Insurance Disability Insurance

Is Workers Compensation Working in Kansas?

Most people, no matter what state they live in or where they work, think that they are protected by workers compensation.
The general idea is that if you get hurt on the job you are protected and will be fairly compensated according to your injury, medical bills, and loss of income.
While this is a great idea to strive for, the laws are different in each state and each person striving to receive workers compensation has their own red tape to cut through - especially in Kansas.
Kansas is a little different for a lot of reasons.
For reasons unknown, Kansas has a higher injury rate among workers than the national average, and their fatal working injuries is about 50 percent to double the rate of the rest of the country.
In 2007 alone, Kansas had 100 working fatalities and over 48,000 occupational injuries.
While this is definitely large enough numbers for Kansas to sit up and take notice, you might think they would have better workers compensation laws in place for workers than other states, but many are saying their laws are worse.
In 1987 Kansas established a cap on benefits for workers of $125,000.
This means that for the last 2 decades workers, whether they were severely injured or permanently disabled, have only been able to collect $125,000 in benefits.
After that, they are on their own.
In addition, employers are immune from lawsuits from the workers even if they are at fault, and while the cost of living has nearly doubled since 1987, the benefits have not been increased by even $1.
To make matters even worse, in 2007 the Kansas Supreme Court decided that workers with severe injuries were not entitled to a work disability benefit, such as taking a lighter job within the company.
Injured workers and their workers compensation advocates are upset, and are working to get the 1987 cap on benefits changed.
Whether they will get the cap increased, or remove the cap altogether, is still unknown.
Meanwhile, injured workers and those who are permanently disabled due to an injury on the job are struggling to survive on a low amount of money, or if their cap has been reached, no money at all.

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