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Workers Compensation in Oklahoma

Jason Metz

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

Workers compensation insurance generally pays some lost income and the medical bills for a worker who's hurt while doing a job-related task. The types of injuries typically covered by workers comp might include breathing problems, broken bones and carpal tunnel.

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

Who's covered under Oklahoma workers comp law

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


Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in Oklahoma?

Yes, for individual employers, groups of employers and political subdivisions. Political subdivisions in Oklahoma 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, those employed by employers with fewer than five total employees, all related by blood or marriage to the employer, do not meet the definition of "employee," and are exempt.

Agricultural employers? Yes, agricultural or horticultural workers who are employed by an employee with less than $100,000 in payroll for such workers in the preceding calendar year.

Domestic employers? N/A

Independent contractors? Yes.

Casual employees? No.

Volunteers? Yes.

Professional athletes? No.

Oklahoma workers comp medical benefits

Is there a Oklahoma 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, reasonable and necessary; medical treatment guidelines and utilization controls; managed care organizations.

Who makes the initial choice of treating physician?

The employer, unless it's an emergency situation or the employer fails or refuses to provide a choice within the statutory timeframe.

Disability payments for workers compensation insurance in Oklahoma

Workers comp generally pays an employee some of their lost wages when they cannot work because of a work-related injury. Based on both temporary and permanent disability, state laws specify the limits on the length and amounts of disability payments.

How are temporary total disability (TTD) payments calculated?

70% of the employee's pre-injury wage, subject to a maximum.

Weekly minimum: None

Weekly maximum: $589.33

Maximum length of TDD benefits: 104 weeks, with an additional 52 weeks if consequential injury found.

How are permanent total disability (PTD) payments calculated?

70% of the employee's average weekly wage, subject to a maximum.

Weekly minimum: None

Weekly maximum: $841.90

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

Maximum length of PTD benefits: 15 years or upon reaching social security retirement age, whichever is longer.

How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?

70% of the employee's average weekly wage, not to exceed $323.

Weekly minimum: None

Weekly maximum: $323

Fatality benefits under Oklahoma workers compensation law

Maximum burial benefit: $10,000

Dependency benefits, weekly minimum / maximum: None / $841.90

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 Oklahoma 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