Information for Employees Who Are Injured at Work
Reporting the Injury
Report the injury to your supervisor and follow-up with your supervisor to make sure the injury was reported to Risk Management. If the injury is not reported, Risk Management is unable to start a worker’s compensation claim and your medical bills, pharmacy costs, and lost wages may not be processed.
Treatment for the Injury
You can see any medical provider for the injury, but the medical provider must be willing to submit workers’ compensation paperwork. Ask the medical provider if s/he is willing to submit workers’ compensation paperwork before you receive treatment.
If you are not sure where to go to for medical treatment, please consult Risk Management’s website or call the 24/7 Nurse Triage line at 1-800-685-2877. Physical therapy must be authorized before you can begin treatment and the triage nurse can provide this authorization. You can also obtain authorization for physical therapy and information about providers by calling Industrial Solutions Network at 866-224-8828.
If a medical provider isn’t able to get you in for an appointment promptly, you may want to contact a different medical provider.
- Workers’ Compensation: If your claim is accepted and you are unable to work due to a work-related injury, you will be compensated for your lost wages from the 7th day forward, unless you are off work for more than 14 days, in which case you will receive compensation from the day after the date of your injury. It may take up to 30-45 days for your claim to be processed.
- Sick, Vacation and Compensatory Time: You may use accrued sick, vacation and compensatory time (approved by supervisor/department) when you are off due to your work-related injury. If your workers compensation claim is approved, and you would like to buy back any used sick and vacation hours, you may participate in the “Buy Back” program (see below).
- The University of Arizona Buy Back Program: The University’s “Buy Back Program” allows employees to use sick and vacation time to receive pay and continue benefits while waiting for a worker’s compensation claim to be reviewed. Risk Management generally recommends that employees have at least 80 hours of sick and vacation time to participate. Please contact the Division of Human Resources to understand how participating (or not participating) in the Buy Back Program will impact your benefits. If your workers’ compensation claim is accepted and you participate in the Buy Back Program, your check will be sent to Risk Management to be cashed. The University will then restore your sick and vacation balances at 66 2/3rds and provide you with a check if any funds remain after restoring your balances. (This ensures you are not paid twice.)
For information about the Buy Back Program, contact Risk Management at (520) 621-1790.
For information about your benefits, you should contact the Division of Human Resources at (520) 621-3660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Unpaid Absence: If you do not have any sick or vacation time available, you will have to report your time as an unpaid absence and should consult with the Division of Human Resources about how this will impact your benefits (see Health Insurance and other Benefits, below). If your claim is approved, Risk Management will notify you and you will have the option of picking up your check or having it mailed to you.
- Short-Term Disability Insurance: Short-term disability insurance will not cover lost wages if your workers’ compensation claim is accepted. If your workers’ compensation claim is rejected, and you elected short-term disability insurance during open enrollment, you may be eligible to receive payment from your short-term disability insurance company while you are unable to work. For information about your benefits, you should contact the Division of Human Resources at (520) 621-3660 or email@example.com or your short-term disability company: Unum, (800) 858-6843; The Hartford Insurance Company, (866) 712-3443.
- Long-Term Disability Insurance: If you are away from work for 6 months or more, you may be eligible for long-term disability insurance, which pays 66 2/3% of your salary. The University encourages employees to apply for long-term disability insurance when they have been away from work for about 3 months, because it takes about 3 months for the paperwork to be processed. For information about your benefits, you should contact the Division of Human Resources at (520) 621-3660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Compassionate Transfer of Leave: Compassionate Transfer of Leave cannot be used for workplace injuries.
Leave (permission to be away from work)
Even if you have a form of pay to cover your time away from work (e.g., sick, vacation or compensatory time), and even if your workers’ compensation claim is accepted, you need to be placed on an approved leave with the University while away from work.
- Family and Medical Leave: If you are eligible, Family and Medical Leave (FML) provides employees with 12 weeks of leave per rolling 12-month period. FML does not provide you with pay, it simply gives you permission to be away from work and commits the University to restoring the same or equivalent job upon returning to work.
- Department-Approved Leave Options: If you are ineligible for or exhaust FML there are other leave options available to you, such as an Excused Unpaid Absence, Approved Personal Leave of Absence or Approved Extended Leave, which must be approved by your department. Consult your department for information about these leave options.
- Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation: If you are ineligible for or have exhausted your FML and your department is unable to approve your request for leave, your department should refer you to the University’s Disability Resource Center (DRC), (520) 621-3268. If you have a disability (which is defined broadly), you can request leave as a reasonable accommodation through the DRC. The DRC will determine if your request is reasonable. The DRC does not manage short- and long-term disability insurance. Short- and long-term disability insurance are managed by the Division of Human Resources.
Health Insurance and Other Benefits
If you are eligible for FML, your benefits will continue without interruption while you are on FML.
If you are ineligible for, or exhaust, FML and do not have a form of pay (e.g., sick, vacation or compensatory time) to cover the cost of your insurance premiums, the University will bill you for your portion of the premiums. You will not be responsible for paying the employer’s portion of the premiums. For information about your benefits, you should contact the Division of Human Resources at (520) 621-3660 or email@example.com.
Return to Work
Maintain regular communication with your supervisor or department regarding your return to work status. You will need to provide your supervisor a release from a medical provider prior to your return to work. If you are released to work with restrictions, you may request light duty from your supervisor. If you are unable to make arrangements with your supervisor or prefer to request light duty as an accommodation through the DRC, call (520) 621-3268.
Prepared in collaboration by the University of Arizona Risk Management, Division of Human Resources, and the Disability Resource Center.