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Hawaii Workers' Compensation Laws

Hawaii may be the go-to paradise for most mainlanders, but as a native you know that every day is not necessarily another day in paradise. In fact, the State of Hawaii determined that so many workers are prevented from working due to illness that there are two separate programs to help you get back on your feet: whether you were hurt in the office or you are expecting a new addition to your family, Hawaii workers' compensation laws or Hawaiian temporary disability insurance laws may entitle you to benefits.

To read more about Hawaii workers’ compensation laws, check out the table and information below.

Works' Comp Statutes

Wage Replacement Benefits

  • WC: 66 2/3% of your avg. weekly wage, subject to a maximum (§ 386-31)
  • TDI: 58% of your avg. weekly wage, subject to a maximum (§ 386-31)

Time Limits

  • Employer must be notified as immediately as practicable (§ 386-81)
  • 2 years after disability begins and 5 years from the date of the accident in most cases (§ 386-82)

Employee Choice of Doctor

Mental Injuries

  • Covered under certain conditions (§ 386-3)

Temporary Disability Insurance Statutes


Most employers in Hawaii are required to provide workers' comp coverage, with some exceptions. Exempt employees include federal employees, some domestic workers, and many real estate brokers. Most occupational diseases are covered, including injuries caused by or due to compressed air; contact with asbestos or beryllium; or even exposure to radioactive substances.

Mental injuries are only covered in very specific circumstances. If the mental stress results solely from disciplinary action taken in good faith by your employer, your claim will be denied.


All reasonable medical care will be covered, for the lifetime of the employee if necessary. Doctors may not charge employees directly for treatments related to covered injuries. If your disability causes you to spend more than 3 days away from work, you may recover one or more of the following wage replacement benefits:

  • Temporary total disability
  • Permanent partial disability
  • Permanent total disability
  • Disfigurement

If your disability prevents you from returning to your previous occupation, you be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services. Lastly, if your loved one died as a result of a work-related injury, you may be entitled to death benefits equal to up to ten times the maximum weekly benefit and burial expenses up to five times the maximum weekly benefit.


Whether your claim is denied in whole or in part, you may request a hearing, during which your employer will likely have an attorney defending its own interests. Within 60 days of the hearing, you will receive a decision. If you disagree with the decision, you have 20 days from the date of the decision to file a notice of appeal.

Non-Work Related Injury or Illness

If your employer denies your claim because your injury or illness is not the result of an incident at work, you may still be entitled to benefits under Hawaii's Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) law. If eligible, you may receive up to 58 percent of your average weekly wage; this includes time away from work due to pregnancy and childbirth.

Discuss Workers' Comp with a Hawaii Attorney

If you've been unable to work because of disability from an injury, Hawaii takes care of its own. Coverage may be limited for mental stress, but Hawaii is one of the few states which doesn't put a monetary limit on the medical treatment you may receive to treat your injury or disease. Talk to a Hawaii workers' comp attorney to maximize your benefits award.

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