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

Workmans comp insurance typically pays a portion of lost wages and the medical bills for a worker who gets hurt while doing a job-related task. Work injuries that can be covered by workers comp range from breathing problems to stress and anxiety to broken bones.

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

Who must be covered by Oregon workers comp


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

Yes - corporate officers and sole proprietors can.


Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in Oregon?

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

Domestic employers? Yes, workers employed in private homes as a domestic servant or home gardener or repair person employed by the homeowner.

Independent contractors? Yes.

Casual employees? Yes.

Volunteers? Yes..

Professional athletes? No.

Oregon workers comp medical benefits


Is there a Oregon 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, provided treatment must be directed to the compensable injury, medically necessary, not excessive and inappropriate, and not in violation of rules regarding the performance of medical services.


Who makes the initial choice of treating physician?

The employee, from physicians on the managed care organizational (MCO) panel.

Disability payments for workers compensation insurance in Oregon

Workers compensation generally pays a worker part of their salary if they cannot work because of a job-related injury. State laws outline certain limits on disability payment amounts and length, based on 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. For a worker employed in more than one job at the time of injury, the worker's pre-injury wage is determined by adding all earnings the worker was receiving from all employment.

Weekly minimum: Not less than $50 or 90% of the worker's average weekly wage (AWW), whichever is less.

Weekly maximum: $1,226.78

Maximum length of TDD benefits: N/A

How are permanent total disability (PTD) payments calculated?

66 ⅔% of the employee's pre-injury weekly wage, but it cannot exceed the statewide average weekly wage (SAWW).

Weekly minimum: Not less than $50 or 90% of the worker's average weekly wage (AWW), whichever is less.

Weekly maximum: $922.39, additionally, if the employee returns to work, the employee's wages plus PTD benefits may not exceed the employee's wage at injury.

Are there cost of living increases for PTD payments? Yes.

Maximum length of PTD benefits: Lifetime, plus benefits to surviving spouse and children.

How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?

Impairment equals the percentage of whole person impairment multiplied by 100 multiplied by statewide average weekly wage (SAWW).

Work disability equals (the percentage of whole person impairment plus social minus vocational factor) multiplied by 150 multiplied by the employee's average weekly wage.

Note: Whole person impairment percentages are established under the Disability Ratings Standards of Oregon Administrative Rules Chapter 436, Division 035.

Weekly minimum: N/A

Weekly maximum: N/A

Fatality benefits under Oregon workers compensation law

Maximum burial benefit: $18,447.80

The insurer must also pay for the final disposition of the body, including transportation, up to 20 multiplied by the average weekly wage. If after 60 days of claim acceptance there is remaining benefit, the insurer must pay the remainder to the estate of the employee.

Dependency benefits, weekly minimum: Child only: $230.60; spouse only: $614.96

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

Other injuries covered by Oregon workers compensation

Mental stress with no physical injury? Yes, any mental disorder, including any physical disorder caused or worsened by mental stress is covered by occupational disease, but is only compensable if the employee proves that employment conditions were the major contributing cause of the mental disorder.

Cumulative trauma (such as injuries caused by repeated exposure or repetitive motion)? Yes, if categorized as an occupational disease, as a disease or infection caused by substances or activities to which an employee is not ordinarily subjected or exposed, the worker's claim is only compensable if the worker proves that employment conditions were the major contributing cause of the disease arising from cumulative trauma.

Occupational hearing loss? Yes, if categorized as an occupational disease, as a disease or infection caused by substance or activities to which an employee is not ordinarily subjected or exposed, the employee's claim is only compensable if the employee proves that employment conditions were a major contributing cause to the occupational loss.

Disfigurement? Yes, although very limited. Disfigurement is compensable only if the disfigurement results in certain psychological adjustment problems.

Source: Workers Compensation Research Institute, May 2016 report