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 Risk Management – Frequently Asked Questions 
The following information is grouped by categories for easy access. Click the arrow next to a category to view the list of FAQs for that category.
expand Auto Program
Which accidents should I report?
All of them – make no determination of fault – report them within 48 hrs.
Am I covered in my personal vehicle?
If you are doing your official duties at the time, you are covered under the Ga Tort Claims Act.
Can I be sued personally?
You may not be personally sued under the Ga Tort Claims Act. State employees have immunity while performing their official duties.
Am I covered in a rental vehicle?
Yes, but only while doing the business of the state.
Does the state carry medical payments or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage?
No. We provide Liability Coverage to state employees driving on state business and in the course and scope of their employment.
If I’m in my personal vehicle and doing the state’s business, will you pay for the damage to my vehicle?
No.
Can subcontractors drive state vehicles?
We provide no coverage for subcontractors.
Who do I speak with about damage to State vehicles?
Ed Finnegan
Email: ed.finnegan@doas.ga.gov
Phone: 404-463-7490
Does the DOAS Automobile Physical Damage Agreement provide coverage for damage to rental vehicles?
No, you need to request and purchase a separate “Loss Damage Waiver” from the vehicle rental company. However, if you rent a passenger vehicle under a Statewide “Automotive Rental” contract utilizing the current contract ID number, then the Loss Damage Waiver is automatically included in the vehicle rental fee.
expand Comprehensive Loss Control Program
Is this a new program?
The CLCP is a new initiative flowing from the need to better manage risk in state agency operations. Senate Bill 425 also gave DOAS new authority to implement loss control measures. However, many state agencies already have written programs such as Workers' Compensation Return to Work, safety programs and fleet maintenance. The CLCP goal is to ensure that all covered entities have written loss prevention/control programs that are comprehensive and effective in dealing with the risks and exposures to their operation and employees.
Is my agency expected to budget additional funding for these programs?
Most of what is involved in the CLCP will only take a few hours a week of existing managers' time to pay more attention to the worker's safety and loss prevention issues. We don't see a need for any agency to add staff or buy equipment and material in order to implement the CLCP. We will partner with agencies to identify loss trends and exposures and work with them to implement their plans to correct deficiencies that are identified.
Will we be assigned a DOAS representative during our development of the program components?
After your agency and DOAS sign the CLCP Agreement, your agency will be contacted by one of our two Risk Management Services Loss Control and Safety Officers to arrange a visit to your agency and to work with your agency to develop your loss control plan.
How much time does the CLCP allow my agency to develop and implement our loss control plan?
We plan for all entities to sign the CLCP Agreement between October 1, 2008 and January 31, 2009. As soon as the Agreement is signed and the initial contact made by our Loss Control and Safety Officer, development and implementation of your plan should begin. Many agencies may already have implemented some of the eight CLCP components. Full implementation of your loss control plan is expected by the end of FY 2010.
Will DOAS provide training materials for Employee Education and Training component?
Yes, Risk Management Services will produce, acquire and make available training material/videos and we will make a system available that will allow each employee who views the material to verify training simply by logging into the system to view the video.
Will DOAS be taking over my Safety Program?
No, Risk Management Services Loss Control and Safety Officers will act as consultants to assist your agency to implement your plan that is specific to your agency's exposures and operations. The essential duties must be implemented and managed by each agency.
The Auto component references reviewing driving records. How do I obtain them?
The Department of Driver Services has a Bulk Request license that provides free MVRs for state agencies. Contact Beverly Tankersley at 678-413-8847 or btankersley@dds.ga.gov about the process.

You may also click on this link https://onlinemvr.dds.ga.gov/mvr/gettingcert.aspxLink Opens in New Window to find DDS information on "Getting Certified" to request MVRs. There is a one-time $10 fee for the Georgia Technology Authority to setup part of the account. This is done through their Office of Data Sales. Contact Ashley Johnson at 404-463-7212 or ajohnso@gta.ga.gov for more information. DOAS is also researching other methods that may provide easier acquisition and review of MVRs.
 
How will anyone know the CLCP is making a difference?
Beginning in the second quarter of FY2009, all agencies will begin receiving their own loss data. Each agency can use this data to identify trends and discuss opportunities for improvements. This will allow each agency with our help, to customize their plan to their specific needs or areas of concern. Beginning in FY 2010, loss reduction goals will be calculated for each agency and your monthly reports will show your trend toward achieving your goals.
Besides a safer workplace, what other benefits does the CLCP offer to my agency?
By agreeing to implement the CLCP, you will avoid additional premium costs, have lower or in some cases no deductibles in the event of a loss and by avoiding losses, have lower premiums in future fiscal periods. Also, participants get free subrogation service for uncovered property and vehicles.
Is there a penalty for not participating?
Yes, premium surcharges, higher deductibles and co-payments for state entities that choose not to participate and have an effective loss control plan in place.
How do I get loss data for my agency?
Please contact Lisa Pratt at lisa.pratt@doas.ga.gov to request any loss data for your agency.
How does staff in my agency view the videos, if my agency has blocked the site?
Please contact Pam Morrow at pam.morrow@doas.ga.gov to request the videos on DVD.
What if I can view the video, but can't hear the audio?
You may need to change the volume setting on your computer. If you need assistance, please contact your IT support.
expand General Information
How can I provide a competitive quote on one or more Risk Management Services Division's insurance programs (auto liability, general liability, fidelity bonds, or property)?
Risk Management Services Division's Insurance Programs are set up through a broker or service vendor.

The selection of a broker to procure excess insurance or of a provider of services is conducted through a Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by State Purchasing.

If you are a broker and would like to bid on state of Georgia insurance programs, you can find out more information about Registering as a Supplier in the Supplier’s section of this web site.
What types of insurance coverage does the state of Georgia carry?
Risk Management Services Division administers insurance programs for state owned property, liability, and fidelity bond programs.
expand Indemnification
Who is eligible to receive indemnification benefits?
The financial benefit is available to law enforcement officers, firefighters, prison guard, publicly employed emergency medical technicians, emergency management rescue specialists, state highway employees and members of the Georgia National Guard when called into active state service by the Governor for law enforcement purposes. Supplemental pay applies only to law enforcement officers and firefighters.
How does someone file for indemnification benefits?
An application for benefits must be completed and sent to the Indemnification Commission. An application can be obtained by calling 404-657-4437 or via the Risk Resources page of this website.

An application for indemnification with respect to a claim for total permanent disability or partial permanent disability of a law enforcement officer, firefighter, prison guard, emergency medical technician, emergency management rescue specialist, or state highway employee shall be submitted by that person unless the person is mentally incompetent, in which case the application may be made on such person’s behalf by his or her legal guardian.

An application for indemnification with respect to a claim for the death of a law enforcement officer, firefighter, prison guard, emergency medical technician, emergency management rescue specialist, or state highway employee shall be submitted by or on behalf of the surviving un-remarried spouse or dependents eligible under this part.

An application for indemnification with respect to death, organic brain damage, total permanent disability, or partial permanent disability must be made within 24 months after the date of the incident giving rise to the death, organic brain damage or disability.
What constitutes Permanent Disability?
According to the statute, Permanent Disability means disability precluding employment specifically due to:

Black Arrow Loss of both eyes or blindness in both eyes with only light perception
Black Arrow Loss or loss of use of both hands
Black Arrow Loss or loss of use of both legs
Black Arrow Loss of a lower extremity or the residual effect of an organic disease or injury which so affects the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without resort to a wheelchair at all times; or
Black Arrow Organic brain damage means direct physical trauma to the brain which so affects the mental capacity as to preclude function productively in any employment.
 
How much is the benefit?
The amount of benefits under the Indemnification Program varies based on type of job and type of injury someone receives. For additional information, please refer to the Risk Resources page of this website.
How important to the indemnification process is a will?
In the case of death, the benefit is paid to the estate of the deceased. Probate papers must be filed with the Indemnification Program Specialist before any payments are issued. Accordingly, the Indemnification Commission urges anyone covered by the program to write a will and name an administrator or executor of his or her estate. The attorney who is helping write the will should be advised about the disability and death benefits available through the State of Georgia and the federal government.
expand Liability
Liability Insurance Program
Risk Management Services Division administers a self-insured Tort Liability Insurance program that protects state government and its employees from claims brought against them while performing official duties.
What government entities are NOT protected by the Liability Insurance Program?
Counties, municipalities, school districts, other units of local government, hospital authorities, or housing and other local authorities are not protected by the state self-insured Tort Liability Insurance program.
General Liability
As set forth more fully in the Georgia Tort Claims Act, O.C.G.A. 50-21-1 et seq., liability coverage is provided for agencies and employees coming within the self-insured program for claims arising out of the performance of that state agency’s function. Most claims that do not arise out of an automobile incident involving a state employee or a state employee’s injury on the job (workers’ compensation) would fall under the General Liability category of claims.
What should I do to report an accident that does not involve a state owned automobile but believe it may have been caused by the state of Georgia or occurred on state property resulting in damage or injury to someone else?
You should first attempt to contact and file the claim through the appropriate state agency; e.g. Department of Transportation, Department of Human Resources, etc. If this cannot be done, you can contact Risk Management Services at 404-656-6245.
How can I file a liability claim against the state of Georgia?
You should first attempt to contact and file the claim with the appropriate state agency (e.g. Department of Transportation, Department of Human Resources, etc.). If this cannot be done, you can contact Risk Management Services Division at 404-656-6245 to report the incident. The procedures and formalities regarding claims against the state of Georgia are governed by the Georgia Tort Claims Act, O.C.G.A. 50-21-1 et seq.
expand Property
What action should I take if I suspect an employee or supplier is stealing?
Report your suspicions to the Risk Manager or Director of your Agency IMMEDIATELY. Documentation to support suspected thefts should be forwarded to DOAS Risk Management as quickly as possible.
We had a thunderstorm and saw the lightning. Why is a Lightning Affidavit necessary?
Visible lightning does not support that damage was caused by lightning. Information provided in the Lightning Affidavit will assist in confirming if lightning actually caused the damage(s). A Lightning Affidavit must be submitted on ALL Lightning claims; and the Lightning Affidavit must be completed by a Certified Electrician.
Why is it important to call a company such as ServPro after a water damage loss? Our facilities people are experienced in removing water.
DOAS supports the timely water damage responses by agency personnel; however, DOAS is concerned with the extraction of moisture that often remains within the interior walls that may cause future damage if this extraction is not performed by professionals.
We don't secure any of our computers/laptops in the building. If someone takes one, is it covered?
Mysterious Disappearance is NOT COVERED. In order for coverage to apply for this exposure, it must meet the Burglary conditions in which forced entry and/or forced removal of covered property is evident.
Why can't the Risk Coordinator/Manager sign and notarize the Sworn Proof of Loss form?
The Sworn Proof of Loss Form requires that the agency's highest ranking official certify that all Conditions of the Agreement have been met. The Sworn Proof of Loss form must be notarized.
expand Return to Work
What is the difference between Transitional Employment (TE) in the Return to Work (RTW) Program and Reasonable Accommodation (RA) required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
Many agencies are using these terms interchangeably and think that TE is a RA and required for ADA compliance. While it is difficult to outline any hard and fast rules in an ever-changing litigated system, a good "general guideline" to follow is:

Black Arrow TE is a temporary assignment used during the recovery phase to provide a "bridge" back to the injured/ill employee's regular job.
Black Arrow RA is usually a permanent change in the job that allows employees to do the essential functions of their job at full productivity.

Of course there are always exceptions and Risk Management will be offering continuing resources and training regarding the interplay of Workers' Compensation and ADA issues. Please contact the WC Program Officer at 404-656-6245 for further assistance.
 
How do you deal with resistant injured or ill employees?
The philosophy of the RTW process includes taking a pro-active approach to dealing with disability in the work place. It requires training of all levels of management/supervision and employee orientation before the employee becomes injured/ill. When the RTW process is applied to an injured or ill employee who has been out of work for an extended period of time, s/he often feels RTW is a reaction to the injury based on a cost saving measure, or the relationship with his/her supervisor/co-workers has become so strained that s/he fears returning to the work unit. Consequently, the process is much more successful for new injuries once the program has been introduced. However, it can still be successful especially when the team approach is utilized with that injured or ill employee being active in the decision making process.

Please reference the PDF Icon Employee Benefit brochure for additional resources and assistance customized to your particular environment.
Is there a time limit for transitional employment?
While there is no specific time limit for transitional employment, it is usually short term in nature. Since each plan is specific to the individual's situation, it should be continued as long as the team notes that the employee is improving and the agency is benefiting from his/her work. However, as a precaution, a full team evaluation should be held when any plan lasts longer than (90) days to ensure continued suitability of transitional employment to allow the employee to return to his or her regular duties.
What happens if we cannot find work within the physical restrictions?
Remember that transitional employment provides temporary assignments, and is not placement into a previously existing job. Through the Transitional Employment Team, brainstorm ideas... Use the steps to "Thinking Out of the Box": Focus on the individual; Think beyond the department; Think value added; Think skill enhancement; Think mentoring; and Think special projects. Maintain communication with the employee and the physician, keeping track of his/her progress. If the team's initial attempt was unsuccessful, try again when the employee improves and has fewer restrictions. Contact your Workers' Compensation Specialist for assistance. If the team is still unable to identify transitional employment after 30 days, advise the assigned Workers' Compensation Specialist for additional options.
What should we do if an injured employee wants to add work activity that the physician has not approved?
Respect your employee's initiative and communicate with the physician to develop guidelines to try additional work activity. Make it clear to the employee that if it turns out to be more than he/she can physically tolerate, it is the employee's responsibility to stop immediately and communicate with his/her supervisor and physician for further instructions.
What do we do when an injured employee does not want to come back to work after the physician approves the Georgia Activity Analysis (GAA) or Transitional Employment Plan?
Schedule a Transitional Employment Team meeting and invite the employee to attend. Explain that his/her physician has approved the outlined job duties as medically appropriate within the limitations. Obtain the employee's input and reason for not wanting to return. If appropriate, share the employee's concerns with the physician. If the physician continues to approve the plan, advise the employee that refusal to return to work may jeopardize Workers' Compensation benefits. Refer the employee to the assigned WC Specialist. The team should submit the written plan with physician's approval to the WC specialist and advise that the employee has refused to return to work. Let the WC Specialist handle it from there.
What if an employee wants to bring his/her attorney to the Transitional Employment Team meeting
If an employee has an attorney, by all means, invite the attorney to attend the meetings--there is nothing to hide! If you feel the attorney is interrupting the process and you do not know how to handle the situation, terminate the meeting and call your WC Specialist for support.
What if the physicians on the panel will not work with the Transitional Employment Team? What if our employees complain that their physician does not treat them with respect, concern or consideration?
Contact the physician and address your concerns. Provide the physician with information from the RTW manual. Contact the State Workers' Compensation Officer for further assistance.
Can the Return-To-Work process be used for non-occupational injuries too?
Absolutely! The Return-To-Work process works for any type of illness or injury, and the program was specifically designed for any type of disability management. The main difference is that the injury would not represent a workers' compensation claim, and will not be handled through DOAS Risk Management. You do not need to report through the telephonic reporting system, and all medical documentation and physician communication would go through the employee and personnel. All other aspects remain the same.
expand Services and Contacts
file a Workers’ Compensation claim on state employees -
Supervisors or designated agency personnel should call 1-877-656-7475, and select option # 1. When the representative answers, advise them that you are reporting a workers’ compensation claim.
To file an Auto Liability claim -
Call 1-877-656-7475, and select option #1. When the representative answers, advise them that you are reporting an auto liability claim.
To inquire about the status of claims or speak with a claims adjuster-

Call 404-656-6245 and the operator will direct your call to the appropriate person, or you may call toll free at 1-877-656-7475, and select option #3. This will direct your call to the Risk Management Operator who will direct your call.

To speak with a Nurse Case Manager with the Managed Care Organization for Workers’ Compensation -
Call 678-784-2848 or toll free at 1-800-900-1582
To obtain medications for work-related injuries through Matrix -

The state employee should identify themselves at the pharmacy by stating that the processor is Premier Pharmacy Plan, Group #2105. The number for Matrix Healthcare Services is 1-877-804-4900.

To contact anyone in the Risk Management Department -

Call 404-656-6245 and the operator will direct your call, or you can email at riskmanagement@doas.ga.gov

expand Workers’ Compensation
Exactly what is workers' compensation?
Workers' compensation is a benefit program that provides medical and income benefits, and in certain circumstances, rehabilitation to an employee injured on the job. This program may also provide benefits to an employee’s dependents if death results from an on-the-job injury.
When does coverage begin?
Coverage begins under the workers' compensation program on an employee’s first day on the job.
What is considered an on-the-job injury?
Any injury or illness arising out of and in the course of employment is by definition an on-the-job injury. Claims for injury occurring during breaks, lunch or personal activity may not be compensable.
What should supervisors do when an employee is injured?
Make sure the injured employee is given the opportunity to contact the number listed for the Managed Care Organization on the panel in order to choose a physician from the MCO Provider Network and is explained the Employee’s Bill of Rights as provided by law. Make sure the injury is reported in accordance with company procedures and the Act. Failure to follow these procedures could delay or jeopardize the employee’s claim, delay the employee’s recovery and return to work, result in employer penalties, and/or allow the employee to choose a non-panel physician. To report a Workers’ Compensation claim, in which medical care is needed, the supervisor should call 877-656-7475.
Are on-the-job accidents or injuries investigated?
Yes, DOAS Risk Management or the claims administrator may investigate on-the-job accidents or injuries. Investigations are necessary to determine how an injury occurred, if the injury is compensable, and find ways to prevent similar injuries from happening again.
Are employee misconduct claims resulting in on-the-job injuries covered?
Generally, workers' compensation law does not provide benefits for an injury or accident resulting from an employee's willful misconduct.
What if the supervisor is concerned about safety records?
Any safety program that encourages employees to be safety conscious and prevent accidents is recommended and supported. Safety records should not, however, interfere with or take precedence over the prompt and proper reporting of employee injuries and accidents.
If an employee goes to his or her personal physician for treatment for an on-the-job injury, is the employer responsible for paying the medical costs?
Generally, no. The law requires the company to post in a conspicuous place at each work location a list of at least six physicians who are authorized to treat on-the-job injuries, at no cost to the employee. The State’s posted panel is the Managed Care Panel (MCO). When an on-the-job injury occurs, the injured employee must contact the number given for the MCO to select a physician from the Provider Network for treatment. If the employee is dissatisfied with the first selection, the employee is allowed one change to another physician from the Provider Network.
What must supervisors do if emergency treatment is needed?
If a true emergency situation exists, get temporary medical care from the nearest emergency location available. Once the emergency is over, however, the injured employee must return to a physician from the Provider Network for continued treatment. The employer may not be responsible for coverage of unauthorized treatment once the emergency is over.
Does the employee pay a portion of the medical charges?
No. Physician's bills and other medical bills are fully covered if a physician on the Posted Panel of Physicians treats the employee. All medical charges are paid according to the Medical Fee Schedule. Therefore, if providers bill above the fee schedule limits, the excess charges are not required to be paid by the employer or the employee. Employers who are billed for excess charges should simply notify the insurance carrier or claims administrator. Should the employee choose, however, to go to a physician that is not on the Posted Panel of Physicians, this may be considered unauthorized treatment and the company may not be required to pay for the charges.
Must the employee submit to medical examinations at reasonable times?
As long as the employee is receiving compensation, he is required to be examined by the authorized treating physician at reasonable times. If the employee refuses to do so, his right to compensation shall be suspended until such refusal or objection ceases.
Does the employee get reimbursed for prescription drugs, parking, meals, prescribed medical supplies, and travel expenses?
Prescription drugs are covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act. The employee should check with the employer to determine if any special arrangements have been made for direct payment of prescription charges. If not, the employee should pay for the prescriptions and submit the bill for reimbursement to the insurance carrier or claims administrator.
How long will the injured employee receive weekly temporary total disability benefits?
Effective July 1, 1992, for non-catastrophic injuries, the injured employee is eligible for weekly income benefits for as long as he or she is totally disabled, up to a maximum of 400 weeks from the date of injury. For catastrophic injuries, the employee is entitled to receive weekly income benefits for as long as he/she is totally disabled.
What happens to an injured employee’s benefits if the physician authorizes a light-duty return to work?
Every effort should be made to return the injured employee to work in a suitable light-duty job. If no light-duty job is available for the employee, the employee continues to be entitled to disability benefits. If the employee remains out of work in a light-duty status for 52 consecutive weeks or a maximum of 78 aggregate weeks, the weekly income benefit can be reduced automatically by law from the temporary total disability rate to the temporary partial disability rate. Also, if the employee has been released to light duty and a light-duty job is available, most employers will expect the employee to return to work. A refusal to return to work in this situation could result in suspension of workers' compensation benefits. The law allows a 15-workday “grace period” so that the employee may attempt to perform a light-duty job without fear of losing benefits.
What if the employee can no longer do his or her regular job and must take a lower paying job once released to return to work?
The injured employee may be eligible to receive temporary partial disability benefits based on a reduction in earnings. The employee will receive two-thirds of the difference between the pre-injury and post-injury average weekly rates of pay not to exceed the rate provided by the Workers' Compensation Act at the time of injury. These benefits will terminate when the employee’s average weekly wage is the same or greater than the pre-injury wage or upon a maximum payment of 350 weeks from the date of injury.
Will the injured employee’s dependents receive benefits if death occurs as the result of an on-the-job injury?
Yes. Death benefits are payable to eligible dependents (i.e.: dependent spouse, minor children) of an employee whose on-the-job injuries resulted in death. The Act provides the employer shall pay the dependents that are wholly dependent on the deceased employee’s earnings for support at the time of the injury. Dependents are entitled to a weekly compensation equal to two-thirds of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage (not to exceed the maximum rate provided by the Act at the time of the injury.) The number of dependents does not affect the benefit amount. When the surviving spouse is the sole dependent of a deceased employee, depending on date of injury, total benefits are limited to a maximum of $100,000 (effective July 1, 1992) or $125,000 (effective July 1, 2000). The dependency of a spouse and of a partial dependent shall terminate at age 65 or after payment of 400 weeks of benefits, whichever provides greater benefits. A child’s benefit will terminate at the age of 18 unless the child is physically or mentally incapable of earning a livelihood, or at age 22 if he or she is a full-time student enrolled in a post-secondary school. Burial expenses will be paid up to a maximum amount as provided by the Act. See O.C.G.A. §34-9-265.
What happens if an employee re-injures a pre-existing condition or injury?
The workers’ compensation law limits the extent to which an aggravation of a pre-existing condition or injury is compensable. An aggravation of a pre-existing condition will only be found to be compensable while the aggravation is the cause of the disability. Once the aggravation resolves and the injured employee returns to the pre-injury condition, the claim will no longer be compensable.
What if the injured employee's claim is denied by workers' compensation?
If the injured employee’s claim is denied, the employee should be notified of the reasons for the denial by receipt of a Form WC-1, and/or WC3, Notice to Controvert, which is filed with the Board by the claims administrator. The employee has the right to request a hearing before the State Board of Workers' Compensation if he or she disagrees with the denial of the claim.
What happens if an employee is unable to work because of the on-the-job injury?
An injured employee is entitled to receive weekly temporary total disability benefits if the employee misses more than seven days from work. The first check should be mailed within 21 days after the first day the employee misses work. If the employee is out more than 21 consecutive days due to his or her injury, the employee will be paid for the first seven days. The employee will receive two-thirds of his/her average weekly wage, but not more than the maximum rate provided by the Act at the time of injury
What happens if the employee’s on-the-job injury causes permanent partial disability?
The supervisor should be aware of available modified or alternative work and is responsible for communicating with the employee regarding modified or alternative work. This is important as the availability of alternative work affects entitlement to workers’ compensation indemnity benefits.
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