Important: We updated this article in May 2023 so all the information below is current and correct. If you were hurt or got sick on the job in the Bayou State, here’s the information you need to get the Louisiana workers’ compensation benefits you’re entitled to.
Which Employers Must Provide Workers’ Compensation Coverage?
State law provides Louisiana workers’ compensation coverage starting on the first day at work for most employees. This mandatory insurance coverage applies to all full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers statewide.
- Real estate salespersons
- Domestic employees
- Uncompensated officers and directors that work for certain non-profit organizations
- Public officials
- Volunteer workers
- Anyone who is intoxicated on the job, initiates a physical altercation with a fellow employee or has intentional, self-inflicted injuries
Pro Tip: Federal employees in Louisiana are exempt from this coverage. Get the details for filing a federal workers’ comp claim.
How Do I File a Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If your workplace injury or illness requires emergency or urgent care, seek medical treatment immediately.
Pro Tip: Tell the doctor your injury or illness is work-related and keep your receipts and bills.
Every case is different, but according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, you should follow these steps to file your workplace accident claim:
Failing to do this may make disqualify you from claiming any workers’ comp benefits.
2. Seek medical treatment as soon as possible from any doctor you choose.
If treatment costs more than $750, you need authorization from your employer’s insurer before receiving additional care.
Pro Tip: If you needed emergency medical treatment, the $750 limit doesn’t apply to that visit.
3. Make sure your employer initiates your Louisiana workers’ compensation claim within 10 days.
They must submit Form LWC-WC-1A-1, First Report of Injury or Illness, to their insurance provider who then notifies the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA) about your incident.
4. Wait for a decision.
If your claim’s approved, then you’ll receive your first payment within 14 days. If you miss more than 7 calendar days at work, then you qualify for indemnity benefits. You get paid for missed days of work only after you’ve missed 7 days unless you’re recovering for more than two weeks. At that point, you also get paid for the first 7 days.
5. Take action if your claim’s denied.
You have two options: Contact your employer’s insurer or request mediation through the OWCA to help resolve any claim disputes. Learn more about working with a mediator here. If mediation doesn’t work, then file Form LWC-WC 1008, Disputed Claim for Compensation within 15 calendar days to appeal. You have one year from your injury date to resolve all disputes relating to your Louisiana workers’ compensation claim.
Pro Tip: If you’re confused or worried, hire a Louisiana workers’ comp lawyer to help you appeal.
Get more information about your rights to Louisiana workers’ compensation.
What Else Should I Know About Louisiana Workers’ Compensation?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzes workers’ comp data on most U.S. states and territories. The total number of recordable cases in the Pelican State dropped dramatically from 34,900 in 2017 to 27,800 in 2020, thanks largely to COVID-19, before rebounding to 31,300 in 2021. Claims reported in the service-producing sector held relatively steady during the period in the 20,000 range. The total number of employees missing work, transferring jobs, or receiving restrictions has been on the rise during the period, from 14,800 in 2017 to 16,400 in 2021.
Can I Get Free Legal Help with my Workers’ Comp Claim?
When you’re dealing with a work-related illness or injury, navigating the Louisiana workers’ compensation system can make the discomfort and frustration even worse. You may want to hire an experienced attorney to help you get maximum benefits faster. Your lawyer can negotiate with insurers, gather medical evidence to support your claim, and represent you at hearings.
Workers’ comp attorneys don’t charge unless you win benefits. You pay a reasonable, one-time fee only if your case is successful. See how a free workers’ comp evaluation works.
Want free expert claim help while you’re at home? 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.