Important: We updated this article in June 2023 to ensure all the information below is both current and correct. State law outlines who receives Kansas workers’ compensation benefits and how the process works. If you’re a Sunflower Stater who experienced an accident or illness on the job in Kansas, you should focus on feeling better ― not feeling anxious about the claims process.
We’ve gathered the information you need in order to get the workers’ comp benefits you deserve.
Kansas Workers’ Compensation Eligibility
Important: State rules don’t cover federal employees. Learn how to file a federal claim.
Most workers in Kansas are covered by workers’ comp, except:
- Realtors and others who work as independent contractors
- Truck drivers and other vehicle owner-operators who carry occupational accident insurance policies
- Firefighters that belong to a firefighters’ relief association
- Employees who work for employers with an annual payroll of no more than $20,000
- Certain agricultural workers and employees of family businesses
- Workers whose injuries are self-inflicted or come from fighting or horseplay with a coworker
How to File Your Kansas Workers’ Compensation Claim
Important: Get treatment immediately if you require emergency or urgent care. Tell the doctor your case is work-related and keep all receipts and bills. Your employer should cover up to $500 in doctor’s bills from an unauthorized provider.
Every case is different, but according to the Kansas Department of Labor, follow this process for filing your workplace accident claim:
Important: You must notify your employer within 20 days of your accident date to qualify for Kansas workers’ compensation benefits.
2. Ask your employer for the name of the employer-authorized doctor who will treat you.
But what if you prefer your own physician, or want a second opinion? According to the KDoL, if you’re unhappy with the authorized treating physician, “you may seek medical services from an unauthorized provider…without application or approval.” See what a Kansas workers’ compensation doctor can do for you.
3. Wait for a decision.
If your case is approved, your first Kansas workers’ compensation payment is due on the 14th day of lost time. Kansans covered by worker’s comp can receive benefits for up to 26 weeks.
Important: To qualify for lost-wage payments, your illness or injury must force you to miss one week of work. If you’re out for at least 21 consecutive days, you’ll get paid for that first week you missed work. Your lost wage payments should equal about 2/3 of your average weekly wages.
4. Take action if you’re denied.
You can request a mediation conference with an ombudsman by calling 800-332-0353 and choosing option #5. Since these professionals can’t give legal advice, we recommend hiring a workers’ compensation attorney.
Important: If you have any pre-existing health conditions, you may want to consult a workers’ compensation attorney.
To learn more about the Kansas workers’ compensation program, read Publication K-WC 27-A, Information for Injured Employees.
More Facts About Kansas Workers’ Compensation
The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzes workers’ comp data on most U.S. states and territories. The total number of recordable cases in the Wheat State spiked in 2019, rising to 37,400 from 33,900 in 2017. Since COVID, the number plummeted to 31,000 in 2021. The decline was driven by a significant dip in claims filed in service-providing industries, dropping from a high of 19,900 in 2019 to 17,200 in 2021. The total number of employees who missed work, transferred jobs or received restrictions remained largely unchanged from 2017 to 2021, other than a sharp increase in 2020.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
Important: You can get free, confidential claim assistance.
When you’re living with a work-related illness or injury, navigating the Kansas workers’ compensation system can make you feel even worse. And since your employer chooses the doctor who diagnoses your illness or injury, you may feel they aren’t treating or compensating you fairly.
That’s why we recommend working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. These specialists work on contingency.
Important: If you don’t win a cash settlement, then you owe your lawyer $0. If your case is successful, then you pay only a reasonable, one-time fee.
Ready to see if you qualify? Click the button below to sign up for a free phone call during regular weekday business hours:
Margot Lester is the CEO of The Word Factory, a B2B & B2C content marketing agency that provides services for Fortune 100 brands, healthtech companies and SaaS developers. An award-winning business and brand journalist, she writes for daily and weekly newspapers and business journals, national magazines, in-flight publications and leading websites. Margot is also an in-demand writing coach and organizational communications trainer, helping individuals and teams write more effectively. Twitter/X: @word_factory LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/margotlester.