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What to know about workers' compensation in Nebraska

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January 27, 2022
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What to know about workers' compensation in Nebraska

Workers’ compensation, which can provide cash and medical care to employees injured on the job, and benefits to survivors in cases of a work-related death, began with a federal program in 1908. It gave benefits to civilian workers whose jobs were hazardous and became the first kind of social insurance established across the United States.

By 1916, the rest of the federal workforce was covered. States meanwhile were enacting their workers’ compensation laws. All but six states and the District of Columbia had them by 1921.

Today, programs exist in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The details of each program vary by state. Four states—Ohio, North Dakota, Washington and Wyoming—require insurance be obtained through a state-administered fund rather than through a private insurer. Another option is to self-insure for approved businesses. Most states require some businesses to provide coverage and can levy substantial fines for failing to comply. South Dakota and Texas leave the choice to businesses, although Texas makes an exception for construction companies with a government contract.

Simply Business reviewed rules, statistics, and other information about workers’ compensation insurance—including the comprehensive breakdown by the National Federation of Independent Business—to offer a breakdown of what workers’ comp requirements in each state. Rules are subject to updates periodically, so it’s important to stay up-to-date based on your trade and location.

Workers' Compensation in Nebraska

All employers with one or more employees must have coverage in Nebraska. Those include full- and part-time workers and minors. Self-employed workers, sole proprietors, partners, and members of limited liability companies have the option to be covered. Servants and some agricultural employees are excluded unless their employer chooses to cover them. Independent contractors and most volunteers are excluded. Employers that do not comply with the law can face a fine of up to $1,000 for each violation, imprisonment for up to a year, or both.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits, Costs, and Coverage, an October 2021 report from the National Academy of Social Insurance, found that total benefits paid to employees rose by 0.4% nationwide from 2015 to 2019. Cash benefits rose by 2%, but medical benefits fell by 1.1%. Standardized benefits fell— cash by 14% and medical benefits by 16.7%—over the same period.

Keep reading to see what workers' compensation looks like for other states in your area.

Workers' Compensation in Colorado

Employers with at least one full-time or part-time worker must have coverage. But there are a number of exemptions, among them those who do maintenance or repair work for less than $2,000 a year, real estate agents and brokers who are paid by commission, independent contractors who have no employees, and some drivers. Sole proprietors and corporate officers can opt out. A business without coverage can be closed and fined up to $500 for every day without insurance. If a worker is hurt, the employer must pay the claim plus an additional penalty of 25% of the worker’s benefits.

Workers' Compensation in Iowa

Most businesses in Iowa are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. Those who are exempt include domestic or casual workers who made less than $1,500 in the year before they were injured. Some agricultural workers also are excluded, those who worked for an employer whose cash payroll was less than $2,500 in the year before the injury, those who are exchange labor, and those who are officers in a family farm corporation as well as their close relatives. Violators may have to pay a penalty of up to $1,000 and an award of up to 50% more in benefits.

This story originally appeared on Simply Business and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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