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Kentucky Workers Compensation Laws

Workers compensation laws, rules and policy information for the State of Kentucky

Related Pages:  More About Kentucky Rules


State:  Kentucky

Updated:  01-10-2017

Authority/State Rating Bureau:  NCCI

National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI)
901 Peninsula Corporate Circle
Boca Raton, FL 33487-1362
800-622-4123


Compulsory:  Yes

Private Insurance:  Allowed

Self-Insurance:  Allowed

State Fund:  The Kentucky Employers Mutual Insurance Authority, a competitive state fund, contact at: http://www.kemi.com/

Assigned Risk: 



Numerical Exceptions:  None. With few exceptions, all Kentucky employers are subject to the Workers Compensation Act and are required to carry workers compensation insurance or become self-insured, even if they have only one part-time employee. There is an exemption for employers engaged exclusively in agriculture. See special notes below.

Individual Waivers Allowed:  Yes. Employees may reject coverage under the Workers Compensation Act by signing and filing with the employer an Employees Notice of Rejection of Workers Compensation Act, commonly known as a Form 4 Waiver. This waiver must be filed with the Department of Workers Claims to be effective and will remain in effect until voluntarily withdrawn.

Small Deductible Program:
Sole Proprietor:  Excluded from coverage/may elect to be included. If included the payroll used for rating is $37,500 per year as of 10-1-2011, $38,300 as of 10-1-12, $39,200 as of 10-1-2013. $40,000 as of 10-1-2014. $40,000 as of 10-1-2015. $40,200 as of 10-1-2016.

Partners:  Excluded from coverage/may elect to be included. - When included in coverage a workers compensation flat payroll of $37,500 per year is used as of 10-1-2011, $38,300 as of 10-1-12, $39,200 as of 10-1-2013. $40,000 as of 10-1-2014. $40,000 as of 10-1-2015. $40,200 as of 10-1-2016.

Corporate Officers:  Included in coverage/may elect to be exempt. If included the minimum weekly payroll used for rating is $700 and the maximum is $2,900 as of 10-1-2011, $750 / $2900 as of 10-1-2012, $750 / $3,000 as of 10-1-2013. $750 / $3,100 as of 10-1-2014. $750 / $3,100 as of 10-1-2015. $750 / $3,100 as of 10-1-2016.

LLC Members:  Excluded from coverage/ Qualified members may elect to be covered. A qualified member is one that participates in the decision making process and the profit and losses. If included in coverage LLC Members are treated like partners.

Election or Rejection of Coverage Form:  Kentucky uses Form 4, a State form, for election or rejection of coverage. This form is not readily available on their State website. Contact the Kentucky Department of Workers Claims for a usable copy of Form 4 by calling them at 502-782-4490 and asking for The Employee's Written Notice of Rejection (Form 4).

A Note About Forms:  Be sure to check with your insurance company for any additional forms they may use for exclusion or inclusion of coverage.



Contractors:  Whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is a frequently disputed issue in workers compensation claims. Four main factors are considered: the nature of the work performed as it relates to the business of the possible employer, the extent of control of details of the work, the professional skill of the worker and the intentions of the parties. Generally, an independent contractor, as a skilled tradesman, works on his/her own without direct supervision, setting work hours and providing the needed tools and equipment for the job. An independent contractor is not entitled to workers compensation benefits unless he/ she has purchased his/her own policy.

Special Notes:  Who else is covered by Kentucky Workers Compensation? Every person who is a member of a volunteer ambulance service, fire or police department shall be considered an employee of the political subdivision of the state where that department is organized. Every person who is a regularly enrolled volunteer member or trainee of an emergency management agency, as established under KRS chapters 39A to 39E, shall be considered an employee of this state. Every person who is a member of the Kentucky National Guard, while that person is on state active duty as defined in KRS 38.010 (4), shall be considered to be in the employment of the state. Kentucky National Guard includes the Army National Guard and Air National Guard.

Who is not covered? Some employees are exempt from mandatory workers compensation coverage. Some of these exemptions include farm workers and workers employed as domestic servants in a home with less than two full-time employees. Also exempt is any person employed by homeowners for residential maintenance and repair for up to twenty (20) consecutive workdays. Additionally, employees who are protected by federal laws (such as railroad and maritime workers) and members of certain religious sects are exempt from coverage under the Workers Compensation Act. Business owners are not required to obtain coverage for themselves, but may be covered if they specifically purchase workers compensation coverage for themselves. If the business is a corporation and the owner is a corporate officer, then that individual is considered an employee of the corporation and therefore covered.


Experience Rating Eligibility:  Kentucky employers will receive an experience modification rate or EMR when they meet one of these triggers:
  • $10,000 in policy premium is generated during the last year or last two years.
  • $5,000 is the average policy premium generated for more than two years.


Kentucky Workers Compensation Subrogation:  342.700 is the Kentucky State Statute that provides you with information about subrogation of workers compensation. Kentucky statute 342.700 is entitled "Remedies when third party is legally liable -- Liability and indemnification rights of principal contractors, intermediates, and subcontractors -- Requirement of waiver of remedies for award of contract unlawful." Just below you'll find a link directly to this PDF where you can view this statute of subrogation..

  • Waivers of Subrogation: Not allowed and it is against public policy in Kentucky for an owner or employer to require another employer to provide a waiver. Specific wording in the statute can be found in 342.700 section 3.

Kentucky Workers Compensation Subrogation Statute


Treatment of Kentucky Workers Working In Other States; Other States Workers Working In Kentucky, Extraterritorial, Reciprocity and Non-Compliance:  If Kentucky workers are working temporarily in another state, then workers compensation coverage for that worker is governed by the extraterritorial provisions found in Kentucky statutes. When allowed, extraterritorial provisions allow benefits for an injured worker to apply as if the worker was in their primary state. Not all states provide Extraterritorial Provisions. It's reciprocity that governs coverage for a worker from another state who is working temporarily in Kentucky. A certificate must be filed with the Kentucky Department of Workers Claims. Compliance of workers compensation laws varies from state to state and it is important for an employer with workers performing duties in other states to be aware of the specific state rules that govern their coverage. We've provided the below general information about extraterritorial and reciprocity as a basic guide. Please contact your state authority with your specific questions concerning this topic!

  • Extraterritorial: 
    • Provisions: Yes
    • Duration: Not Specific
  • Reciprocity: 
    • Allowed: Yes
  • Specific Statute:  Kentucky 342.670;
  • For More Information Contact:  Kentucky Department of Workers Claims 502-564-5550.




Regulated By: 

Department of Workers' Claims
657 Chamberlin Avenue
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Phone: (502) 564-5550
Toll-free: 1-800-554-8601
http://www.labor.ky.gov/workersclaims/

Workers Compensation Statute: 

Kentucky Workers Compensation Statute


Didn't find what you're looking for? Search here for more about Kentucky rules: 



Information on this page is provided only as a reference. While we strive to mantain accurate information on this site please realize workers compensation laws are complicated and subject to change at any time. No warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of this information is provided or to be implied. You must verify this data before use with the individual governing authority for this state. If you need help with a workers compensation problem or have a specific situation or question please contact our office. Otherwise please consult your states governing authority or an attorney in your state of residency for assistance.





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