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Frequently Asked Questions: Workers' Compensation

I was injured on the job. What do I need to do?
Immediately report the incident to your supervisor. The supervisor on duty at the time of the injury is responsible for investigating the scene, ensuring that you receive prompt medical attention, reporting the incident via Origami, and addressing any safety hazards that may have caused or contributed to the injury

I will miss work because of my work-related injury. What happens next?
Once your supervisor reports the injury to W/C Claims, that team will investigate and handle your worker’s compensation claim.

Do I use my personal medical insurance to pay for my work-related injury?
No. You should get treatment from the Vanderbilt Occupational Health Clinic. If it is after hours, go to the Vanderbilt Adult Emergency Department.

What is worker’s compensation?
Worker’s compensation is a no-fault insurance benefit to employees of the University who suffer an injury or occupational disease resulting from their work.

I have short-term disability insurance. Do I need to file a claim?
No. You will not need to file a short-term disability claim. Worker’s compensation will pay for your time away from work due to a work-related injury. You can also use PTO to supplement your worker’s compensation pay.

Do I need to complete a Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) request if I’m away from work due to a work-related injury?
Yes. You will need to complete an FMLA request form. (Please see the FMLA website for the form and a list of FMLA representatives as well as an explanation of the FMLA process.)

Am I still considered an active employee while I’m on worker’s compensation?
While you are away from work due to a work-related injury or illness, your status will be leave of absence. Once your doctor releases you to return to work, you will return to active status.

Will my benefits continue while I am away from work?
Yes, your benefits will continue. Premium payments will continue through payroll deduction as long as you have PTO. If your PTO ends, you will be placed on unpaid leave status, and you will be responsible for making premium payments to Benefit Express via direct billing. Once your doctor releases you to return to work, you will resume active status, and your premium payments will start again through payroll deduction.

Note: If you are receiving workers' compensation benefits, you may choose to supplement workers' compensation pay with PTO to meet your full salary expectations, but you will not be paid from both workers' compensation and PTO for the same hours.

Can I be fired for reporting a work related injury?
No. It's against the law for an employer to terminate employment for reporting a work injury. 

What is an injured employee entitled to?
The Workers' Compensation Law provides the following benefits:

  1. Medical Treatment: Free medical treatment to employees if injured on the job. 
  2. Temporary Total Disability (TTD): Coverage for an injury that does not result in death or permanent disability, but makes the injured employee unable to perform regular job duties or activities. 
  3. Permanent Partial / Total Disability (PPD): This is a disability where an employee is permanently prevented from working at full physical capability because of injury or illness. Involved in permanent partial disability is loss of use, which means that the employee is unable to use a specific body part the same way as prior to sustaining the on-the-job injury. Thus some form of permanent impairment exists, which makes a worker unable to perform at full capacity. 
    Total Disability means an employee can't work at all. 
  4. Death Benefits: Coverage for funeral and burial and financial support for family. 

I have additional questions about FMLA and Worker’s Compensation. Who do I contact?
Contact Human Resources. Also see the FLMA policy page. 

Where can I find the Worker’s Compensation policy?
See the Work-Related Accident and Return to Work policy web page.