A common question we receive in the Office of Risk Management relates to the process of reporting an on-the-job injury, where to get forms, who is eligible, etc. In general, any employee, including a student employee, is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits provided the injury or illness meets certain criteria.
The purpose of worker’s compensation is to provide prompt and reasonable income and medical benefits to work accident victims, regardless of fault. In order to be compensable, an accident or illness must arise out of and in the course of employment. Because workers’ compensation benefits differ from state-to-state, an employee often has the choice to file a claim in the state the injury occurred, the state they are employed in or the state in which they were hired.
Massachusetts – Once an injury or illness is deemed compensable, the indemnity benefit (for lost time pay), as defined by Law, is 60% of the employee’s average weekly wage for the previous 52-week period. In addition, reasonable and customary medical expenses are also paid. For complete details visit www.mass.gov/dia/.
Other States – Please visit the applicable state website or contact Risk Management & Insurance at 617-627-3981 or Bret.Murray@tufts.edu.
How are benefits paid?
Under Massachusetts law, there is a five calendar day waiting period prior to the commencement of indemnity payments. On day six, the indemnity payments will begin and be paid directly to the employee by Tufts workers’ compensation provider. If the injured employee is out of work for 21 calendar days or more, the indemnity benefit will go back retroactively to day one. For other states, the waiting period may be longer or shorter. Please consult the applicable state website or contact Risk Management & Insurance for assistance.
Employees are able to apply eligible paid time off benefits to cover the waiting period (first five calendar days in Massachusetts and varies in other states), but not to supplement or offset their workers’ compensation lost time pay; unless the employee is part of a collective bargaining agreement or has an employment agreement with Tufts stating otherwise.
Should an employee receive payments from both Tufts and Tufts workers’ compensation provider for the applicable waiting period (five calendar days in Massachusetts and varies in other states), the employee will have been paid twice. In the event this occurs, the employee will be asked to cash the workers compensation check for that period and remit the funds to Tufts or work with Tufts Shared Services (TSS) so that they can make the appropriate adjustment to a future paycheck in order to offset this double payment.
Medical bills should sent to your assigned workers’ compensation adjuster. If you do not know who your workers’ compensation adjuster is, please contact Risk Management & Insurance at 617-627-3981 or Bret.Murray@tufts.edu.