Workers comp is required in Wyoming for "extra-hazardous industries," while other industries can buy it or not. The list of extra-hazardous industries defined by the state of Wyoming is extensive and includes:
- Forestry and logging.
- Public administration.
- Publishing industries.
- Real estate, rental and leasing.
- Retail trade, including food and beverage stores.
- Transportation and warehousing.
Workers compensation insurance generally pays some lost earnings and the medical bills for an employee who's injured while doing a job-related task. Work injuries that can be covered by workers comp range from burns to muscle injuries to broken bones.
Wyoming workers compensation law stipulates certain details of who must be covered, exemptions from coverage and the limits of workers comp payments. Below are many of the specifics contained in the workers comp law in Wyoming. The Wyoming Department of Insurance also has a page with helpful information for employers.
Who has to be covered by Wyoming workers compensation?
Can any employees opt out of Wyoming workers compensation with a waiver?
Yes - corporate officers can. Sole proprietors and children on family farms may elect to be covered.
Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in Wyoming?
Self-insurance is an option only for non-hazardous industries. This may include individual employers, groups of employers and political subdivisions. Political subdivisions in Wyoming 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.
Independent contractors? Yes.
Casual employees? Yes, casual employees are only covered if they work full-time for the same employer for over two consecutive weeks.
Volunteers? Yes, only for volunteer for emergency response government organizations (such as the police and fire departments) are required to have coverage, other volunteers are not covered.
Professional athletes? No.
Wyoming workers comp medical benefits
Is there a Wyoming 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. The employer may have an on-site medical provider that employees must see first, but then employee can select their own treating provider.
Disability payments for workers compensation insurance in Wyoming
Workers comp generally pays an employee some lost wages when they cannot work because of a work-related injury. Based on both temporary and permanent disability, state laws outline certain limits on the disability payments amounts and lengths.
How are temporary total disability (TTD) payments calculated?
30% of the statewide average wage or ⅔ of actual earnings, but cannot exceed the lesser of 100% of actual earnings or statewide average monthly wage (SAMW).
Weekly minimum: 30% of the SAMW or ⅔ of the actual monthly earnings at the time of injury, whichever is greater, but shall not exceed 100% of the actual monthly earnings.
Weekly maximum: $972
Maximum length of TDD benefits: 24 months or in extraordinary circumstances, may extend beyond to provide a reasonable recuperation period.
How are permanent total disability (PTD) payments calculated?
66 ⅔% of the employee's actual monthly wage, unless the employee earns less than 73% of the statewide average monthly wage (SAMW), then it is 92% of the employee's actual monthly wages.
Weekly minimum: None.
Weekly maximum: Wages cannot exceed the SAMW for the quarter in which PTD is determined.
Are there cost of living increases for PTD payments? Yes.
Maximum length of PTD benefits: Paid for 80 months, less the number of months previously paid partial permanent impairment (PPI) and/or PPD. Employee must apply annually for extended PTD.
How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?
Must be less than 95% of pre-injury wage before eligible for PPD.
Weekly minimum: Dependent on the date of the injury.
Weekly maximum: Dependent on the date of the injury.
Fatality benefits under Wyoming workers compensation law
Maximum burial benefit: $10,000
Dependency benefits, weekly minimum: ⅔ of statewide average monthly wage (SAMW).
Dependency benefits, weekly maximum: Cannot exceed more than 2x the SAMW.
When do children's dependency benefits end? At age 21; age 25 if the child is a student; benefits can continue if child is disabled.
Other injuries covered by Wyoming 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.
Source: Workers Compensation Research Institute, May 2016 report