Workers' Compensation Insurance (WCI) provides employees with medical benefits and, in some cases, weekly income payments, if you suffer a work related injury or occupational illness. For an injury or illness to be work related, it has to originate while you are engaged in the work your job requires you to do for the university.
You're entitled to medical aid, hospital services, and medication required at the time of injury, and afterwards, to treat the work related injury. In some cases, you may get financial benefits to make up for a portion of lost earnings and/or a permanent impairment from the injury.
WCI does not compensate you for damage to or loss of your personal property.
If you sustain a work-related injury, you should:
- Inform your supervisor of the injury
- Complete a First Report of Incident-Injury Memorandum (PDF)
- Complete a Network Acknowledgement form
- Read through the Notice of Network Requirements document.
- Complete a Request for Paid Leave form if off work 1 day, or more
These forms should be completed by you and given to your supervisor and/or department human resources (HR) contact within 24-48 hours of the injury. If immediate medical treatment is required, these forms may be submitted as soon as practicable after medical treatment has been provided.
Your supervisor will work with your department HR contact to initiate your workers’ compensation claim. Your department HR contact will forward your forms to HR-Leave Management.
Failure to report your injury/illness within 30 days from the date of injury may result in your claim being denied.
Minor Injuries: The HealthPoint Occupational Health Program (OHP) is an on-campus clinic which can provide reasonable and necessary medical care for your work related injury. Please call 512-471-4OHP (4647) for information or to schedule an appointment.
Serious Injuries: For more serious injuries requiring sutures, x-rays, etc., you must seek treatment through the IMO Network. (See Selecting a Network Doctor below.)
Life-Threatening Injuries: For life-threatening injuries please call 911. Once your situation has been stabilized, you must follow up with an IMO Network provider. (See Selecting a Network Doctor below.)
After-Hours Treatment: If advanced medical care is needed after hours, or if you live outside of the Austin area, you must select a healthcare provider from the IMO Network. Failure to select a provider from the network may result in you being financially responsible for your treatment services.
Out-of-area Treatment: If you live outside the IMO Network service area, you must select an alternative medical provider that accepts workers’ compensation insurance. This can be determined by calling the provider’s office.
Information about the certified IMO Network, including the covered service areas, medical pre-authorization requirements, and how to obtain treatment from a specialist is found in the IMO Med-Select Network Employee Handbook.
Selecting a Network Doctor for a Work Injury/Illness
- The Find a Provider online search tool, should be used to locate a treating doctor from the list of providers in the IMO Med-Select Network. Or, you may call 888-466-6381, Mon.-Fri. from 8am - 4:30pm CST for assisting in locating a provider.
- If you require a specialist, your IMO Network Treating Doctor will make a referral.
- If you need emergency care, you may seek treatment from the nearest urgent care facility or hospital emergency room.
- If you obtain health care from a doctor other than an IMO Network doctor without prior Network approval, you may be held financially responsible for the cost of those services.
- If you refuse to sign the Network Acknowledgement form, you are still required to use an IMO Network provider.
- Although changing treating doctors is allowed, you are limited to the number of changes you can make. Information about how to change your network treating doctor is found in the IMO Med-Select Network Employee Handbook.
If you need additional assistance in changing your treating doctor, partner with the UT System insurance adjuster assigned to your workers’ compensation claim.
Employees that Do Not Seek Medical Treatment
- The decision to seek medical treatment is up to the employee, so you cannot force employees to go for medical treatment.
- If employees do not seek medical treatment, they are assumed to be at full-duty status. You should monitor the employee's attendance for possible injury-related lost time. If injury-related lost time occurs, complete a Request for Paid Leave form (S23) and notify HR – Leave Management. If the employee does not wish to use accrued leave, or has no leave available, they should be placed on Leave Without Pay-Workers' Comp.
Returning to Work Post Injury
If you are released to return-to-work by your treating doctor, you are expected to communicate this with your supervisor and abide by the bona fide offer of employment agreement.
You can help ensure the safety and productivity of your employees by actively preventing injuries in the workplace. Working to prevent injuries will not only help the university reduce Workers' Compensation Insurance claims, but it will also make your employees feel more safe and secure in the workplace, and give them a sense of job satisfaction because you’re looking out for their best interests.
You should conduct safety inspections regularly and correct any unsafe conditions without delay. You may use the following resources to learn more about safety in the workplace:
- Review federal workplace safety regulations by visiting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website
- Visit the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) website to find information about worksite safety on campus, or call EHS at 512-471-3511.