Q: What benefits can I receive as an injured worker under the Texas workers’ compensation program?
Working in Texas is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to workers’ compensation benefits. One of the few states in the nation that does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, this leaves injured employees of uninsured companies at the mercy of the state workers’ compensation program.
While this can make for challenging claims once in a while, workers that are injured in Texas are eligible for four primary types of workers’ compensation benefits. These include:
- Medical Benefits. Medical benefits are the most well-known workers’ compensation benefits, and are the first workers’ compensation benefits to kick in following a workplace injury. Medical benefits cover all medical-related expenses of your workplace injury or illness, including medical visits and check-ups, treatments, and physical therapy. Prior to seeking treatment, be sure that your doctor is in your company’s workers’ compensation coverage network, or that the doctor works with workers’ compensation injuries in order to guarantee that your treatments will be covered.
- Income Benefits. Income benefits are meant to cover lost wages for injured workers, and are designed to cover wages lost in one of four different ways. Temporary benefits usually cover around 70 percent of lost income for those out of work for more than seven days. Impairment benefits are based on permanent impairment related to your injury; the length of this coverage depends on the percentage of your impairment, which is determined by your doctor. After impairment benefits run their course, supplement income benefits begin for those with 15 percent impairment or greater. For those with lifelong impairment, lifetime income benefits may apply.
- Burial Costs. This compensation is only available if a worker is killed, and will be awarded to the surviving family members to cover the expenses of a burial.
- Death Benefits. For workers killed while at work, these benefits will be awarded to surviving family members to cover the lost ages and potential earnings of the loved one that they lost.
In order to ensure that you receive the full compensation and benefits that you deserve, hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney that is familiar with Texas law and workers’ rights. Filing a complete, correct claim right after your injury is the key to receiving the best coverage, and an attorney can help you file a successful initial claim, as well as assist you in appealing a claim denial.
Attorney Steve Lee has represented injured Texas workers for over 30 years, and can help you ensure that your life after your workplace injury is as complete as possible. For more information, contact Steve Lee today by clicking on the live chat feature or calling his Houston office.