COVID-19 AND WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BENEFITS
The University of Tennessee’s workers’ compensation coverage provides benefits to employees who suffer an injury or illness that is specifically and clearly caused while the employee is in the course and scope of their employment. In most instances, when an employee becomes ill, it is not considered work-related. Such illnesses include but are not limited to a cold, the flu, mononucleosis, meningitis, HIV, or COVID-19. Although unlikely, there could be circumstances when the facts support that a University of Tennessee employee has conclusively been infected by COVID-19 as a result of being in the course and scope of their employment. If an employee believes this to be the case, they should follow the standard procedures for reporting a work-related injury.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BENEFITS WHILE WORKING FROM
AN ALTERNATIVE WORK SITE
A University of Tennessee employee who is performing their work responsibilities at an alternate work location, as approved by their supervisor, may be eligible for UT’s worker’s compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation coverage is for work-related injuries that occur specifically and clearly in the course and scope of employment. If a work-related injury occurs at the alternative location, the employee must immediately report the injury to their supervisor and call the CorVel Employee Injury Call Center at (866) 245-8588. A registered nurse at the call center will help determine the immediate medical needs of the employee.
By agreeing to work at an alternative location, the employee agrees to permit the University to perform an investigation of a work-related incident at the alternative location. The University will follow the standard procedures as related to the investigation and inspection of the incident. Please note that this may mean allowing a University representative direct access to the alternative location, including an employee’s home. Employees shall have and maintain a healthy and safe work environment at the alternative work location.
The Tennessee Department of Treasury, Division of Claims Administration Workers’ Compensation Program contracts with a third-party administrator for the processing of workers’ compensation claims and provides managed-care services to all university employees who are injured while performing their daily work duties. The current third-party administrator, Corvel, administers a provider network for medical treatment to ensure the best quality care for assisting injured employees with their recovery process. Managed-care services also provide 24/7 nurse triage, pre-certification for inpatient hospital care, bill review, large case management, and other services to appropriately manage the costs of workers’ compensation claims.
The state’s goals are to assist the injured employee with their recovery process, to provide access to exceptional medical services and providers, and to ensure excellent customer service during the entire workers’ compensation process.
Workers’ Compensation Claim Procedures
The Safety Officer will notify OSHA of any reportables. If you see any reportables, please contact the safety officer on that campus, so they can report the injury to OSHA/TOSHA.
If a work injury is LIFE-THREATENING or results in SERIOUS BODILY INJURY, IMMEDIATELY CALL 911 and/or GO TO THE NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM!
If an injured worker is unable to report the injury, the injured worker’s supervisor must immediately report the injury to 1-866-245-8588, option 2.
If a work injury is LIFE-THREATENING or results in SERIOUS BODILY INJURY, please also email the System Office of Risk Management Workers’ Compensation Coordinator, Stephanie Strickland at email@example.com and contact your campus Safety Officer.
Step 1: Report the injury
- INJURED WORKERS WILL REPORT THE INJURY TO THEIR SUPERVISOR AND TO CORVEL
- 1-866-245-8588 Option 1
- This is a 24/7 Nurse Line
- The NURSE will discuss the appropriate level of treatment needed and direct the injured worker to the nearest STATE-APPROVED treatment facility
- If the injured worker agrees to self-care but later changes their mind, he/she must first call CorVel Option 2to obtain authorization to treat
- DO NOT go to the doctor prior to reporting the injury to CorVel
Beginning July 1, 2019, the TN Division of Claims and Risk Management will assess a $500.00 departmental penalty each time an injured worker seeks non-emergency medical treatment prior to reporting their injury to CorVel
STEP 2: Complete the paperwork
- Workers’ Compensation Procedures
- Workers’ Compensation Injury Report
- Lost Time / RTW Calendar
- Transitional Duty Plan*
- *Complete the TDP form ONLY when the injured worker is given light duty work restrictions
Provide all paperwork listed above to your campus Workers’ Compensation Coordinator. If you do not know who your campus Workers’ Compensation Coordinator is, please contact your campus HR Department or the System Office of Risk Management at 865-974-5409
TIMELY REPORTING PENALTIES
- INJURIES MUST BE REPORTED TO CORVEL WITHIN (3) THREE BUSINESS DAYS
Beginning July 1, 2019, the TN Division of Claims and Risk Management will assess a $500.00 departmental penalty each time an employee or employer does not report a work injury within (3) business days after sustaining said injury
If you have any questions about the process, please contact the System Workers’ Compensation Coordinator, Stephanie Strickland, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 865-974-0980
Return To Work Program
In July 2016, the University of Tennessee and the State of Tennessee implemented a Return to Work (RTW) program. This program is designed to assist injured employees in their return to meaningful, productive employment as quickly as possible. The department in which the injured employee works will coordinate with Human Resources, the Office of Risk Management, Corvel and the injured employee to design a modified work plan in order to return the employee to work. For more information, please refer to HR0398 – Transitional Duty/Return to Work Program.