Texas Workers Compensation Primer

by Jim Mathews on Oct 17, 2010

In the state of Texas, workers compensation law is enacted by the Texas Legislature and administered by the Texas Department of Insurance. The U.S. Constitution and federal government have left it to the jurisdiction of the states to determine their own workers compensation laws. That said, the United States federal government created the Federal Employment Compensation Act to provide federal employees (non-military) with compensation from injuries, disabilities, or death occurring from government work. The act is managed by the Office of Workers Compensation Programs and much of the language provided in the federal act is present in state statutes concerning workers compensation. There are also a number of specific acts enabled to protect certain industrial workers. The Merchant Marine Act (or Jones Act), which protects seamen from employee negligence on the water, was adopted in 1920. The Federal Employment Liability Act (FELA) which protects interstate railroad workers from injury on the job. The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) that helps protect private maritime employees. And also a Black Lung Benefits Act which was set up for miners suffering from pneumoconiosis (black lung) and helps with disability payments to miners. Most states are able to draw from the federal acts in place to create their own comprehensive state compensation plan. Texas workers compensation law is located in Texas Labor Code under Title 5, Workers Compensation. Texas workers compensation laws were created to make sure employees who are injured on the job or suffer some sort of disablement will be compensated with financial stability in relative proportion to their loss. It also makes sure that the injured workers family is taken care of if such an incident occurs. Texas workers compensation statues establish the framework for these laws. If you are an employee awarded Texas workers compensation benefits, there are four types of workers compensation benefits awarded including income, medical, burial, or death benefits and four corresponding income benefits called temporary income benefits, impairment income benefits, supplemental income benefits, and lifetime income benefits. There is a maximum amount of weekly benefits an employee may receive and it cannot exceed the SAWW or state average weekly wage. Your income benefit is established by calculating an average of wages over the thirteen weeks prior to your injury. In this calculation you can include overtime wages and any non-monetary wages that the employer has stopped since your injury such as health insurance. An employee becomes eligible for Texas insurance benefits after missing eight days from work and benefits end when you have healed or are physically able to earn you weekly wage again, or when at the end of 104 weeks (whichever is sooner). For more information on Texas workers compensation benefits visit their website, www.tdi.state.tx.us.

General

Source: Call or contact the Ogletree Abbott Law Firm if you have any questions about your Texas Workers Compensation claims. A Texas workers compensation lawyer can help you complete all the required Texas Workers Compensation forms and represent you in your workers comp claim.
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Jim Mathews

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