What If an Injury at Work Results in the Death of an Employee?

Interviewer: What if an injury led to the death of an employee? What happens in that case?

The Family of the Employee Would Be Entitled to Death Benefits

Kevin Roach: If you're killed while at work, there are benefits available to your spouse or children. Generally there's a $25,000 death benefit awarded to the estate of the individual that is killed. The surviving family members can also be entitled to other benefits under Section 287.243 of the RSMO. Basically, your family is entitled to death benefits if you are killed while at work.

Employers with 5 or More Employees Must Carry Workers Compensation in Missouri

Interviewer: Is it mandatory in Missouri for employers to have workers comp insurance?

Kevin Roach: Yes, in Missouri, if you have five or more employees, you are required to carry workers comp coverage for your business. If you have less than five employees, then you are not required to have workers comp coverage.

What Should the Employer Do after Receiving Notice of an Employee Injury?

Interviewer: What is the employer's responsibility when it comes to reporting injury?

The Employer Must File Notice and Send the Employee for Medical Treatment

Kevin Roach: Once you're injured, and it's reported to the employer, they are supposed to file a Report of Injury with the Missouri Division of Workman’s Compensation. The employer is also supposed to set you up with medical treatment.

The Employer May Choose the Doctor

The employer has the right to choose a doctor and/or medical facility; but they still required to provide doctors and/or facilities to properly treat and care for the employee’s injuries sustained. That includes payment of all the costs for the authorized medical treatment including prescriptions and any medical devices.

The Employee Should Have No Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Seeking Medical Treatment

There are no deductibles or any costs that are paid by the employee. Again, the employer has the right to choose the health care provider or treating physician.

Will an Employee Still Receive Salary While They Are Injured?

Interviewer: Is there a percentage the employer has to pay for the entire workday? As far as the workday goes, how much does the employee get paid? Do they get a percentage of the workday? Or all the workday while on workers comp?

Kevin Roach: If hurt your back when lifting something at work and you are out and have to miss work, the employer is not required to pay you for the first three days you're out.

If You Miss More Than 3 Days of Work, Your Employer Must Pay Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Wages, Which Are Two-Thirds of Your Gross Pay

In Missouri the wages are called Temporary Total Disability or TTD benefits. If you're out longer than three days, your employer’s workers compensation insurance will have to pay you that owed TTD. The TTD is 2/3 or 66% of your gross wages.

If You Are Temporarily Re-Assigned to a Lower-Paying position, TTD Will Cover the Reduction

In certain situations you may only miss a half day. Then they only have to pay you Temporary Total Disability for that half day that you missed. Sometimes people are released from the doctor to go back for light duty. Maybe there's a light-duty job available but the light-duty available pays $5 an hour less than what they were being paid prior to getting hurt. Workers Comp in Missouri has to pay you that TTD for that reduction in wages while you're on light duty.

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