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Workers' Compensation

The Cornell Workers’ Compensation Program provides payments for medical treatment and wages lost as a result of a work-related illness or injury. If you receive a Cornell paycheck, you are covered by Workers’ Compensation (volunteers are not covered).

File a Claim

If you experience a work-related illness or work injury, Cornell policy requires that you notify your immediate supervisor within 24 hours of the accident. To file a claim for benefits, complete a Cornell Accident Report Form, paying particular attention to the nature of the injury, lost work time, and medical treatment administered.

What is Covered

If you are a regular full- or part-time employee and a physician disables you from working, you will continue to receive your regular salary during the first 13 weeks of disability.  However, state law requires a 7 calendar day waiting period before workers’ compensation kicks in.

During this waiting period, your accumulated sick leave can be used. If you have no accumulated sick leave, you may use vacation to assure continuation of full salary during this time. If your disability exceeds 14 calendar days, the sick leave or vacation time used during the first week will be returned to you.

A benefit-eligible staff member’s position, or an equivalent, is held for a combined total of 26 weeks of any medical leave (182 days) during any 12-month period. If you return to full duty within this 26 week period, you are entitled to your job upon returning to work. Once this 26 week period has elapsed, your department is no longer required to hold your position, and it may be filled at the department’s discretion.

Workers’ Compensation has no limit on how long you receive a benefit. Therefore, you may receive Workers’ Compensation for the first six months ofl eave, and then, if approved, LTD will begin. If you continue to receive Workers’ Compensation after LTD begins, the monthly benefit you receive from the LTD plan is reduced by the amount you are receiving in Workers’ Compensation benefits.

Returning to Work

Once your disability has ended, you must be medically certified to return to your job. This will require you to present a medical note from your physician to your supervisor that you are able to resume your job. This note must be presented either before your return or on the day you return. Cornell may seek independent medical verification of your ability to return to work.

Selecting a Workers' Comp. Health Care Provider

For the treatment of your work-related injury or illness, you may choose any physician, podiatrist, chiropractor, or psychologist (upon referral from an authorized physician) who is Workers' Compensation Board authorized and who is accepting workers' compensation patients.

While you may choose to utilize a network or provider which is recommended by your employer or its workers' compensation insurance carrier or to permit your employer to select a provider on your behalf, you may, at any time, change your health care provider without jeopardizing your workers' compensation claim for benefits.

To signify your understanding of this right, please fill out the form linked below and return it as directed on the form.