University Human Resources
Worker's Compensation provides benefits to employees who sustain injuries by accident arising out of and in the course of their employment. In the State of Indiana employers are required by Law to provide Worker's Compensation coverage for their employees either by purchasing coverage through an insurance company or by becoming self-insured. At Indiana University, we are self-insured for Worker's Compensation, which means we administer and pay the claims from our own funds. University Human Resources is responsible for processing these claims which includes review of claims, payment of benefits and denials of claims.
All employees are covered whether they are faculty, staff, full-time, temporary, or work-study. The benefits provided by University Human Resources are those mandated by Law. The university does provide supplemental benefits for full-time appointed staff.
For a claim to be covered under Worker's Compensation, it must fall within the limits of the Worker's Compensation guidelines as an injury by accident rising out of and in the course of employment. If an injury occurs at the work site and during work hours, it does not mean that the claim will automatically be covered.
Listed below are a few examples to further explain:
- SLIP AND FALL:
There must be a direct relationship between the injury and the employment. If an employee is at work, slips on a wet floor, falls and hits his/her head; this would be covered. However, if an employee came to work feeling ill, perhaps with the flu, feels faint and that causes a fall, we would not be responsible for any injuries sustained as the result of the fall.
- PARKING LOT:
The time and place of the injury must be associated with the employment. If an employee is walking to and from the parking lot on the way to work, an injury is covered if it occurred on University property. The time of injury must be within a reasonable time period of the work shift. For example, if an employee elects to stay on campus to attend a class later in the day, it is not covered.
- NOON HOUR:
If an employee is on University property during his/her noon hour, an injury may be covered. Each claim is reviewed individually. A fall resulting from an icy sidewalk on campus for example, would be covered, but election to participate in a sporting activity such as basketball or running, would result in the claim being denied because of voluntary participation in an activity that brought more risk of injury than the normal course of employment or the act of taking a break to eat lunch.
Employees attending work related and work sponsored conferences or meetings in the course of employment would be covered. If during the travel, a side trip is made for a personal errand, that period of time is not covered.
- OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE:
An example of an occupation disease is a nurse exposed to a patient with hepatitis. However, ordinary diseases of life to which the general public is exposed are not covered; e.g. the flu going around the office.
- CUMULATIVE TRAUMA:
Cumulative or repetitive trauma injuries such as tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome that we determine arise out of and in the course of employment are covered. You should contact our office for guidelines on submitting these claims.
The Worker's Compensation Law provides the following affirmative defenses for which claims may be denied: knowing self-inflicted injury, intoxication, commission of an offense, knowing failure to use a safety appliance, knowing failure to comply with a reasonably written posted rule, and knowing failure to comply with a statutory duty.
These claims are denied unless the injured employee is considered an "innocent victim." These claims are thoroughly investigated by our office.
Supervisors must enforce safety guidelines. If an employee is required to wear a hard hat or safety glasses and the supervisor does not enforce the rule, Worker's Compensation would be required to cover the ensuing injury.
All Staff and Temporary employees must refer to the Injury on the Job policy.
All lost time must be reported to University Human Resources (855-4847) prior to submitting this time to payroll. This time needs to be reported for all employees, including Temporary.
- Medical Treatment:
You are entitled to necessary medical care for treatment of injuries. The employer has the choice of physician.
- Lost Wage Benefits:
If eligibility requirements are met, Worker's Compensation lost wage benefits begin on the 8th day of disability to pay a portion of the employee's salary. The exact portion paid is determined by state legislation and changes from time to time. As of 7/01/09, an employee would receive 2/3 of his/her average weekly wage up to a maximum average weekly wage of $975.00 per week. In other words, an employee who earns $24.38/hr or less, would receive 2/3 of his/her average wage. An employee who earns more than $24.38/hr. would receive 2/3 of the $24.38. These benefits are paid through University Human Resources. Employees can elect to use their accrued benefit time along with Worker's Compensation benefits to receive their full salary.
- Permanent/Partial Impairment Award:
This is a monetary award an employee is entitled to if an injury or amputation results in permanent loss of use or function of a particular part of the body. The physician determines the percent of impairment and provides this report to University Human Resources. State law mandates the amount of the benefit. The majority of the claims do not result in any permanent impairment.
- Death Benefits:
There is a burial benefit of $7,500.00. If there are dependents, there is a death benefit of 500 weeks paid at the deceased employee's average weekly wage. If the dependency status changes prior to the payment of the 500 weeks, there may be an adjustment on the total paid.
- Appeals Process:
Most claims fall within the Worker's Compensation guidelines and are covered. If a claim is denied, the employee will receive a denial in writing from University Human Resources. The Worker's Compensation Board is the only course of remedy. Employees are not required to retain an attorney to file for a hearing with the board, but the board will recommend that they do. An employee who receives a denial and wishes to pursue the claim should contact the board regarding the procedure to follow.
If an employee is full-time appointed staff, his/her department will pay the first week of disability at full pay. This is a supplemental benefit the university provides to full-time appointed staff. See the policies listed above for more details. Temporary employees do not receive this first week paid by their department. However, the Worker's Compensation Law does provide that if disability exceeds 21 days, the employee is entitled to retroactive pay at 2/3 for the first week of disability if this was not previously paid. Therefore, if a Temporary employee were disabled over 21 days, University Human Resources would process payment for the first week of disability at 2/3 pay.
Indiana Worker's Compensation Board
Indiana Government Center South
402 W. Washington Street, W-196
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Worker's Compensation Services
|Keatrick Johnson||University Director, Retirement Program & Workers' Comp Services|
|Keith Braunsheidel||Manager, Workers' Compensation|
|Tammy Blazier||Workers' Compensation Administrator|
|Hans Van Leeuwen||Return to Work Programs/Investigator|
|Angie Stierwalt||Accounting Assistant/Claims Representative|
|Work. Comp. Services||Phone: 812-855-4847|
What happens if I don't report the accident the same day of occurrence?
- Employees are to report injuries to their supervisors immediately. If the claim is not reported the same day of occurrence, the claim will not automatically be denied. However, if the injury occurred on Thursday and wasn't reported until the following Monday, our office will question what happened over the weekend.
Is the supervisor required to report all injuries to University Human Resources?
- Yes. An occupational injury/illness report form should be completed regardless whether the employee received medical attention or lost time from work. The report will then be on file should the employee require medical care at a later date.
What if the supervisor disagrees with the circumstances reported on the Occupational Injury/Illness Report?
- The supervisor must allow the employee to submit the claim to University Human Resources for review. If the supervisor questions the validity of the claim, the supervisor should contact University Human Resources. (For example, the employee was involved in a vehicle accident two days before or complained of discomfort prior to the event at work.) The supervisor's signature only verifies that the employee works for them and that the employee is reporting the injury to them. The supervisor's signature does not indicate validation of the claim.
I was given a physician's statement indicating I can return to work with a restriction of no lifting over 10 pounds. What do I do?
- You should take the statement to your supervisor. If an employee is given temporary work restrictions by the attending physician and the university can provide work for the employee within these restrictions, the employee is not entitled to receive lost wage benefits. If the work cannot be provided, the employee is sent home and would be entitled to benefits.
Where do I obtain the Occupational Injury/Illness Report?
- Contact University Human Resources at 855-4847; visit the Worker's Compensation Index at hr.iu.edu/workers/
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