Every Texas business that hires employees must be aware of Texas workers' comp benefits if a worker becomes ill or injured on the job. What happens if they miss several weeks of work?
Texas workers' comp benefits include temporary income if a worker is unable to perform their regular tasks. These benefits may be available to workers who either cannot work due to injury or illness or can only do a portion of their normal work. TIBS is calculated based on average weekly wage (AWW), which reflects average gross pay for the 13 weeks leading up to the illness or injury. The worker will be issued a TIBS check equal to 70 percent of this average pay.
After the worker has been treated for an injury or illness, the impairment rating will determine if they are entitled to SIBS. When the employee is unable to do the same work prior to the incident and isn't able to earn as much, these benefits may be available.
If the worker suffers a permanent impairment from the injury or illness, it's possible to receive income benefits regardless of whether medical treatment continues. First, the worker must seek an impairment rating (IR) based on a system established by the American Medical Association (AMA) that reflects permanent impairment. This rating must be issued by a doctor certified to do so as an indication of how permanent the impairment is. These benefits amount to 70 percent of AWW.
Family members of a worker who has died on the job due to work-related injury or illness can receive a death benefit. This benefit is typically paid to a surviving spouse, dependent children and non-dependent parents. These funds may be awarded to survivors beginning the day after the employee's death. The amount reflects 75 percent of the employee's AWW.
The benefits may also cover burial costs for the person handling final expenses. If no beneficiaries are available or eligible, the funds may be paid to the Department of Workers' Compensation (DWC) Subsequent Injury Fund.
If the injury or illness is severe, the employee may be granted access to LIBS. Examples of eligibility include loss of limbs or eyesight, paralysis, or a brain injury. Benefits may also be rewarded for third-degree burns that cover at least 40 percent of the body and require grafting.
Generally, if the worker can no longer take care of themselves, they may be entitled to a lifetime of income benefits. The amount of funds is based on 75 percent of AWW. It's possible for a worker to receive these benefits for the rest of their life.
It's important for employers and employees to be aware of Texas workers' comp benefits in the event of injury or illness. Contact our experts at Reata Insurance Group to learn more about how to approach workers' comp insurance for your business.