Workers compensation FAQs
Frequently asked questions about workers compensation
We understand that suffering an injury at work can be a stressful experience. We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions that you may have about the process.
Workers compensation FAQs
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- Severe weather
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- Understanding business income coverage
- Virtual workplaces
- Workplace safety index
What is workers compensation coverage?
Workers compensation is a state-mandated insurance program provided by your employer that covers medical treatment for your work-related injury or illness and lost wages if you are unable to work. The program also covers other services you may need during your recovery.
What should I do if I can’t find my claims handler’s contact information?
If you are unable to find your claims handler’s contact information, please call 1-800-362-0000 for assistance.
What should I do if I can’t find my claim number?
If you are unable to locate your claim number, please call 1-800-362-0000 for assistance.
When will I receive my claim check by mail?
Your claim check should arrive three to five business days after it is processed. Checks are sent via the United States Postal Service.
I am enrolled in direct deposit. When will my claim payment be reflected in my account?
Your claim payment should appear in your account within three business days after it is processed.
How will I know when my claim check/payment is processed?
Your claims handler can tell you the status of your payment. You may also be able to quickly access this information online through our secure website. Please contact your claims handler to learn whether this service is available to you.
How is the amount of my claim check/payment calculated?
Your claim check/payment amount is determined based on a percentage of your lost wages, up to a specific dollar maximum, set by your state’s workers compensation statutory plan. Your claims handler will discuss the calculation in detail with you. If you have additional questions regarding state rules for calculating workers compensation benefits, please contact your claims handler or refer to your state’s workers compensation website.
Are my workers compensation benefits considered taxable income? If so, have taxes already been deducted from my check/payment?
In most states, workers compensation benefits are considered reportable but not taxable income. We encourage you to contact your tax advisor if you have additional questions. You may also find more information on your state’s workers compensation website.
What is the eligibility waiting period for my workers compensation benefits?
The waiting period, or the length of time you must be disabled from work until you are eligible to receive workers compensation benefits, varies depending on the state and ranges from three to seven days. For additional information on the waiting period for your state, contact your claims handler or visit your state’s workers compensation website.
Can I receive medical treatment from my personal or primary care medical provider?
Treatment guidelines vary by state. In some states, employers can arrange to have injured workers receive treatment from physicians who specialize in work-related injuries. Before making an appointment, please contact your claims handler or nurse case manager to discuss whether you are able to receive treatment from your personal or primary care medical provider.
How do I find a medical provider?
We can help you find a provider that is located close to you.
- For Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee, or Texas, please call us at 1-800-944-0443.
- For all other states, use our online provider locator.
What information should I bring to my medical appointment?
Please bring the following to your appointment:
You should also provide your medical provider’s office with your claim number and the mailing address for your medical bills. Your claims handler can provide this information to you.
- A list of your current medications
- Medical records related to your current injury, if available
- Work status report, if available
Should I call my claims handler or employer when I have a medical provider visit?
Yes. Maintaining open and regular contact with your claims handler is an important part of the claims process. You should provide your claims handler with a status update after each provider visit. Your claims handler can help answer questions about your claim and will also work with you, your provider, and your employer to facilitate your recovery.
Should I notify my claims handler if I change my medical provider?
Yes. Please contact your claims handler or nurse case manager before changing your treating provider, as guidelines vary by state. You should also notify your claims handler or nurse case manager if your treating provider refers you to another provider or specialist.
How will my claims handler assist me during the claims process?
Your claims handler will promptly evaluate your workers compensation claim, explain your benefits, and arrange for medical treatment payments and any lost wage payments for which you are eligible. Your claims handler will also answer your payment questions and update your employer on your work and medical status.
What are my responsibilities if I am unable to work?
If you are unable to work, be sure to:
- Communicate with your claims handler: Provide necessary information, including any required forms, to your claims handler so we can promptly process your claim. Let your claims handler know of any medical updates or changes to your work status.
- Follow your treatment and return-to-work plans: Attend your medical appointments and follow any work restrictions set by your doctor—doing so will help you avoid re-injury and facilitate your recovery. If you are unable to work, actively participate in return-to-work planning.
- Update your employer: Keep your employer updated on your recovery and work status. If you are unable to work, your employer may be able to provide an alternative work assignment until you can return to your regular job.
What should I expect from my employer if I am away from work?
After promptly reporting your injury to Liberty Mutual Insurance, your employer may contact you regularly while you are away from work, share information about your job’s physical demands with your doctor, and discuss possible temporary, short-term, or alternate job assignments with you and your claims handler if needed.
What is my doctor’s role in my recovery and return to work?
After evaluating your injury and providing appropriate medical treatment, your doctor should give you a plan for treatment and expected recovery. If you are unable to work, your doctor also helps develop a plan so that you can return to work. If necessary, he or she may recommend referrals to other medical professionals, such as physical therapists, etc. Your doctor will also monitor your recovery, address your physical capabilities, and share this information with your claims handler and employer. Your doctor’s evaluation may help identify temporary, alternative job assignments.
I have a nurse case manager—what is his/her role during my recovery?
Liberty Mutual Insurance may assign a registered nurse to your case to help answer your questions, ensure that you are getting the right treatment, and facilitate your safe return to work. Your nurse case manager may also review your job’s physical demands and your work abilities with your employer, your doctor, and you. The nurse will also assist you and your claims handler by answering medical questions and updating your employer on your return-to-work and medical status as needed.
Should I tell my doctor about my job functions?
Yes. Explain your job functions in detail with your provider. When possible, your claims handler or nurse case manager will provide information about your job-related duties to your provider in advance of your appointment.
Should I speak to my medical provider about work restrictions and how I can return to work under those restrictions?
Yes. You should have ongoing discussions with your provider about your physical capabilities as they relate to your job. In some cases, your provider may identify work restrictions that could allow you to return to work in a modified job. Share any information you receive from your provider with your claims handler and your employer. Your claims handler will work with your employer to determine whether modified duty or alternative work opportunities are available.
What is modified duty or light duty?
Modified and light duties are transitional duties that enable you to work with restriction while continuing to recover from your work-related injury. Your provider may allow you to return to work with restrictions. Your claims handler or nurse case manager will work with your provider to determine whether you are able to return to work in a temporary modified or light duty job.
If my physician prescribes medication for my work-related injury, how do I get my medication?
You should receive your Optum pharmacy drug card in the mail. If you have not received your card or are unable to find your card, please contact Optum at 1-866-764-7987 right away.If your provider prescribes medication for your workers compensation-related injury or illness, bring the prescription and your drug card with you to the pharmacy. The pharmacist will use the information on your drug card to process your prescription so that its cost is covered as part of your workers compensation benefit.You can also sign up for home delivery of your medication by:
- Contacting your claims handler
- Calling Optum at 1-866-764-7987
Do I need to fill my prescription at a specific pharmacy?
Yes. If your doctor prescribes medication for your workers compensation-related injury or illness and you fill the prescription at a participating pharmacy, the cost of your prescription is covered as part of your workers compensation benefit. Our pharmacy program, which is administered by our pharmacy benefits manager, Optum, is accepted at most major pharmacy chains. To find a participating pharmacy, please use Optum online pharmacy locator.
Can I sign up for home delivery of my prescription? What are the benefits of enrolling?
Yes. Optum offers a home delivery pharmacy program. If you qualify for home delivery, you may be contacted by Optum or your claims handler to discuss enrollment in the program. If you’d like to enroll in the home delivery program, please:
Benefits of the home delivery program include:
- Contact your claims handler
- Call Optum at 1-866-764-7987
- Direct access to pharmacists: Registered pharmacists are available to answer your questions about medications as well as the home delivery process.
- Dedicated home delivery client specialists: Client services specialists are available to answer your questions about state-specific home delivery.
- A 90-day supply of your medication: You can order a long-term supply of your medication if prescribed by your doctor. This means fewer refill requests and trips to the pharmacy.
- No out-of-pocket expense: Similar to Optum retail pharmacy program, the cost of any medications prescribed for your workers compensation-related injury or illness are covered as part of your workers compensation benefit.
What should I do if the pharmacy cannot fill my prescription?
Please contact your claims handler or call Optum at 1-866-764-7987. They will be able to assist the pharmacy in processing your prescription or help determine why the prescription cannot be processed.
What should I do if I lose my pharmacy card?
To request a new pharmacy card, contact Optum at 1-866-764-7987 and have your Liberty Mutual Insurance claim number available.
What should I do if I am prescribed durable medical equipment (crutches, a brace, or a wheelchair) or other ancillary services (home health care, translation, or transportation)?
Contact your claims handler if your medical provider prescribes durable medical equipment or other ancillary services for your workers compensation-related injury or illness.
How are my medical bills paid?
Your provider should mail any medical bills for treatment of your workers compensation-related injury or illness directly to Liberty Mutual Insurance. Your employer should provide this mailing address to you.
If you did not receive or are unable to locate this information, please call us at 1-800-362-0000 so we can provide you with the correct mailing address. Your provider should include your claim number with each medical bill. We will evaluate each medical bill and, when it is approved, send the payment directly to your provider.
What should I do if I receive a medical bill from my provider?
If you receive any medical bills, please call Liberty Mutual Insurance at 1-800-362-0000 so we can provide you with the correct mailing address. Please share the mailing address with your provider so that they can submit the medical bill to us for review.
Am I responsible for any outstanding balances or deductibles from my provider?
No. You are not responsible for any outstanding balance notices you receive for treatment related to your workers compensation injury or illness. If you receive an outstanding balance notice, please contact your claims handler. Your claims handler will work with your provider to make the appropriate payment based on your state’s jurisdiction.
What should I do if I receive a collection notice from my provider?
Please contact your claims handler immediately to discuss the situation and to address the collection notice.
This website is intended to be informational. Descriptions are provided only as a summary outline of the products and services available and are not intended to be comprehensive and do not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation. The products and services described may not be available in all states or jurisdictions. See your policy, service contract, or program documentation for actual terms, conditions, and exclusions. Any inquiries regarding the subject matter set forth herein should be directed through licensed insurance professionals.
Coverage and insurance are provided and underwritten by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company or its affiliates or subsidiaries. When we offer insurance products, we will state clearly which insurer will underwrite the policy. Some policies may be placed with a surplus lines insurer. Surplus lines insurers generally do not participate in state guaranty funds and coverage may only be obtained through duly licensed surplus lines brokers.