North Dakota requires all employers to have workers comp insurance for workers, with just a few exceptions.

Workers compensation insurance generally pays medical bills and a portion of lost wages for a worker who's injured while performing a job related tasks. Breathing problems, carpal tunnel and broken bones are types of injuries that workers comp typically covers.

North Dakota workers compensation law specifies many details on exemptions from coverage, who must be covered and certain limits for workers comp payments. The North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance agency also has a page with helpful information for employers.

Who must be covered by North Dakota workers comp


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

Yes - corporate officers and sole proprietors can opt out.


Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in North Dakota?

Yes, for individual employers, groups of employers and political subdivisions. Political subdivisions in North Dakota 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.

Domestic employers? Yes.

Independent contractors? Yes.

Casual employees? Yes.

Volunteers? Yes.

Professional athletes? No.

North Dakota workers comp medical benefits


Is there a North Dakota workers comp fee schedule?

Yes.

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, there are some limits to remodeling expenses.


Who makes the initial choice of treating physician?

The employee. In the event an employer has elected a designated medical provider, the employee may still choose their own provider, but only if they designate a provider prior to injury. The employee may request a change in physicians after 30 days.

Disability payments for workers compensation insurance in North Dakota

Workers compensation typically pays a worker some lost wages if they cannot work due to a job-related injury. State laws specify certain limits on the amount and length of disability payments, based on both temporary and permanent disability.


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: $585, equal to 60% of the statewide average weekly wage (SAWW) unless the amount exceeds the employee's net wages, in which case the employee receives the net wages as a weekly compensation rate.

Weekly maximum: $1,219

Maximum length of TDD benefits: 104 weeks. An additional 20 weeks of benefits may be added if the employee is enrolled in a vocational rehabilitation program.

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: $585, equal to 60% of the statewide average weekly wage (SAWW) unless the amount exceeds the employee's net wages, in which case the employee receives the net wages as a weekly compensation rate.

Weekly maximum: $1,219

Are there cost of living increases for PTD payments? Increases on July 1st based on percentage change of SAWW.

Maximum length of PTD benefits: Payable to retirement, at which time benefits switch to additional benefits payable (ABP). The benefit and amount are based on the duration of the disability prior to retirement.

How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?

Permanent partial impairment (PPI) rate multiplied by the permanent impairment multiplier tied to the percentage of whole body impairment. PPI benefits are one-time lump sum awards with no ties to wage loss.

Weekly minimum: N/A

Weekly maximum: N/A

Fatality benefits under North Dakota workers compensation law

Maximum burial benefit: $10,000

Dependency benefits, weekly minimum: $585, equal to 60% of the statewide average weekly wage (SAWW) unless the amount exceeds the employee's net wages, in which case the employee receives the net wages as a weekly compensation rate.

Dependency benefits, weekly maximum: $1,219

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 North Dakota 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