Life Events - Research and Travel: Emergencies

Non-Work-Related Illness or Injury

If you become ill while conducting University business, and the illness is not work related, your usual benefits coverage will be your U-M health plan coverage. Check with your health plan company in advance of your trip to see how out-of-town and out-of-country treatment should be handled.

If you combine vacation with University business and you become ill or are injured during the vacation portion of your trip, your usual health plan company will be your insurance resource. If you are traveling internationally, contact HTH Worldwide.

If you are injured while conducting University business, you will be covered through Workers' Compensation, which is administered through Work Connections. Phone: 734-615-0643 or toll free 1-877-869-5266; note that some toll-free telephone numbers do not work outside the U.S. or Canada. Fax: 734-936-1913. See also "Work-Related Illness and Injury."

Work-Related Illness or Injury

In accordance with the State of Michigan Workers' Disability Compensation Act, benefits are provided to all employees who sustain injuries or occupational diseases arising out of or during the course of employment. These benefits include all reasonable medical, surgical, hospital, and vocational rehabilitation costs. In addition, when indicated, a percentage of the average weekly wage may be provided to compensate for wage loss. The University of Michigan is self-insured for this coverage and Work Connections administers all claims.

  • Michigan state law requires employers to provide a designated medical facility to treat employees for the first 10 days of illness or injury. Questions regarding designated medical facilities should be referred to Work Connections at 734-615-0643 or toll free, 1-877-869-5266.
  • If you elect to seek treatment from another physician or chiropractor following the 10-day period, you should contact Work Connections to discuss how they can provide assistance and clarify your responsibilities.
  • If an employee elects to seek treatment from a doctor of his/her own choosing, written notice must be provided to Work Connections. The employee must assume responsibility for providing necessary medical documentation.
  • Usually, sick time must be exhausted before wage loss benefits will begin.
  • Under Michigan law, no wage loss benefits will be paid for an injury or occupational illness that does not cause a disability resulting in wage loss for a period of at least seven consecutive calendar days.
  • If disability extends beyond the period of seven consecutive calendar days, compensation will begin on the eighth day of disability. If disability resulting in wage loss continues for 14 consecutive calendar days or longer, or if death or dismemberment results from an injury, compensation will be computed from the last day of work.

How to Submit a Claim

You immediately must report any work-related injury or occupational illness to your supervisor, whether you are in the U.S. or out of the country. Supervisors are required to complete an Employee Accident or Illness Report and forward it to Work Connections. If you will be supervising staff or graduate students, take with you copies of the Supervisor's Report of Employee Accident or Illness form. Supervisors should complete this form and submit it to Work Connections within 24 hours of notification of injury. In the event of catastrophic or fatal injuries, notification is required within 24 hours. Both forms can be downloaded from the Work Connections website at

Payment for Medical Treatment Related to On-the-Job Injury

Within the U.S. Before treatment is rendered, it is important to tell the healthcare provider that you are receiving care for a work-related injury. The healthcare provider will usually bill the university directly. If you receive a bill, immediately forward it to Work Connections.

When You are Out of the Country. When possible, contact HTH Worldwide in advance of seeking medical care. HTH will assist you in making appointments and whenever possible, HTH will pay the medical provider directly. In an emergency, seek medical care, then contact HTH Worldwide. Benefits coverage information is available on University Health Services webpage:

Additional Questions

Your claim will be assigned to a Work Connections claims representative who will assist you while you recover from your disability. Contact your claims representative to discuss any questions, suggestions, or concerns you may have with respect to your claim.

For further information, contact Work Connections at 734-615-0643 or toll free at 1-877-869-5266. Fax: 734-936-1913.

Ambulance Needs

Benefits are payable for professional ambulance services based on medical necessity and are reimbursed at the rate allowed at the time of the event. File claims in the usual manner. Typically, voluntary donations for healthcare services provided by a fire department or rescue squad are not reimbursable.

If you are traveling internationally on University-related business, contact HTH Worldwide.


To avoid unnecessary delays with claims processing, please check to see if the receipt is accurate. The receipt should include the following information:

  • doctor or hospital's name and address
  • doctor or hospital's tax ID number (if they are in the U.S.)
  • patient's full name
  • subscriber's name and, if applicable, contract number (nine digits) and group number (five digits)
  • dates of service
  • individual charges (itemized and in English)
  • description of each service
  • complete diagnosis or reason for care
  • medical documentation report or copy of medical report (in English)
  • the dates of admission and discharge-if the patient was admitted to a hospital.

While cash register receipts, canceled checks, or money order stubs will help to substantiate that you paid for services, they are not a substitute for an itemized receipt.

In the Event of a Death

If the deceased is a university employee, the following U-M departments should be contacted immediately and in this order: the University of Michigan Police Department at 734-763-1131, Risk Management at 734-724-2200, and Work Connections at 734-615-0643 (toll-free, 1-877-869-5266).

In the U.S. When a death occurs, contact a local funeral home for assistance. Generally, the funeral home will take care of any forms, transportation arrangements, etc., which may be required by the individual's family.

Outside of the U.S. Usually, when a U.S. citizen dies abroad, a consular officer notifies the person's family and informs them about options and costs for disposition of remains. Costs for preparing and returning a body to the U.S. are high and are the responsibility of the family. Often, local laws and procedures make returning a body to the U.S. for burial a lengthy process. Insurance for such occurrences is referred to as "Repatriation of Remains" insurance. If you are traveling on University-related business, please see the Travel Abroad Health Insurance for information on policy coverage for death and repatriation of remains. This insurance is also available for purchase for personal/leisure travel.

Additional information is available on the State Department’s website, Death or Injury of an American Citizen Abroad.

Legal Issues

Group Legal Plan

If you are enrolled in the U-M Hyatt Legal Services Plan and need legal services, you can call Hyatt Legal Services Plan's Client Services Center at 1-800-821-6400 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through Friday. The Hyatt Legal Services Plan can be used only in the U.S.

University-Related Liability Claims

If claims are made against the University of Michigan or its representatives, contact the Risk Management Department at 734-724-2200.

Property Damage or Theft.

All incidents involving damage to or theft of University of Michigan property must be reported to the local law enforcement agency. In addition, a Proof of Loss form must be forwarded to the Risk Management Department. Documentation substantiating the value of the property must be attached. Forms can be downloaded from the department's website at For other losses, contact the Risk Management Department at 734-764-2200.

Personal property damages should be pursued with your personal property insurance carrier.


All students are subject to University of Michigan regulations, codes of conduct, and program guidelines in addition to the laws of the host country.

Alcohol and Drugs

As with many customs, cross-cultural differences exist with regard to the consumption of alcohol. Depending on your host country, you may find the availability of alcohol greatly increased or decreased. Keep in mind that being under the influence of alcohol impairs judgment and increases your chances of being the victim of a crime.

Illegal drug use and possession are serious crimes. The State Department's Travel Warnings on Drugs Abroad contains this valuable advice:

Although drug laws vary in each country you visit, it is important to realize, before you make the mistake of getting involved with drugs, that foreign officials do not react lightly to drug offenders. Anyone who is caught with even a very small quantity for personal use may be tried and may receive the same sentence as the large-scale trafficker.


Inside the U.S. If the arrest is a personal issue, contact your attorney. If the arrest is a University issue, ask your department to contact the General Counsel's Office. In an emergency, contact the U-M Police Department at 734-763-1131 and have DPS contact your department or the General Counsel's Office.

Legal Rights Outside of the U.S. Standard United States legal protections such as your right to due process, protections against unreasonable search and seizure, right to a prompt trial, right to an attorney, and other constitutional rights are not available outside the United States.

If you are arrested in a foreign country, ask the authorities to notify the United States consul. Consuls cannot get you out of jail, but they can intercede with local authorities to make sure that your rights under local law are strictly observed and can work to protect your legitimate interests and ensure that you are not discriminated against. They can provide a list of attorneys, visit you, inform you generally about local laws, and contact your family and friends. Consular officers can transfer money, food, and clothing from your family or friends to prison authorities. And they can try to get you relief if you are held under inhumane or unhealthful conditions.

Please review the State Department’s information on Arrest or Detention of an American Citizen Abroad.


Accidents Involving University Vehicles

All off-campus accidents must be reported to the local law enforcement agency. If the accident involves a University vehicle, complete the accident report you will find in the glove compartment, and arrange for repairs through Transportation Services, 734-763-3427. If the vehicle is loaned to or rented to the University of Michigan, contact Risk management at 734-764-2200. If there is a personal injury, Risk management must be contacted.

Traffic Tickets

You are responsible for obeying traffic laws in the area in which you are traveling and are responsible for any traffic tickets you incur. In some countries, you must pay traffic tickets on the spot. See also "Driving Outside the U.S."

Vehicle Rental/Loan

In the U.S. While on University business, loss damage waiver (LDW) coverage need not be purchased. Use of a "preferred" rental agency or credit card company may provide this coverage. Contact the Travel Office at 734-764-8212, visit them on the Web at or email them at

Outside the U.S. Driving is not recommended in other countries. See "Driving Outside the U.S."

Next: Communicating Back to Campus