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Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina (NC)

workers’ compensation NC Workers’ compensation insurance helps provide benefits to employees with a work-related injury or illness. It can help cover an employee’s medical costs and replace some of their lost income if they miss work. In NC, if you employ three or more employees, you’ll need workers’ comp coverage.
To learn more about workers’ comp, get a quote today.

Who Is Required To Carry North Carolina Workers’ Compensation?

Be sure you’re following the law with your NC business. The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act (NCWCA) states that all businesses with three or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance.This includes businesses operating as:
  • Corporations
  • Sole proprietorships
  • Limited liability companies (LLCs)
  • Partnerships
Keep in mind that the North Carolina Industrial Commission may use different factors to determine if independent contractors are employees. This includes how much of a say the employer has in what the contractor does.
You could also be liable for employee injuries if you subcontract work. For example, say a subcontractor doesn't have workers' compensation coverage. If one of their employees gets hurt or sick, you could be responsible for their medical costs. This term also includes: 2
  • Unlawfully employed persons
  • Temporary employees
  • Part-time employees
  • Seasonal workers

Who Can Be Excluded From Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina?

workers' compensation insurance NC There are exceptions to what counts as an employee in North Carolina. Sole proprietors, LLC members and business partners are not considered employees. However, they can choose to be covered if they meet certain requirements.
Certain types of employees are also exempt from the NC Workers’ Compensation Act, including:3
  • “Casual” employees or employees that do not participate in regular business or trade. A casual employee does not work regular hours and can leave the job without notice.
  • Domestic, “household” employees.
  • Farm workers where there are fewer than 10 employees.
  • Federal government employees.
  • Railroad employees.
  • Corporate officers who choose to be excluded from workers’ comp coverage. If they choose this, they’re still counted as an employee to determine if a business has three or more workers.

Workers’ Compensation North Carolina Coverage

NC workers’ comp can help cover:
  • Ongoing care: A workplace injury or illness can require an employee to receive ongoing care. For example, if you have injured workers that need physical therapy from a work-related injury or a worker gets sick because of their job and needs rehabilitation services. In cases like these, workers’ comp would help cover your employees’ medical treatment.
  • Missed wages: A work-related injury or illness can cause an employee to miss work. Workers’ comp can help provide some of your injured employees’ missed wages during this recovery time.
  • Illness: Working conditions may expose employees in the Tar Heel State to harmful chemicals or allergens that can lead to illness. If an employee becomes sick because of their job, medical benefits can be covered by workers’ comp.
  • Funeral costs: If an employee passes away due to a work-related incident, this coverage can help pay funeral costs.
  • Repetitive injury: Not all work-related injuries happen in one isolated incident. Repetitive injuries can develop from repeated strain during the workday.
  • Accident or injury: Workers’ compensation coverage can help pay medical costs if an employee gets injured while at work.
  • Disability benefits: Some work injuries are so severe that employees may never be able to return to work. In some cases, they may be able to go back to work, but in a different capacity. Workers’ comp can help pay for medical bills and replace some lost wages for disabled employees.

Where Can Employers Get Workman’s Comp in NC?

workman’s comp NC Most businesses in North Carolina can choose their own workers' comp insurance provider. If you’re having a hard time getting insurance, you’ll need to use the assigned risk pool. The N.C. Rate Bureau administers this assigned risk pool.4

North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Rates

In North Carolina, the cost of workers’ comp depends on numerous factors, including your:
  • Number of employees and size of payroll
  • Type of work
  • Claims history
  • Business’ age or years in operation
There are different rates for each type of employee, also called a classification code or workers' comp class codes. These are applied on a percentage basis per $100 of payroll.5

The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act and Workers’ Compensation Claims

North Carolina workers’ compensation laws In 1929, The North Carolina Industrial Commission was created. This commission administered the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act (NCWCA).6 The NCWCA requires employers with over three employees to buy workers’ compensation insurance.

How Does Workers’ Comp Work in NC?

When an employee is sick or hurt because of their job, they must:
  • Report the accident to their employer within 30 days.7
  • File a workers’ compensation claim with the state Industrial Commission.
To file a claim, an employee completes a Form 18. Your employee must file this form within two years of the date of injury or disease.8 When filing a claim, the employee must be able to show:
  • That their job caused their injury or sickness
  • An employment relationship with the employer
  • The injury or illness caused losses covered under the NCWCA
The North Carolina Industrial Commission processes medicals bills from claims.
The Commission also oversees the NC Workers’ Compensation Medical Fee Schedule. The NC workers’ compensation fee schedule details how much providers can charge for services.
Keep in mind, if your employee’s doctor recommends treatment that your insurance provider doesn’t want to pay for, your employee may need to seek out workers’ compensation lawyers.

North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claims

To file a claim for workers’ compensation in your state, visit our claims page. You can also learn more about workers’ comp by getting a quote today. We’re an insurance company that small businesses have counted on for coverage for over 200 years.
1,3 North Carolina Industrial Commission, “Employers’ Requirement to Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance”
2 North Carolina Industrial Commission, “Workers’ Compensation Act: Definitions”
4,5 North Carolina Industrial Commission, “Understanding Your Workers’ Compensation Obligations”
6 North Carolina Industrial Commission, “About the N.C. Industrial Commission”
7,8 North Carolina Industrial Commission, “Notice of Accident to Employer and Claim of Employee, Representative, or Dependent”
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