Workers’ Compensation in Mississippi

The State of Mississippi requires its employers to carry a “no-fault” insurance plan called Workers’ Compensation. Enacted by the Legislature in 1948, the Workers’ Compensation Law of Mississippi is a way for the injured and sick employees to received assistance in paying their medical bills and lost days provided that the cause of injury or illness is related to their work. All employers under this law are obliged to pay for the entire coverage on behalf of their employees. It can be afforded from a licensed insurance company or by obtaining approval to self-insure from the State Workers’ Compensation Commission.

Who Are and Are Not Under this Law

Employers with 5 regular employees are required to provide a workers’ comp benefits to their employees. If the business has less than 5 employees, the employer is not under the law but they can buy workers’ compensation insurance voluntarily.

Employees of non-profit organizations, domestic and farm labor are not covered, but their employers can offer them an accident insurance coverage by choice. Also, employees of federal offices or in maritime transportation jobs because there are under a different workers’ comp law such as Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA).

Independent contractors are also excluded from this coverage, as well as volunteer workers. A corporate officer who owns 15% or more of corporate stock is exempted from getting workers compensation. Furthermore, members of LLC, sole proprietors and partnerships are not required to carry this state-regulated accident insurance.

What are the Benefits for Eligible Employees

The benefits of a workers’ comp insurance are not paid by the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission but by the employer’s insurance company, unless the employer is approved to be self-insured. Note that workers’ compensation benefits are tax free.

Medical Services

The workers’ comp policy covers all medical services for a work-related injury or illness of an employee. It includes payment for medical treatment, laboratories procedures, physical therapy, confinement, prescribed medicines, medical supplies, mileage for out-of-town doctor’s appointments, and other related expenses. Regardless of the number of days that the employee misses from work, the medical benefits will still be provided. It will pay out as long as there is the employee’s injury or illness has a need for medical attention.

Lost Wages

An employee who meets an accident while working or suffers from an occupational disease and is not able to return to work for a period of time will be eligible for cash payment for lost wages. The coverage can pay for two-thirds of the workers’ average weekly wage not exceeding 450 times of the maximum weekly amount. The payment is based on the seriousness of the injury or disability of the employee.

Rehabilitation Services

Part of the workmen’s compensation also covers rehabilitation services to help employees recover physically and mentally so they can work again. There are times that the employee cannot go back to his or her job prior to the injury or illness because the doctor orders permanent restrictions. This indemnity offers vocational rehabilitation, training, and counselling to prepare the employee for a new and meaningful career.

Death Benefits

If an accident at work or a disease acquired from the conditions of the job leads to the death of an employee, the policy automatically pays $5,000 for the funeral services. The employee’s surviving spouse will also receive an immediate lump sum payment of $1,000, which is not part of the regular death benefit. The percentage of the survivor benefit from the deceased employee’s average weekly wage is to be determined by the statute.

Mississippians can refer to the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Facts to learn more about this insurance.

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