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Costco Workers’ Comp: Who Qualifies & How to File in 2024

Written by
A drawing of the lead workers' compensation lawyer for Atticus.
Victoria Muñoz
Lead Attorney
May 22, 2024  ·  4 min read
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Costco has been cited as having some of the happiest employees in the nation and has ranked as one of the best employers in the world. But even the most impressive companies can’t control life’s what-ifs. If you get hurt on the job — whether you strain your back stocking merchandise or you burn your hand loading rotisserie chickens — you can qualify for Costco’s workers’ compensation policy, which pays for lost wages and medical care.

Does Costco have a workers’ comp policy?

Yes, Costco does offer workers’ compensation to employees.

All states require employers to have workers’ compensation except South Dakota and Texas, and Costco is no exception. As long as you’re an employee, you can qualify for paid medical care and weekly checks to cover your lost wages through workers’ comp.

Costco workers in Texas

Unlike other states, Texas doesn’t require employers to opt into its state-run workers’ compensation program. Employers who go without this type of coverage are considered non-subscribers, and Costco falls into that category.

That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck, though. Costco still has its own Texas Injury Benefit Plan. It just doesn’t fall under Texas’s state-run umbrella.

Who’s covered by Costco workers’ compensation?

To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you need to be a Costco employee. If you get a W-2 tax form from Costco, you fit into this category. That applies for all of the following types of workers:

  • Full-time

  • Part-time

  • Seasonal

  • Temporary

You can’t claim workers’ comp if you’re a contractor. If you get a 1099 tax form from Costco, you’re not legally considered an employee of the company. As a result, you don’t qualify for workers’ compensation coverage.

Get workers' comp help today.

What to do if you get injured on the job at Costco

If you get hurt while working at Costco, get any urgent medical attention you require. Make sure to tell the doctors that it’s a workplace injury. Then, to qualify for workers’ comp benefits, you need to do two things:

  1. Report the incident to your employer. Some states require written notice or the submittal of a specific form.

  2. Do it by your state’s reporting deadline. In some states, you only have a few days.

In addition to your state’s requirements, Costco has its own workplace injury reporting process. You should ask your Payroll Clerk for the “Employee Injury/Incident Report” form. Submitting that form should satisfy both your state and Costco’s reporting requirements. Make sure you get this piece of paperwork in by the deadline set by your state.

Costco says that you should also tell your manager or supervisor. That person can help you get connected to medical providers that are within Costco’s approved network based on your location.

How to find your claims administrator

When it comes to workers’ comp, Costco uses a third-party administrator, or a separate company, to manage claims. The exception is in Washington, where Costo has established an internal team.

Once you get medical care, your claim gets reported to the claims administrator who will oversee the process of getting you benefits. The claims administrator you work with depends on where your Costco is located:

  • Texas: Providence Insurance, (800) 495-5950, ext. 139

  • Washington and Alaska: Eberle Vivian, (800) 927-9448

  • All other states: Helmsman Management Services, (800) 332-5444

Contact numbers may change over time, but you can find the latest information through Costco's online HR portal.

Reporting unsafe practices at Costco

Note that if you got hurt because your manager or someone else higher up required you to do something that you think was unsafe, you can report it. Costco maintains a confidential whistleblower line where employees can submit complaints.

Just remember that workers’ comp will pay you benefits after an on-the-job injury, but doesn’t require your employer to fix unsafe conditions. You also can’t sue your employer through workers’ comp. You would likely need an employment lawyer for that.

What injuries qualify for Costco workers’ comp?

Workers’ compensation coverage focuses less on the injury itself and more on how you got hurt. Any type of injury that happens while you’re fulfilling your job duties can qualify (provided you weren’t breaking any rules, like Costco’s Drug and Alcohol-Free Workplace policy).

It’s also important to know that workers’ comp is a no-fault coverage. That means that even if you made a mistake, you still qualify for benefits. If you fell off a ladder because you didn’t properly lock its internal spreader, for example, you can still file a workers’ comp claim.

Some of the more common injuries that lead to workers’ compensation claims include:

Learn more about qualifying workers' comp injuries.

Will I receive a Costco workers’ comp settlement?

It's different for every case. Not all workers' comp cases end with a settlement.

In most cases, Costco’s workers’ comp policy fully covers any medical expenses, then pays out every two weeks to replace a portion of the income you’re not earning if you can’t work because of your injury. The amount of wage replacement you’ll get depends on your state.

These benefits usually continue until you fully heal or reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), which means you’re in a stable condition that isn’t likely to improve. (That said, different states have different limits around how long you can be on workers’ comp.)

But if it looks like it will take you a long time to recover or you have a particularly complex case, Costco might offer you a lump-sum settlement instead of these ongoing payments.

Even if they do, you don’t have to accept it. If you get a settlement offer, talking with a lawyer can help you figure out if it’s sufficient for your needs.

You deserve a fair workers' comp settlement. Atticus can help.

Do I need a Costco workers’ comp lawyer?

Not everyone does. If you don’t have any issues submitting your claim, you’re getting the benefits you expect, and you’re healing quickly, a lawyer may not be necessary.

But if your case feels confusing or you’re frustrated by the process, a lawyer can help with everything from filling out paperwork to requesting a new workers’ comp doctor. It’s their job to advocate for you and ensure you get the benefits to which you’re entitled.

Plus, you don’t pay this lawyer out of pocket. Your initial consultation is free and you don’t pay anything until after you get a settlement. Then the lawyer fee is a percentage of your final settlement. Since the average settlement with an Atticus lawyer is double what people get when handling their case on their own, you’re still making money after paying the lawyer fee.

If you’re curious to see what working with a workers’ comp lawyer would entail, we can help. Take our quick questionnaire to get started without any commitment.

6 situations when you should hire a lawyer

  1. Filing your claim feels confusing.

  2. Costco denies your claim.

  3. Your claims administrator is unresponsive.

  4. You aren’t getting sufficient benefits.

  5. You disagree with your doctor about your diagnosis, treatment plan, or how much work you can do.

  6. You have questions about how the process should work.

Still not sure if a lawyer is worth it? Here other situations when a lawyer can help your case.

Frequently asked questions about Costco workers’ comp

How long do I have to report an injury to Costco?

Many states require you to report the incident as soon as possible, which means reporting right after you get any urgent medical care that you need. That depends on the reporting requirements set by your state.

How much does Costco pay for workers’ comp?

That depends on two things: the workers’ compensation laws in your state, and whether you’re fully unable to work or you can take on modified work. Here's how much workers' comp pays in each state.

Will Costco let me choose my workers’ comp doctor?

Costco will offer a list of medical providers in your area. Whether you need to pick one of those doctors or can choose your own depends on your state’s laws.

Do I need a lawyer to file for Costco workers’ comp?

You can file on your own, but workers’ comp is a technical process that can get complicated quickly. If you have questions, you get denied initially, or you want to make sure you’re getting your full benefits, consider a free consultation with a lawyer.

Can I still work if I get Costco workers’ comp?

Yes, but only if you follow your treating physician’s instructions. If they say you can go back to work but you can’t lift anything over 30 pounds, for example, you need to comply with that or you risk losing your benefits. Learn more about working while on workers’ comp.

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Related resources:

When Will Workers' Comp Offer a Settlement?

Average Workers’ Comp Settlements by Body Part

See what you qualify for

How long ago did you get an injury or illness at work?

A drawing of the lead workers' compensation lawyer for Atticus.

Victoria Muñoz

Lead Attorney

Victoria Muñoz is an attorney on Atticus’s Workers' Compensation team. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of Stanford Law School, and has counseled hundreds of people seeking workers' compensation. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her pup.
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