Workers’ Compensation in Tennessee

When employees are injured at work or contracts an occupational illness, they are protected by Workers’ Compensation Act. Employers in Tennessee must comply to the law to provide an accident insurance to the employees. It compensates for the lost wages, medical expenses, and disabilities.

The employers with at least 5 employees are required to have this coverage through a licensed Workers’ Comp insurance companies or they may apply for self-insurance in the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). A workman’s compensation is mandatory to businesses is in the construction industry even if they only have at least 1 employee. It is illegal for a business to hire employees and operate without a Workers’ Comp not unless they are among the group of businesses that are exempted.

The insurance must not be charged from the salary of the employees. The employers are fully responsible in paying the insurance premiums.

Who are Covered by The Workers’ Compensation?

Full-time and part-time regular employees are covered by this no-fault insurance. Also, the family members that work in the company are considered employees and so they are under the protection of the Workers’ Comp law.

What are the Exceptions of Workers’ Compensation?

Sole proprietors, partners, employees of federal office, or members of limited liability company (LLC) may apply for exemptions by filing the Form I-8, also called as “Exempt Employers Notice of Acceptance of the Workers’ Compensation Act of Tennessee,” with the State’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Independent contractors are also not eligible for a Workers’ Comp coverage. When the employer controls the selection of employees to hire, issues commands on how the employees should work with the provided tools and equipment in the given schedule, or has the right to terminate an employee, manages the method of payment, it means the business is not an independent contractor.

What Penalties Do Tennessee Employers Face When They Fail to Carry a Workers’ Comp Policy?

The employer who fails to issue Workers’ Compensation coverage will face penalties accordingly. Failure to pay the temporary disability benefits in a timely manner will charge the employer a penalty of 25%. This penalty will be given to the injured work. There is also a penalty of up to $5,000 for injuries that occurred on or after July 1, 2014. There is also a penalty to be charged to insurance carriers and self-insured employers that fails to file claim forms on time.

What Are the Benefits for Eligible Employees?

Employees can have peace of mind when they encounter mishaps at work and gets injured because their Workers’ Compensation insurance is here to provide them the medical care right away. Even if the injury or illness prolongs, they can still receive monetary assistance through lost wage reimbursement and disability benefits.

The main coverage of workmen compensation policy is medical care. This is liable for work-related injuries and illnesses of the employees. It includes paying for the doctor’s visits, medical treatments, medicines and supplies. The travel costs are also covered.

In case that the employee becomes disabled, temporary and permanent total and partial disability benefits can be used. Permanent Partial Disability Benefits can pay out 66 and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the injured employee’s average weekly wage but this is subject to limitations depending on the body part affected.

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