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North Carolina Worker's Compensation Benefits

Important Notice: The following overview of North Carolina's worker's compensation (workmans comp) benefits is presented on an as-is basis. This information is believed accurate as of the date of authorship, but is not intended to provide a complete analysis of available benefits and may not reflect subsequent changes in the law. For a full review of North Carolina's worker's compensation law, or for a determination of how the law applies to a specific worker, please consult a worker's compensation attorney licensed to practice in the state of North Carolina.

Contents

Introduction

North Carolina's system of worker's compensation (workman's comp) is compulsory, meaning that employers are required to provide worker's compensation insurance for their employees. Worker's compensation insurance may be provided through a private insurance carrier, or employers may self-insure. Waivers are not permitted.

Special Employment Situations

Employers with fewer than three employees, or certain individual sawmill and logging operators with less than ten employees, are exempt from the state's worker's compensation act. Agricultural employers with more than ten full-time nonseasonal agricultural workers must provide worker's compensation coverage. Domestic servants are covered by the state worker's compensation act if they work for an employer who employs more than ten full-time nonseasonal laborers.

Medical Benefits & Choice of Physician

Full medical benefits are provided to employees entitled to worker's compensation benefits, with no time or monetary limits. The employer selects the physician who will provide care.

Disability Benefits Provided

Payments are made for temporary total disability (TTD) in an amount determined by a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to weekly maximum and minimum payment amounts. Payments continue for the duration of the disability.

Payments are made for permanent total disability (PTD) based upon a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to weekly minimum and maximum payment amounts. Payments for PTD continue for the duration of the disability.

Payments for permanent partial disability (PPD) are made based upon a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to weekly minimum and maximum payment amounts. Payments for PPD may continue for up to 300 weeks.

Scheduled awards are paid in addition to total temporary disability benefits starting upon termination of the termination of the TTD benefits. Scheduled awards are not reduced because of receipt of TTD benefits.

Benefits may be available for serious disfigurement of the face, head and body, when no compensation is otherwise payable under the schedule of injuries.

Physical rehabilitation benefits are available. There is no provision for vocational rehabilitation in the worker's compensation law.

With certain constraints and filing deadlines, occupational hearing losses may be compensable.

Death Benefits Provided

Death benefits are payable to an employee's surviving spouse, or spouse and children, based upon a percentage of the employee's wages, subject to a cap. A minimum benefit is provided regardless of the employee's earnings. A burial allowance is available.

Limits on Attorney Fees

Attorney fees for claimants are approved by the agency on a case-by-case basis. In certain cases, the attorney fee may be added to the award.