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Workers Compensation in Alabama

Jason Metz

Alabama requires all businesses to have workers comp for employees, with only a few exceptions.

Workers compensation insurance usually pays for a portion of lost income and medical bills for an employee who's injured while performing a work-related task. Work injuries that can be covered by workers compensation typically range from broken bones to breathing problems to stress and anxiety.

Alabama workers compensation law defines details such as who must be covered, the limits of workers compensation payments and who might be exempt from coverage. Below are many of the specifics contained in the workers comp law in Alabama. The Alabama Department of Labor also has a page with helpful information for employers.

Alabama workers compensation laws

Can any employees opt out of Alabama workers compensation with a waiver?

Yes - corporate officers can. Sole proprietors can elect to be covered.

Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in Alabama?

Yes, for individual employers, groups of employers and political subdivisions. Political subdivisions in Alabama are the state or a city, county, special district, school district or public agency.

By self-insuring, a business assumes responsibility for paying their own workers comp claims. A self-insured company typically hires a claims service company to handle claims administration and other services.

Are there exclusions for:

Small employers? Yes, if you employ fewer than five employees.

Agricultural employers? Yes.

Domestic employers? Yes.

Independent contractors? No.

Casual employees? Yes.

Volunteers? No.

Professional athletes? No.

Alabama workers comp medical benefits

Is there a Alabama workers comp fee schedule?


Fee schedules define payments for surgery, radiology, hospital services, chiropractic care, ambulance service, prescription drugs and other medical services for an injured worker.

Are there limits on medical treatment?


Who makes the initial choice of treating physician?

The employer makes the initial choice of the treating physician.

Disability payments for workers compensation insurance in Alabama

Workers compensation typically pays an employee a portion of their income when they can't work due to a work-related injury. Alabama state laws define certain limits on disability payments in terms of the amount and length of time, based on both permanent and temporary disability.

How are temporary total disability (TTD) payments calculated?

66 2/3% of the employee's pre-injury weekly wage, subject to a minimum and maximum.

Weekly minimum: $224

Weekly maximum: $813

Maximum length of TDD benefits: The duration of the temporary disability.

How are permanent total disability (PTD) payments calculated?

66 ⅔% of the employee's preinjury weekly wage.

Weekly minimum: $224

Weekly maximum: $813

Are there cost of living increases for PTD payments? No.

Maximum length of PTD benefits: No.

How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?

66 ⅔% of the employee's average weekly wage, subject to a weekly maximum.

Weekly minimum: None.

Weekly maximum: $220

Fatality benefits under Alabama workers compensation law

Maximum burial benefit: $6,500

Dependency benefits, weekly minimum / maximum: $224 / $813

When do children's dependency benefits end? At age 18; benefits can continue if child is disabled, until the benefits are exhausted.

Other injuries covered by Alabama workers compensation

Mental stress with no physical injury? No.

Cumulative trauma (such as injuries caused by repeated exposure or repetitive motion)? Yes.

Occupational hearing loss? Yes.

Disfigurement? Yes.

Source: Workers Compensation Research Institute, May 2016 report