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Do You Qualify for Lost Wages Through Workers Compensation?

Slape & Howard Feb. 22, 2024

Under the Kansas Workers' Compensation Act, if an employee is injured or becomes ill due to work, that employee may be eligible to receive compensation for lost wages subject to a weekly maximum.  

To be specific, the state of Kansas caps the weekly compensation for lost wages at 66 2/3% of the injured worker's average weekly wage, not to exceed a statutory maximum that is adjusted annually. Workers must note that this maximum limit is based on the statewide average gross weekly wage and may vary from year to year, affecting the total amount recoverable through workers compensation for lost wages. 

Remember, only injuries occurring out of and/or during employment activities and not caused by misconduct may be compensated by the State Self Insurance/Workers’ Compensation program. This includes even remote workers who sustain an injury in the course of their work. 

As experienced workers compensation attorneys in Wichita, Kansas, we understand how the State of Kansas and the federal government view your case. We'll help you explore options that could lead to a better outcome for the suffering you've endured. Let's get you the benefits you deserve under the law. 

Who Isn't Covered?

In Kansas, most employers are required to provide workers compensation coverage for their employees. This insurance provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their work.  

But not all employers and individuals are eligible for workers compensation coverage. Here are some categories that are typically excluded: 

  • Non-covered employers, those with payrolls of $20,000 or less or certain agricultural pursuits 

  • Corporate employees owning 10 percent or more of stock. 

  • Individuals, proprietors, or partnerships. 

  • Employers seeking coverage for volunteers and other non-covered workers. 

  • Volunteer directors, officers, or trustees of a nonprofit organization. 

Reporting an Injury

If you've been injured, it's vital to report the incident to your supervisor within 24 hours. If you don't report the accident within 10 days, it may invalidate any subsequent claim for workers compensation.  

After reporting, an employee, or supervisor should fully complete the report of workplace injury/illness form, and submit it to Human Resource Management within 24 hours. Employees are also required to fully complete form WC-9: Injured Employee's Report of Injury and submit it directly to the State Self-Insurance Fund office. 

Compliance and Penalties

Employers must comply with workers compensation coverage requirements. Any failure to secure workers compensation benefits, or making false or misleading statements to obtain benefits, can lead to penalties and even criminal charges. Penalties for fraudulent or abusive acts include a $2,000 civil penalty for each act of fraud or abuse and misdemeanor or felony criminal charges. 

If you suspect fraud or need to verify coverage, there are various channels available: 

  • Anonymous Tips 

  • Employers and Employees 

  • General Public 

  • Insurance Companies 

  • Kansas Insurance Department 

Other Workers Comp FAQs

What if my employer doesn't have insurance?

Kansas maintains a backup for instances when an employer, for whatever reason, cannot meet its obligations for workers compensation coverage.

The Kansas Workers Compensation Fund, established in 1993, was designed to incentivize employers to hire previously injured employees. After 1993 legislative changes, the fund is now utilized when an employer is uninsured for workers compensation and or is unable to pay for medical and disability payments for employees. 

I'm a remote worker. Am I covered?

Yes, remote workers are covered under the Workers Compensation Act in Kansas. As long as your injury or illness occurred during their work, they may be eligible for compensation for lost wages and other benefits. Still, keep detailed records and report any injuries or illnesses that occur on the job within 24 hours to ensure proper coverage. 

I have a pre-existing medical condition. Can I still receive workers compensation?

If your pre-existing condition has been worsened by work-related activities, you may still be eligible for workers compensation benefits. However, it can be challenging to prove the link between your job duties and the worsening of your condition. It's best to seek guidance from a knowledgeable workers compensation attorney in this situation. 

What about mental health injuries?

Mental health injuries, such as PTSD or anxiety disorders, can also be covered under workers compensation in Kansas if they were caused by work-related events or activities. These types of claims can be complex and challenging to prove, so it's essential to seek legal guidance from an experienced attorney. 

Support Is Here When You Need It

Understanding workers comp coverage requirements, eligibility criteria, and reporting procedures is crucial for both employers and employees. We're here to help you navigate this process and get the compensation you deserve.  

If you've been injured on the job, don't hesitate to set up a consultation with us at Slape & Howard. We're committed to helping Kansas workers recover the right way. 

Taking action is the first step to recovery. As experienced Wichita workers compensation, we understand how the State of Kansas and the federal government will view your case. Contact us today and let's begin your recovery journey together.