What is an injured employee entitled to?

Employees who have suffered a compensable workplace injury are entitled to receive the following:


           A. Disability Benefits:  

If the employee’s injury is determined to be compensable and the employee is unable to work, temporary benefits will be paid. Compensation is not paid by this division, but by the employer's insurance carrier, unless the employer is self-insured. If the employer is self-insured, compensation is paid directly by the employer or its representative.

Weekly benefits are paid if the authorized treating physician finds that the employee is unable to work due to the injury and misses more than seven days of work. If the employee is out more than 14 days, benefits will be paid from the first day the physician finds that the employee is unable to work due to the injury.

The Workers' Compensation Law sets limits on the maximum and minimum amounts of weekly compensation paid to injured employees. The average of the employee's gross wages will determine the weekly rate. The amount of the benefits are calculated using two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wage over the 52 weeks prior to the injury.


           B. Medical Benefits:  

The employer should provide the employee a Agreement Between Employer/Employee Choice of Physician" (Form C-42) as explained above.

If specialized treatment is required, the authorized treating physician may refer the employee for such specialized treatment at which time another panel of specialized physicians should be offered.

Medical treatment, at no cost to the employee, extends for as long as required by the authorized treating physician. If appropriate, the physician will provide the employee with off-work excuses and light or restricted duty limitations. It is very important that the authorized treating physician's instructions and restrictions be followed at all times.

Mileage reimbursement for travel to and from medical treatment is allowed if travel, either to or from medical treatment, exceeds 15 miles. The mileage rate is based on current mileage allowance for Tennessee state employees.


           C. Permanent Disability and Final Settlement:  

When the injury has healed and maximum medical improvement (MMI) is reached, the injured employee will be released from the physician's care.

If the injured employee does not recover completely, the physician should assign a permanent impairment rating.

The impairment rating, combined with vocational factors, may result in a permanent disability award.

Workers' Compensation Specialists with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development conduct, 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 the Request for Benefit Review Conference (Form C40B) and submit it to the Workers' Compensation Division to request a Benefit Review Conference.

Scheduled Injuries


First or index finger

60 weeks

35 weeks

Second or middle finger

30 weeks

Third or ring finger

20 weeks

Fourth or little finger

15 weeks

Great toe

30 weeks

Any other toe

10 weeks


150 weeks


200 weeks


125 weeks


200 weeks


100 weeks

Hearing (one ear)

75 weeks

Hearing (both ears)

150 weeks

*Body as a whole

400 weeks

*The 400 weeks for body as a whole is used for a maximum for Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) but does not apply to Permanent Total Disability (PTD).

Reconsideration of a Permanent Partial Disability settlement:  The workers’ compensation law places a cap on permanent partial disability awards in those cases where an employee returns to work for the same employer at the same or greater rate of pay as before the compensable injury.  If the injury is to a scheduled member rated 200 weeks or more (as identified in the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act), and if the injured employee loses his/her job within those number of weeks (following the date the injured employee returned to work), he/she may be entitled to a reconsideration of his/her original permanent partial disability settlement.  The job loss must be due to factors other than quitting or being fired for cause.  For example, if the employee lost his/her job due to a layoff, he/she may be entitled to reconsideration.  Contact the Tennessee Department of Labor Workforce Development's Workers' Compensation Division for additional information.


           D. Death Benefits:  

When an injury results in the death of a covered employee, benefits are available to the surviving dependents.

Burial expenses for the deceased employee are paid, not to exceed $7,500.

When the deceased employee leaves no dependents, $20,000 shall be paid to his or her estate.


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