TWCC Imposes Penalties for Late Benefit Payments

August 5, 2004

The Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission announced it has started a new enforcement strategy to ensure the prompt and timely initiation of Temporary Income Benefits (TIBs) to injured workers. The new strategy is in direct support of Commission Rule 124.3 that was amended in March 2004 after the passage of House Bill 2199 authored by Representative Burt Solomons of the Texas Legislature.

Insurance carriers will now receive notice from the Commission of every late initial TIBs payment they make to injured workers. The late initial payments are identified by the electronic data reported to the Commission by the insurance carriers. Since the accuracy of the electronic data is imperative to the TIBs enforcement strategy, the Commission will take enforcement action on any inaccurately reported data in addition to any late payments. The first periodic notice covers all initial TIBs payments electronically reported to the Commission between March 15 and April 15, 2004.

Recently, the Commission issued 58 Notices of Violation (NOVs) to insurance carriers for a total of $167,000 in penalties for late initial payments of TIBs. The Commission also issued 35 NOVs for a total of $5,626 in penalties for inaccurate reporting of electronic data.

Periodic notices of late payments will continue to be issued by the Commission. The next notice of late initial payment will cover initial TIBs payments made between April 16 and May 31, 2004. These notices will be issued to insurance carriers by mid August 2004.

Any questions regarding the periodic notices or any other compliance issues may be directed to the TWCC Compliance and Practices Division at (512) 804-4700.

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