Useful phone numbers if you are hurt on the job
UFCW Local 371: 1-800-882-5571
Connecticut Worker’s Comp (toll free in-state): 1-800-223-9675
Connecticut Worker’s Comp (calling from MA): 860-493-1500
Massachusetts Worker’s Comp (Western Mass. office): 413-784-1133
Below are some basic guidelines to follow if you are hurt on the job. The most important rule of all is to seek assistance from experts on worker’s compensation laws in your state. Today’s tangled and confusing worker’s comp laws have led to the financial ruin and psychological trauma of many workers, especially those with serious injuries. Do not hesitate to call us at 1-800-882-5571.
Both Connecticut and Massachusetts have numbers and website you can visit to have questions answered. You may also want to seek advice from a labor-friendly COSH organization. They can offer you help finding an attorney and provide other kinds of assistance. These numbers and website addresses are provided in the adjacent box.
Report Every Injury Immediately
Failure to report a work-related injury promptly is the primary reason for a workers’ compensation claim to be denied. Report all work injuries immediately, and make sure a First Report of Injury is filled out.
Initial Medical Treatment
Your employer will designate the doctor or facility to provide you with your initial medical treatment. In most cases this will be a nearby walk-in clinic, hospital ER, or Industrial Health Care. You are only required to get your initial treatment at this facility. If you need further treatment, you can select your own physician. If you do not select your own physician, the doctor or facility selected by your employer will become the attending physician.
Your Right to Choose Your Attending Physician
After the employer provides you with your initial medical treatment, you have the right to choose your own attending physician. If you have a serious injury that is going to require extended treatment or cause you to be disabled, the Union strongly urges you to choose your own attending physician rather than continue treatment at a clinic-like facility.
If your employer has a managed medical care plan for workers’ compensation, you can select your attending physician but he or she must be in the plan’s network. The network must include doctors in all major care specialties.
If your employer does not have a managed medical care plan for workers’ compensation, you can select as your attending physician any physician licensed by the State of Connecticut.
Once you have established an attending physician, you cannot charge doctors unless: (1) the attending physician refers you to another doctor; (2) the insurance company grants permission for you to change doctors; or (3) the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner authorizes you to see another doctor.
Billing for Medical Treatment
Bills for your medical treatment should be sent by the medical provider directly to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier, never to you. Make sure you know who that insurance carrier is and inform the doctor’s office. If you have out-of-pocket expenses for prescriptions, these must be reimbursed in full by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
If you can continue to work but you need medical treatment or therapy, this should be done during your work hours if available with-out any loss in pay. If not available with-out any loss in pay. If not available during your work hours, and you must go on your own time, you must be paid your usual hourly rate for the time spent getting treatment and going to and from treatment. You should also be reimbursed for your travel expenses at the rate of 15 cents per mile.