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Mediation Services

Problem Getting My Benefits

The Mediation and Ombudsman Services of Tennessee (MOST) program administers a three-stage process to help resolve disputes between injured employees and an insurance adjuster or employer in a workers’ compensation claim.  The goal of this program is to resolve disputes that involve compensability, medical treatment including future medical benefits, and/or temporary disability benefits which an employee believes might be due.  

Mediation Sure Beats Court Costs

Mediation, or alternative dispute resolution, can help resolve disputes between injured employees and an insurance adjuster (or employer) in a workers’ compensation claim.  Mediation is conducted privately between the parties with the assistance of a Mediation Specialist from the Tennessee Bureau of Workers' Compensation.  It is both quicker and less expensive to settle the matter through an alternative dispute resolution process than through the court system. 

Request Mediation

The right to receive workers’ compensation benefits does not stay open forever.

In most cases, the deadline to file the request is one year from the date the injury occurred; or the date the last temporary disability benefits were paid or medical benefits were provided for the injury, whichever is latest. To protect your rights:


Medical Treatment and/or Temporary Disability Benefits

An injured employee having difficulty receiving temporary disability benefits or medical treatment related to a workplace injury can start. the mediation process by submitting a Petition for Benefits Determination (Spanish) form to the Bureau.

If mediation is unsuccessful, your Mediator will issue a Dispute Certification Notice (Spanish) to the parties and file the Notice with the Clerk of the Court of Workers' Compensation Claims.

You will then need to file a Request for Hearing with the CWCC Court Clerk.

The file is transferred to the Court of Workers' Compensation Claims and a Decision either denying or awarding benefits will be issued by a Judge there.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Some workplace injuries are so severe that the injured employee never fully recovers. Workers left with a permanent disability, or impairment may be entitled to permanent disability benefits and/or future medical benefits.

For assistance with receiving these benefits, an injured worker may file a Petition for Benefits Determination (Spanish).

A mediation for permanent disability benefit can be requested by either party only after the injured employee has reached "maximum medical improvement" (or MMI) by the authorized treating physician.

If an agreement is reached during the mediation, the file is transferred to the Court of Workers' Compensation Claims. Terms of the settlement are included in a written Settlement Agreement that must be approved in order to become a binding legal document. 

The Bureau conducts Approval Conferences, in which a Workers' Compensation Judge will review the terms of the settlement with the injured employee.

The mediator will issue a Dispute Certification Notice if an agreement is not reached. Either party may request a hearing with the Court of Workers' Compensation Claims within the applicable time frames.

Medical Treatment and/or Temporary Disability Benefits

An injured employee having difficulty receiving temporary disability benefits or medical treatment related to a workplace injury can start the mediation process by submitting a Request for Mediation (Spanish) form to the Bureau.

If mediation is unsuccessful, the file is transferred to an Attorney Specialist who has the authority to resolve the issue(s) with the issuance of a Benefit Review Order either denying or awarding benefits. 

The parties must comply with a Benefit Review Order within fifteen (15) calendar days. 

Orders issued in the MOST process can be appealed to the Administrative Review Program if either party thinks the Order was unjust.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Some workplace injuries are so severe that the injured employee never fully recovers. Workers left with a permanent disability, or impairment may be entitled to permanent disability benefits and/or future medical benefits.

For assistance with receiving these benefits, an injured worker may file a Request for Mediation. 

A mediation for permanent disability benefits can be requested by either party only after the injured employee has reached "maximum medical improvement" (or MMI) by the authorized treating physician.

If an agreement is reached during the mediation, the terms of the settlement are included in a written Settlement Agreement that must be approved in order to become a binding legal document. 

The Bureau conducts Approval Conferences, in which a Workers' Compensation Specialist will review the terms of the settlement with the injured employee. Parties may choose to have the settlement approved through a Chancery or Circuit Court proceeding.

The mediator will issue an Impasse Report if an agreement is not reached. Either party may then file suit in the appropriate Chancery or Circuit Court within the applicable time frames to pursue the claim.