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You are here: www.tdi.texas.gov . wc . employer . employerresources

Employer Frequently Asked Questions

  1. As an employer in Texas, do I have to buy workers' compensation insurance for my employees?
  2. What are the requirements to become Certified Self-Insured by the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation (TDI-DWC)?
  3. What safety training and accident prevention services are available to me?
  4. What safety and health regulations apply to Texas employers?
  5. Can I find out if a person has had previous workers' compensation injuries?
  6. One of my employees was injured. What do I do?
  7. My workers' compensation insurance company is paying a claim and I do not agree that the injury happened at work. How can I dispute the claim?
  8. I paid my employee while they were off work. Can I get my money back?
  9. When is a workplace incident that causes injury to one of my employees not payable under my workers' compensation policy?
  10. Why should my business have an early Return-to-Work program?
  11. How does an employee report an unsafe work environment?
  12. How can I find workplace injury and illness data for my type of business or industry?
  13. What is fraud under Texas workers' compensation?

1. As an employer in Texas, do I have to buy workers' compensation insurance for my employees?

In most cases, workers' compensation insurance is not required in Texas.

Read more about Workers' Compensation Insurance Coverage.

Related Questions

What are the benefits of buying a workers' compensation insurance policy?

The benefit of having a workers' compensation insurance policy is it will provide lost wages and medical benefits to your employees if they are injured on the job. Except in cases of gross negligence resulting in a fatality, workers' compensation insurance coverage limits your liability if an employee brings suit against your business for damages.

For additional information, review:

How do I purchase a workers' compensation insurance policy?

There are many insurance companies licensed by the Texas Department Insurance (TDI) to sell workers' compensation insurance coverage policies. In addition, some employers may have the option to be certified by the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation (TDI-DWC) to self-insure or participate in a self-insurance group certified by TDI.

For information about the costs and how to purchase workers' compensation insurance coverage:

  • the TDI has information on its web site including a rate guide for comparison; or
  • you may contact an insurance agent near you.

What do I tell my employees about my workers' compensation insurance coverage for them?

If you purchase workers' compensation insurance coverage through a commercial insurance company, you are a certified self-insurer, or you are a member of a self-insurance group, you are required to post Notice 6, Notice to Employees Concerning Workers' Compensation in Texas, at your work place. This notice tells your employees who your workers' compensation insurance carrier is, information regarding injured employee assistance provided by the TDI-DWC, and the telephone number to the Safety Violations Hotline for reporting unsafe work conditions. This notice must be placed in your personnel office, if the employer has a personnel office, and in a prominent place where employees can see it regularly.

You are also required to give written notice of your coverage to new employees upon hire and inform them of their right to reject your workers' compensation coverage and retain their common law right for action in district court. If at any time your coverage lapses or your coverage changes, you are required to give all employees this change of coverage information in writing within 15 days of the effective date of the changes.

Referenced links listed below:

Texas Law Regarding Workers' Compensation Insurance Coverage (Texas Labor Code 406.002)
TDI-DWC Rule Regarding Employers Notifying Their Employees of Workers' Compensation Insurance Coverage (28 Texas Administrative Code 110.101, 110.105)

If I choose to not provide workers' compensation insurance coverage for my employees, do I have any obligation to tell my employees or a government agency about it?

If you do not buy workers' compensation insurance coverage, you are considered a "non-subscriber," and you must notify your employees that you do not have workers' compensation insurance coverage. You are required to notify your employees by posting Notice 5, Notice to Employees Concerning Workers Compensation in Texas , at your work place. Notice 5 also provides a telephone number to the Safety Violations Hotline for reporting unsafe work conditions. This notice must be placed in your personnel office and in a prominent place where employees can see it regularly.

You are also required to notify TDI-DWC if you are a non-subscriber by filing DWC Form-005, Employer's Notice of No Coverage or Termination of Coverage ( File online, or fill out the PDF version and fax to 512-804-4346 ). Further, you must report your status as a non-subscriber each year.

Referenced links listed below:

Texas Law Regarding Workers' Insurance Compensation Coverage (Texas Labor Code 406.004 and 406.005)
Texas Law Regarding Common-Law Defenses and Burden of Proof (Texas Labor Code 406.033)
TDI-DWC Rule Regarding Employers Notifying Their Employees of Workers' Compensation Insurance Coverage (28 Texas Administrative Code 110.101, 110.103)
Texas Law Regarding Required Coverage for Certain Building or Construction Contractors (Texas Labor Code 406.096)
Joint Agreement Forms for Contractors, Subcontractors, Construction Workers and Motor Carriers

If I choose not to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage, do I have any reporting requirements if one of my employees is injured?

If you are not required to and do not obtain workers' compensation insurance coverage and employ at least five employees not exempt from workers' compensation insurance coverage, you are required to report on the DWC Form-007, Non-covered Employer's Report of Occupational Injury or Illness, each:

  • work-related injury resulting in the employee's absence from work for more than one day;
  • occupational disease of which you have knowledge; and
  • work-related fatality.

to the TDI-DWC not later than the seventh day of the month following the month when the:

  • death occurred;
  • the employee was absent from work for more than one day as a result of the on-the-job-injury; or
  • or the employer acquired knowledge of the occupational disease.

Are there other posting requirements for my workplace?

Various laws require employers to display several posters at the workplace. These posters are available, free of charge, from the applicable state and government agencies.

A list of Texas Workforce Commission, U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission required postings can be found on the Texas Workforce Commission's web site.

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2. What are the requirements to become a certified self-insurer by the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation (TDI-DWC)?

A private employer who desires to self-insure must submit a completed and signed agency application form to the TDI-DWC for a certificate of authority to self-insure accompanied by a non-refundable $1,000 application fee.

Generally, the employer must present evidence to the TDI-DWC of a total unmodified workers' compensation insurance premium of at least $500,000 and must provide a security deposit for incurred liabilities for compensation. The employer must show sufficient financial strength or a total unmodified national workers' compensation premium of at least $10 million and liquidity to ensure that all workers' compensation obligations they incur will be met promptly. The employer must present a plan for claims administration by a qualified claims servicing contractor and demonstrate the existence of an effective safety program for each location in the state in which it conducts business. For detailed information or to request an application packet, see Self-Insurance Regulation or call 1-800-372-7713 extension 4775.

See the list of employers that are currently certified self-insurers in Texas.

A private employer may also choose to join a group of similar employers that is a self-insurance group under Texas Labor Code Chapter 407A. For more information on group self-insurers, call 512-322-3507 .

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3. What safety training and accident prevention services are available to me?

Insurance companies that provide workers' compensation insurance policies are required to provide accident prevention services to its policyholders at no additional charge. Accident prevention services include surveys, consultations, recommendations, industrial hygiene/health services, claims history and accident analysis, and training. You should contact your insurance carrier if you would like assistance in preventing workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. If you do not receive requested assistance from your insurance carrier, you may report this to TDI-DWC at 512-804-4610 .


In addition, TDI-DWC offers several safety and health resources to help employers with training and accident prevention needs, including:

  • affordable regional and customized on-site training;
  • free safety and health publications;
  • free safety and health training audiovisual loans;
  • Safety and Health Update e-mail newsletter;
  • free safety and health consultations through the Occupational Safety and Health Consultation (OSHCON) program, which helps private sector employers with 250 or fewer employees per work site and fewer than 500 corporate-wide understand and comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; and
  • Safety Violations Hotline to report unsafe or unhealthy working conditions by telephone to 1-800-452-9595 or online at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/wc/safety/hotline.html.

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4. What safety and health regulations apply to Texas employers?

Depending on the type of business and the operations used, a number of State and Federal regulatory agencies have safety and health regulations that may apply to Texas employers.

For assistance in understanding the OSHA regulations and general information on other safety laws that may apply to your business, contact TDI-DWC's free safety and health consultation program, OSHCON, at 1-800-687-7080 . For more information about the OSHCON program, see the OSHCON frequently asked questions.

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5. Can I find out if a job applicant has had previous workers' compensation injuries?

If you have workers' compensation insurance coverage, you can file a Prospective Employment Authorization and Certification (DWC Form-156) with TDI-DWC to obtain general information about previous work-related injuries. Information will only be provided if the applicant has had two or more general injuries in the preceding five years. To obtain this information, you must have written permission from the applicant prior to the request and if the employee is covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act, the employer must have made a conditional offer of employment.

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6. One of my employees was injured. What do I do?

If you have workers' compensation insurance coverage, are a certified self-insurer, or a member of a certified self insurance group of employers:

  • File the Employer's First Report of Injury or Illness (DWC Form-001) with your insurance carrier within eight (8) days from the date your employee is unable to work for more than one day due to the injury or immediately if the injury is an occupational disease or death.
  • Provide a copy of the completed DWC Form-001 and Employee's Rights and Responsibilities to your employee at the time the DWC Form-001 is filed.
  • Check with your insurance carrier to see what methods of reporting they have available to you.

If you do not have workers' compensation insurance coverage and have five or more employees not exempt from workers' compensation insurance coverage:

You are required to report all work-related injuries or illnesses to the TDI-DWC by the seventh day of the following month. You should report these injuries and illnesses using the DWC Form-007, Non-covered Employer's Report of Occupational Injury or Illness , for each:

  • work-related injury resulting in the employee's absence from work for more than one day;
  • occupational disease of which you have knowledge; and
  • work-related fatality;

to the TDI-DWC not later than the seventh day of the month following the month when the:

  • death occurred;
  • the employee was absent from work for more than one day as a result of the on-the-job-injury; or
  • or the employer acquired knowledge of the occupational disease.

Mail the DWC Form-007 to TDI-DWC at:

512-804-4378 (fax)

or

Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation
7551 Metro Center Drive, Suite 100, MS-93
Austin, Texas 78744-1645

Read more about Employer Rights and Responsibilities.

Related Questions

How will I know if my injured worker is unable to work?

After your employee is examined by a doctor, you should receive a copy of the Work Status Report (DWC Form-073) from the doctor that addresses your employee's work abilities.

If I complete the First Report of Injury (DWC Form-001 or DWC Form-007), does this fulfill OSHA reporting requirements?

In some cases, yes. However, not all workplace injuries are OSHA recordable, and some industries are exempt from OSHA record keeping. Contact the OSHCON program at 1-800-687-7080 for requirements specific to your business.

Where can I find my North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code formerly Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code required on the DWC Form-001?

Your NAICS (formerly SIC) code identifies the classification of your business. Your business may be assigned multiple codes depending on the processes and operations involved at your business. The numbers may be located in either Block 5 of your Unemployment Quarterly Report (Form C-3) from the Texas Workforce Commission or in the left margin of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 3020 (multiple worksite attachment) for employers with multiple NAICS codes.

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7. My workers' compensation insurance carrier is paying a claim and I do not agree that the injury happened at work. How can I dispute the claim?

You should try to work with your carrier and provide any information or documentation you have to support your position. If the carrier continues to accept liability for the claim, you can file an Employer's Contest of Compensability (DWC Form-004) and a Request to Schedule, Reschedule, or Cancel a Benefit Review Conference (BRC) (DWC Form-045) with TDI-DWC. You will be required to attend a Benefit Review Conference to present your evidence at your local TDI-DWC office. For more information, please contact Customer Assistance at 1-800-252-7031 .

Dispute Resolution
DWC Field Offices

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8. I paid my employee while they were off work. Can I get my money back?

You may be reimbursed for the benefits you paid depending on the type of payments made and when the payments were issued.

An employer is eligible for reimbursement of benefits the employer has paid when the employer has timely reported the injury to the insurance carrier and when:

  • the insurance carrier has contested compensability or liability for the injury and you do not agree; or
  • the insurance carrier has not completed its initial investigation of the injury. The insurance carrier must initiate benefit payments by the 1st day after receipt of the notice of injury.

The employer must file the Employer's Report for Reimbursement of Voluntary Payment (DWC Form-002) detailing the total amount of benefits paid up to the point when the carrier notified the employer that they have accepted liability for the injury and have begun paying benefits. The carrier must reimburse the employer for the amount of benefits the carrier would have paid. If the employer paid benefits in excess of what the carrier owes in benefits, the excessive amount is not reimbursable unless there is a written agreement between the injured employee and the employer that those benefits can be recouped from future impairment income benefits, if any.

An employer is not eligible for reimbursement of wages paid to continue the employee's full salary after an injury. An employer must ensure the carrier is aware that the employer is paying full salary to the worker to prevent the carrier from paying temporary income benefits (lost wage benefits) for the same time period. An employer who pays salary supplementation to supplement income benefits being paid by the carrier is not entitled to and may not seek reimbursement from the employee or the carrier.

Reimbursable Employer Payments; Salary Continuation; Offset Against Income Benefits; Limits (Texas Labor Code 408.003)
Definitions for Temporary Income Benefits Terms (28 TAC 129.1)
Non-Reimbursable Employer Payments (28 TAC 129.7)

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9. When is a workplace incident that causes injury to one of my employees not payable under my workers' compensation insurance coverage?

An insurance carrier is not liable for benefits if:

  • your employee was injured while in a state of intoxication;
  • the injury was caused by the employee's willful attempt to injure himself or unlawfully injure another person;
  • a person that is not your employee injures your employee for a personal reason and not directed at the employee as an employee or because of employment;
  • your employee was injured while participating in a voluntary off-duty recreation, social, or athletic activity that was not part of the employee's duties unless the activity is a reasonable expectancy of or is expressly or implicitly required by the employment;
  • the injury arose out of an act of God unless the employment exposes the employee to a greater risk of injury from an act of God than ordinarily applies to the general public; or
  • horseplay was a producing cause of the injury.

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10. Why should my business have an early Return-to-Work program?

An early Return-to-Work program makes good business sense for many reasons. It allows your employee to return to work, within his or her restrictions, as soon as it is medically safe. By having your employee back at work, your business can:

  • Reduce costs. Returning an injured employee to work can reduce business costs (overtime, temporary workers) and workers' compensation costs (increased premiums, income benefits, medical benefits).
  • Reduce employee turnover. Returning an injured employee to work can reduce employee turnover and costs related to replacing an employee. The cost to replace an employee can be up to 1.5 times their annual salary. In addition, it can take a new employee more than 13 months to become efficient at their job.
  • Maintain productivity. Returning your experienced and skilled injured employee to work will prevent your business from losing a valuable resource. Although they may not be able to do their regular job right away, the goal of early return to work is to get that employee back to work sooner, and eventually back to their regular job.
  • Increase employee morale. By returning your injured employee to work, the employee and their co-workers will know that your business sees them as a valuable resource, which will make them want to return to their regular job as soon as medically possible after a work-related injury.

Related Questions

As an employer how do I develop a Return to Work program?

You can obtain guidance from TDI-DWC's resources for developing a Return-to-Work program.

Are there any assistance programs to help make workplace modifications to return my injured employee to work?

There is the Return-to-Work Reimbursement Program [link] for employers with 2-50 employees coordinated by the TDI-DWC. Employers are eligible for reimbursement up to $5,000 for special equipment, furniture and other workplace modifications that enable an injured employee to return to work.

You must complete and submit the DWC Form-008, the application for the Return-to-Work Reimbursement Program for Employers, to the TDI-DWC.

Am I required to hold my employee's job open for them after they are injured?

TDI-DWC encourages employers to provide a Return-to-Work program. However, employers are not required under the Texas Workers' Compensation Act to provide employment after an injury occurs.

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11. Can my employees report an unsafe work environment?

If your employees believe your work environment is unsafe, they can contact the Safety Violations Hotline at 1-800-452-9595 or by e-mail. Reports are taken in both English and Spanish and can be made anonymously.

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12. How can I find workplace injury and illness data for my type of business or industry?

Workers' compensation claims data, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, and BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries data is collected by TDI-DWC. Interested parties can create customized reports from the online database, or choose from various statistic data reports by visiting the TDI website.

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13. What is fraud under Texas workers' compensation?

A person who knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading statement to either deny or obtain workers' compensation benefits or insurance coverage, or who, with such a purpose, misrepresents or conceals a material fact, fabricates, alters, conceals or destroys a material document or conspires to commit such acts commits an administrative violation that may result in a sanction.

DWC investigators are available for presentations that include tips on identifying fraud, making fraud referrals, as well as the investigation process and confidentiality. To request a presentation for your organization, please contact the Speakers Bureau at (512) 804-4578 , or by fax at (512) 804-4201 .

For additional information on Texas workers' compensation fraud, visit the Fraud page.

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Last updated: 09/06/2014

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