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Texas Department of Insurance
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Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0018-21

July 2, 2021

To:   Texas workers’ compensation system participants

Re:   Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Resuming Texas Labor Code provisions and DWC rules related to work search compliance standards for supplemental income benefits and certain designated doctor examinations and required medical examinations

Work search requirements for supplemental income benefits (SIBs)
On March 27, 2020, Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0012-20 announced suspension of the work search compliance standards for SIBs under Texas Labor Code Section 408.1415(a) and 28 Texas Administrative Code Section 130.102(d). DWC has determined that suspending work search requirements is no longer necessary as a response to COVID-19.

For each full week of the qualifying period on or after Monday, August 2, 2021, injured employees must meet at least one of the work search requirements to be able to get SIBs.

Designated doctor (DD) and required medical examinations (RMEs)
On June 4, 2020, Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0030-20 announced that doctors with DD or maximum medical improvement and impairment rating certifications and referral doctors may resume scheduling and conducting DD examinations and RMEs that DWC previously ordered. DWC ordered removing return to work or disability as a direct result of the compensable injury from exams previously ordered but not yet completed.

On Monday, August 2, 2021, DWC will resume processing requests for DD examinations and RMEs for all issues, including return to work or disability as a direct result of the compensable injury. DWC will contact DD requesters about pending requests to determine if the exam is still needed. DWC will not process pending RME requests. Insurance carriers should submit new requests for RMEs as needed.

Contact DWC at 800-252-7300, Option 1 with any concerns about these requirements as they relate to specific exams. This bulletin supersedes the requirements for:

  • work search compliance standards for SIBs in Commissioner's Bulletin # B-0012-20; and
  •  DD, RME, and referral examinations in Commissioner's Bulletin # B-0030-20.

Please refer to the DWC COVID-19 resource page for updates, frequently asked questions, and contact information.

Cassie Brown
Commissioner of Workers’ Compensation
Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation

For more information, contact:

Last updated: 8/8/2023