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Mississippi workers’ compensation law

Mississippi law requires every business with at least five employees to provide workers’ compensation insurance. However, there are some exceptions.

Who needs workers’ comp insurance in Mississippi?

All companies with at least five regularly employed workers must provide workers’ compensation insurance in Mississippi. If you have fewer than five employees, workers’ comp coverage isn’t mandatory, but you can provide it voluntarily to provide coverage for workplace injuries and protect your business from liability.

Which employees are exempt from workers’ compensation insurance in Mississippi?

Although the vast majority of Mississippi employees must be covered by workers’ compensation insurance, some worker categories are exempt, including:

  • Domestic workers
  • Farm laborers
  • Employees of nonprofit fraternal, charitable, religious, or cultural organizations
  • Federal workers
  • Various transportation and maritime employees covered by federal workers’ comp insurance
  • Independent contractors (although special protection is provided to employees of independent contractors)

Although not required to provide workers’ comp protection to the above workers, employers may do so voluntarily.

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As a Mississippi employer, do I need workers’ compensation insurance for myself?

In most cases, you have to include yourself in your company’s workers’ comp insurance plan. The exceptions are if:

  • You’re a sole proprietor.
  • You’re part of a partnership that owns or manages your firm.
  • You are a corporate officer who owns 15% or more of corporate stock.

If any of those situations apply, you can still opt to participate in your firm’s workers’ comp policy. This might make sense if your job exposes you to unusual risks and you believe the costs of getting insurance are worth the extra protection you’ll get.

Members of a Mississippi LLC are treated the same as sole proprietors and partnerships for workers’ compensation purposes.

How does workers’ comp work in Mississippi?

Mississippi business owners can compare quotes and purchase a policy from private insurance companies. (Insureon offers this service with its online insurance marketplace.)

If they’re unable to qualify, they can buy it from Mississippi’s assigned risk residual market. The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) administers this insurance plan of last resort for high-risk state employers.

Mississippi employers also have the ability to self-insure their workers’ compensation claims. This means they’ll cover their own workers’ comp medical and rehabilitation costs rather than put them through their insurance.

What is the average cost of workers’ compensation insurance in Mississippi?

Estimated employer costs for workers' compensation in Mississippi are $1.27 per $100 covered in payroll.

What are the penalties for not having workers’ comp insurance in Mississippi?

If you fail to offer Mississippi workers’ comp insurance as mandated by law, you may face penalties, including a fine of up to $1,000, up to a year in jail, or both. Corporate officers may be forced to pay for an injured employee’s workers’ comp benefit out of their own pockets.

Workers’ compensation death benefits in Mississippi 

If an employee dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness, the surviving spouse and certain dependents may be eligible for death benefits.

An employer’s workers’ compensation insurer or assigned risk administrator pays benefits at least every 14 days. These benefits may continue for as long as 450 weeks after an employee’s job-related death.

Death benefits are based on a certain percentage of a deceased worker’s average weekly wage, subject to a weekly maximum determined by statute.

Also, an employer or its insurance provider must pay up to $5,000 for funeral expenses, as well as a $1,000 lump sum to the surviving spouse.

Workers’ comp settlements in Mississippi

A workers’ compensation settlement is an agreement between the parties that will resolve a workers’ compensation claim. This benefits both the employee and the employer. A settlement in a workers’ compensation claim is a full and final resolution.

Settlements aren’t mandatory for employees. However, if the worker has reached maximum medical recovery or will not need additional treatment, he or she can agree to accept a lump sum in exchange for closing the claim.

All settlements are subject to the approval of the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission. A licensed Mississippi attorney must be retained by the employer / carrier to prepare the proper paperwork and present the settlement to the commission.

Workers’ compensation statute of limitations in Mississippi

In Mississippi, employees are required to report workplace injuries within 30 days.

Regardless of whether notice was received, if no payment of compensation (other than medical treatment or burial expenses) is made and no application for benefits is filed with the commission within two years from the date of the injury or death, the right to compensation expires.

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If you are ready to explore workers’ comp insurance options for your Mississippi business, start a free online application today to compare quotes from multiple carriers.

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