Unless you’re a federal employee, state law determines how you should apply and qualify for Louisiana workers’ compensation. We’ll explain how to tell if you have workers’ comp insurance. Then, we list the steps to apply for Louisiana workers’ compensation if you get hurt or sick on the job. Finally, explore our interactive chart showing how the Louisiana workers’ compensation program changed from 2014-2018.
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. In certain cases, this coverage also extends to subcontractors and independent contractors, especially those that do substantial manual labor. However, the following employees do not automatically have workers’ comp coverage under current state law:
- Federal employees (i.e., postal carriers)
- 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
Related: Maine Workers’ Compensation Benefits: How to Apply
Steps to Apply for Louisiana Workers’ Compensation
According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, follow these steps to apply for workers’ comp benefits:
- Notify your supervisor about your workplace injury or illness within 30 days of your incident. Failing to do this may make disqualify you from claiming any Louisiana workers’ compensation benefits.
- 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. However, if you need emergency medical treatment, the $750 limit won’t apply to that visit.
- Your employer has 10 days from your accident date to initiate your Louisiana workers’ compensation claim. To do this, your employer must submit Form LWC-WC-1A-1, First Report of Injury or Illness, to their insurance provider. Lastly, your employer’s insurer notifies the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA) about your incident.
- If your claim’s approved, you’ll receive your first payment within 14 days. If your injury forces you to miss more than seven calendar days at work, you’ll qualify for indemnity benefits. Unless you need two weeks off or longer to recover, you cannot get paid benefits for that first seven-day period. If you need more than 15 days to recover, you’ll receive some benefit payments for taking that first week off.
- If your claim’s denied, contact your employer’s insurer. You can also request mediation through the OWCA to help resolve any claim disputes.
- If mediation doesn’t work, 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.
Every Louisiana workers’ comp case is different, so your own experience may vary.
Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Statistics, 2014-2018
Every year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the latest workers’ compensation program data for most U.S. states. This report includes total claims filed, days missed, employee transfers and work restrictions, etc. Our interactive chart shows how the Louisiana workers’ compensation program changed from 2014 to 2018 below:
It’s interesting to note that total Louisiana workers’ compensation claims fell 11% during this five-year period. Service-industry employees file 3 in every 5 Louisiana workers’ comp claims, on average, ranging from 59%-62% in any given year. Just under half of each year’s claims involve missing days at work due to workplace injuries (42%-47%, on average). This means most Louisiana workers’ compensation claims filed from 2014-2018 paid for medical bills, but not for lost wages. However, claims from people given work restrictions, position transfers or time off to recover increased 15% from 2015 to 2018. If you qualify for indemnity payments, you’ll get about 2/3 of your average weekly paycheck until you start working again.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
Louisiana workers’ compensation law doesn’t require your employer to hold your job open while your injury heals. In addition, your supervisor can demand you pass a drug test on the spot if you’re hurt in a workplace accident. At that point, your supervisor can simply fire you for failing a workers comp drug test. It’s unclear whether that would stop you from getting workers’ comp afterwards, but it’s possible. Anytime you get hurt or sick on the job, we recommend having a workers’ comp attorney review your claim. You can get a free phone consultation with the closest lawyer available to answer your claim questions today.
All Louisiana workers’ compensation attorneys work on contingency. That means unless you receive a cash settlement from your employer, the lawyer gets paid $0 for helping you. And if you win, then you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee.
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Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.