Texas Division Adopts Rules For Return-to-Work Pilot Program for Small Employers


Austin, TX  (CompNewsNetwork) - Texas Commissioner of Workers' Compensation Albert Betts adopted two rules; 28 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §137.41 relating to the return-to-work pilot program for small employers and 28 TAC §137.49 relating to the optional preauthorization plan for the pilot program.

The adoptions were necessary to implement amendments enacted under House Bill 886, by the 80th Legislature, Regular Session, to Labor Code §413.022. The amendment of 28 TAC §137.41 incorporates the new 28 TAC §137.49 into the Texas Workers' Compensation rules by establishing terms, conditions and requirements of the return-to-work pilot program for small employers.

Under the pilot program the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Worker' Compensation (TDI-DWC) can reimburse small employers for expenses incurred for workplace modifications, including special equipment, tools, furniture or devices, or other associated costs which can allow an injured employee to stay at work or return to work. A small employer with workers' compensation insurance coverage and 2 to 50 employees may be eligible to receive reimbursement up to $2,500 for qualified expenses. The program also allows for guaranteed repayment of expenses associated with workplace modifications that have been preauthorized by TDI-DWC.

The adopted rules are posted on the TDI website at http://www.tdi.state.tx.u s/wc/rules/adopted/adopted.html.

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