100_1286Workers’ compensation is a system, under state law, which requires most employers to purchase insurance to cover medical treatment and lost wages for workers who are either injured on the job or who suffer an occupational disease.

Under workers’ compensation,  you should quickly receive medical treatment, at no cost to you, so that you can recuperate from your injuries as fully and soon as possible.  While you are recuperating, if you lose more than a week of work, you should receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage to help you meet your basic needs.

If you are injured on the job or develop an illness related to your job, you should:

  • Immediately report the injury or illness to your supervisor;
  • Ask for medical attention if needed;
  • Follow the doctor’s instructions; and
  • Report the injury to the NC Industrial Commission.


You can call the Farmworker Unit if you have any questions, if you have not received medical treatment, if you were not able to understand the doctor’s instructions, if you are not able to attend a follow-up appointment or fill the prescriptions,  if you need help in reporting the injury to the Industrial Commission, or if you are experiencing any other problems.

Workers employed in forestry or planting trees are generally covered by workers’ compensation.  However, North Carolina law exempts many farms from having to purchase workers’ compensation insurance.


Workers on three types of farms typically have workers’ compensation in North Carolina:

  • Workers on all farms on which H-2A workers are employed (federal law requires these employers to purchase workers compensation coverage);
  • Workers on very large farms, with more than 10 full-time year-round employees; and
  • Workers on farms that voluntarily purchase workers’ compensation policies.


In North Carolina, all claims must be started within two years of the date of the injury or the last medical treatment authorized by the employer or insurance company.

Visit our Publications page to download our brochure on Workers Compensation.