Most business owners in Wyoming need workers’ compensation insurance, which protects both employees and employers after a work injury or illness. Employers must purchase coverage from the state fund.
Every business in Wyoming – even those that are likely exempt – must register with the Division of Workers' Compensation and Unemployment Insurance to have their coverage determined.
Under the Wyoming Workers' Compensation Act, the following business owners are exempt from workers’ comp insurance requirements:
However, the above owners may opt to purchase workers' comp. It's a smart financial decision, as your health insurance provider might deny an injury claim if it's related to your work.
Check with the Wyoming Workers’ Compensation Division for forms, fees, and further details.
To save money on workers' comp, it's important to make sure you classify your employees correctly. Employees with desk jobs or other jobs with a low risk of injury cost less to insure. This also helps you avoid misclassification fines.
In some cases, small business owners can choose to buy pay-as-you-go workers' compensation. This type of workers' comp policy has a low upfront premium, and lets you make payments based on your actual payroll instead of estimated payroll. It's useful for businesses that hire seasonal help or have fluctuating numbers of employees.
Finally, a documented safety program can help lower workers' comp costs. A safer workplace means fewer accidents, which helps keep your premium low.
The goal of workers' compensation insurance is to help employees recover from a work injury and return to their job. It covers the cost of medical bills related to a workplace injury or occupational disease, and also covers part of their lost wages. Employees receive two-thirds of their gross monthly wage at the time of injury during their recovery, if unable to work.
Workers' compensation benefits for injured workers in Wyoming include:
Employees can choose their primary health care provider, but cannot change providers without a referral. For details, visit the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS).
Wyoming is a monopolistic state when it comes to insuring employees against job-related injuries and illnesses. This means you can’t buy coverage from a private insurance company. Instead, you must buy it from a state-run workers’ comp plan.
Wyoming employers with excessive workers’ comp insurance claims may not be able to qualify for the Wyoming public workers’ comp program. However, since they are required to maintain coverage, they can contact the state’s assigned risk pool for “last-resort” coverage.
Unlike in most other states, Wyoming's workers' compensation laws do not allow employers to self-insure their claims. All state employers must purchase workers’ comp insurance from the state plan.
Policies purchased through the state fund do not include employer's liability insurance, which protects employers from employee injury lawsuits. Wyoming employers who want this coverage must purchase it as stop-gap coverage. They can usually add it to their general liability policy purchased through a private insurer.
Wyoming’s workers’ compensation system provides death benefits to the survivors of an employee who died from a job-related injury or illness. The surviving spouse, minor children, and other dependents may qualify for monthly benefits lasting for as long as 100 months.
The minimum benefit that can be paid is 80% of the state’s average monthly wage. The maximum is twice the state’s average monthly wage. Both amounts depend on how much money the worker was making before getting hurt or sick.
Wyoming law also provides for a burial benefit of up to $5,000, along with $5,000 for other death-related expenses.
A workers’ compensation settlement is an agreement between the injured employee, employer, and the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services that will close out a workers’ compensation claim in return for the worker or family survivors receiving a lump-sum payment. This benefits both the employee, the employee’s family members, and the employer.
Unlike in other states where private insurers provide all or most of the workers’ comp insurance coverage, Wyoming’s only workers’ comp insurer is the state itself. For this reason, settling a claim will involve negotiations with the state.
In the state of Wyoming, employees with injuries must file a workers’ comp claim by the latest date listed below:
Workers must notify their employee of injuries within 72 hours, and state statute requires the employer to submit a report of injury within 10 days.
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