Questions and Answers About Tennessee Workers’ Compensation – Part III

Q.        Does workers’ compensation only cover sudden or accidental injuries?

A.        No.  Gradual injuries that occur over a period of time are also covered by workers’ compensation.  It is common for gradual injuries to appear in hand, arm, and shoulder injuries, as well as neck and back injuries (carpal tunnel, hearing loss, tendinitis, degenerative disc disease).

 Q.        What benefits are injured employees entitled to under the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Law?

 A.        1.         Doctors and hospital bills, prescription drugs and other related medical    expenses during treatment;

           2.         Temporary disability benefits;

            3.         Permanent disability benefits; and

            4.         Medical expenses for ongoing treatment. 

Q.        Can the employer file an injured employer’s medical bills under its group insurance?

 A.        Not if the employee is injured on the job.  Group insurance is responsible for bills related to an employee’s accident or sickness unrelated to his/her work.

 Q.        What are temporary total disability benefits?

 A.        Temporary total disability benefits are the weekly benefits injured employees are entitled to during the period of time for which they are off work and under their doctor’s care.

Q.        When should an employee expect to receive his/her first check for workers’ compensation benefits? 

A.        The law requires that the first payment of temporary compensation be made within fifteen (15) days from the date of the injury.  If for some reason payment is not made by then, the employee should immediately consult a competent attorney because chances are, the claim is being denied.

 Q.        How is the amount of weekly benefits calculated?

 A.        Injured employees are entitled to a weekly benefit equaling two-thirds (2/3) of their average weekly wage.  However, the maximum weekly benefit is set by the State Legislature.  That maximum rate (and minimum rate) are found on the Tennessee Department of Labor’s website at

  Q.        How often do temporary total disability benefits have to be paid to the injured employee?

 A.        Every two (2) weeks.

 Q.        If an employee returns to work, can he/she continue to draw temporary disability benefits?

 A.        No, but he/she may be entitled to temporary partial disability and then permanent disability benefits.

 Q.        After an employee is released by his/her doctor, can he/she still draw temporary total disability benefits?

 A.        No.  The only additional benefits that the employee is entitled to are permanent partial disability benefits and future medical benefits.

If you need more information about a personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), Social Security Disability or SSI matter, or a workers compensation matter, please contact John Dreiser at the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation.  We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611 or by e-mail at, through Facebook,  or through our website at  Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, ChattanoogaKingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.


About farmerdreiser

Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, The Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser provide comprehensive representation to injured victims throughout eastern Tennessee in personal injury, Social Security disability, and workers' compensation cases.
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