Lifetime Income Benefits (LIBs)
Certain work-related injuries may result in a condition for which you are entitled to income benefits for your lifetime.
Lifetime Income Benefits are paid if you have:
- total and permanent loss of sight in both eyes;
- loss of both feet at or above the ankle;
- loss of both hands at or above the wrist;
- loss of one foot at or above the ankle and the loss of one hand, at or above the wrist;
- an injury to the spine that results in permanent and complete paralysis of both arms, both legs, or one arm and one leg;
- a physically traumatic injury to the brain resulting in incurable insanity or imbecility;
- third degree burns that cover at least 40 percent of the body and require grafting, or
- third degree burns covering the majority of either both hands or one hand and the face.
Note: For the purpose of the above criteria, the total and permanent loss of use of a body part is the loss of that body part.
Amount of Lifetime Income Benefits
Lifetime Income Benefits equal 75 percent of an injured employee's average weekly wage, with a three percent increase each year.
For example, if the average weekly wage is $500, the Lifetime Income Benefits would be $375 a week:
75 percent of $500 (.75 x $500) = $375
There are statutory maximum and minimum benefit amounts for LIBs (Texas Labor Code §408.061 and §408.062). The maximum benefit amount only applies to the first year an injured employee receives LIBs. The maximum benefit amount does not apply to the three percent annual increases.
When Lifetime Income Benefits Begin
An injured employee that believes he or she is eligible for LIBs may submit a written request to the insurance carrier. The insurance carrier is required to respond within 60 days of receiving the request. LIBs payments must begin on or before the 15th day after the insurance carrier decides. If an insurance carrier denies eligibility for LIBs, the insurance carrier must send the injured employee a plain language notice (DWC Form PLN-04, Notice Regarding Eligibility for Lifetime Income Benefits) explaining the denial. An injured employee may dispute a denial by requesting a Benefit Review Conference.
Last updated: 03/28/2016