Workers Compensation Resources

What is Workers’ Compensation?

The first Workers’ compensation laws in the United States were enacted during the height of the Technological Revolution in 1911, starting in Wisconsin, as a result of skyrocketing employee work-related deaths and injuries. The laws were written in order to provide employees with compensation to cover medical expenses and permanent physical impairments as well as compensate for loss of wages directly related to the accident and to limit the financial exposure of the employer. In order to guarantee this “no fault” compensation, employees gave up their right to sue their employer for damages as a result of a work injury. Benefits for dependents of those workers who are killed in work-related accidents or illnesses are also covered by the law. Carrying workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for almost all employers, for almost all states, with the notable exception of Texas.

Workers’ Comp Resources by State:
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Employers typically buy workmans’ comp insurance privately or, in some cases like in Ohio, directly from a state fund. The financial risk for employees’ workers’ compensation benefits is sometimes assumed by directly large employers and local and state governments.

Nearly all states require that businesses purchase worker’s comp insurance. However, many employers buy workers’ comp insurance even if they aren’t legally required to do so. State laws normally allow certain exempt employers to “opt in” to the workers’ comp system. In these situations, employees may receive benefits for work-related injuries, but they still can’t file a lawsuit against the employer.

Federal employees have a different system for workers’ comp and one must look to that system rather than to the state’s system for benefits. Injured railroad workers and injured maritime workers fall under separate Federal law for work comp benefits.

Federal Work Comp Resources

Federal workers’ compensation is for federal employees and is a program overseen by the Department of Labor. It provides lost wages and medical benefits to employees who have a work-related injury or illness.  The Office of Workers’ Comensation Programs (OWCP) administers four major programs for disability compensation which provides to federal workers or their dependents who are injured at work. 

This typically includes:

  • Wage replacement benefits
  • Medical treatment
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Other benefits

If you are a Federal employee, use these links for more information:

We Help Injured Workers

Get the help you need after a work injury. Navigating the workers’ compensation bureaucracy can feel overwhelming especially when you are in pain, missing work and not getting paid. We at Howdy Workers offer a free case evaluation and will walk you through the process of finding a medical practice, law firm and pharmacy who specialize in serving workers’ comp clients. Get started today!