Texas Workers' Compensation Laws
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Texas workers' compensation laws cover claims of physical injuries sustained by employees on the job, as well as occupational illness and death. Texas workers' compensation benefits are broken down into a range of categories depending on the employee's circumstances.
Claims under Texas Workers' Compensation
Texas workers' compensation law provides for three types of claims:
1) Physical injuries caused by workplace accidents: If you are injured at work or because of a work-related incident, you can receive benefits under Texas workers' compensation law provided that you did not cause the injury or inflict the injury on yourself, or were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident.
2) Occupational illness: An occupational illness is a chronic condition that develops because of an employee's exposure to certain conditions on the job, or which occurs because of the actual work performed by the employee. Conditions such as asbestosis, eczema, and lead poisoning are considered occupational illnesses.
3) Death resulting from workplace illness or injury.
Texas Workers' Compensation Benefits
In Texas, workers who are injured or become ill on the job are eligible to receive income for lost wages, mileage reimbursement, medical treatment, funeral expenses, and vocational rehabilitation. If you have questions about Texas workers' compensation benefits, you should consult a Texas workers' compensation attorney about your situation for a personal assessment of your case.
Income Replacement Benefits
There are 4 kinds of income replacement benefits in Texas: Temporary Total Disability Benefits, Temporary Partial Disability Benefits, Permanent Total Disability Benefits, and Impairment Income Benefits.
1) Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD): TTD benefits are paid to injured or ill workers when they temporarily cannot perform their job duties because of their injuries. In Texas, injured workers are paid 70% of their average weekly wage each week for no more than 104 weeks.
2) Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD): TPD is paid when an employee is injured on the job and the injury prevents the employee from completing all of their old job responsibilities, although they can still work in some capacity. In this case the employee will be paid 70% of the difference between their wage on the date of the injury and their current wage.
3) Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD): PTD is paid when you are injured or become so severely ill that you cannot go back to your old job or work at all. You will be paid for up to 401 weeks at 70% of your pre-injury weekly wage.
4) Impairment Income Benefits (IIB): IIB can be paid when you have reached your maximum medical improvement for your injury, but you still have some form of irreparable physical damage. Depending on your Impairment Rating (IR), you will receive some amount of income weekly.
Additional Texas Workers' Compensation Benefits
Medical Treatment: Your employer's insurance carrier for workers' compensation will pay for treatment of your injury or illness. Treatment costs may include visits to a doctor, hospital visits, and anything else required to treat your condition.
Mileage Reimbursement: You must receive reimbursement for the cost of travel to and from physician's appointments and other injury-related treatment.
Death/Funeral Benefits: $6,000 in funeral expenses will be paid as part of the death benefits received by the deceased employee's relatives and other dependents. Surviving relatives of a deceased employee who dies from an occupational injury or illness will get income replacement money for the employee's lost wages in an amount that varies depending on the circumstances.
Vocational Rehabilitation: The Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services may be able to help you return to your pre-injury job. If your injury or illness makes this impossible, the Department can assist you in training for and finding a new occupation.
Texas Workers' Compensation Statutes
See the Texas Workers' Compensation Act.
Employers Subject to Workers' Compensation: Workers' Compensation Act, Title 5, Chp. 401 §11; Covered Employees: Workers' Compensation Act, Title 5, Chp. 401 § 12.; Benefits: Workers' Compensation Act, Title 5, Chp. 401, §§ 151-181; Claims Procedure: Workers' Compensation Act, Title 5. Chp. 409.