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Advisory 96-02

APPLICATIONS TO CHANGE BENEFIT PAYMENT PERIODS AND/OR TO PURCHASE AN ANNUITY

Effective immediately, an insurance carrier and an entitled beneficiary may apply to the Commission for approval (1) to change the frequency of the death benefit payment period from the standard weekly period; (2) to purchase an annuity for death benefits; or (3) to do both. Annuities may only be purchased to provide for the payment of death benefits, and the workers' compensation carrier will remain ultimately liable for payment of benefits.

All applications must be submitted on Form TWCC-31, "Application for Commission Approval of Change in the Payment Period and/or Purchase of an Annuity" and filed with Employee/Employer Field Services, MS602, Texas Workers' Compensation Commission, 4000 South IH-35, Austin, Texas 78704. A copy of this form is attached.

Applications will be approved only after a thorough review regarding the new benefit rate, the identity of the legal beneficiaries, and the time period for which payments are due each beneficiary. Applications will be rejected if: there are any unresolved compensability or beneficiary disputes; the form TWCC-31 is incomplete or inaccurate; or, the annuity will pay benefits other than statutorily prescribed death benefits.

No change in payment periods or purchase of an annuity should be undertaken without the prior approval of the Commission.

Signed March 12, 1996

Todd K. Brown, Executive Director



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