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Kroger Workers’ Comp: Who Can Qualify & How to File

Written by
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Victoria Muñoz
Lead Attorney
May 30, 2024  ·  4 min read
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Atticus offers free, high-quality workers' compensation advice to those injured at work. Our team of Stanford and Harvard trained lawyers has a combined 15+ years of legal experience, and help thousands of Americans get the benefits they deserve each year.

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To feed so many Americans, Kroger employs more than 430,000 people across the country. These Kroger associates have access to certain perks but things can go sideways in the blink of an eye if you get hurt at work. At that point, one employee benefit program will be more than any other: Kroger’s workers’ compensation insurance.

Does Kroger have a workers’ comp policy?

Yes, Kroger offers workers’ compensation to its employees. That includes a number of other companies in the Kroger family of brands, including Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Food4Less, Pick’n Save, and Smith’s.

In almost all states, large employers like Kroger are legally required to have coverage. In Texas, Kroger still extends this protection, although it’s not governed by a state workers’ comp insurance program. Smith’s Food & Drug, however, is certified to self-insure in Texas. That means the Texas Department of Insurance has cleared Kroger to pay its own workers’ compensation losses rather than buy a policy from an insurance company.

Currently, Kroger operates and offers workers’ comp benefits in the following 35 states:

  • Alabama

  • Alaska

  • Arizona

  • Arkansas

  • California

  • Colorado

  • Delaware

  • Florida

  • Georgia

  • Idaho

  • Illinois

  • Indiana

  • Kansas

  • Kentucky

  • Louisiana

  • Maryland

  • Michigan

  • Mississippi

  • Missouri

  • Montana

  • Nebraska

  • Nevada

  • New Mexico

  • North Carolina

  • Ohio

  • Oregon

  • South Carolina

  • Tennessee

  • Texas

  • Utah

  • Virginia

  • Washington

  • West Virginia

  • Wisconsin

  • Wyoming

Kroger also employs associates for its stores in Washington, D.C.

What benefits does workers’ comp offer

Kroger’s workers’ compensation pays for medical care you need related to a work injury and sends you checks to cover a portion of your lost income if you can’t work or have to take on reduced work.

Workers’ comp laws and benefits also vary by state. For example, if you get injured working at a Kroger store in Atlanta, you’ll want to know the ins and outs of Georgia workers’ comp because that dictates how Kroger’s process works.

Who’s covered by Kroger’s workers’ compensation

If you’re a Kroger employee, you’re entitled to workers’ comp if you get hurt on the job. That includes full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary employees. One good sign that you’re an employee is getting a Form W-2 during tax season.

If you're a contractor, freelancer, or anyone else who gets a Form 1099 at tax time, you’re not an employee and don’t qualify for workers’ comp through Kroger.

Still unsure if you could get benefits? Dive deeper into who qualifies for workers’ comp.

Injuries that qualify for workers’ comp at Kroger

Most injuries qualify as long as they happened while you were performing your job duties. Workers’ comp provides no-fault coverage, so you get benefits even if your injury resulted from an accident that was your fault. So if you slipped and fell — one of the most common workers’ comp injuries — because you weren’t looking where you were going, you can still get benefits.

Conditions that develop over time — like back pain from years of bending over to stock shelves or plantar fasciitis from years of standing all day — can also qualify. These conditions are harder to get benefits for but as long as you can show that your job was the primary cause of your condition, you can get workers’ comp.

Learn more about injuries that qualify for workers’ comp.

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

If you get hurt while working for Kroger, follow these four steps:

  1. Get any urgent medical attention you need.

  2. Your next step is to report the injury as soon as possible. In many states, you can simply tell your manager or supervisor about your injury but we recommend reporting in writing. They’ll generally get you the forms you need to fill out or tell you how to report the incident to the appropriate Kroger HR representative. Again, make sure you act fast. Most states require you to report your injury within a matter of days (see the local deadlines here).

  3. File your workers’ comp claim. A Kroger human resources rep should be able to help you get the process started. Kroger works with a separate company, Sedgwick, to manage claims. You’ll likely handle the rest of your claim with a case manager from Sedgwick. In most cases, you shouldn’t need to file a claim yourself. You’ll get a form to fill out and once you return it, Kroger or Sedgwick will file your claim. At some point, you may also need to talk with a claims adjuster from ACE American Insurance Company, Kroger’s workers’ comp insurance company.

  4. See a doctor. Similar to your health insurance, Kroger will have a list of approved workers’ comp doctors and medical providers. You may be able to choose from a list or Kroger may be able to choose — laws vary by state. That doctor’s evaluation of your injury and recovery plan helps determine the workers’ comp benefits you can get.

While some states give you a year or longer to file, the sooner you get that last step done, the sooner you can get your medical care covered — and tap into a supplemental income stream, should you need it.

How much does workers’ comp pay?

Exact payment rates vary by state but most workers receive payments worth two-thirds of their weekly wage. Insurance will send those checks every week or two and you’ll probably get them through the mail because most insurers don’t use direct deposit.

Workers’ comp also pays for all medical expenses related to your injury, including everything from copays and prescription medicine to physical therapy and surgery.

Kroger workers’ comp settlements

Many workers’ comp cases that require long-term treatment will end with a settlement, which is usually one lump-sum payment you negotiate with insurance. It’s meant to cover your lost wages, necessary medical care, and any other expenses that result from your injury.

Settlements are especially common if you recover as much as possible — what some states call maximum medical improvement (MMI) — but haven't returned to your pre-injury condition. We recommend talking to a lawyer any time you get a settlement offer. The insurance company will have lawyers to help it pay you as little as possible, and having your own lawyer levels the playing field.

Related article: Average Settlements by Injured Body Part

Do I need a workers’ comp lawyer?

If you won’t have to miss work and your injury heals quickly, you most likely don’t need a lawyer. That said, workers’ comp isn’t a simple process. The rules are very technical and you’ll have to deal with Kroger, Sedgwick, an insurance company, and potentially multiple doctors. A lawyer can handle those calls for you, fill out paperwork, and negotiate a fair settlement for you.

Working with a lawyer is also more affordable than most people realize. For example, all Atticus workers’ comp lawyers offer a free consultation and don’t require any upfront payment. You only pay the lawyer’s fee after they get you a settlement or win you benefits. If they don’t help you get benefits, you don’t have to pay anything.

To see if working with a lawyer makes sense for your situation, take our quick workers’ comp quiz or call us at the phone number below.

Get workers' comp help today.

Frequently asked questions about Kroger workers’ comp

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

State laws set the timeline here, but you generally need to act fast. In many states, you need to report your injury to your Kroger supervisor or HR rep as soon as possible.

How much does Kroger pay for workers’ comp?

Kroger doesn’t get to decide how much it pays you. Instead, the amount you get is based on your state’s laws. In most states, workers’ comp pays out for any medical care you need related to the injury, plus two-thirds of your weekly wage before you got hurt. Find the payment percentages in your state.

Will Kroger let me choose my workers’ comp doctor?

That depends both on your local Kroger and the state in which you live. Certain states have laws that govern which doctor you can see for treatment regarding a workers’ comp claim. Also, your Kroger brand might have specific rules, like a list of doctors they’ve approved.

Do I need a Kroger workers’ comp lawyer?

If your claim gets denied, feels overly complicated, or you don’t think you’re getting the benefits you deserve, those are clear situations when a lawyer can help. But even if your claim moves forward smoothly, talking to a lawyer is free and could help you ensure you’re getting your full benefits.

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

That depends on what your doctor says. In some cases, the doctor will allow for work but with modified responsibilities. They may limit the amount of weight you can carry, for example. It’s important that you follow your doctor’s orders or you may risk losing your workers’ comp benefits. Learn more about working while on workers’ comp.

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Related resources:

5 Common Questions About Workers’ Comp Lawyers

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By Victoria Muñoz

How Much a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Costs in Every State

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By Victoria Muñoz

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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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