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Workers' Compensation in Texas

Other Health & Benefit Issues

This article explains workers’ compensation in Texas.

Learn how to apply for workers’ compensation, what benefits are available, how to get help with your claim, and more.  

This information in this article was written by the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation (TDI-DWC). It has been edited for style.  

Revised by on November 30, 2022. 

What is workers’ compensation insurance?

Workers’ compensation is an insurance program managed by the State of Texas. It provides pay and medical benefits to employees who have a work-related injury or illness.  

Not all Texas employers provide workers' compensation insurance, but most do. Your employer must have workers' compensation insurance for you to get benefits. 

Workers' compensation is regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC).  

DWC does not pay benefits on workers’ compensation claims. Insurance carriers pay workers' compensation benefits. 

What benefits may be available to me?

There are four types of benefits: 

1. Medical benefits 

If you were hurt at work, you may be able to get medical care to treat your work-related injury or illness.   

For more information go to the Medical benefits page or call DWC at 1-800-252-7031. 

2. Income benefits 

There are four different types of "income" benefits: 

Temporary income benefits 

You may be able to get temporary income benefits (TIBs) if your work-related injury or illness causes you to lose some or all of your wages for more than seven days. 

If you have more than one job, you may be able to get TIBs if you lose income from these other employers as well.  

Learn more on the Temporary income benefits page

Impairment income benefits 

You may get Impairment Income Benefits (IIBs) if you have a work-related injury or illness that affects your body as a whole. 

Learn more on the Impairment income benefits page.  

Supplemental income benefits 

Supplemental Income Benefits (SIBs) are paid monthly by the insurance carrier after your Impairment Income Benefits (IIBs) have ended. 

Learn more on the Supplemental income benefits page.  

Lifetime income benefits 

You could get benefits for the rest of your life 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 loss of one hand, at or above the wrist; 

  • an injury to the spine that causes 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. 

Learn more on the Lifetime income benefits page.  

Learn about average weekly wage on the Workers' compensation income and medical benefits page

3. Death benefits 

If someone dies because of a work-related injury, their family may be able to get death benefits

Learn more on the Death and burial benefits page, or call DWC at 1-800-252-7031.

4. Burial benefits

If you paid for burial services, you could be paid back up to $10,000, depending on the date the injury happened.  

Learn more on the Death and burial benefits page or call DWC at 1-800-252-7031. 

How do I file a workers’ compensation claim?

To file a workers' compensation claim:

  1. You must report your injury to your employer within 30 days from the date you were hurt or from the date you knew your injury or illness was related to your job. If you do not let your employer know about your injury within 30 days, you may not get benefits. 

  1. You must also submit a completed DWC Form-041, Employee's Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Disease, to the DWC within one year of the date you were hurt.  

Send the completed form to this address: 

Division of Workers' Compensation 
PO Box 12050 
Austin, TX 78711 

You can also fax the form to DWC at 512-804-4378. 

How do I make sure my workers’ compensation claim was received?

You can call DWC a week or two after sending in your form.  

The phone number is 1-800-252-7031.

What information do I need to provide DWC, the insurance carrier, the doctor, or my employer?

Give the DWC: 

  • a completed DWC Form-041, within one year of the injury; 

  • any change of address and/or phone number as soon as possible; and 

  • any information about a change to your work status or wages. 

Give the insurance carrier: 

  • the date of injury; 

  • a copy of DWC Form-041 that you filed with DWC; 

  • any information about how you got hurt at work, including information about your medical care; 

  • any change of address and/or phone number, as soon as possible; and 

  • any information about a change to your work status or wages. 

Give your doctor: 

  • information about how you got hurt at work, including information about your medical care. 

Give your employer: 

  • information about how, where, and when you were hurt; and 

  • any information about changes to your work status. 

I have questions about my claim. Who can help me?

Division of Workers’ Compensation staff can answer questions about your claim. For help with your claim call customer service at 1-800-252-7031.

What are my rights and responsibilities as an injured employee?

What if I am having trouble working with my insurance adjuster?

It is important to keep your insurance adjuster updated on your injury. 

If you have problems with your adjuster and have not been able to reach a solution, ask to speak with the adjuster's supervisor. If you cannot fix the problem or cannot get your adjuster to call you back, call DWC customer service at 1-800-252-7031. 

The insurance carrier is denying my claim, what should I do?

Call your insurance adjuster to talk about your claim. Very often, talking with the adjuster can clear up your concerns quickly and easily. 

If that does not solve the problem, contact DWC at 1-800-252-7031. If this does not resolve the issue, you can ask for a benefit review conference. During this meeting, DWC staff will work with you and the insurance carrier to try and resolve the dispute.

What is an ombudsman?

An ombudsman is a specially trained employee of the Office of Injured Employee Counsel who can help you for free if you have a dispute with your employer's insurance carrier. 

You can also visit the Dispute resolution for injured employees page.

How can I find a doctor who will treat me for my injury?

How you find a treating doctor depends on how your employer has set up their workers’ compensation coverage.  

Some employers choose to provide coverage through a certified health care network, while others don’t. If your employer is in a network, you must choose a doctor from the network’s provider list. Your employer can give you this list.

If your employer isn’t in a network, you can ask your current doctor if he or she treats workers' compensation patients. If the answer is “no,” ask your doctor to help you find a doctor who does.

Many doctors list workers' compensation services in their ads or websites. When you call a doctor for an appointment, ask if the doctor takes new workers' compensation patients.

Here is a list of some doctors who may be willing to treat a workers' compensation injury. Here is a list of doctors who are not allowed to treat workers' compensation patients in Texas.

For further assistance, call DWC at 1-800-252-7031. 

Do I need an attorney to help me with my workers' compensation claim?

You don’t have to have an attorney to file your claim. However, you have the right to hire an attorney to help you at any stage of the process, including the benefit review conference, contested case hearing, appeals panel review, and judicial review.

Who else can help me with my claim?

The Office of Injured Employee Counsel can help with the initial claim process. Call 866-393-6432 or go to the Resource List on the website of the Office of Injured Employee Counsel.

Is my claim file information confidential?

Your claim file information is private and only those dealing with your claim have the right to see that information.

For more information, call DWC at 1-800-252-7031.

How do I allow someone else to speak with DWC on my behalf?

To allow another person to speak with DWC on your behalf, you need to give DWC a written notice with the name of the person, along with your signature.

Mail your notice to: 

Division of Workers' Compensation 
PO Box 12050 
Austin, TX 78711 

You can also fax your notice to 512-804-4378. 

For more information, call DWC at 1-800-252-7031.

My employer has a return to work (RTW) program. What is that?

Read about RTW on the Return to Work page. 

My employer is treating me differently since I got hurt at work. What can I do?

If you think you’re being treated unfairly by your employer because you filed a workers’ compensation claim, you can file a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission.

It’s against the law for an employer to treat you differently for filing a claim.

You can file a complaint with the TWC.

More information

To learn more about Workers’ Compensation, visit Injured employee resources.

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