Increase Your Temporary Income Benefits (TIBS)
Your Temporary Income Benefits (TIBS) are what most people refer to as a Comp Check. These are the checks that you receive for up to 105 weeks when you are unable to work. Insurance companies often figure these Comp Checks too low or in their favor. Does this surprise you? Call us and see if your Comp check is too low. Your weekly check is supposed to be calculated based on the 13 weeks of wages before your date of accident, including overtime and any job benefits that have stopped. If you worked less than 40 hours during any of these 13 weeks, we may be able to exclude those weeks. If you were employed for less than 13 weeks, your Comp check should be calculated based on a "same or similar" employee working for at least 13 weeks, using his pay and benefits!
Increase Your Impairment Income Benefits (IIBS)
Impairment Income Benefits (IIBS) start if you receive an impairment rating. When IIBS start TIBS permanently stop. The maximum rate for IIBS benefits is less than the maximum rate for TIBS, and you should never rush into getting an impairment rating because you may cut your comp check, sometimes significantly. However, the most important thing is to make sure that your TIBS check is the correct amount and that you are not being underpaid for Temporary Income Benefits. Once your average weekly wage is established it will be used for TIBS benefits, IIBS benefits and SIBS benefits. Your treating doctor is very important in establishing your impairment rating, and if you make a bad choice of treating doctors, you will suffer in two ways. First, you will suffer in loss of income due to a low impairment rating, and second, you will suffer from inadequate medical care. Doctors who normally give low impairment ratings also release injured workers to return to work much earlier than normal doctors. A number of doctors put insurance companies first over the interests of their patients, and the insurance companies and employers will do their best to send you to one of these doctors. Sometimes it's the injured workers that make the mistake of choosing the wrong doctor out of ignorance or loyalty to a family doctor. It is always a mistake to go to a doctor for a workers comp injury without consulting a workers compensation lawyer.
Increase Your Supplemental Income Benefits (SIBS)
Supplemental Income Benefits (SIBS) are paid to injured workers whose impairment rating is at least 15%. Bad workers comp doctors seem to give a lot of 14% impairment ratings so that the insurance company can avoid paying SIBS. Here again, it is of utmost importance to get help in choosing your doctor for a workers compensation injury. Supplemental Income Benefits can be paid up to 401 weeks from the date of injury and this usually involves more comp payments or comp checks than TIBS and IIBS combined.
Collect Unpaid and Underpaid Comp (TIBS, IIBS & SIBS)
If your Texas Workers Compensation Check is less than $818.00 per week there's a chance you are being underpaid by the Workers Comp Insurance Carrier. How could this happen? First of all, your employer must furnish correct wage information to the insurance carrier and calculate your average weekly wage based on a Texas Department of Insurance, Workers Compensation Division formula. It's very complicated and non-lawyers, including the accounting people at your company and claims adjusters, get confused. However, in our experience they seem to almost always make mistakes in their favor and not in the injured worker's favor. We will leave the conclusion of this to you. Call us and we will calculate what you should be receiving, right over the phone, in just a few minutes. This is free and there is no obligation at all. We will even do this for you anonymously.
Advances from the Workers Comp Insurance Carrier
Did you know that you could apply for an advance at the Division of Workers Compensation? You must use the appropriate form and know the rules, but it is possible. Did the insurance carrier tell you about this? To get a TIBS advance you must get the DWC to approve the request, at which time they order the workers comp insurance carrier to pay. The DWC will want medical documentation showing that the injured worker is likely to be entitled to sufficient income benefits to allow the carrier to recover the amount ordered. If you are receiving regular comp checks (TIBS) the medical provider needs to provide a letter showing the injured worker is expected to be off work long enough to recover the advance. If you are receiving Impairment Income Benefits or Supplemental Income Benefits we will comply with the rules for you.
Commutation of Impairment Income Benefits - Lump Sum
Did the workers compensation insurance carrier, your employer, your doctor or the DWC tell you that you are entitled to apply to receive your Impairment Income Benefits in a Lump Sum? The reason you are not told everything is because these organizations do not represent your interest. Even the DWC doesn't represent your interest, and they are not your legal representative. The DWC must be "impartial" (whatever that means) to the employer, the carrier and the worker. What's that old saying about trying to serve 2 masters? Well this is trying to serve 3 or more masters and it can't be done. The only way for you to receive good representation is to hire a lawyer like the lawyers with Ogletree, Abbott, Clay & Reed. We represent you and fight for you.
You have the Right to elect to commute your Impairment Income Benefits to a lump sum if you have returned to work for at least ninety days and are earning at least 80% of your pre-injury wages. We would send a formal request to the workers compensation insurance carrier to commute your IIBS benefits. You should never send this request to the DWC. If the carrier (or when the carrier) denies your request we would request a conference at the DWC office that is handling your claim. Our lawyers travel to every DWC office in the State of Texas.