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In almost every U.S. state, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have a certain number of employees. If you’re a business owner in Connecticut, you’ll need to purchase workers’ comp insurance if you have at least one employee that doesn’t meet the state’s exemptions criteria.
In this article, we’ll go over who you need to cover, who is exempt, and possible penalties for non-compliance.
How does workers’ compensation insurance in Connecticut work?
As an employer in the state of Connecticut, you must secure workers’ compensation coverage as soon as you have one or more part-time or full-time employees. You can purchase workers’ compensation insurance through a licensed commercial carrier or, if you can’t find a suitable commercial carrier, through the Connecticut Insurance Department.
Some companies in Connecticut can qualify to become self-insurers. This is a route typically taken by larger companies as state regulations require businesses to have a substantial amount of working capital and an acceptable level of debt before they’ll consider an application for self-insurance.
Who needs workers’ compensation insurance in Connecticut?
All employees, whether they’re part-time, full-time or seasonal, must be covered by a workers’ compensation policy. Like most state, however, there are exceptions when it comes to workers’ comp. As a business owner, you aren’t required to provide coverage for the following:
- Domestic workers that work 26 hours per week or less
- Sole proprietors
- LLC members
- Corporate officers
- Partners (in partnership companies)
As a business owner or sole proprietor, you don’t have to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for yourself. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get coverage. Sustaining an injury or illness while performing your work can lead to sizable hospital bills, medical costs and a lengthy recovery period. Investing in workers’ comp for yourself could save you from a brutal financial setback.
What are the penalties for not having workers’ comp in Connecticut?
Not having coverage when you’re legally required to do so can have steep ramifications in the state of Connecticut. Failure to provide insurance which meets Connecticut’s worker protection standards can lead to multiple fines, calculated per employee and per day ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Additionally, if you’re found to be wilfully non-compliant, you could face a stop work order and a Class D felony charge. Penalties can amount to up to $50,000. You can learn more on Connecticut’s Workers’ Compensation Commission website.1
What does workers’ comp cover?
If one of your employees is injured or becomes ill on the job, workers’ comp can cover their immediate medical expenses such as ambulance rides, emergency room visits, x-rays, surgery and prescription medications.
For example, if a kitchen employee reaches into a sink and slices their hand on a broken glass, they might require medical attention. Workers’ comp could cover the costs of their emergency room visit, stitches and pain management prescriptions.
Many work-related incidents can leave employees unable to work for several weeks or months. Workers’ comp can provide some relief for employees in the form of partial wage replacement.
If an employee breaks their foot in a work-related accident, they could end up stuck at home for multiple months. While they’re out of work, workers’ comp would cover some of their lost wages.
Some work-related injuries require long-term care such as physical therapy or pain management. Often, these injuries are more the result of repetitive workplace stress rather than a single traumatic incident. Chronic back issues for construction workers and carpal tunnel syndrome for office employees are two common examples of the types of workers who must receive ongoing care due to repetitive stress. If their claim is approved, workers’ comp can cover the costs associated with their ongoing care.
If the unthinkable happens and an employee passes away because of a workplace incident, workers’ comp can cover funeral costs and other death benefits for the deceased worker’s family or beneficiaries.