Injured worker rights
An injured worker may have the right to receive benefits. An injured worker may receive benefits regardless of who caused or helped cause the injury. An injured worker does not have a right to benefits if:
o the worker injured himself or herself intentionally
o the worker was injured while voluntarily participating in an off-duty activity
o the injury occurred during horseplay or fighting initiated by the injured worker
An injured worker has the right to receive the medical care reasonable and necessary to treat a work-related injury or illness.
o An injured worker has the right to a first and second choice of doctors licensed to practice & practicing in this state. Any out- of-state or third choice of doctors must be made by mutual agreement with the insurance carrier unless you have a referral from
o An injured worker does not need to get approval to go to a different doctor if:
o for emergency treatment
o within the same partnership or clinic
o as the original doctor selected
o upon referral from his/her original choice of doctors
An injured worker has the right to confidentiality. Only people who are parties to a claim or agents of these parties, have the right to information in the Division’s files.
Injured worker responsibilities
An injured worker has the responsibility to tell his or her employer about a work-related injury or illness. An injured worker must tell his or her employer immediately of the injury, or as soon as possible after the worker first knew the illness might be work-related.
An injured worker has the responsibility to submit to reasonable medical or surgical treatment. However, an employee may refuse surgery which might endanger life or limb.
An injured worker has the responsibility to submit to reasonable examinations scheduled by the insurance carrier (or self-insured employer).
An injured worker has the responsibility to tell the insurance carrier any time the worker’s income changes.
o An injured worker who is getting benefits must tell the insurance carrier paying the benefits if the worker’s income changes. The
injured worker must tell the insurance carrier regardless of whether income went up or down.
o An injured worker who has stopped working since the injury must tell the insurance carrier if the worker starts working again or
has a job offer.
An injured worker has the responsibility to tell the doctors how the injury occurred and if the worker believes the injury may be work-related. If possible, an injured worker should tell the doctor before the doctor provides treatment.
An injured worker has the responsibility to tell the insurance carrier how to contact him or her. An injured worker should contact the insurance carrier if the worker’s home address, work address, or phone number changes, so that they may be contacted when necessary.
The Worker’s Compensation Act serves as the foundation for the worker’s compensation system. The Act is instrumental to maintaining an effective and efficient system.
The Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act is unique in that amendments are formulated through a collaborative process that involves the primary stakeholders of the system – labor, management, insurers, medical providers, legislators and staff. This process yields an Act that provides a stable and widely supported worker’s compensation system.
SB-536 WC Agreed Upon Bill for 2016 was introduced in the Senate on 1/8/2016
AB-711 WC Agreed Bill for 2014 was introduced in the Assembly on 01/31/2014
On April 2, 2012 Governor Walker signed the WC Agreed Upon Bill for 2012, SB-409. 2011 Wisconsin Act 183 will become effective on
April 17, 2012. 2011 Wisconsin Act 183 , SB 409, and Plain Language Summary
AB-499 WC Agreed Bill for 2012 was introduced in the Assembly on 01/26/2012
New Amendments to ch. 102, Stats., (2009 Wis. Act 206) effective May 1, 2010, Senate Bill-522 and the plain language summary
AB-706 WC Agreed Bill for 2010 was introduced in the Assembly on 2/5/2010
2007 Wisconsin Act 185, effective April 1, 2008
SB-430 (WC Agreed Bill for 2008) has been introduced to the Senate on 1/30/08
Plain Language Summary of Law Changes: 1996-2008
Worker’s Compensation Act (WKC-1-P) (also includes the footnotes)
WC Appeals: Labor and Industry Review Commission Decisions