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Injured workers should be provided with the appropriate medical treatment medically necessary to recover from a compensable work-related injury or illness. Most employers and insurance adjusters provide benefits without assistance from the Bureau. If you are not having problems with your claim, you do not need to contact us. However, if you are having problems, or just want to know what to expect, please read further. Basic information is available in our Beginner’s Guide to Tennessee Workers’ Compensation.

The Bureau's Ombudsman Program provides assistance to employees, employers or any other party in a workers’ compensation claim that is not represented by an attorney.  The Ombudsman helps these self-represented employees and employers navigate the workers’ compensation claims process. Knowing accurate information about the law and the processes can help prevent disputes from becoming roadblocks to agreements.

How can I speak to an Ombudsman?

Any party that is not represented by legal counsel may request the services of a workers’ compensation Ombudsman by contacting the Division at its toll-free phone number: (800) 332-2667.

How can an Ombudsman help me?

An ombudsman can help injured employees if:

  • Your supervisor refuses to provide you a list of medical providers;
  • The insurance adjuster handling your claim won’t authorize your medical treatment;
  • You are not receiving your benefits timely; or,
  • Your claim has been denied but you believe your injury is work-related.

An ombudsman can help employers by providing important information that will help settle disputes and save money.  See the information below.

What can an Ombudsman do?

An Ombudsman can:

  • Meet with and provide information to parties not represented by legal counsel;
  • Communicate with all parties and providers in the claim;
  • Assist the parties in the completion of forms;
  • Facilitate the exchange of medical records; and
  • Investigate and attempt to resolve disputes without resorting to the Division’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Process and/or the Court of Workers’ Compensation.

Can an Ombudsman give me legal advice?

No.  But while an Ombudsman cannot provide legal advice, an Ombudsman can:

  • Provide information on workers’ compensation laws and the Division’s policies, practices, procedures, and rules;
  • Inform participants of their rights and obligations under the law; and,
  • Assist participants in completing forms, obtaining medical records and scheduling appointments.

Please realize, If you begin receiving the services of an Ombudsman and then hire an attorney, you must immediately notify the Division of your legal representation and discontinue the use of the services provided by an Ombudsman.

What other assistance can an Ombudsman provide employees?

Am Ombudsman can further help employees by providing information about available resources, such as:

Learn about open jobs in your area.

Workforce Training

Workforce Training is provided through Tennessee's statewide American Job Centers. The system is subdivided into thirteen (13) Local Workforce Development Areas. These areas, which are administered by a local board, are clusters of counties whose labor market and other employment-related factors are similar. Consequently, each area provides workforce development and career services based on local needs. For training in your area, contact a provider.

Adult Education

Adult Education empowers individuals to become self-sufficient by providing the basic skills and knowledge necessary to complete a secondary education. Tennessee Adult Education provides basic skills upgrades and works with individuals to help them meet their educational and career goals. We have classes across the state to enhance future employment opportunities and personal growth: adult basic educationHigh School Equivalency test preparation for those who have not completed high school, and foreign language assistance for non-native English speakers wanting to learn the English language.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) provides nutritional assistance benefits to children and families, the elderly, the disabled, unemployed and working families. SNAP benefits are issued and accessed electronically using a Benefit Security Card or EBT Card. To apply for benefits, visit your local DHS county office.

Child Support Services

The Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) offers numerous services to parents or legal guardians trying to obtain financial and medical support for their child or children. Our child support staff can help modify court orders and enforce those orders.

Need More Help?

If you have additional questions, please call 615-532-4812 or 800-332-2667 or contact us by email at Find out about other available assistance programs by contacting an ombudsman