Most Nebraska employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance, which provides benefits for both employers and employees.
Nebraska imposes strict workers’ compensation insurance rules on employers doing business there. Unless otherwise excluded, employers with one or more employees are required to provide insurance.
The law applies to virtually all employees, including those:
A limited number of employee types are exempt from coverage. They include:
Household domestic servants and some workers in agriculture are also exempt but can be covered at the employer’s discretion.
In Nebraska, employees must file a workers’ comp claim within two years from the injury / illness date.
It depends on the type of business you operate. Here’s how the rules of the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court work:
Sole proprietors, partners, and LLC members are exempt from buying workers’ comp insurance on themselves. However, they may purchase coverage if desired.
Executive officers of state corporations who hold 25% or more of their firm’s common stock aren’t considered employees and thus are exempt from workers’ comp coverage. Executive officers who want to elect workers’ comp protection must notify their insurance company and inform the entity’s corporate secretary.
Executive officers of nonprofit corporations in the state who earn $1,000 or less from their work for the corporation are also exempt.
Nebraska employers are not required to provide workers’ comp for independent contractors.
However, it’s important to make sure independent contractors are properly classified. While the Nebraska workers’ comp statute does not define “independent contractor,” case law offers several factors to consider when making this determination on a case-by-case basis.
Furthermore, the Nebraska Supreme Court applies a 10-factor test, with no single factor being determinative.
Nebraska business owners can compare quotes and purchase a policy from private insurance companies. (Insureon offers this service with its online insurance marketplace.)
If your firm’s high-risk status makes it impossible to purchase workers’ comp insurance through the voluntary market mentioned above, you can purchase coverage from the Nebraska assigned risk pool. Travelers Indemnity Company manages Nebraska’s Assigned Risk Plan, serving as the state’s workers’ comp provider of last resort.
The final way to secure workers’ compensation insurance is to self-insure your workers’ comp claims. This means your company will pay for its own workers’ comp claims rather than submit them to an insurance company.
To become self-insured, you must first file an application with the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court. Once approved, a self-insurer must submit a surety bond and evidence of having excess insurance with the Workers’ Compensation Court.
The estimated workers’ comp expense for Nebraska employers is $1.25 per $100 in covered payroll, according to the National Academy of Social Insurance [PDF].
The state of Nebraska takes workers’ compensation seriously. If you fail to comply with the law, you may face one or more of the following penalties:
Also, an injured employee may sue you for damages in district court, an action in which the employer will lose its common law defenses.
If a worker’s injury results in a wrongful death, the surviving spouse will receive two-thirds of the worker’s former pay until the spouse gets remarried. Surviving children are also entitled to a death benefit.
In addition, the worker’s family may be entitled to a $6,000 funeral-expense benefit.
In Nebraska, many workers’ comp claims end in settlements. This means the parties involved in the case – the injured employee, the company, and the insurer – must agree on a lump-sum payment amount. In exchange, the employee (or the employee’s survivors) must agree to the insurer stopping future benefit payments.
Employees who wish to enter into an agreement to take a lump-sum payment in lieu of future benefits must file an application with the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court.
If you are ready to explore workers’ comp insurance options for your Nebraska business, start a free online application today to compare quotes from top-rated carriers.