Workers' Compensation benefits are available to any employee who suffers an accidental injury or occupational disease arising out of, and in the course of, his or her employment, according to the provisions of the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act. All University employees are eligible for Workers' Compensation benefits.
The full cost of medical treatment is covered by Workers' Compensation if the injury/illness is compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act.
For injuries, which do not require emergency transportation to Harris Regional Hospital, the supervisor is responsible for insuring that the employee receives prompt treatment of the injury by obtaining first aid or medical treatment at the University Health Services. The Supervisor or another person must accompany the injured enroute to the University Health Services for treatment, i.e., injured employees are not to be sent unescorted to seek medical attention. For off campus injuries first medical treatment may be provided by a local physician or hospital. If an employ declines medical evaluation, they will need to fill out a Medical Treatment Declination form.
If the employee is dissatisfied with the medical treatment provided by the University Health Services, Harris Regional Hospital or physicians referred to by the University Health Services or Harris Regional Hospital, or, if the hospital physicians are inconvenient because of the employee's residence location, he or she can request treatment be provided by a physician of their choice. Except for emergencies, this request for change must be approved by the Safety Officer prior to any treatment.
All chiropractic services must be approved by the University Safety Officer before treatment.
Workers' Compensation Benefits
Employees who suffer lost work-time due to compensable injuries/illnesses are eligible to receive Workers' Compensation weekly benefits equivalent to sixty six and two-thirds of their weekly wage, with a maximum equal to the average wage in North Carolina.
Workers' Compensation weekly benefits are not payable for a seven (7) day waiting period following an accident unless the total lost work-time exceeds 21 calendar days. During the seven-day waiting period, the employee may elect to use earned vacation leave, sick leave or workers' compensation leave without pay.
Employees are not charged leave for time lost from work on the day of the injury. Employees are expected to return to work unless the treating physician indicates the employee must go home for the day. A written statement shall be obtained from the treating physician if the employee cannot return to work. In situations where the employee cannot return to work the employee shall be paid full salary for normal working hours on the day of the injury.
Employees injured on the job in a compensable accident who have returned to work, but continue to require medical or therapy visits to reach maximum medical improvement, shall not be charged leave for time lost from work for required medical or therapy treatment.
Lost Work-Time More Than 7 Days
If the lost work-time exceeds seven days, the days in excess of seven days is charged to Workers' Compensation benefits. The weekly benefit may be supplemented by the use of partial earned sick or vacation leave in accordance with a schedule published by the Office of State Personnel each year.
Compensatory time may be substituted for sick or vacation leave if applied within the time frames provided under the Hours of Work and Overtime Compensation Policy.
Lost Work-Time 21 Days or More
The seven calendar day waiting period is waived if the lost work-time exceeds 21 days, thus workers' compensation weekly benefits can be received for the first seven days. If this occurs in the case of an employee who elected to use leave during the waiting period, no adjustment shall be made in the leave used for these workdays.
Employees must give notice of an accident to his or her supervisor as soon as possible. For occupational diseases the time frame for notice begins when the employee is first informed by a medical authority.
The department is responsible for notifying the Safety & Risk Management office as soon as they are made aware of a work related injury, typically within 24 hours. The department should be prepared to provide information to the Safety & Risk Management Office regarding the time, location, and nature of the accident along with employee information for the injured worker. The department is also responsible for ensuring that the employee and supervisor statement forms are completed and returned to the Safety & Risk Management Office in a timely manner. Copies of the supervisor and employee statements are available under Worker’s Compensation forms. The department should immediately notify the Safety & Risk Office if an injured worker’s medical status changes or there are absences due to the injury. The department should also forward all doctors’ notes to the Safety & Risk Management Office.
Workers' Compensation Expenses
All North Carolina agencies and universities are self insured for workers' compensation expenses. The department in which the employee is assigned to at the time of the injury is responsible for payment of all the charges for work related injuries found to be compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act. Corvel who is the third party administer for the University's workers' compensation claims will pay all authorized expenses from the workers' compensation fund which is composed of deposits from North Carolina agencies and universities. Each month, the Office of State Controller will invoice the University for medical and wage expenses for our workers' compensation claims in order to reimburse the workers' compensation fund. The Safety and Risk Management Office is responsible for allocating the charges back to the employee's department on a monthly basis.
Continuation of Benefits
While on workers' compensation leave an employee is eligible for continuation of the following benefits:
Performance Increase: Upon reinstatement, an employee's salary will be computed based on the last salary plus any legislative increase to which entitled. Any performance increase which would have been given had the employee been at work may also be included in the reinstatement salary, or it may be given on any payment date following reinstatement.
Vacation and Sick Leave: While on workers' compensation leave, the employee will continue to accumulate vacation
and sick leave to be credited to his/her account for use upon return. If the employee
does not return, vacation and sick leave accumulated during the first twelve months
of leave will be paid in a lump sum along with other unused vacation.
Hospitalization Insurance: While on workers' compensation leave, an employee is in pay status and will continue coverage under the State's health insurance program. Monthly premiums for the employee will be paid by the State. Premiums for any dependent coverage must be paid directly by the employee.
Retirement Service Credit: While on workers' compensation leave an employee does not receive retirement credit. As a member of the Retirement System, the employee may purchase credits for the period of time on an approved leave of absence.