Workers’ compensation is an insurance system that pays benefits to workers injured on the job to cover medical care, part of lost wages and permanent disability. In return, employers may receive immunity from civil lawsuits by employees over such workplace injuries.
Employers often buy workers’ compensation insurance to pay medical and income benefits to workers who have work-related injuries or illnesses. This type of insurance protects workers by assuring that they are compensated for their injuries, but it also is beneficial to employers. In addition to relieving them of liability for claims, workers’ compensation gives employers certain legal protections, including immunity from most employee injury lawsuits.
Workers receive benefits based on the type and severity of their injuries.
- lifetime medical benefits for necessary treatment of compensable injuries and illnesses
- disability income benefits for a specified period of time and up to dollar limits set by law
- limited funeral expenses for workers killed on the job
- death benefits for surviving dependents of workers killed on the job.
Benefits are not payable for injuries that:
- are intentional or self-inflicted
- result from the employee’s horseplay or voluntary intoxication (either alcohol or drug-induced)
- arise from voluntary participation in off-duty recreational, social, or sports events
- result from “acts of God,” unless a person’s job exposes him or her to a greater than ordinary risk of injury from such acts
- are inflicted by someone else for personal reasons unrelated to employment.
Oklahoma requires every employer subject to the provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Senate Bill 306
SB306 is an amendment to the Oklahoma Municipal Code effective November 1, 2009 requiring any entity that issues building permits (before issuance of a residential building permit) to obtain a certificate of insurance from the appropriate insurer to show that the contractor has general liability insurance in an amount required by the Construction Industries Board (currently $50,000.00), and that the contractor has workers’ compensation insurance or has a completed workers’ compensation exempt status Affidavit and Fact Sheet.
Senate Bill 306 is posted on the Construction Industries Board website. If you have questions regarding SB306, you may contact Mr. Nathan Powell (Construction Industries Board Administrator) at 405-271-5217.
Additional information is available from the following sources:
- The Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission is the agency responsible for handling claims of injured workers. Visit their website: Workers’ Compensation Commission
- For assistance with a Workers’ Compensation claim, please contact the Workers’ Compensation Court 405-522-8600, www.owcc.state.ok.us