Under Tennessee’s Workers’ Compensation Act, an employee who has sustained a work-related injury could be entitled to medical treatment and temporary disability benefits.
An employee must inform his or her supervisor of the injury no later than 15 days after the accident occurred or an injury was initially discovery. Reporting your injury quickly will speed up the process of handling your claim.
Employees must follow a strict deadline to receive workers’ compensation by filing a Petition for Benefit Determination (PBD) form within one year of:
- The date the injury occurred
- The last dates temporary disability benefits were paid
- The last date medical benefits were provided for the injury
Once the injury has been reported, the employer must present the injured employee with an Employee’s Choice of Physician form that provides him or her with the option of at least three nearby physicians who are willing to perform workers’ compensation treatment.
The chosen physician will then asses the employee’s injury to determine if it is compensable, meaning that its origins have been deemed work-related.
After an authorized physician has determined the injury to be compensable, the employee is entitled to:
Medical treatment at no cost to the employee
The employee will receive medical treatment from the authorized treating physician for as long as he or she requires. The employee will also be compensated for any cost of travel to and from the medical treatment center if travel exceeds 15 miles.
Any of the authorized physician’s recommended medical treatment that has been denied by the insurance company’s utilization review can be submitted to the Division’s Utilization Review Program for reconsideration.
It is important that the physician’s instructions and restrictions be followed at all times. If you violate a physician’s treatment instructions and perform restricted duties or exceed any limitations of job performances, your employer can terminate your temporary disability benefits.
Temporary disability benefits
Disability benefits begin when the authorized physician removes an employee from work and temporary disability benefits start to replace lost wages on the eighth day of disability. If the disability lasts 14 days, benefits will extend back to the first day of disability.
Temporary disability benefits usually amount to two-thirds of the injured worker’s average weekly wages that were earned during the year prior to the injury.
You may also be entitled to partial disability benefits if you are able to work but your weekly earnings have been reduced because of work restrictions.
It is important that you stay in contact with your employer during the time that you are receiving temporary disability benefits. These benefits are usually paid by the employer or its insurance company and not by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
The Knoxville workers’ compensation attorneys at Greg Coleman Law are dedicated to preserving the rights of workers and can guide you through the application or appeals process. We always provide free consultations and do not charge any legal fees unless you receive a favorable outcome in your claim.
Call (865) 247-0080 if you have been injured in a work-related accident.