Oklahoma Workers' Compensation
Oklahoma work compensation is a no-fault, fixed, monetary insurance benefits which is provided to Oklahoma employees free of charge. Oklahoma workers' compensation or workman's compensation provides wage loss compensation, medical benefits, death benefits and vocational rehabilitation services to employees who have been injured performing their work duties.
Work comp in Oklahoma eliminates the need for the employee to file a personal injury claim against their employer and prove their employer's negligence contributed to their workplace injury. Workman's compensation in Oklahoma is considered a trade-off for the employee who sacrifices some of the monetary benefit they may have received if they had won a personal injury claim.
Workers' compensation in Oklahoma is administered by the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Court which has been given the jurisdiction and the authority to "determine claims for compensation, the liability of employers and insurers, and any rights asserted under the Workers' Compensation Act".
Hiring an Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Lawyer
Oklahoma workers' compensation lawyers can help make sure you or your family receives the workers' compensation or workman's compensation you are due. Whether you are coping with a serious work injury or your family is dealing with the sudden death of a loved one, it may be difficult to navigate the Oklahoma workers' compensation statutes on your own.
If you have just been injured or you are struggling through long delays or a workman's comp appeal, an Oklahoma work comp attorney can help. Oklahoma employment lawyers understand Oklahoma work comp laws and can explain your rights and ensure all of the correct procedures are followed to help you get the work comp benefits you deserve.
Need legal help getting benefits for your Oklahoma workers compensation case? Simply complete our free form below to get started today!
Work Injuries Covered Under Oklahoma Workers' Compensation
Workers comp insurance pays for most work injuries and occupational illnesses which occur when an employee is engaged in "normal business operations". Work comp insurance in Oklahoma may not, however, pay for work injuries which are the result of intoxication, intentional actions meant to injure the worker or another employee or injuries which occur while the employee is travelling to and from work.
Common Oklahoma workplace injuries which may be covered include:
Abrasions, Burns, Back and neck injuries, Amputations of arms or legs, Concussions, Heart attack or strokes on the job, Carpal Tunnel, Diseases caused by inhalation of chemicals or other toxins, Bone fractures, Hernia, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Torn Rotator Cuff, Concussion, Asbestos exposure.
Oklahoma Workers Compensation Benefits
Oklahoma workers' compensation provides medical benefits, temporary total disability benefits (TTD), temporary partial disability benefits (TPD), permanent total disability benefits (PTD), death benefits and vocational rehabilitation benefits. Detailed information for all Oklahoma work comp benefits are listed below.
Medical Benefits - Medical benefits are provided by Oklahoma employers to all qualifying injured employees. Medical benefits can include surgical care, nurse and hospital services, medical supplies, prescribed medications and laboratory services.
Treating physicians are required to provide the employer with an examination report and proposed treatment options within 7 days from the date of the medical examination. The treating physician must also notify the employer if the injured employee has reached their maximum medical improvement level.
Employees who wish to change their treating physician should talk to their employers. Failure to follow the proper dispute resolution process could result in non-payment of medical benefits. Employees who fail to meet the statutory obligation to seek reasonable and necessary medical care to improve their condition may be disqualified from Oklahoma work comp benefits.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD) - Temporary total disability benefits (TTD) are provided to help injured employees replace their lost wages during the "healing period". TTD benefits are provided if the employee is loses function or is incapacitated and is unable to work and earn wages.
TTD benefits are not paid until the worker has missed at least 3 days of work. TTD benefits are paid at 70% of the Oklahoma employee's weekly wage up to the statutory limit of $473 per week. They are generally paid for a total of 156 weeks, but the injured employee may be able to petition the court for an extension of their TTD benefits. The court may extend TTD benefits for up to 300 weeks.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD) - Temporary partial disability benefits (TPD) are paid to injured employees who are able to return to work at a reduced work capacity and due to their work injury can not make the same wage. TPD benefits are paid at 70% of the difference between the injured worker's average weekly wage and the worker's wage after they are injured and return to work.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD) - Permanent partial disability benefits (PPD) may be paid to employees who have suffered a permanent and partial loss but are able to return to employment. Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Court defines permanent impairment as "any anatomical abnormality after maximum medical improvement has been achieved which abnormality or loss the physician considers to be capable of being evaluated at the time the rating is made".
PPD benefit settlements are not made until the injured Oklahoma worker reaches their maximum medical improvement, and employees can not receive PPD and PTD in the same workers' comp claim. Permanent impairments which are not "scheduled" are made by evaluating the extent of the impairment in accordance with guidelines outlined in the American Medical Association Guide to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairments.
PPD payments are paid at 70% of the worker's average weekly wage, but for scheduled losses the duration of the PPD payment is determined by the type of loss. For example, if the worker loses their thumb they are entitled to 66 weeks of PPD benefits.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD) - Permanent total disability benefits (PTD) are paid to Oklahoma employees who are injured and unable to return to any type of work. Qualifying employees will receive PTD payments in the amount of 70% of the injured employee's weekly wage.
PTD payments are made until the permanently disabled employee reaches the age where they qualify for 100% of Social Security Retirement or for 15 years, whichever is longer. Under some conditions the injured employee may, by permission of the Oklahoma workers' compensation court, have their PTD cash benefit converted to a lump sump settlement.
Vocational Rehabilitation - Vocational rehabilitation may be provided to injured employees who are unable to perform the same occupational duties they could perform prior to their Oklahoma work injury. Vocational rehabilitation services in Oklahoma can include: job placement and job retraining which are provided with the express purpose of helping the employee return to gainful employment.
Oklahoma work compensation laws also allow a work compensation judge to refer the employee to a qualified physician or facility for evaluation to help them receive the necessary training to return to employment.
Death benefits are paid to the surviving beneficiaries of Oklahoma workers who have died from their work injury or their occupational illness. Death benefits are paid at 70% of the deceased employee's average weekly wage and an additional 15% for each child up to 30%. Surviving spouses may receive a 2 year lump sum payment if they remarry and their death benefits cease. Children may also receive death benefit payments until they reach 18 years of age or 23 years old if the child is a full-time student.
Death benefits may also include payment for burial expenses which currently is limited to $10,000.