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Workers' Comp vs. Grad Student Insurance Plan

Who pays when you've been hurt? It depends on where and how.

If you are hurt or made ill on the job, or by work you are paid to do: Workers' Compensation provides pay when lost work days lead to lost pay.

If you are hurt or made ill by work for which YOU ARE NOT PAID, but which is part of your grad school duties: Graduate Student Accident Insurance helps pay the medical bills.

  1. An employee must be in pay status (roughly "on the job" although it can get complicated) at the time of an injury or exposure, or Workers' Compensation does not cover the expenses.
  2. Graduate students who are Purdue employees but who are injured/exposed doing research for which they are not paid are not in pay status. Graduate Student Accident Insurance is carried -- by the University, not by the grad student -- to cover grad students who are injured or made ill while performing activities associated with their enrollment in their department's 599 or 699 course. From the Grad Student Employment Manual:
    "The coverage provides accidental death, dismemberment, disability income, and medical expense for those hazards to which an insured person may be exposed while engaged in class work, research, course-related activities, or in approved field work or travel for University activities related to research or coursework."

There is more; the experts are at

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

Department of Chemistry, 560 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-2084 | Telephone: (765) 494-5200 | Fax: (765) 494-0239

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