Oklahoma workers' comp 101

What do Oklahoma small business owners need to know about workers’ compensation?

Thousands of Oklahoma residents leap into entrepreneurship every year. Whether it’s the ability to set your schedule or the unlimited earning potential, one thing is for sure—owning your own business can be extremely rewarding.

While there are many benefits to becoming an Oklahoma small business owner, it’s important to remember that you’ll need to focus on more than just your customers and the products you sell. For instance, without the appropriate small business insurance, you could find yourself in a position where one incident forces you to close the company doors.

One of the coverages small business owners will need if they have employees is workers’ comp insurance. This insurance offers financial protection for employees who are injured on the job and need medical attention or disability benefits. 

If this is the first time you’ve owned a business with employees, you’ll want to make sure you have a good understanding of the basics of workers’ compensation before hiring your first team member. To help you build a better foundation of knowledge, we’ve outlined 10 of the most important Oklahoma workers’ comp facts to know below. 

10 interesting facts about Oklahoma workers’ comp

  • Oklahoma workers’ compensation covers the costs associated with a workplace injury, including lost wage benefits and medical care
  • Sole proprietors, partners of an LLC, and stockholder-employees with more than 10 percent of company capital are not required to be covered by workers’ compensation
  • Independent contractors aren’t considered employees and don’t need to be included in a workers’ compensation policy
  • Under Oklahoma workers’ compensation insurance, injured employees could receive any of the following benefits:
    • Compensation for lost wages
    • Paid medical expenses, including hospital fees and recurring medical care
    • Permanent and temporary disability 
    • Funeral and death expense coverage
    • Vocational retraining
  • Businesses who fail to secure the appropriate workers’ compensation insurance could face penalties including a $1,000 fine per day until the company obtains coverage
  • Injured employees have up to 30 days to report an injury to employers—otherwise, they risk losing their workers’ comp benefits
  • The Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission handles all workers’ compensation claims
  • If you suspect an employee is committing workers’ compensation fraud, you should report it to the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Investigation Unit of the Oklahoma Office of Attorney General
  • Small business owners have the option to purchase workers’ comp insurance through a variety of private insurance companies
  • The majority of workers’ comp claims in Oklahoma will end in a settlement where all parties agree to a lump-sum payment instead of ongoing payments

Remember, every situation is different and state workers’ compensation laws are subject to change, so be sure to do your research and speak with a trusted advisor.

Thanks for reading! Please note that this content is intended for educational purposes only. As laws change regularly, you should refer to your state legislation and/or an advisor for specific legal counsel. If you’re a small business owner, learn more about workers’ compensation insurance or check your current rate in 3 minutes.

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