total maximum payout for the duration of the benefits could not exceed $162,272.  Scheduled injuries benefits were figured based on $559 per degree of disability.  After January 1, 2005, Oregon dropped the use of the scheduled and unscheduled fees, and no longer calculates based on degrees of disability.  They use the term impairment and base rates on the levels of impairment.  This disability, called 'work disability' is figured by multiplying the level of impairment times 150 times the weekly wage.  But even with those computations, the weekly benefit cannot exceed $1051.21, or go below $395.15.

Other Benefits

Oregon provides for disfigurement benefits, if the disfigurement causes psychological or adjustment problems. Physical and vocational rehabilitation, and occupational hearing loss compensations, are also available.

Attorney fees added to the award are set at 25%, with maximum limits in place.

A death benefit based on a percentage of an employee's wages (though the minimum is regardless of wages) is payable to the spouse or spouse and children, and this includes a burial allowance.

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