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Workers Compensation in Kansas

Jason Metz

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

Workmans comp insurance typically pays some lost income and the medical bills for a worker who's injured while doing a job-related task. The injuries covered by workers comp can range from broken bones to muscle injuries to carpal tunnel.

Kansas workers compensation law details 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 Kansas. The Kansas Department of Labor also has a page with helpful information for employers.

Who has to be covered by Kansas workers compensation?

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

Yes - corporate officers can, corporate owners with 10% of stock can opt out. Sole proprietors may elect to be covered.

Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in Kansas?

Yes, for individual employers, groups of employers and political subdivisions. Political subdivisions in Kansas 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, no numerical exemption, but employers who pay $20,000 or less in payroll per year are exempt.

Agricultural employers? Yes.

Domestic employers? No.

Independent contractors? Yes.

Casual employees? No.

Volunteers? Yes.

Professional athletes? No.

Kansas workers comp medical benefits

Is there a Kansas 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, physical therapy must be authorized beyond 21 visits.

Who makes the initial choice of treating physician?

The employer.

Disability payments for workers compensation insurance in Kansas

Workers comp generally pays an employee part of their salary if they cannot work as the result of a job-related injury. Disability payment amounts and lengths are defined by state law for both temporary and permanent 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: $25

Weekly maximum: $587

Maximum length of TDD benefits: 225 to 415 weeks, depending on the type of injury; also there may be a limitation of $130,000 or $155,000 for all indemnity benefits depending on types of benefits paid.

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: $25

Weekly maximum: $587

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

Maximum length of PTD benefits: Benefits are for the length of disability and may be paid for life or until the maximum of $155,000 is reached.

How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?

66 ⅔% of the pre-injury average weekly wage, subject to a minimum and maximum.

Weekly minimum: $25

Weekly maximum: $587

Fatality benefits under Kansas workers compensation law

Maximum burial benefit: $5,000

Dependency benefits, weekly minimum / maximum: $391/$587

When do children's dependency benefits end? At age 18; age 23 if the child is a student or disabled.

Other injuries covered under Kansas 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? No.

Source: Workers Compensation Research Institute, May 2016 report