Kansas Workers' Compensation Laws
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed December 10, 2018
You may know Kansas as the home of Dorothy and Toto, but the Sunflower State actually is home to many aviation manufacturing and mining jobs. It's important to understand that you are entitled to coverage for medical treatment and other expenses if you are injured on the job. But be forewarned: if you are seriously injured in Kansas, benefit maximums under the state's workers' compensation laws may prevent you from fully recovering for your work-related injury.
To learn more about Kansas workers' comp laws, take a look at the table and information below.
In most cases (§44-520):
Waiting Period for Wage Benefits
Benefit Amount Maximums
Choice of Doctor
Kansas covers most accidental injuries and occupational diseases, including mesothelioma and carpal tunnel syndrome. However, employers may deny coverage if your injury stems from intentional self-infliction, willful failure to protect against injury, reckless violation of your employer's workplace safety rules, or your voluntary participation in fighting or horseplay.
If you are a farm laborer in Kansas, you should know that Kansas employers engaged in "agricultural pursuits" are not required to carry workers' compensation insurance. However, "agricultural pursuits" is not well defined. The court has come up with a two-step test for determining when an employee is covered.
First, the court asks whether the employer was engaged in an agricultural pursuit. If the answer is no, then the court may find that the employer was required to carry workers' comp insurance. If the answer is yes, then the court proceeds to the next step and considers whether the injury occurred while the employee was engaged in an employment incident to an agricultural pursuit. If the answer to the second question is also yes, then the employee is not covered. If the answer is no, then the employee is covered.
Kansas employers are required to pay for all medical care reasonably needed to relieve the effects of your injury. While you theoretically have your choice of doctor, Kansas only requires your employer to pay up to $500 in medical expenses to an outside physician. In some cases, $500 could be the equivalent of one or two appointments.
With regards to wage replacement benefits, while you are entitled to 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly benefits, your wage replacement benefits are subject to maximums including the weekly benefit limit equal to 125 percent of the state's average weekly wage and limits on total compensation amounts per injury. You may receive up to $155,000 in permanent total disability benefit, $130,000 in permanent partial disability benefits, or $75,000 in permanent partial disability benefits.
If your claim is denied, Kansas offers multiple dispute resolution options, including mediation conducted by the employees of the Division of Workers' Compensation. Unlike other states, Kansas does not require mediation before you can have a hearing. Instead, Kansas intends mediation to be used as an informal and non-adversarial alternative to a traditional hearing. Whether you choose a formal hearing or mediation, you may wish to be represented by an attorney.
Have Concerns About Your Workers' Comp Claim? Contact a Kansas Attorney
Injuries in the workplace can be very expensive. Medical bills and lost wages can take both a financial and emotional toll. Kansas' limits on compensation both for medical bills and for wage replacement could leave you without recourse. If you were injured at work or suffer from an occupational disease, consider speaking with a Kansas injury law attorney today.
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