Tennessee's New Workers' Comp Adjuster Certification Program

Terri L. Bernal

TERRI L. BERNAL maintains an active civil practice in Tennessee and her native Georgia. Ms. Bernal represents insurers, employers, and insureds in liability and workers’ compensation matters. Her practice is diverse and includes the representation of counties, school boards, police and sheriff’s departments, large manufacturing entities, as well as numerous individuals. Ms. Bernal, a partner in Chartwell’s Nashville office, has a diverse clientele, all of whom require her appearance on their behalves in...

Tennessee has a new voluntary adjuster certification program, offering state specific workers’ compensation training. In addition to statutory laws, adjusters are trained on the administrative rules governing workers’ compensation set forth by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. The rules, contained within Chapter 0800-02-01, et. seq., include claims handling guidelines, claims forms and claims resolution filing requirements, nurse case management rules, and other day-to-day requirements for administering claims.

With the commencement of the new adjuster program, employers and insurers should be reminded of the most common penalties associated with Tennessee claims as set forth below:

Workers' Compensation Penalty Overview

Violation Type

Responsible Party

Length of Time Allotted

Penalty Amount

Failure to acquire insurance


Must immediately procure upon becoming subject to workers’ comp law

Based on employer’s annual premium

Failure to file proof of WC (I-1 form)


30 days of procurement or renewal

$100 for each 15 days past required date

Failure to timely file C-20

Carrier, Pool, or Self-Insured 

14 calendar days 

$25 for each 15 days 

Failure to file C-22 

Carrier, Pool, or Self-Insured

Immediately upon first payment 

$10 for each 15 days past required date, up to $200

Failure to timely pay 

Carrier, Pool, or Self-Insured

20 days from date of knowledge of compensable

25% of unpaid or untimely paid benefit

Failure to file C-23

Carrier, Pool, or Self-Insured

Immediately upon denial 

$10 for each 15 days past required date

Failure to file C-26

Carrier, Pool, or Self-Insured

Immediately upon change or stop in benefits 

$10 for each 15 days past required date

Failure to File C-28

Carrier, Pool, or Self-Insured 

10 days from filing suit


Failure to File C-29

Carrier, Pool, or Self-Insured

30 days following final payment of compensation

$50 for each 15 days past required date

Failure to attend BRC & with settlement authority

All Parties

On date of BRC 


Excessive charges




Intentionally put WC on private insurance




Non-compliance with Order
(as to injuries prior to 7/1/14);
50-6-239 (as to injuries on or after 7/1/14)

Carrier, Pool, or Self-Insured 

15 calendar days 

Up to $10,000, + $1,000 per day


Failure to file SD-2

Carrier, Pool, or Self-Insured

Date settlement or final order filed