Frequently Asked Questions for Injured Workers

What benefits am I entitled to?

If you have suffered a compensable injury, meaning that the authorized treating physician has determined it to be work-related, you may be entitled to receive medical care for the injury or illness, disability payments for a potion of your lost wages, vocational rehabilitation services through the Next Step Program and in the event of death, benefits payable to dependent survivors.  

What happens if my claim is denied?

If your claim is denied, you can seek help resolving the dispute from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, or you may contact an ombudsman.  The Ombudsman Program is part of the Bureau and is a no-cost option if you do not hire an attorney.  The Ombudsman is not an attorney but can provide you with helpful information and assist you with the workers’ compensation process.

I am not getting my check. What should I do?

First, contact your adjuster with your employer’s insurance carrier.  If you still experience problems, contact the nearest workers’ compensation area office or find out about other available assistance programs by contacting an ombudsman.  

When will I be paid?

If you have suffered a compensable injury and have been taken off of work by the authorized treating physician (ATP), your initial payment will be received no later than fifteen (15) calendar days after the notice of the injury.  No benefits are due for those first seven (7) calendar days of the disability period unless the disability period lasts for at least fourteen (14) calendar days.  If you miss more than fourteen calendar days, you will be paid for the seven-day waiting period.

How much are wage payments?

Benefits are calculated at 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage, not to exceed a maximum rate as set by the state law.  Workers’ compensation payments are tax-free.

How often will I receive a check?

You will receive one check per week while receiving temporary or total disability payments.  

Can I be reimbursed for mileage?

You may request reimbursement for mileage to and from medical treatment at the state-approved mileage rate if travel exceeds 15 miles in one direction.  You should submit an appropriate itemization to your workers’ compensation insurance carrier or adjuster. A downloadable mileage reimbursement form can be found here.

Can I choose my own doctor?

Medical treatment begins with the injured employee selecting a medical provider from a list.  The employer is required to provide a list of three physicians to the injured employee as soon as practicable but no later than three (3) business days after receipt of the claim.  The physician selected by the injured employee becomes the injured employee’s authorized treating physician, or ATP. For help locating a medical provider, use our Find a Provider tool and select Tennessee.

I keep receiving medical bills for my claim. What should I do with them?

All medical bills should be sent to the workers’ compensation insurance carrier.

What is a lump-sum settlement?

Workers’ Comp law allows for disability benefits to be paid to you in two different ways:  periodically or lump sum.  Lump-sum settlements are paid all at one time.  You can also agree to settle your right to future medical treatment in exchange for a cash payment.  This is referred to as “closing” future medical benefits.  These settlements, as well as disability benefit settlements, must be approved by a workers’ compensation judge.