The State of Things: The Web of Workers’ Compensation Requirements

Work Injury Claim Form

By The Reschini Group

“Workers’ compensation is a mandatory type of business insurance that provides employees who become injured or ill while on the job with medical coverage and income replacement. It also protects companies from being sued by employees for the workplace conditions that caused such an injury or illness. 

Businesses are required by law in all fifty states to pay for the medical treatment and lost wages of employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. In order to avoid crippling expenses in this regard, companies purchase workers’ compensation insurance policies of one kind or another.

Each state determines its own system’s payment schedules, employee eligibility requirements, and rehabilitation procedures. Although provisions of each state’s laws differ greatly, the underlying principle is the same—that employers should assume the costs of injuries, illnesses, and deaths that occur on the job, without regard to fault, and partially replace wage income lost.”

This definition of workers’ compensation, as cited on, states the facts of the matter clearly. All employers must provide for workers’ compensation, but the rules, procedures, and guidelines differ by state.  Employers based in Pennsylvania, for example, need to know that contiguous states like Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and New York each have distinct approaches and requirements regarding workers’ compensation.

A sampling of specific workers’ compensation requirements in neighboring states include:

  • OHIO – This is one of four “monopolistic” states in the union, meaning that coverage can only be purchased from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. In some cases, Pennsylvania-domiciled clients that have employees that travel into Ohio for a period that equates to less than 90 days must still purchase an administrative policy in Ohio, and add the Stop Gap endorsement to either the Worker’s Compensation or General Liability policies, but still must also sign a waiver saying that they choose Pennsylvania benefits as their method of remedy.
  • NEW YORK – This state requires short-term disability coverage for workers there. New York State must be listed on the workers’ compensation policy purchased by the employer.
  • WEST VIRGINIA – A worker can sue his or her employer for “deliberate intent” to cause illness or injury, while still collecting workers’ compensation payments in this state. Five criteria must be met for a claim to be awarded, including: that a specific unsafe working condition existed; that the employer had actual knowledge of the condition; that one or more safety standards, whether regulations or commonly accepted, were violated; that the employer intentionally exposed the employee to the unsafe condition; and the employee suffered serious compensable injury or death.

The professionals at The Reschini Group can help make sure you have the right level of workers’ compensation for your specific situation.  Contact us at 724-349-1300 to set up a time to talk.

Copyright 2017 The Reschini Group

 The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice.  To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.