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Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Laws

Wisconsin may be America's Dairyland, but you know that only the most dedicated workers could have created the Monona Terrace and the Quadracci Pavilion. You also know that when you are injured, one of the best ways to recover is to spend some time north of Highway 23. But recovery takes time, and you might think you cannot afford to take the time of work that you need. Fortunately, Wisconsin workers' compensation laws require your employer to provide you with benefits which help to compensate both of you for the financial hardships of workplace injuries.

The table and information below summarize important components of Wisconsin workers' comp laws.

Statute Section

§ 102.01, et seq.

Filing Time Limits

Benefit Time Limits

§ 102.43

  • Waiting Period: 3 days
  • Retroactive after: 7 days

Mental Injury Coverage

  • Some (School Dist. No. 1, Village of Brown Deer v. Department of Industry Labor and Human Relations, 215 N.W.2d 373 (Wis. 1974))

Choice of Doctor


Most Wisconsin employers of four or more employees are required to carry workers' comp insurance. Some types of employees are explicitly exempt from this requirement, including some domestic and farm workers as well as federal employees. Wisconsin employs the “extraordinary stress” standard to determine when a mental injury is compensable under workers' comp. This means that if you require medical treatment due to a typical work activity, such as a work evaluation or a demotion, benefits are highly unlikely to be awarded.


Wisconsin provides injured workers with all reasonable and necessary medical treatment, benefits for wage loss during the healing period, and vocational rehabilitation and retraining. Unlike most other states, Wisconsin offers you the opportunity to select any doctor licensed to work in the state of Wisconsin. Additionally, if you are not satisfied with the first doctor, you may select a second doctor. If you wish to be treated by a medical care provider outside of the state, you must obtain consent from your workers' comp insurance provider. Finally, if your loved one died as a result of a workplace injury, you may be entitled to death benefits.

Dispute Resolution

If your claim is denied, you may wish to retain an attorney. If you do not retain an attorney, your claim will initially be referred to the Division’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Unit. Upon written request, your employer or workers' comp insurance may require you to submit to a medical examination by a provider selected by your employer or insurance company. If your claim cannot be resolved through mediation, you may request a formal hearing with an administrative law judge. Your request must include medical evidence which supports your claim. If you disagree with the judge's decision, you may appeal the formal decision to the Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC).

Get Your Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Claim Reviewed by an Attorney

Whether you suffer from disability due to a workplace injury or an occupational disease, your employer is required to carry special insurance coverage to protect you both from the potential financial hardships. But workers' comp insurance can be confusing -- especially the no-fault aspect. If your disability has kept you from work and you need legal help filing a workers' comp claim, speak with a personal injury attorney experienced with obtaining workers' comp benefits in Wisconsin.

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