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Understanding the Basics of Missouri Work Comp Laws


Missouri work comp law generally follows the federal workers’ compensation law and provides unique benefits for employees who experience job-related injury.

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What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation refers to the benefits workers get when they get an injury or get an occupational disease at their job. Sometimes these injuries can lead to temporary or permanent disability such that the worker cannot function in the job. This in turn usually leads to loss of wages.

Workers’ compensation is a federally mandated program. However, each state handles workers’ compensation differently.

What Are the Missouri Workers Comp Laws?


Accidents can happen anywhere, and the workplace is not an exemption. So what do you do if you suffer from a work-related injury or illness in Missouri?

The state of Missouri has workers’ compensation laws detailing what to do if you are in this situation.

As a worker, knowing your rights as they relate to workers’ comp laws is important. If you are injured on the job, a workers’ compensation attorney can help you understand these laws and potentially help you secure compensation.


Examples of Missouri Workers’ Comp Laws

Some of these laws include:

  • Missouri workers’ compensation insurance is accorded to all employees regardless of whether they are part-time or full-time.
  • Worker’s compensation insurance is required if an organization has five or more employees. However, for employers in the construction industry, having one or more employees mandates them to have an insurance policy from an insurance company in Missouri.
  • Injured workers should report the injury to the relevant authority figure, e.g. their supervisor, manager, or employer, in less than 30 days from the accident. After this, they generally have up to two years to file a formal claim.

Federal Workers’ Compensation Law


The Missouri workers’ compensation law is meant to take care of individuals who are injured or disabled through no fault of their own while on duty. Workers compensation benefits go towards paying for medical costs and lost wages.

Under federal law, all employees are entitled to this benefit. However, every state has its own workers’ compensation program. And it can get confusing differentiating federal and state labor laws.

If in Missouri, you can seek further clarification on these laws from workers’ comp lawyers in Joplin, Missouri. They can potentially provide legal counsel and help you secure medical benefits.

Missouri employers need to comply with these laws and carry workers compensation insurance.

When employers do this, they protect themselves from paying large settlements to injured employees who might sue. Workers comp insurance also helps in getting medical treatment for the employee injured at the workplace.


What Steps Should you Take After a Workplace Injury?

In order to seek workers compensation as an injured employee, consider following these guidelines:

  • Report the workplace accident immediately.
  • Seek medical help as soon as possible and tell a doctor the nature of the injury.
  • Do not sign any documents from your employers or the insurance companies without talking to a workers’ compensation lawyer about it first.

What is the Workers Compensation Act?


Federal law includes laws governing employers and employees, and that is where workers’ compensation laws are found. The US Department of Labor administers them. 

In Missouri, the Workers’ Compensation Act is contained in Chapter 287 of the Labor and Industrial Relations statutes.

This act, recently revised in 2013, contains all the provisions of how an injured worker may be reimbursed in case they get injured at work.

Missouri Division of Workers Compensation


The Missouri Division of Workers Compensation is the entity under the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations that provides services to workers injured during their employment.

The division has judges that hear all matters relating to labor issues and approves settlements where they see fit.

This division is made up of units that handle injury cases at every step of the process, for example:

  • The Adjudication Unit attempts to resolve a work injury case.

  • The Fraud and Non-compliance Unit investigates the stakeholders’ failure to comply with workers’ compensation law requiring a benefit to be put in place.

  • The Care Administration Review and Evaluation Unit receive all the official records and filings of a work-related injury case, such as claims for compensation and medical records.

  • The Insurance Unit grants insurance to people who qualify for Missouri workers’ compensation claims for work-related injuries. It also acts as the insurance policy regulator and auditor.

  • The Legal Unit provided counsel to the other units and collaborates with the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission.

  • The Second Injury Fund Unit is responsible for billing the work injury benefit claims from the company that carries workers’ compensation insurance in Missouri.

Due to the nature of Missouri workers’ compensation law, you may want to consider consulting an attorney to help you navigate their complicated and technical nature.

If in Missouri, whether in St. Louis, Joplin, or Springfield, get in touch with a skilled compensation lawyer who may be able to help you make a workers’ compensation claim and get the Missouri workers’ compensation benefits.


How Does Workers’ Comp Work in Missouri?

If all relevant parties (employer and employee) follow the Missouri workers’ compensation law, the injured worker gets their benefits. The employers do not suffer from lawsuits or pay large settlement sums.

How Long Can You Be on Workers’ Comp in Missouri?

The medical benefit is viable if a claim goes through until the injured employee has reached maximum medical improvement. It means that the benefit can’t continue beyond the point where your condition will not likely improve.

What Does Workers’ Comp Cover in Missouri?

When someone suffers injuries due to activities at work or contracts an illness as a result of their work, Missouri workers’ compensation may cover the following:

  • Disability benefits due to a job causing temporary or permanent disability

  • Missed wages as a result of an employee not working due to an injury relating to work.

  • Medical care for a workplace injury, including physical therapy.

  • The funeral costs for an employee who loses their life in the course of doing their duties in the workplace

Who Is Exempt From Workers Compensation Insurance in Missouri?

Some employees are not covered under Missouri’s workers’ compensation law. These employees are usually federally covered. They include; postal workers, railroad workers, and maritime workers.

Other exempted individuals include;

  • Real estate agents

  • Individuals performing occasional labor in a household (for example, domestic servants and farm labor)

  • Workers doing voluntary work are also not covered under Missouri comp laws. This is per the Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19).

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