Oregon Workers’ Compensation FAQs

When individuals go to work in the state of Oregon, they do so with the understanding that they will be cared for in the event they sustain an on-the-job injury. The Oregon workers’ compensation system is robust and offers strong protections for those who sustain injuries or illnesses at work. Here, we want to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the Oregon workers’ compensation system. This is by no means an exhaustive list of possible questions, and we strongly encourage you to reach out to a workers’ comp attorney in Oregon for help as soon as possible if you have any additional questions or if you need help with your ongoing case.

1. Who Pays for Workers’ Comp Insurance?

Employers in the state of Oregon are responsible for paying workers’ compensation premiums to insurance companies. These premiums will finance most of the benefits that workers receive if they sustain an on-the-job injury or occupational illness.

2. How is a Work Injury Reported in Oregon?

Any person who sustains an on-the-job injury or work-related illness is allowed to file a claim to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Oregon. Injured workers are required to fill out Form 801, which is the “Report of Job Injury or Illness” from their employer or the “Worker’s and Physician’s Report for Workers’ Compensation” from their doctor. Either one of these forms will begin the claims process and will be sent by the doctor or the employer to the insurance company. Employers are responsible for notifying the workers’ compensation insurance carrier within five days of the knowledge of a work injury claim.

3. Can an Employer Send an Injured Worker to a Specific Doctor?

Employers cannot dictate which doctor the injured employee goes to, even if the worker is enrolled in a managed care organization (MCO). The injured worker is allowed to go to a medical facility or medical professional of their choice.

4. What Medical Expenses Will Oregon Workers’ Compensation Cover?

When a workers’ compensation claim is accepted, insurers or self-insured employers will be responsible for paying any medical bills that arise due to the conditions caused by the injury. This can include doctor visits as well as the cost of prescription medication, meals, lodging, transportation, and other expenses, up to a maximum established amount.

5. What Benefits Will an Injured Employee Receive?

In order for an employee to receive payments for income lost due to time away from work, the medical provider must notify the workers’ compensation insurance carrier (or self-insured employers) of the injured worker’s inability to perform job-related functions. After an original injury occurs, workers will not be paid for the first three days that they are unable to work unless they are considered totally disabled for at least 14 consecutive calendar days or are admitted to the hospital and inpatient care within 14 days of the initial onset of total disability.

Injured workers will receive a compensation check every two weeks while they are recovering, so long as their health care providers can verify their inability to work. These compensation checks will continue until the injured worker returns to the workplace or until they are considered medically stationary and qualify for disability benefits. These workers’ compensation checks will be two-thirds of a worker’s gross weekly wage.