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Workers Compensation in Nebraska

Jason Metz

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

Workmans comp insurance typically pays medical bills and some lost income for an employee who's hurt while doing a work-related task. Work injuries that are usually covered by workers comp can range from burns to foot joint pain to breathing problems.

Nebraska workers compensation law defines many details on 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 Nebraska. The Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court also has a page with helpful information for employers.

Who's covered under Nebraska workers compensation law

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

Self-employed individuals, sole proprietors, partners and limited liability company members who are actually engaged in the business on a substantially full-time basis may elect to be covered. Executive officers who own 25% or more of the corporation's common stock are not considered employees unless they elect to be covered.

Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in Nebraska?

Yes, for individual employers and political subdivisions. Political subdivisions in Nebraska 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. Employers engaged in an agricultural operation are exempt from providing workers' compensation insurance coverage if they employ only related employees; agricultural employers who employ unrelated employees are also exempt unless in a calendar year they employ 10 or more unrelated, full-time employees, on each working day for 13 calendar weeks (consecutive or not); the act applies to an employer 30 days after the 13th week.

Domestic employers? Yes, service performed by a worker who is a household domestic servant in a private residence.

Independent contractors? Yes.

Casual employees? Yes.

Volunteers? Yes.

Professional athletes? No.

Nebraska workers compensation medical benefits

Is there a Nebraska 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 employee.

Disability payments for workers comp insurance in Nebraska

Workers comp typically pays a worker a portion of their income when they cannot work because of a job-related injury. Based on both temporary and permanent disability, state law specifies limits on disability payment lengths and amount.

How are temporary total disability (TTD) payments calculated?

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

Weekly minimum: $49 or actual wages if less.

Weekly maximum: $785

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

How are permanent total disability (PTD) payments calculated?

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

Weekly minimum: $49

Weekly maximum: $785

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

Maximum length of PTD benefits: Payable for the length of disability and may be for life.

How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?

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

Weekly minimum: $49

Weekly maximum: $785

Fatality benefits under Nebraska workers compensation law

Maximum burial benefit: $10,000

Dependency benefits, weekly minimum / maximum: $49 / $785

When do children's dependency benefits end? At age 19; age 25 if the child is a student, benefits can continue if child is disabled.

Other injuries covered by Nebraska workers compensation

Mental stress with no physical injury? Yes, effective July 15, 2010, first responders may claim mental injury unaccompanied by physical injury if the mental injury was a result of extraordinary and unusual conditions as compared to the normal conditions of the employment. Mental injuries incidental to employee/employer relations are not compensable.

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