Wisconsin workers compensation law, rules and policy information for the State of Wisconsin



Related Pages: More About Wisconsin Workers Compensation Rules

State: Wisconsin

Updated: 01-19-2019

Authority/State Rating Bureau: The Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau

Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau
P.O. Box 3080
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-3080
Phone 262-796-4540

Compulsory: Yes

Private Insurance: Allowed

Self-Insurance: Allowed

State Fund: No State Fund

Assigned Risk:The Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau acts as administrator and trustee of the assigned risk plan. They can be contacted at:

Assigned Risk Contact Information: Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau ; Use this link to contact the Assigned Risk Plan, Pool or Residual Market Administrator for the state of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau
P.O. Box 3080
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-3080
Phone 262-796-4540

Numerical Exceptions: You must have Worker’s Compensation if any of your business:

– Usually employ three or more full-time or part-time employees. You must get insurance immediately;
– Employ one or more full-time or part-time employees to whom you have paid combined gross wages of $500 or more in any calendar quarter for work done at one or more locations in Wisconsin. You must have insurance by the 10th day of the first month of the next calendar quarter;
– If you are a farmer who employs 6 or more workers on the same day for any 20 days during the calendar year. You must get insurance by the 10th day after the 20th day of employment. A calendar year is January through December;
– Out-of-state employers must have worker’s compensation insurance if they have employees working in Wisconsin. The policy must be with an insurance company licensed to write in Wisconsin and endorsed to name Wisconsin as a covered state in Section 3a of your policy;

Individual Waivers Allowed: No

Sole Proprietor: Excluded from coverage/may elect to be included – Sole proprietors that have no employees are not required to carry workers compensation insurance in Wisconsin. Sole proprietors are not considered or counted as employees under the Wisconsin Workers Compensation Act. If included a sole proprietors work comp payroll is set at $42,640 which is used for rating purposes as of 10-1-11, $44,408 as of 10-1-2012, $45,708 as of 10-1-2013, $46,384 as of 10-1-2014. $51,688 as of 2018.

Partners: Excluded from coverage/may elect to be included – Partnerships that have partners only and no employees are not required to carry workers compensation insurance in Wisconsin. Partners are not considered or counted as employees under the Wisconsin Workers Compensation Act. If included a partners work comp payroll is set at $42,640 which is used for rating purposes as of 10-1-11, $44,408 as of 10-1-2012, $45,708 as of 10-1-2013, $46,384 as of 10-1-2014. $51,688 as of 2018.

Corporate Officers: Included in coverage/may elect to be exempt under certain circumstances – Corporate officers are considered employees of the corporation and the corporation is subject to the Wisconsin Workers Compensation Act. However, if a closely held corporation has no more than two (2) corporate officers and has no other employees, a workers compensation policy is not required if both officers elect not to be subject to the Workers Compensation Act. A closely held corporation is defined as a corporation with not more than 10 stockholders. If included, a corporate officers workers compensation payroll is banded between a min/max of $12,792/$63,960 for rating purposes as of 10-1-11, $13,312 / $66,612 as of 10-1-2012. $13,728 / $68,588 as of 10-1-2013. $13,936 / $69,576 as of 10-1-2014. $298 / $1491 per week as of 2018.

LLC Members: Excluded from coverage/may elect to be included- Limited liability companies that have members only and no employees are not required to carry workers compensation insurance in Wisconsin. Members of limited liability companies are not considered or counted as employees under the Wisconsin Workers Compensation Act. If included a members work comp payroll is set at $42,640 which is used for rating purposes as of 10-1-11, $44,408 as of 10-1-2012. $13,728 / $68,588 as of 10-1-2013. $13,936 / $69,576 as of 10-1-2014. $298 / $1491 per week as of 2018.

Wisconsin Workers Compensation Election or Rejection of Coverage Forms:

Other Wisconsin Workers Compensation Forms: Access Other Wisconsin Workers Compensation Forms

Notes About Forms: Be sure to check with your insurance company for additional forms they may use for inclusion and exclusion of Wisconsin Workers Compensation coverage.




Contractors: Independent Contractor Definition s. 102.07(8), Wis. Stats.:

Under s. 102.07(8), Wis. Stats., a person is required to meet a nine-part test before he or she is considered an independent contractor rather than an employee. A person is not an independent contractor for workers compensation purposes just because the person says they are, or because the contractor over them says so, or because they both say so, or even if other regulators (including the federal government and other state agencies) say so.

To be considered an independent contractor and not an employee, an individual must meet and maintain all nine of the following conditions:

  • Maintain a separate business
  • Obtain a Federal Employer Identification number from the Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or have filed business or self-employment income tax returns with the IRS based on the work or service in the previous year. (See note below)
  • Operate under specific contracts.
  • Be responsible for operating expenses under the contracts.
  • Be responsible for satisfactory performance of the work under the contracts.
  • Be paid per contract, per job, by commission or by competitive bid.
  • Be subject to profit or loss in performing the work under the contracts.
  • Have recurring business liabilities and obligations.
  • Be in a position to succeed or fail if business expense exceeds income.

Note: When requesting a Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN) from the IRS, the independent contractor inform the IRS of the requirement by Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation law to obtain a FEIN. A social security number cannot be substituted for a FEIN and does not meet the legal burden of s. 102.07(8).

Special Notes:Farmers need Worker’s Compensation insurance if they have 6 or more employees (at one or more locations), working on the same day for 20 days (consecutive or non consecutive) during a calendar year. After the 20th day, farmers have 10 days to obtain insurance.

There is no wage threshold for farmers. It doesn’t matter how much a farmer pays in wages. What matters is the number of employees (after excluding certain employees who are family members, relatives or “exchanged workers” as described in more detail below).

For farmers, the threshold is 6 employees, farmers should note:

  • a calendar year starts on January 1st and ends on December 31st.
  • the 20 days do not have to be consecutive.
  • on each of the 20 days, it can be the same 6 employees or 6 different people.
  • the 6 employees may be full-time or part-time.
  • the 6 employees may be at more than one location within the state.
  • certain relatives are not counted in determining whether there are 6 employees.

A worksheet is available from the Division of Workers Compensation to help determine if a farm is exempt from worker’s compensation requirements.

Experience Rating Eligibility: Check with the Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau regarding the triggers used for Experience Rating Eligibility.

Wisconsin Workers Compensation Subrogation: The State of Wisconsin provides its statutory information about workers compensation subrogation in state statute 102.29. 102.29 is called Third Party Liability and is found under Chapter 102, Workers Compensation. Wisconsin publishes Chapter 102 in a pdf format and is viewable by using the link below. Once on their pdf you will have to scroll down the page to 102.29 to view it.

Wisconsin Statute Of Subrogation

Wisconsin Workers In Other States; Other States Workers In West Virginia; Extraterritorial; Reciprocity; Non-Compliance: When a Wisconsin worker is working temporarily in another state, workers compensation coverage for that worker is governed by the extraterritorial provisions found in Wisconsin statutes. When allowed, extraterritorial provisions allow benefits for an injured worker to apply as if the worker was in their primary state. Not all states provide Extraterritorial Provisions. Reciprocity governs coverage for a worker from another state who is working temporarily in Wisconsin. Compliance of workers compensation laws varies from state to state and it is important for an employer with workers performing duties in other states to be aware of the specific state rules that govern their coverage. Please contact your state authority with your specific questions concerning this important topic!

For More Information Contact: The Department of Workforce Development Workers’ Compensation Division below.




Regulated By: Department of Workforce Development

Workers’ Compensation Division
P.O. Box 7901
Madison, WI 53707-7946
608-266-1340 Fax: 608-267-0394
Department of Workforce Development

Wisconsin Workers compensation statute can be found here:

Wisconsin Workers Compensation Statute

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Information on this page is provided only as a reference. While we strive to mantain accurate information on this site please realize workers compensation laws are complicated and subject to change at any time. No warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of this information is provided or to be implied. You must verify this data before use with the individual governing authority for this state. If you need help with a workers compensation problem or have a specific situation or question please contact our office. Otherwise please consult your states governing authority or an attorney in your state of residency for assistance.

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