Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers Comp 
Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Insurance

All Oklahoma businesses are required to carry workers’ comp, which covers reimbursement for medical care and lost wages when an employee sustains a work-related injury or illness.

Oklahoma workers’ comp follows the “no-fault” policy, meaning injured workers can receive coverage no matter who is at fault.

Keep reading to learn all about Oklahoma workers’ compensation laws.

When is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Required?

Workers’ comp is required for just about every Oklahoma business with full-time or part-time employees, as outlined in the Oklahoma Administrative Workers’ Compensation Act.

But there are exceptions. These types of workers don’t need to be covered:

  • Independent contractors
  • Sole proprietors
  • Stockholders or members of an LLC (limited liability company) who own 10% or more of the company’s capital
  • Certain agricultural and horticultural workers
  • Real estate brokers paid by commission
  • Workers in a family business with five or fewer employees
  • Federal employees
  • Some Department of Human Services employees
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How Does Oklahoma Workers’ Comp Work?

Under Oklahoma state law, injured workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which cover medical expenses, lost wages, and more. 

Specifically, workers’ comp insurance covers:

  • Medical treatment for any injuries or illnesses sustained on the job, like broken legs, concussions, carpal tunnel or respiratory illnesses
  • Lost wages if an employee has to take time off to recover
  • Disability benefits, or compensation for impairment that leads to disability*
  • Vocational rehabilitation if the employee can no longer perform their old job
  • Death benefits if an employee loses their life due to a work accident

*Disability benefits vary based on the extent of the employee’s injury or illness:

  • Temporary total refers to a disability that prevents the employee from working for a short amount of time.
  • Permanent partial refers to a disability that affects the employee’s abilities permanently; they may still be able to work, but in a more limited capacity.
  • Permanent total refers to a disability that permanently prevents an employee from working.

How Much Is a Workers’ Comp Payout in Oklahoma?

In 2023, workers’ comp pays 70% of an employee’s average weekly wage, up to a maximum of $986.86 per week in Oklahoma. 

The maximum amount changes every year, but you can find the most up-to-date information on ok.gov.

What Are the Penalties for Not Having Workers’ Comp Coverage?

The state of Oklahoma imposes penalties for employers who fail to carry workers’ comp. These include:

  • A fine of up to $1,000 for each day without coverage
  • Liability and civil litigation lawsuits
  • A court-ordered business shutdown 

You can avoid these penalties by purchasing coverage from an insurance company.

How Do Death Benefits Work in Oklahoma?

If an employee dies due to a workplace injury or illness, their dependents are entitled to death benefits, but these vary depending on who survives the employee:

  • Surviving spouse: Lump sum of $100,000 + 70% of the deceased’s average weekly wage or the state’s average weekly wage, whichever one is higher; to continue for the rest of the surviving spouse’s life or until they remarry
  • One or two children: Lump sum of $25,000 to each child + 15% of the deceased’s average weekly wage or the state’s average weekly wage, whichever one is lower; to continue until the child turns 18 (or 23 if they’re a full-time high school or college student) or marries
  • More than two children: $25,000 to each child, up to $150,000 + 30% of the deceased’s average weekly wage; to continue until the child turns 18 (or 23 if they are a full-time high school or college student) or marries

The workers’ compensation system also covers funeral expenses of up to $10,000.

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How Much Does Workers’ Comp Cost in Oklahoma?

The cost of workers’ comp varies depending on things like:

  • Number of employees
  • Type of work
  • Risk-level involved

Private insurance companies set their own comp rates, so you may want to get quotes from several carriers before making a decision. 

If you’re looking to save on workers’ comp, consider using Hourly. We partner with insurance agents and small businesses to lower the cost of coverage and help you skip hefty audit fees.

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How do I file a workers’ compensation claim?

To file a comp claim, the injured employee or their employer will need to fill out Form 3 “Employee’s First Notice of Accidental Injury and Claim for Compensation” and send it to the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court of Existing Claims.

An employee must notify their employer within 30 days and file a claim within two years of the date of injury, or the first sign of symptoms.

What is the waiting period for workers’ comp in Oklahoma?

Workers’ comp payments generally begin seven calendar days after the injury. The employee won’t receive benefits for those seven days unless the court finds that they’re unable to work for more than 21 days.

How do I get workers’ comp in Oklahoma?

The easiest way to purchase workers’ comp in Oklahoma is through a private insurance company. If you own a high-risk business, you can buy insurance coverage through CompSource Oklahoma.

You may also be able to self-insure your business, meaning you’ll pay any workers’ comp expenses and benefits out of pocket, rather than through an insurance carrier. You can apply to be self-insured through the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission.

What does workers’ comp in Oklahoma cover?

In Oklahoma, workers’ comp covers just about any work-related injuries or illnesses. However, there are exceptions. Injuries are not covered if they occur:

  • In a parking lot or other area outside the business
  • While the employee is on break or reporting to or leaving their shift
  • During recreational or social activities
  • Due to drugs or alcohol

The Best Choice for Workers’ Comp in Oklahoma

From Tulsa to Oklahoma City, Hourly helps business owners make workers’ compensation coverage easier and more affordable. 

We calculate your payments in real-time based on actual payroll, not estimated payroll, and we help you avoid audit fees and high upfront premiums.

Talk to your insurance carrier to see how you can get started with Hourly.

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