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Workers' Compensation for Texas Businesses
What are the legal requirements for workers’ comp in Texas?
Texas, unlike most states, does not require an employer to have workers’ compensation coverage. However, acquiring workers’ comp helps your business pay for the costs associated with a workplace injury. Subscribing to workers’ compensation insurance puts a limit on the amount and type of compensation that an injured employee may receive – the limits are set in Texas law.
Being a “non-subscriber”, i.e., going “bare” or without coverage, leaves an employer open to personal injury lawsuits from employees who are injured on the job – the damages and attorney’s fees are almost unlimited – in addition, certain defenses available in most personal injury lawsuits, such as assumption of the risk, contributory negligence, “last clear chance”, and co-worker negligence, are not available to a non-subscriber in a job injury case.
What does workers’ comp insurance cover in Texas?
In the event of a workplace accident, Texas workers’ comp insurance provides both medical coverage and payments for lost wages and permanent disabilities. This can include temporary or permanent benefits.
Temporary workers’ comp benefits refer to the scenarios of when your employee is unable to work for more than one week, your worker is able to receive compensation for the lost wages, which are called “lost time benefits.” Your employee’s doctor must certify your employee is not able to work.
Lost time benefits are 2/3 of your employee’s monthly income and determined by your employee’s earnings the month before the individual gets sick or is injured in the workplace. This benefit is considered temporary and only lasts while your employee’s doctor is actively treating you. If your employee’s doctor determines that your team member is able to return to work, your employee will receive a letter from the insurance company called a Notice of Claim Status, which clarifies that the doctor said you can officially work again.
If your employee is unable to return to work full-time or can only do modified work, and as a result they are earning less than they usually do, your employee can continue to get time lost benefits, which will be two-thirds of the difference in their earnings.
Permanent workers’ comp benefits refer to the scenario when your employee’s doctor finds that your employee’s condition is stationary, or not expected to improve any further. In this case, the doctor will determine whether your employee has a permanent disability. If your employee does, the doctor will give your worker a percentage of disability. This number, along with your employee’s age, education, work history helps determine your employee’s rate of compensation.
What types of injuries are covered with workers’ comp insurance in Texas?
Texas state law determines what types of injuries are covered by workers’ comp insurance, but there are general guidelines that can help you understand what typically qualifies for a workers’ comp claim.
- No intentional self-harm, harm that results from drug or alcohol use, or fighting.
- Must fall within the “course and scope” of employment. If you get into a fender bender on your way home from work after you’ve clocked out for the day, that’s unlikely to qualify.
- Long-term occupational injuries, including back strain from repetitive motion. When you think of work-related injuries, you probably think of one-time events — but damage can occur over a long period of time. As long as the injury or illness is clearly associated with the employee’s work responsibilities, it may be eligible.
*2017 business stats provided by the Texas Department of Insurance
number of Texans employed by small businesses
number of workplace injuries
number of Austinite Willie Nelson #1 hits
number of Mexican restaurants in Texas
number of feet taller the Texas capitol is over the US capitol
Texas Businesses We Cover with Workers' Comp Insurance
Food & Beverage
Bars, Bistros, Cafeterias/Buffets, Candy Stores, Caterers, Coffee Shops, Doughnut Shops, Fast Casual, Fast Food, Fine Dining, Health Supplement Stores, Juice Shops, Tea Houses, Taverns and NightclubsGet a Free Quote
Data Processing, Ecommerce, Hosting, Graphic Design, Network Installation/Repair, Office Machine Installation/Repair, Programming, Strategy & Management Consulting Services, and Software/Web Development (includes SOLOpreneuers!)Get a Free Quote
Athlete/Actor/Entertainer Agents, Court Reporters, Lawyers & Attorneys at Law, Notaries and TranscriptionGet a Free Quote
Bakeries, Beer/Wine/Liquor Stores, Butcher/Meat Markets, Convenience Stores/Gas Stations, Discount Stores, Fish, Seafood, Fruit & Vegetable Markets, Grocery Stores, Laundromats, Pet Stores, Pharmacies/Drug Stores, Specialty Food StoresGet a Free Quote
Computer Training, Cosmetology/Barber Schools, Exam Preparation/Tutoring, Fine Art Schools, Language Schools, Libraries/Archives, Management Training, Professional Training, & Translation/Interpretation ServicesGet a Free Quote
Microbreweries (less than 15,000 barrels produced per year) & Wine Making (no growing or production of grapes/fruit)Get a Free Quote
Barber Shops/Salons, Cemeteries/Mausoleums, Crematoriums, Funeral Homes, Interior Design, Pet Kennels/Groomers, Photography/Photofinishing, Gyms, Nail Salons, Self-Storage, Tanning Salons, Tattoo/Piercing, and Wedding/Event PlannersGet a Free Quote
Bridal Stores, Clothing Stores, Dry Cleaners, Formal Wear/Costume Rentals, Luggage & Leather Goods Stores, Shoe Retail/Repair, and Tailor ShopsGet a Free Quote
Personal Product Retail
Art Galleries/Stores, Auto Parts, Beauty/Cosmetics, Bike Stores, Bookstores, Camera/Photo Supplies, Cell Phone Retail/Repair, Computer Stores, Jewelry Stores, Musical Instruments, Sporting Goods , Tobacco/Vaping & Video GamesGet a Free Quote
Blood Banks, Dental Labs, Dentists/Orthodontists, GP/Medical Specialists, Kidney Dialysis Centers, Medical Diagnostics & Testing, and VeterinariansGet a Free Quote
Architecture & Engineering Services
Architects & Drafting, Engineering, Surveyors, & Window Treatment Stores (we do not cover construction contractors or trucking companies)Get a Free Quote
Accounting, Auditors, Banks/Credit Unions, Bookkeeping, Collection Agencies, Financial Advisors/Trust Companies, Mortgage & Loan Brokers, Payroll Services, Tax Preparation, Title & Title InsuranceGet a Free Quote
Scientific Research & Development/Consulting, Technical Consulting, & Environmental ConsultingGet a Free Quote
Office, Home, & Garden
Hearing Aid Stores, Hobby/Craft/Art Stores, Gift/Novelty Stores, Florists, Floor Covering Stores, Mailing/Packaging Stores, Models/Toy/Games, Office Supplies, Optical Stores, Paint/Wallpaper Stores, Perfume Stores, Plumbing & TaxidermistsGet a Free Quote
Acupuncture, Chiropractors, Mental Health Practitioners, and Physical & Occupational TherapyGet a Free Quote
Explore commonly asked questions about business type, industry and state.
How is Workers' Compensation related to payroll? What do I do when I hire, give raises or fire employees?