Workerï¿½s compensation and disability for 2004.
Changes to the disability programs went into effect January 1, 2004. Hereï¿½s a rundown of some things you need to know as a supervisor to meet your responsibilities and to best guide your employees during a time when they are unable to work due to injury or illness.
Supervisorï¿½s checklist for reporting on-the-job injuries and illnesses
Treatment facilities for workerï¿½s compensation
If your employee is hurt on the job, he or she must choose one of the following providers to begin treatment and must tell the provider the injury is a workerï¿½s compensation situation. This will allow appropriate consideration and payment of medical expenses through workerï¿½s compensation.
If follow-up medical care is necessary, Liberty Mutual will work with the authorized medical provider (above) to determine the next steps for care. Liberty Mutual is responsible for determining and authorizing appropriate treatment. Employees are not allowed to determine their own course of care under workerï¿½s comp.
Short term and/or long term disability
To begin a claim for Short Term Disability (STD) or Long Term Disability (LTD), the employee (or a family member) calls CIGNA at 1 800 362-4462. If the illness or injury was reported as a workerï¿½s compensation claim with Liberty Mutual, the employee must still contact CIGNA since STD is a separate benefit process.
If the disability qualifies for an STD benefit, and the employeeï¿½s condition requires additional recovery time, CIGNA will automatically consider the condition for LTD.
Keep the channels of communication open and update your business office and CIGNA as the employeeï¿½s situation changes. Any change in the return-to-work date, work restrictions specified by the physician, or inability to continue working needs to be reported so that payments are accurate.
Purdueï¿½s role in coordinating disability programs
CIGNA and Liberty Mutual partner with Purdue in administering these programs. Employees receive payments from each of these insurance companies, as appropriate. Employees may use Purdueï¿½s sick leave and vacation benefits to supplement benefits available through workerï¿½s compensation, STD, and LTD.
Additionally, these companies assist with creating and reviewing opportunities for employees to return to work. For example, they help obtain specific restrictions from the treating physicians so that you can determine if you can modify the duties of the position so that the employee can return.
Careful coordination of these related programs is necessary. At the West Lafayette campus, a disability benefit coordinator is available to assist departments and claimants in understanding the programs and filing accurate and timely claim documentation. Reach her at (765) 494-1691. Regional campus supervisors and claimants may contact their HR department for guidance with questions about disability coverage and claims.
For more information about the workerï¿½s compensation and disability programs, visit www.purdue.edu/benefits.
- Teresa Wesner
Visit the LeadingEdition index of articles and past issues.
LeadingEdition is an electronic newsletter for Purdue University supervisors. It is produced and distributed by Purdue University Human Resources four times annually. If you have questions, comments or suggestions relating to the newsletter, please call 49-41679 or email us. Thank you.