Russell Duty

Attorney at Law

KENTUCKY WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Most Kentucky employees are covered by the workers’ compensation system unless they have signed a written waiver opting out.

Kentucky Workers’ Compensation is a no fault system. Even if the employee is at fault or was negligent in causing the injury, the employee can still receive workers’ compensation benefits. 

An employee who has been injured in a work related accident is entitled to receive temporary total disability benefits,  if he or she is unable to return to work during the recover process.  

If the work accident results in a permanent injury, then the employee is entitled to life time medical benefits for medical care related to the work injury. 

An Injured employee may also be eligible for other benefits such as retraining programs paid for by the employer. 

Injured employees are entitled to permanent workers’ compensation benefits if they sustain a permanent injury.  Determination of the injured worker’s benefits is done through a complicated process of applying factors to include age, education and a worker’s ability to return to work.  A key element in determining an injured worker’s disability is the impairment rating given by a physician. 

Kentucky law only provides for benefits to be paid weekly to the injured employee.  However, it may be possible to settle the claim for a lump sum amount depending on the circumstances.  Without a settlement, a permanently injured worker is entitled to benefits for 425 weeks, if the disability is 50% or less. If the disability is greater than 50%, then the worker is entitled to benefits for 520 weeks. If the worker is determined to be totally disabled, then the worker is eligible to receive benefits until retirement age. Benefits stop at retirement age unless the disability occurs less than two years from retirement age, regardless if the disability is permanent or total. However, under no circumstance do benefits continue for more than two years after the worker has reached retirement age.  

Workers’ Compensation laws can be difficult to understand.  The law changed rapidly in the past going through some form of modification almost ever legislative session.

Russell has been a staff attorney for the Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Board.  He has represented employers and insurance companies for years in workers’ compensation proceeding.  Let him put his knowledge to work for you by evaluating your claim. 

For more information on Kentucky Workers’ Compensation benefits click on http://labor.ky.gov/dwc/pdf-file-misc/guidebook.pdf.