The CARO office is devoted to providing timely workers’ compensation benefits to the state employees and agencies it serves. CARO utilizes a preferred provider network, a medical referral service and case management designed to provide prompt quality medical care in an economical manner. State agencies may report injuries through CARO’s online computer system. The system was developed to ensure prompt reporting and to expedite the processing of workers’ compensation benefits. The online system also enables the state to identify trends and exposures that may create safety concerns.
Upon notification of an injury, determine if medical treatment is necessary.
- Emergency situations: Send employee to the nearest emergency room
- Non-Emergency situations: Call 1-800-624-2354 for an authorized medical referral.
Give injured employee the “State Employee Workers’ Compensation Reporting Packet” for completion. This packet contains basic information about workers’ compensation and the Employee Injury Report.
Complete and send CARO forms for each injury, as appropriate. (Click here to link to CARO forms' page)
Report any lost time due to the injury on the Time Lost Report for Workers' Compensation Injuries (Completed Example of Time Lost Report) and forward all off work slips from the medical provider to CARO.
General Information about Injury Reporting
State agencies should report injuries to CARO immediately. CARO cannot consider payment of lost wages, medical treatment or medical referrals until the injury is reported. Agencies are only required to report injuries resulting in medical treatment.
State agencies may report injuries to CARO manually or with our on-line reporting system. We encourage all agencies with access to the State Data Center to report injuries on-line. When injuries are reported on-line, CARO has immediate access to injury information.
CARO utilizes several codes (link to injury reporting codes) for statistical analysis of injuries. Please use the “most appropriate” codes when reporting injuries. Coding is not a means of determining fault. It is a mechanism to track statistics and identify areas where safety improvements may be made.
The Risk Management System is CARO’s claims system. All injury data and payment data is stored in this system. We encourage any agency with access to the State Data Center to use it to more efficiently handle workers’ compensation issues. (see information below).
Benefits of the Risk Management System:
- Report injuries online.
- CARO has immediate access to injury information.
- Agencies can access information on the claim status.
- Agencies can access payment data for medical treatment and lost time benefits.
Access to the System:
If your agency has access to the State Data Center, you are eligible for access to the Risk Management System. To request access, your agency security coordinator must complete the Agency Security Request Form and send it to the Office of Administration, Information Technology Services Division.. OA/Risk Management reviews all security requests.
State agencies are responsible for reporting the following workers' compensation related leave events/dates to CARO:
- Days the employee is totally or partially off work;
- Days the employee is in a modified duty status;
- Date the employee returns to full duty.
CARO recommends the following codes when completing the Time Lost Report:
- WC: if the employee is on leave without pay or annual leave
- MD: if the employee is working modified duty
If the employee was directed by the physician to work partial days, temporary partial disability benefits may be due. Please indicate the number of hours worked and the number of hours off work for each day. For example, if the employee worked four hours and was of on work comp for four hours indicate it on the report as follows: 4 work/4 wc
Do not send a time lost report to CARO if the employee is working and takes time to attend medical appointments only.
- What is Workers' Compensation?
- Benefits payable to an employee by his or her employer without regard to liability in the case of injury, disability, or death as the result of occupational hazards.
- Who is covered?
- All employees, full or part-time.
- What is covered?
- Injury or illness arising out of and in the course of employment.
- Time of coverage?
- Coverage begins the first minute an employee is on the job and continues while the employee is working.
- What about occupational diseases?
- It must arise out of and in the course of the employment.
- It cannot be an "ordinary disease of life," unless it follows an incident of an occupational disease.
- It must clearly be work related.
- What are the Workers' Compensation benefits?
- Medical care to cure and relieve the effects of the injury. This includes doctor's fees, hospital costs, lab tests, X-rays, pharmacy charges, prosthetic devices, etc.
- Payments based on lost wages. These payments are for "temporary disability," or inability to work, authorized by a physician. Payments may also be made if there is a permanent disability-for example, the loss of an eye or the amputation of a finger or limb.
- Rehabilitation services. Often this is physical therapy, but should an injury keep you from returning to your usual job, you may qualify for retraining and vocational rehabilitation.
- How much are the payments?
- Two-thirds of your weekly wage up to a maximum set by law. Payments will not be made the first three days (the waiting period) unless the disability lasts longer than fourteen (14) days. Injured employees may use their sick leave to supplement their workers' compensation time lost benefits and receive full pay.
- Any Problems?
- Most injuries are handled routinely. However, if you think you have not received all the benefits due you, contact your employer or the Central Accident Reporting Office (CARO). Most questions can be resolved with a single telephone call.
- If questions or concerns cannot be resolved by CARO, you may wish to obtain advice from any office of the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Division of Workers' Compensation. If the problem cannot be resolved, you may wish to file a Claim for Compensation with the Division. You may desire to obtain an attorney, however contacting CARO or the Division may resolve your claim. If not, your claim may be heard by an administrative law judge.
Benefit Information: Medical Treatment
- What are the medical benefits?
- Medical benefits for an employee who suffers a work related injury include medical treatment to cure the injury. This includes doctor's fees, hospital costs, lab tests, X-rays, pharmacy charges, prosthetic devices, etc., CARO will select the health care provider, such as the doctor, hospital and clinic.
- What is the procedure for accessing authorized medical care?
- In the event of an emergency, the employee should proceed to the nearest emergency room. Non-emergency treatment is directed through the CARO toll-free referral service. The employee or their supervisor may contact 1-800-624-2354 for the authorized medical care provider.
- How are workers' compensation physicians selected?
- CARO continuously evaluates the quality of services provided by physicians. CARO utilizes a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) to provide quality, cost-effective medical care. Injured employees will be directed to a PPO provider if one is available in their area.
- What if the employee wants to select his/her own medical provider?
- Employees may select their own medical provider at their own expense.
- How are medical providers paid?
- Invoices should be sent to CARO for consideration. Injured employees should not be billed for medical treatment. If the employee is billed, they must notify the health care provider that this is a workers’ compensation injury and that the invoice should be sent to CARO.
Benefit Information: Payment for Lost Wages
- What are temporary total disability (TTD) benefits?
- Temporary total disability (TTD) is compensation for the time an authorized physician determines an employee is unable to work because of the injury. TTD benefits are not paid for the first three days the employee is off unless they are off for a total of fourteen or more calendar days. TTD benefits are calculated at two-thirds of the average weekly wage not to exceed a maximum rate set by the legislature. Temporary total disability benefits cease when the doctor says the employee is able to return to work. Although TTD benefit wages are only two-thirds of the average wage, it is important to remember they are tax free.
- What is the waiting period?
- Temporary total disability cannot be paid for the first three days (waiting period) during which the employer is open and operating for business unless the disability exceeds fourteen days.
- How are TTD benefits calculated?
- TTD is based on two-thirds of the injured worker's average weekly wage, up to the statutory maximum set by law.
- What documentation does CARO need to consider payment of TTD benefits?
- CARO must be notified by the agency that the employee is off work due to the injury. This may be done through a phone call, email or by using the Time Lost Report (MO 300-0651). CARO also requires documentation of the employee’s off work status from the authorized medical provider(s). This documentation may be in the form of off work slips, etc. Agencies may fax documentation to CARO at 573-751-5262.
- May sick leave be used?
- Effective October 2, 1998, an Administrative Rule went into effect stating that state employees off work for a work-related injury may only use their sick leave to supplement their workers’ compensation time lost benefits to make up the difference and receive full pay. Therefore, employees may only elect workers’ compensation leave without pay or annual leave.
- CARO provides agencies with monthly reports detailing payments made to each employee. Agencies can use this report to calculate the number of hours needed to supplement the employee's pay with sick leave.
- What if the doctor releases an employee to temporary modified duty?
- Effective March 1, 2002, the State of Missouri launched a new Early Return to Work Program. Employees who are eligible for temporary modified duty will enter their agency's early return to work program and return to the agency payroll. CARO will contact agencies regarding the status of temporary total or temporary partial disability benefits upon notification from the physician that the employee can return to work in a temporary modified duty status.
Benefit Information: Permanent Disability
- What are permanent total disability (PTD) or permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits?
- Once a doctor has done all they feel can be done medically to help an employee, and the employee is not as physically able as they were before the injury, then there is a disability. And if there isn't anything else the doctor can do to make the employee any better, the disability will be "permanent", meaning the employee will suffer the effect of the injury from that point on. That disability will either be "total" meaning the employee is unable to perform any work or "partial" which means the employee is able to work but there are limitations or restrictions as to what they are able to do. If the employee is determined to be permanently and totally disabled, benefits will continue for the rest of their life. If the disability is a permanent partial disability (PPD), the legislature has established a formula to convert that disability into a dollar amount. The maximum weekly wage amount for a permanent partial disability is less than the maximum for the temporary total disability because the disability is partial instead of total. Compensation is for the disability only. The law does not provide compensation for pain and suffering.
- When are PPD benefits paid?
- After a physician has finished medical treatment and released an employee to return to work, they may be able to evaluate the employees level of permanent partial disability. Once a disability rating is received from the physician, CARO will request the claim to be set for a conference at the Division of Workers' Compensation. A conference is a setting whereby the injured employee, the CARO representative and the Administrative Law Judge from the Division of Workers' Compensation work to bring the claim to conclusion. CARO initiates payment for PPD upon receipt of a settlement agreement signed by the Administrative Law Judge.