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Wyoming workers’ compensation law

Most business owners in Wyoming need workers’ compensation insurance, which protects both employees and employers after a work injury or illness.

Who needs workers' compensation insurance in Wyoming?

Employers must provide workers’ compensation coverage for all employees working in Wyoming. Check with a licensed insurance agent or the Wyoming Workers’ Compensation Division to ensure that you have the proper coverage for your business.

In Wyoming, only those in the following occupations are specifically excluded from coverage:

  • Casual laborers
  • Most professional athletes
  • An employee of a private household
  • Private duty nurses working for a private party
  • Employees of the federal government
  • Volunteers working for certain organizations
  • Adult or minor prisoners or probationers unless they meet certain tests
  • Elected public officials or appointees to government boards or commissions, with the exception of a duly elected or appointed sheriff or coroner
  • Owners and operators of a motor vehicle that has been leased or contracted to a common carrier (transportation company) and who are treated as independent contractors for federal payroll tax and withholding purposes
  • Foster parents providing child-care services for the Wyoming Department of Family Services or other certified child placement agency
  • Individuals providing child day care or babysitting services subsidized wholly or in part by the Wyoming Department of Family Services (commercial child-care workers are not exempt)
  • Independent contractors
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Do Wyoming business owners need to be included in their company’s workers’ comp insurance policy?

The following business owners are exempt from workers’ comp insurance in Wyoming:

  • Sole proprietors
  • Partners
  • Members of a limited liability company (LLC)
  • Corporate officers

However, the above owners may opt into their company’s workers’ comp plan if it makes financial sense for them. Check with the Wyoming Workers’ Compensation Division for forms, fees, and further details.

Other workers’ comp guidelines relating to business owners:

  • Spouses of sole proprietors are exempt.
  • Parents of sole proprietors are exempt if they are dependent and living in the owner’s household.
  • Dependents of sole proprietors are exempt if living with the owner.
  • Dependents of a husband / wife business partnership are exempt if they are living with the couple and there are no other partners.

How does workers’ comp work in Wyoming?

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 most other states, Wyoming does not allow employers to self-insure their workers’ comp claims. All state employers must purchase workers’ comp insurance from the state plan.

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

The estimated workers’ comp expense for Wyoming employers is $2.03  per $100 in covered payroll, according to the National Academy of Social Insurance [PDF].

Workers’ compensation death benefits in Wyoming 

Wyoming’s workers’ comp plan 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.

Workers’ comp settlements in Wyoming

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.

Workers’ compensation statute of limitations in Wyoming

In Wyoming, employees with injuries must file a workers’ comp claim by the latest date listed below:

  • Within one year from the date of injury
  • Within one year after an employee receives a medical diagnosis for his or her job-related injury or illness
  • Within three years from the date of last exposure to the hazard

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If you are ready to explore insurance options for your Wyoming business, start a free online application today to compare quotes.

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