Sometimes accidents happen at work. Of course, the State of North Carolina wants to prevent them, but we need your help to keep you and your coworkers safe on the job. If you see a hazard or unsafe working condition, please try to fix it if you can. If you can't immediately fix it, put a cone or sign near the hazard and report it at hazards.nc.gov.
What Happens if I’m Injured at Work?
Below is a rundown of what will happen if you're injured at work:
- If you are injured, you must tell your supervisor immediately, and no later than 30 days after the injury. If you need medical treatment other than first aid, your supervisor will direct you to an appropriate medical provider.
- You must complete a written statement, North Carolina Employee Incident Report, detailing your injury that is included as part of your supervisor’s Incident Investigation Report.
- On the day of your injury, you will not be charged leave for the time lost from work due to your injury. However, you are expected to return to work on the day of the injury unless the initial medical provider (authorized treating physician) where you are referred for treatment says you must go home for the day.
- Your authorized treating physician will provide you with a written note for any time out of work or assigned work restrictions related to your work-related injury or illness. You must give all work notes to your supervisor or workers’ compensation administrator as soon as possible upon receipt.
- Your ongoing medical treatment is will be directed by the Third Party Administrator’s assigned adjuster that is handling claims on behalf of your agency/university.
- If the injury results in more than one lost work day, you must go on workers’ compensation leave. There is a seven-day waiting period where no compensation for time lost from work will be provided unless the injury results in disability for more than 21 days, then compensation will be allowed from the date of disability. You may use vacation or sick leave in lieu of taking workers’ compensation leave during this seven-day waiting period. Leave options covering the waiting period for certain law enforcement officers and public school employees injured in an episode of violence is covered by different policies. Consult with your human resources staff for more information about these policies.
- The NC Workers’ Compensation Act provides medical benefits and compensation for your time lost from work and any permanent disability that results from your injury. Your weekly benefit is 66 2/3% of your average weekly wages up to a statutorily calculated annual maximum amount. You may also use Supplemental Leave while you are completely out of work due to your injury.
- Return To Work: Your agency/university should have a structured Return To Work program. Your agency/university will use this program to provide you with modified/transitional duty employment that complies with the work restrictions indicated by your doctor during the healing period for your injury. After reaching maximum medical improvement, your agency/university will work with you to accommodate any permanent work restrictions and facilitate your return to permanent suitable employment.
- After reaching maximum medical improvement, you may be entitled to compensation for a permanent partial disability that is a result of your work-related injury.
- Agencies are responsible for payment for medical treatment and loss of wages for their employees’ workers’ compensation claims.
Still need more information? Email email@example.com with your questions or to find the worker's compensation administrator for your agency and facility.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Workers' Compensation?
The Workers' Compensation law provides medical benefits and disability compensation including a weekly compensation benefit for time lost. The weekly benefit is equal to 66 2/3% of the employee's average weekly earnings up to a maximum established by the Industrial Commission each year. When an employee is injured, he/she must go on workers' compensation leave and receive workers' compensation weekly benefits after the waiting period required by statute (G.S. 97-28).
Who is covered under the State Government Workers' Compensation Program?
All North Carolina State Government employees are covered under the State Government Workers' Compensation Program. This includes all agency and university employees and officers. It also includes all State elected officials, members of the General Assembly, or those appointed by the Governor to serve on a per diem, part-time or fee basis. It covers full-time employees, part-time employees, and temporary employees.
What benefits are provided under the Workers' Compensation Program?
The law provides medical and disability compensation including a weekly compensation benefit for time lost from work which is 66 2/3% of the employee's average weekly wage up to a maximum established annually by the North Carolina Industrial Commission. There is a seven calendar day waiting period where no compensation for lost time will be allowed. During this time, employees may elect to go on leave without pay or use any sick or vacation leave accrued prior to the injury. An explanation of leave options and continuation of other benefits may be found in the Workers' Compensation Leave section of the State Human Resources Policy.
Who administers the Workers' Compensation Program for my agency?
Agencies are responsible for administering their own programs, including funding medical treatment and compensation for loss of wages for employees experiencing a work related injury or occupational illness. A Third Party Administrator (TPA) contracted by the state, handles the individual workers' compensation cases for the University System, the Judicial Branch, the Legislative Branch, all agencies under the Executive Branch, and several Boards and Commissions. The TPA currently responsible for handling those workers' compensation claims is CorVel, which has offices located in Charlotte and Raleigh.
What should an employee do in the event of a work-related injury or illness?
An employee who is injured on the job or contracts an occupational disease as defined in the Workers' Compensation Act must notify his or her supervisor immediately and complete the proper forms as soon as possible. An explanation of workers' compensation coverage, including the employees' entitlements, rights and duties may be found in the North Carolina State Government Workers' Compensation Employee Handbook, a copy of which may be obtained from the agency Workers' Compensation Administrator.
What are the responsibilities of the supervisor when an employee is injured on the job or diagnosed with an occupational illness?
The supervisor has the responsibility of ensuring that the employee receives medical treatment immediately and notifying the agency Workers' Compensation Administrator, or designee, as soon as possible in order to begin the process of administering the claim. The supervisor should be aware of where to direct the employee for medical treatment (unless it is a life-threatening emergency). The agency Workers' Compensation Administrator will provide the name of the selected physician from the Preferred Provider Network listing, unless the agency utilizes an in-house medical treatment facilities.
What are the responsibilities of agencies/universities?
The following are the primary responsibilities typically carried out by the agency Workers' Compensation Administrator:
- Administer an effective and efficient Workers' Compensation program.
- Effectively communicate Workers' Compensation policy and procedures to all employees.
- Facilitate good employee relations with respect to Workers' Compensation claims.
- Maintain a thorough working knowledge of the Workers' Compensation Act and Industrial Commission rules, regulations, and procedures.
- Assure that injury notices are received from supervisors in a timely manner.
- Assure reimbursement of funds to the Workers' Compensation Fund on a monthly basis.
- Ensure completion of Form 19s, or other appropriate/required forms, and forward to the third party administrator, where applicable.
- Coordinate Workers' Compensation claims accident investigations with the Safety Officer and third party administrator.
- Coordinate pay, including benefits, for all employees that are involved in a Workers' Compensation claim.
- Participate in clincher agreements.
- Develop and administer an effective return-to-work program.
- Coordinate agency/university participation of Industrial Commission hearings when necessary.
- Assure accurate salary continuation of employees involved in Workers' Compensation cases, where applicable