Workers’ Compensation Program

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.

Benefits

Once an injury or illness is deemed compensable, the indemnity benefit, 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/

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. If the injured employee is out of work for 21 calendar days or more, the indemnity benefit will go back retroactively to day one.

By choice, Tufts presently pays the first five scheduled work days in full through regular payroll. Sick time should not be charged once the workers compensation claim is accepted.

If an employee is out 21 days or more and is also paid by Tufts for the first five working days, they will have been paid twice during the first week. When this occurs, the employee will be asked to cash the workers compensation check for that period. The Service Center will make the appropriate adjustment to a future paycheck to offset the “double dip.”

Medical bills should be forwarded to Risk Management. These will be sent to the Third Party Administrator for payment.

How are claims filed?

When an employee is injured, the Supervisor must fill out an EMPLOYER’S FIRST REPORT OF INJURY and an ACCIDENT/INCIDENT REPORT FORM. The First Report of Injury must be received by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts within seven calendar days of receipt of the claim. ACCIDENT/INCIDENT REPORT FORM is an in-house document and should be returned to Risk Management as soon as possible. Both reports should be emailed to Bret Murray, Risk Management – Tufts University (Bret.Murray@tufts.edu or sent to: Bret Murray – Tufts University, 169 Holland St, Medford/Somerville Campus.

If an employee is out more than five work days, please contact Human Resources.

What Are My Responsibilities As A Supervisor?

  • Be sure all reports are completed and sent to Risk Management in a timely fashion
  • Determine how the injury occurred and take any preventative measures to avoid future repeats. Environmental Health and Safety is an excellent resource to help you.
  • Stay in touch with the employee and monitor their return to the workplace.
  • Consider a modified work when possible to enable the employee to return sooner.
  • When the employee returns to work, immediately notify Risk Management and your campus Human Resources representative.