Worker's Compensation Frequently Asked Questions
Key Information about Worker's Compensation
- What is worker's compensation?
The Worker's Compensation and Occupational Disease Act of Indiana provides protection for employees who experience an injury arising out of and in the course of employment. It covers both injuries occurring on the premises of the University and while traveling on University business. When a claim is eligible under worker's compensation, the employer (or its insurance carrier) is required to pay the injured employee for lost work time and to cover the employee's related medical expenses.
- Who is covered by worker's compensation?
All employees paid through Purdue University Payroll are covered – faculty, staff, administrative, full-time, part-time, exempt, hourly, fellows and student employees.
- What does worker's compensation cover?
Worker's compensation pays:
- Approved medical expenses
- Weekly lost time benefits (known as TTD, which stands for temporary total disability)
- A one-time benefit based on a disability rating assigned by the doctor (known as PPD, which stands for permanent partial disability)
- What claims are entitled to compensation?
For a claim to be covered under worker's compensation, the injury or illness must "arise out of" and "in the course of" employment. JWF Specialty is the company that manages Purdue's worker's compensation program. JWF will investigate claims to determine if they are eligible under worker's compensation.
- What should I do if I am injured on the job?
You are required to inform your supervisor immediately if you are injured or become ill on the job because of a work-related situation, even if you do not wish to obtain immediate medical attention.
- How is my claim for worker's compensation filed?
Your supervisor should complete the First Report of Injury (FROI) Form as soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours after being notified of your workplace illness or injury.
Instructions for the FROI Form are available through the First Report of Injury website. When your supervisor submits it electronically, the FROI Form is sent automatically to JWF, the company that manages Purdue's worker's compensation program, and to Radiological and Environmental Management (REM) at Purdue.
You may not submit the injury report to JWF yourself. Your supervisor or your supervisor's designee is responsible for submitting the report.
- Can I select my own doctor?
Under the guidelines set by the state of Indiana, the employer has the right to choose the attending physician for treatment of on-the-job injuries. Purdue has chosen to use "occupational medicine" providers for worker's compensation because this medical specialty focuses specifically on work-related injuries. The occupational health clinics understand worker's compensation and the paperwork needed for processing claims. If you need to see a specialist, the occupational health clinic will refer you.
Do not use your personal physician for a work-related injury. If you go to your own doctor, you will be responsible for all charges.
If you have been seen in the emergency room or urgent care, and have been told to follow up with your personal physician for your work-related injury, talk with JWF or the worker's compensation administrator in Human Resources to determine whom to see for your follow-up care. You should not use your personal doctor.
- Are my work-related medical expenses filed on my personal medical insurance plan?
No. Worker's compensation is totally separate from your personal medical care and insurance. Purdue University's worker's compensation insurance carrier, JWF, must authorize the medical care you receive.
- What should I do if I get a bill that should have been paid through worker's compensation?
The bill needs to go to JWF for payment. You can fax it to Christie directly at 317-706-9791. If you or your supervisor does not have access to a fax machine, you may send it via campus mail to Deborah Popa, Human Resources, Freehafer Hall.
- How much does worker's compensation pay for my lost time?
The benefit is based on your average weekly wage for the 52 weeks prior to the date of injury.
Worker's compensation pays 66⅔ percent of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum of $736.70 per week. Worker's compensation benefits are not taxed.
- How should I fill out my timecard for the day of injury?
For the day of injury, you may have up to three entry types on your timecard.
- Regular hours worked
- "WC" time for the time spent at the doctor's office or clinic
- Sick time, if you are told not to work the remainder of the day
- How will I be paid if I am off work?
If you are off work under a doctor's order, or if you are off because your department cannot provide work within your restrictions, you may be entitled to worker's compensation benefits for lost wages.
Waiting Period – Worker's compensation has a seven-day waiting period for benefits. You will not be paid a worker's compensation benefit for the first seven calendar days you're off work. This seven-day waiting period does not include the day of injury. During the waiting period, you may use your sick leave to cover your lost wages.
On Day 8 of absence, the worker's compensation benefit begins. This is called TTD, which stands for temporary total disability. JWF will mail benefit checks to your home on a weekly basis.
You may supplement your TTD payments with sick time or vacation time, if you choose to do so. Let your business office know how you wish to handle this. Do not use the "WC" code on your timecard for lost time. Use this code only when you must leave work for medical appointments.
On Day 22, if you have purchased short term disability insurance, it will begin to supplement your TTD payments. Cigna will mail you a separate check for your short term disability benefit. You will need to contact Cigna to file an application for short term disability. Link to STDOn Day 90 of disability, long term disability benefits begin for hourly (non-exempt) employees and can be used to supplement worker's compensation benefits. All benefits-eligible employees have long term disability coverage through Purdue. Link to LTD
If you are off work more than 21 days, JWF will send you a check to cover your initial seven-day waiting period. The University does not reimburse sick leave you may have used during the waiting period.
On Day 181 of disability, long term disability benefits begin for exempt employees.
- While I am not receiving a Purdue paycheck, what happens to the deductions I usually have taken out of my pay?
If you're not receiving a check from Purdue Payroll, you cannot have your usual deductions made for things such as medical or life insurance. Please contact Connie Ratcliff in Purdue Human Resources at 765-494-6652 to discuss how to handle payment of your premiums.
- Do I need to file FMLA paperwork?
Yes, if you're off work more than three consecutive, full calendar days (including weekend days), you'll need to file FMLA paperwork. FMLA runs concurrently with worker's compensation.
- What is the return-to-work program?
The University recognizes that your return to work when you are medically able after an illness or injury benefits both you and Purdue. The return-to-work program covers both work-related and off-the-job illnesses and injuries.
If you have a temporary work restriction assigned by a physician, the return-to-work program seeks first to determine if you can return to your regular job. Sometimes this can be done with modifications to your regular duties. As an alternative, you may be assigned to different, but appropriate, tasks within your own department, at your regular pay.
If work cannot be found in your own area, an effort will be made to find duties you can perform in another work area, until you can return to your regular position.
You may turn down light duty work, but be aware that your worker's compensation and your lost time disability benefits will end if you do.
- Why did the occupational medicine doctor write a restriction for me instead of putting me off work?
With worker's compensation, the doctor lets the employer know what restrictions the employee must follow. The employer then decides whether the employer has work that the employee can do within those restrictions. If there is no appropriate work available, you will be off work until your restrictions can be met.
- Will I be paid for time spent at follow-up medical appointments?
You should work with your supervisor to set up appointments at a mutually agreeable time. If your appointment with the doctor or physical therapist is during your regularly-scheduled work hours, you will be paid for that time. Use the "WC" code on your timecard.
The maximum "WC" allowance is as follows:
- Two hours for local area visit and/or treatment
- Four hours for visit and/or treatment requiring travel of 50 miles or more
You are not paid for medical treatment time occurring outside your scheduled work hours or taking place on your days off.