WORKERS COMPENSATION

Guide to Benefits and Claims Filing

Under certain conditions, an employee who is injured in an on-the-job accident is entitled to compensation. This page covers those conditions and provides information on how to file claims.

Know your righrs under Alabama worker’s compensation law.

Exceptions

Circumstances which may negate an employee’s claim for benefits:

  1. When the accident is caused by the willful misconduct of the employee.
  2. When caused by the act of a third person or fellow employee for personal reasons, and not directed against him as an employee or because of his employment.
  3. By the employee’s intention to bring about the injury or death of himself or another.
  4. By the employee’s intoxication from alcohol or use of illegal drugs.
  5. By failure or willful refusal to use safety appliances provided by the employer.
  6. By willful refusal or willful neglect of the employee to perform a statutory duty.
  7. By the employee’s willful breach of a reasonable rule or regulation of the employer, of which rule or regulation the employee has knowledge.

Weekly Compensation Benefits

Weekly compensation benefits for injury and death claims are computed as follows:

For injury claims, multiply the employee’s average weekly earnings for 52 weeks prior to injury by 66 2/3%. Benefits cannot exceed maximum benefits in effect on date of injury. The State’s Average Weekly Wage is determined in accordance with Section 25-5-68.

For death claims, multiply the employee’s average weekly earnings prior to the accident by 50% if the employee has one dependent, or by 66 2/3% if the employee has two or more dependents. Death benefits are subject to maximum and minimum in effect on date of injury. If the deceased employee, at the time of his or her death, has no dependents, then within 60 days of his or her death, the employer shall pay a one-time lump sum payment of $7,500 to the deceased worker’s estate.

In no case can weekly rate of compensation be less than the minimum compensation which was in effect at the time of injury, unless the average weekly earnings of the injured employee were less than that minimum. In such case, 100% of the injured employee’s average weekly earnings are paid.

Hospital, Medical, Surgical Treatment

In addition to weekly compensation payments to the employee or his dependents, the employer is responsible for the payment of reasonably necessary medical, surgical and chiropractic treatment and attention, medicine, medical and surgical supplies, crutches, artificial members, and other apparatus, as may be obtained by the injured employee during the disability.
The employer will select the treating physician at the time of the accident. If the employee is dissatisfied with the initial treating physician selected by the employer, and if further treatment is required, the employee may so advise the employer, and be entitled to select a second physician from a panel or list of four physicians selected by the employer.

Note: If the injured employee refuses to comply with any reasonable request for examination, or refuses to accept the medical service or physical rehabilitation which the employer elects to furnish, the employee’s right to compensation shall be suspended and no compensation shall be payable for the period of such refusal.

Limitations

The following types of claims cannot exceed the time period shown:

Death: 500 weeks
Permanent: Unlimited
Permanent Partial Body: 300 weeks
Temporary Total: Unlimited
Temporary Partial: 300 weeks

Statute of Limitations

All claims for compensation shall be barred unless within two years from the date of the accident a verified complaint is filed in the courts. Where payments of compensation have been made, such complaint must be filed within two years from the date of the last compensation payment. (The word “compensation” does not include payments made for hospital, medical, and surgical treatments.)

Burial Expenses

In the event of the death of the injured employee, the employer shall be responsible for paying an amount not exceeding $6,500 toward the burial expenses. This liability is not reduced by reason of private burial insurance carried by the deceased.

Telephone Numbers for Division Staff

The State of Alabama Workers’ Compensation Division’s normal business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Main Telephone Numbers (Including for those Injured on the Job): 334-956-4044 or 1-800-528-5166

To contact the Director Supervisor, call 334-956-4026 or email Steve.Garrett@labor.alabama.gov.

To contact the Ombudsman Supervisor, call 334-956-4041 or email John.H.Lewis@labor.alabama.gov.

To contact the Medical Supervisor, call 334-956-4047 or email Craig.White@labor.alabama.gov.

To contact the Seminars Coordinator, call 334-956-4029 or email Linsey.Kelly@labor.alabama.gov.

contact the WC Claims Specialist at 334-956-4044 or email Suzanne.Norsworthy@labor.alabama.gov.