About Texas Workers Compensation

Most states require employers to carry workers’ compensation coverage. This is an important benefit for the employees as it guarantees financial support should they get ill or injured because of their jobs. Texas is an exception to the rule. The state does not mandate coverage for workers compensation. Businesses have a choice to get it or not with each option having their own pros and cons. Those that opt not to get Texas workers compensation may save some money but they open themselves up to the possibility of a lawsuit from employees which can be an expensive process. Non-subscribers also won’t be able to use certain legal defenses which weakens their position in court.

Compensation Requirements

Businesses that choose to get workers compensation insurance are called subscribers. Those that choose to opt out are called non-subscribers. The latter will still need to pay for employee benefits. Companies that wish to get involved in Texas government projects must carry this type of insurance. Since these contracts are highly lucrative, it makes sense for the businesses to get the coverage to qualify. Subscription to this insurance puts a limit on the amount that injured employees can receive. The law sets these limits. Employers that have elected to discontinue their coverage must inform their employees and Texas Department of Insurance as soon as possible.

New hires must be notified about coverage or non-coverage. The same notice should be posted in the workplace to remind the employees. New hires have five days to waive rights to workers comp benefits in order to retain their rights to sue employers for work-related injuries. If they do this, then they will no longer receive medical or income benefits under the law for workers compensation. All of the options must be studied carefully by affected individuals since these can have a big impact on their lives in the future.

Coverage Inclusions

According to the Texas workers compensation law, the coverage extends to any injury or illness that was sustained during the course of employment without regard to fault. Benefits should be given as long as the employee was harmed while performing work for the business. It doesn’t have to be confined to the workplace premises. Injuries that were sustained during work-related travel still fall under the scope of this insurance. However, injuries can be excluded if they were sustained because of self-injury, willful criminal acts, intoxication, voluntary off-duty activity, acts of God, or employee’s horseplay.

The injured worker must file a report about the injury within 30 days and submit the formal paperwork for the insurance claim within a year. Some injuries and illness do not become apparent immediately. In these cases, the start of the count would be the date when the employee should have known that the condition was related to work. Texas law emphasizes return to work programs since these hasten recovery according to many studies. Employers are prohibited from discrimination or retaliation against employees that file workers compensation claims. Negative remarks should be avoided.


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