Workers Compensation Laws in Oklahoma

Oklahoma employers can choose from a competitive state fund, private carriers, or the option to self-insure when choosing worker's compensation insurance for their employees. They are required to provide this insurance, with no exemptions for employers with a small number of employees.

In one exception, employers with five or fewer employees who are related by blood or marriage to the employer are not required to provide worker's compensation insurance. All agricultural and horticultural employees must be covered if the employer had a gross annual payroll in the previous year totaling $100,000 or more. Likewise, domestic workers are covered as long as the employer had a gross annual payroll of $10,000 or more in the prior calendar year. However, agricultural employees who do not use motorized machines as part of their job description, are not covered, so employers do not have to purchase insurance for them.

Medical Benefits

Full benefits are provided for the duration of the employee's treatment, with no caps on time or money. The employer may select the physician, although if he or she doesn't do this quickly, or the employee needs medical attention he or she isn't getting, then the employee may choose his or her provider.

Disability Benefits

For permanent total disability and temporary total disability, the percentage of the worker's wages that determine these payments is 70%. The minimum payment amount is $30 per week (or actual wage if less) and the maximum weekly benefit for both these classifications of disabilities is $577.

Temporary total disability payments may last up to 156 weeks, though the Worker's Compensation Court can extend this as needed to a maximum of 300 weeks. Payments for permanent total disability can continue the entire time the employee is deemed disabled and unable to work.

Payments for permanent partial disability are based on the worker's wage, with a weekly maximum cap they cannot exceed. An injured worker can draw permanent partial disability payments for up to 500 weeks.

Other Benefits

Benefits may be available for serious and/or permanent disfigurement, physical and vocational rehabilitation services, and occupational hearing losses.

Attorney fees can amount to 10% for temporary total disability cases, and 20% for other cases.

Death benefits paid to the spouse or spouse and children are based on a percentage of employee's wages, and subject to a maximum amount. If the employee had no dependents or heirs, only a burial allowance is paid to the employee's estate.

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