There have been a few recent changes to worker’s compensation laws, and these changes may be indicative of a larger, long-term trend in workers comp law. Whether you are an employee or an employer, it is important to understand how this area of law works and how it has recently changed. For workers, knowing one’s rights about compensation is important, while employers need to keep informed because it will help them make decisions about employee benefits and so on. Here, we’ll go over a few of the recent changes in worker’s compensation laws, as well as what these changes could mean in the future.
A new rule was recently published which requires every employer that has taken workers compensation insurance to create and post a worker’s compensation notice in its place of business. Employers will also be required to post an Anti-Fraud Reward Program notice. Under one of the current rules, carriers are required to provide employers with a compensation notice, which is colloquially known as the “broken arm poster.” This also incorporates the Anti-Fraud Reward Program poster. The reason the new rule was proposed was to update the current rule, as well as to adopt the new and revised worker’s compensation notice posters. Keep in mind that this also includes the Spanish version of the poster.
The Bureau of Monitoring announced in September that it plans to add a more thorough explanation of bill review as well as an evaluation component to the claims audits. The explanation of bill review is expected to provide the health care recipient with a reason or reasons for the decisions an insurer has made regarding reimbursement. The requirements for the upcoming explanation of bill review can be found in the administrative code, under Rule 69L-7. The requirements have not been changed. In such a situation workers, should approach workers comp lawyers to fight for their case against the employers at the court of law and claim the rightful compensation amount.
A non-subscriber is not obligated to pay workers’ compensation benefits to employees for personal injuries or illnesses sustained during employment. The employer may choose the option to provide similar benefits through its own voluntary benefit program. As a non-subscriber, the employer has complete control over the determination of the amount of benefits paid to employees who sustain legitimate injuries and the duration of eligibility for medical and wage replacement benefits.
As a subscriber to Texas workers’ compensation, the employer has no discretion or authority on how long benefits are paid to injured employees and in what amounts. The medical and income benefits provided to injured employees are established by law and cannot be changed by the employer. There is no specific time limit on eligibility for reasonable and necessary medical benefits. Potentially, such benefits may be payable for an employee’s lifetime.
Overall, the changes to worker’s comp that have recently occurred as well as those we can expect in the coming year will play a minor yet important role in how workers interact with employers and their insurance companies. Both employers and employees are advised to keep their eyes open for any new changes to worker’s compensation (which can be done on the workers compensation website), as the nature of the various intricacies of workers comp changes and can play a significant part in an employee’s (and his employer’s) life.