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Workers Compensation in Hawaii

Jason Metz

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

Workers comp insurance generally pays a portion of the salary and medical bills for a worker who's injured while doing a work-related task. Work injuries that are usually covered by workers comp range from muscle injuries to carpal tunnel to foot joint pain.

Hawaii workers compensation law define the details of the limits of workers comp payments, as well as who must be covered and who can be exempt from coverage. Below are many of the specifics contained in the workers comp law in Hawaii. The Hawaii Disability Compensation Division also has a page with helpful information for employers.

Who has to be covered by Hawaii workers compensation?

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

Yes - corporate officers and sole proprietors can.

Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in Hawaii?

Yes, for individual employers, groups of employers and political subdivisions. Political subdivisions in Hawaii are typically 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. Excludes services performed by an individual who is a member of a limited liability company or a partner of a limited liability partnership who has a distributional interest in the company or partnership of at least 50%, a partner of a partnership, and a sole proprietor from the definition of employment.

Agricultural employers? No.

Domestic employers? Yes, if the cash remuneration is less than $225 during the current calendar quarter.

Independent contractors? Yes.

Casual employees? No.

Volunteers? No.

Professional athletes? No.

Hawaii workers comp medical benefits

Is there a Hawaii 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?

Yes, subject to Hawaii workers' compensation medical fee schedule.

Who makes the initial choice of treating physician?

The employee.

Disability payments for workers compensation insurance in Hawaii

Workers compensation typically pays an employee part of their salary if they cannot work because of a job-related injury. State law outlines the limits for disability payment amounts and length, 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: $203

Weekly maximum: $812

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

How are permanent total disability (PTD) payments calculated?

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

Weekly minimum: $203

Weekly maximum: $812

Are there cost of living increases for PTD payments? Yes, adjusted to the maximum benefit rate on January 1st every 10th year after January 1992.

Maximum length of PTD benefits: No maximum.

How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?

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

Weekly minimum: $203

Weekly maximum: $812

Fatality benefits under Hawaii workers compensation law

Maximum burial benefit: $4,060

Dependency benefits, weekly minimum / maximum: $203/$812

When do children's dependency benefits end? At age 18; age 22 if the child is a student; benefits can continue if child is disabled.

Other injuries covered by Hawaii workers compensation

Mental stress with no physical injury? Yes.

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