Guide to Workers’ Compensation: Louisiana Edition

Workers’ compensation provides wage replacement benefits and medical treatment to employees who endured injuries at work or became ill due to a work-related injury or illness. Workers’ comp also prevents the employer from bearing the cost of injuries. However, every state has its own nuanced workers’ comp laws. To learn about the laws in Louisiana, keep reading. 

Louisiana Workers’ Comp Requirements

Louisiana law requires most employers to have workers’ comp coverage, even if only one employee exists. The law applies to full-time, part-time, minors, and seasonal workers. However, you may not need this coverage if you are a sole proprietor. Corporate offices can also file an exemption for workers’ comp insurance if they own a certain percentage of a business. 

Cost of Workers’ Comp in Louisiana

Employer rates for Louisiana workers’ comp are based on a rate per $100 in covered payroll. However, your cost is based on a number of factors, such as payroll, location, number of employees, industry and risk factors, coverage limits, and claims history. As an example a roofer would pay a much higher rate per $100 in payroll than a secretary in a business office.

You may also enroll in workers comp from a private insurer by filling out an online application, apply for self-insurance by filling out an application with the Louisiana Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration, or purchase workers’ comp from the state fund operated by the Lousiana Workers’ Compensation Corporation (LWCC). 

In some cases, small businesses can opt for a pay-as-you-go workers’ comp plan, which has a low premium upfront and lets you make payments based on your payroll rather than estimated payroll. This plan is especially helpful for businesses with seasonal help. Contact the team at Canal HR to learn more. 

Another way to help keep your workers’ comp costs down is a documented safety program, which educates employees on avoiding accidents. 

Workers’ Comp Exemptions

Those that are exempt from Louisiana workers’ comp include the following: 

  • Employees of a private residential homeowner
  • Musicians or performers who provide services outlined in a performance contract
  • Salesmen or real estate brokers with a license to work in Louisiana
  • Unincorporated farm employees 
  • Individuals performing exploration, development, production, or mineral transportation services
  • Employees covered by the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA), Longshoremen’s and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, and the Jones Act 
  • Airplane crew members involved in dusting or spraying operations
  • Uncompensated officers and board members for a non-profit organization 

It’s also important to classify employees based on the type of work they do to ensure they have the right coverage since a misclassification is fraudulent. 

Louisiana Workers’ Comp Benefits

The benefits that are provided to employees through Louisiana workers’ comp include the following: 

  • Lost wages, also known as indemnity benefits, are when an employee is injured and can’t return to work. 
  • Disability benefits when an injury is severe and returning to work is not an immediate option. 
  • Ongoing care for injuries or illnesses that require additional treatment, like physical therapy or vocational rehabilitation. 
  • Funeral costs up to $8,500 for a deceased employee. 
  • Illnesses resulting from harmful chemicals or other materials. 
  • Repetitive stress injuries that leave an employee disabled. 
  • Mileage reimbursement to and from doctors or other healthcare provider visits. 
  • Supplemental earnings benefits for injured workers who can work but receive less than 90% of their pre-injury pay. 
  • Temporary Total Disability (TTD) for employees who physically cannot work, including self-employment. This payment is usually two-thirds of the average weekly wage for the employee. 
  • Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) for employees who can still work at a diminished skill level. 
  • Permanent Total Disability (PTD) for employees with a severe injury or illness that prevents them from working again, as long as there is proof. This payment is also two-thirds of the average weekly wage for the employee. 
  • Catastrophic injury benefits in Louisiana amount to a 1-time $50,000 compensation for devastating injuries such as third-degree burns covering at least 40% of the body, paraplegia, quadriplegia, or complete loss of 2 limbs or both eyes. 

The above benefits are provided under Louisiana workers’ comp coverage. However, policies typically include employer’s liability insurance, which pays for attorney fees and other legal expenses if an employee accuses the employer of causing an injury. The best way to understand your coverage is to read your policy or contact the experts at Canal HR for assistance. 

Filing Louisiana Workers’ Comp Claims

To file a workers comp claim in Louisiana, you should notify your employer within 30 days of the injury; however, filing the claim as soon as possible is advised. It’s important to note that if you have filed a workers’ comp claim for medical treatment, you must file within one to three years of the accident date, or the employee might not receive the benefits. 

If there is ever a dispute regarding Louisiana workers’ comp benefits, you can submit a Disputed Claim Form for Medical Treatment Appeal to the Office of Workers Compensation Administration Medical Director. Claims can take up to six months to resolve. To learn more about Louisiana workers’ comp or to get a quote, visit our workers’ comp page, where we further explain the benefits and how we can help lower your workers’ comp costs. 

How Canal HR Can Help

Our team of workers’ comp administrations will work to ensure your company maintains a safe work environment and that expensive claims are kept in check. Some of the workers’ comp and risk management services we provide include: 

  • Eliminating workers’ comp down payments 
  • Negotiating and obtaining workers’ comp insurance coverage
  • Investigating fraud
  • Eliminating workers’ comp audit and audit premium
  • Providing risk management safety inspections
  • Providing periodic safety training
  • Processing and managing workers’ compensation claims
  • Handling workers’ compensation hearings
  • Maintaining OSHA logs
  • Coordinating a return-to-work program

Contact us today to set up a free consultation. 

Get Started on Your Louisiana Workers’ Comp with Canal HR

Canal HR is a licensed PEO, and due to our large employee pool, we can offer significant group discounts. In fact, it’s not unusual for Canal HR companies to save more than 21% on their Louisiana workers’ comp premiums. For more information, gives us a call at (504) 470-0478 or visit our website.