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Workers Compensation in Louisiana

Jason Metz

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

Workmans comp insurance typically covers medical bills and pays a portion of an employee's salary if they're unable to work due to a job-related injury. The types of injuries covered can range from muscle injuries to foot joint pain to carpal tunnel.

Louisiana workers compensation law states who must be covered, who can be exempt from coverage as well as the limits of workers comp payments. Below are many of the specifics contained in the workers comp law in Louisiana.

Who has to be covered by Louisiana workers compensation?

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

Yes - corporate officers and sole proprietors can.

Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in Louisiana?

Yes, for individual employers, groups of employers and political subdivisions. Political subdivisions in Louisiana 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? No.

Agricultural employers? Yes, if the employee makes less than $2,500, he or she is excluded.

Domestic employers? Yes, any employee of a private residential household or any employee of a private unincorporated farm.

Independent contractors? No.

Casual employees? No.

Volunteers? Yes.

Professional athletes? No.

Louisiana workers comp medical benefits

Is there a Louisiana 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 medical treatment guidelines.

Who makes the initial choice of treating physician?

The employee.

Disability payments for workers compensation insurance in Louisiana

Workers comp typically pays a portion of an employee's income if they can't work because of a job-related injury. Based upon both temporary and permanent disability, state law outlines the limits of disability amounts and length.

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: $168 or actual wage, whichever is less.

Weekly maximum: $630

Maximum length of TDD benefits: No maximum.

How are permanent total disability (PTD) payments calculated?

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

Weekly minimum: $168 or actual wage, whichever is less.

Weekly maximum: $630

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

Maximum length of PTD benefits: Benefits are for the length of the disability and may be paid for life.

How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?

66 ⅔% of the difference between pre-accident and post-accident average weekly wage, calculated monthly and subject to the maximum.

Weekly minimum: $168

Weekly maximum: $630

Fatality benefits under Louisiana workers compensation law

Maximum burial benefit: $8,500

Dependency benefits, weekly minimum: $168 or actual wage, whichever is less.

Dependence benefits, weekly maximum: $630

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

Other injuries covered by Louisiana workers compensation

Mental stress with no physical injury? Yes.

Cumulative trauma (such as injuries caused by repeated exposure or repetitive motion)? Yes, but only when considered an occupational disease.

Occupational hearing loss? Yes.

Disfigurement? Yes.

Source: Workers Compensation Research Institute, May 2016 report