Tennessee Worker’s Compensation- Fast Facts
Filing a Worker’s Compensation Claim in Tennessee:

Report all injuries immediately to your employer.

Employer notification is required by law within 30 days of the date of injury, preferably in writing.

The employer completes a First Report of Work Injury and offers the employee a panel of three medical providers for treatment.

The employee selects one of the providers, who becomes the authorized treating physician and provides treatment at the employer's expense.

A signed Form C-42, Agreement between Employer/Employee Choice of Physician, must be completed and provided to the employee. The employer must keep the original form on file and upon request provide a copy to the Division of Workers' Compensation.

Attorney Fees Permitted are 20%, statute.

Tennessee Worker’s Compensation Treatment:
Full medical benefits are provided to employees entitled to worker's compensation benefits, with no time or monetary limits. Medical benefits include psychological treatment if rendered by a psychologist and upon the referral by a physician. Medical treatment required for a back injury may be provided by a chiropractor. The employee's choice of physician is by selection from a list maintained by the employer.

Tennessee Worker’s Compensation Benefits:

Weekly benefits are paid if the authorized physician finds that the employee is unable to work due to the injury. Compensation begins on the eighth (8th) day of disability from work following the injury. The date of injury and the first seven (7) days following are a waiting period and no benefits are payable unless the disability lasts at least eight days. Benefits are due for each day over the seven-day waiting period until the lost time reaches fourteen (14) days; then, weekly temporary total disability benefits will be calculated beginning with the day following the injury. Temporary total disability benefits are based on 66 2/3% of the employee's gross average weekly wage for the last 52 weeks worked prior to the injury, subject to the minimum and maximum benefits as provided by the Workers' Compensation Law.

Weekly benefits for the total disability are based on 66 2/3% of the employee's gross average weekly wage for the last 52 weeks worked prior to the injury, subject to the minimum and maximum benefits as provided by the Workers' Compensation Law.
If you have problems with any part of your claim, please complete a C-40A Request for Assistance form and submit it to the Workers' Compensation Division.

Medical Benefits
The employer is to provide, free of charge, a panel of three physicians from which the employee selects one for treatment, termed the authorized treating physician. This physician will direct all medical treatment for the employee's workers' compensation injury.

If a specialist is required, the physician may refer the employee; or, the employer may offer another panel of specialist from which to choose.

Medical treatment extends for as long as required by the authorized treating physician. If appropriate, this physician will provide the employee with off-work excuses and light or restricted duty limitations. It is very important that the authorized physician's instructions and restrictions be followed at all times.

Permanent Disability and Final Settlement
When the injury has healed, the injured employee will be released from the physician's care.

If the injured employee does not recover completely, the employee will reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) and the physician will assign a permanent partial disability (PPD) rating.

This PPD rating, combined with vocational factors, may result in a permanent disability settlement from the workers' compensation insurance company.

Not all injuries result in a permanent impairment; however, Workers' Compensation specialists with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development do provide, at no cost to the parties, informal Benefit Review Conferences to assist the parties in reaching a final agreement or settlement of the claim. Please complete a C-40B Request for Benefit Review Conference and submit it to the Workers' Compensation Division.

Death Benefits
When an injury results in the death of a covered employee, the widow or widower or dependent orphan is entitled to 50% of the deceased employee's average weekly wage, not to exceed the maximum per week.  If the deceased employee leaves a widow/widower and one or more dependent children, 66 2/3% of the deceased employee's average weekly wages, not to exceed the maximum per week, is due.

If a deceased employee leaves other relatives dependent on the employee for support, compensation may also be payable to those dependents.  When the deceased employee leaves no dependents, $20,000 shall be paid to his or her estate.

Tennessee Worker’s Compensation Waiting Period:
The waiting period for compensation benefits after injury is 7 days.

Compensation is retroactive if disability continues for 14 days from the date of injury.

Tennessee Worker’s Compensation Contact Information:
Sue Ann Head, Administrator
Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Division of Workers’ Compensation
220 French Landing Drive, 1st Floor, Side B
Nashville, TN 37243-1002
 (615) 741-2395  (615) 741-2395 or  1-800-332-2667  1-800-332-2667
(Contact: Penny Shrum)

NOTICE: These questions and answers concern Tennessee law only, and should not be construed nor relied upon as reflecting the law in other States, nor as giving legal advice. You are warned that circumstances often vary greatly and that, due to changing decisions and law, the answers to these questions may change over time and not be current, and you should consult an attorney in any specific case, and NOT rely on these questions and answers as giving anything other than general information.

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