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Glossary Check: Tenn. Petition for Benefit Determination

09 Jan, 2024 Frank Ferreri

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Gallatin, TN (WorkersCompensation.com) -- How does Tennessee define "petition for benefit determination"? The following spells it out.

A petition for benefit determination is a written request for the bureau to assist in resolution of disputed issues and is the document that initiates the litigation process. Any party may file a petition on a form approved by the Administrator at any time after a dispute arises.

A petition for benefit determination is considered filed only if it contains all the following information:

1. Identifying information of the employee and employee’s attorney, if applicable;
2. The name of the employer;
3. The date of the alleged injury or accident;
4. A short plain statement describing the alleged injury or accident;
5. The signature of the employee, employee’s attorney, employer, or employer’s attorney.

Case example: In Heron v. State, 2023 WL 327876 (Tenn. 01/19/23, unpublished), A worker at the University of Tennessee was diagnosed with pneumonitis or lung dysfunction allegedly attributable to his ongoing exposure to toxins created by compost piles. The Division of Claims and Risk Management denied his claim. The denial letter advised the employee of his right to file a petition for benefit determination with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Because the worker failed to satisfy the statutory requirement to file a petition for benefit determination within 90 days of the denial of the claim by the Division of Claims and Risk Management, he failed to exhaust the benefit review process.


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    • Frank Ferreri

      Frank Ferreri, M.A., J.D. covers workers' compensation legal issues. He has published books, articles, and other material on multiple areas of employment, insurance, and disability law. Frank received his master's degree from the University of South Florida and juris doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Frank encourages everyone to consider helping out the Kind Souls Foundation and Kids' Chance of America.

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