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.

Any employee exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace who believes their exposure was a result of their employment, should report it to CorVel. The reporting procedures are the same as for other claims. An investigation by CorVel will be completed to determine if the claim is compensable. For an injury to be compensable under Tennessee Workers’ Compensation law, employees must prove an injury “arising primarily out of, and in the course and scope of, employment.” Furthermore, a determination needs to be made regarding if the employee’s assigned daily work duties and service heighten their risk of exposure to COVID-19.


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 workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation coverage is for work-related injuries that occur specifically and clearly in the course and scope of employment.

An employee injured at their home or work location, who believes an injury is a result of their employment, should report it to CorVel. Both are treated the same, provided the employer has approved the employee to work from home.  An investigation by CorVel will be completed to determine compensability. Again, the injuries must arise primarily out of, and in the course and scope of, employment.

The Tennessee Department of Treasury, Division of Claims and Risk Management contracts with a third-party administrator (CorVel) for the processing of workers’ compensation claims and managed-care services. CorVel also provides 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. All claims decisions are made by CorVel and/or the TN Division of Claims and Risk Management The University of Tennessee cannot alter or change any of these decisions, rules, or regulations.


Workers’ Compensation Claim Procedures

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 1

If a work injury is Life-Threatening or results in Serious Bodily Injury, it will need to be reported to the Office of Risk Management’s Workers’ Compensation Coordinator, Stephanie Strickland, at 865-974-0980 sstric25@tennessee.edu and your campus Safety Officer.

Non-Life Threatening or Serious Bodily Injuries

Step 1: Report the injury

  • Injured Workers will report the injury to their supervisor and CorVel
    • 1-866-245-8588 Option 1
    • This is a 24/7 Nurse Triage Line
    • The triage nurse will discuss the appropriate level of treatment needed and direct the injured worker to the nearest State of TN authorized treating physician
    • If the injured worker agrees to self-care but later changes their mind, he/she must first call CorVel 1-866-245-8588 Option 1 to obtain authorization to treat
  • Do Not Seek Any Type of Treatment From a Physician Prior to Reporting the Injury to CorVel

Beginning July 1, 2019, the TN Division of Claims and Risk Management will assess a $500 departmental penalty each time an injured worker seeks non-emergency medical treatment prior to reporting the injury to CorVel

NOTE: CorVel offers a PPO Lookup website to assist in locating the closest State of TN authorized treating physician. This link will allow the injured worker to locate a physician or facility via zip code, city/state, and within a certain radius of their current location. This PPO Lookup website does not replace the requirement to call CorVel to report the injury. All injuries must be reported to CorVel to avoid the penalty.

STEP 2: Complete the paperwork

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  Office of Risk Management at 865-974-5409

TIMELY REPORTING PENALTIES

  • Injuries must be reported to CorVel within (3) business days

Beginning July 1, 2019, the TN Division of Claims and Risk Management will assess a $500 departmental penalty each time an employee or employer does not report a work injury within (3) business days after sustaining that injury

If you have any questions about the process, please contact the UT system Workers’ Compensation Coordinator, Stephanie Strickland, at 865-974-0980 sstric25@tennessee.edu

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 worker(s) in their return to meaningful, productive, employment as quickly as possible. The department in which the injured worker(s) is assigned will coordinate with Human Resources, the  Office of Risk Management, CorVel, and the injured worker(s) to design a modified work plan, if applicable. For more information, please refer to HR0398 – Transitional Duty/Return to Work Program.