Sometimes, when you make a workers’ compensation claim, a dispute may arise regarding your injury or illness. If something does arise, the first thing you want to do is get in contact with the insurance carrier. If you are unable to solve the dispute this way, you can call the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC). This is the state agency that handles delivery of workers’ compensation.
If TDI-DWC gets involved, you may be required to attend one or more dispute resolution proceedings. There are several steps that might occur during dispute resolution. The first is the Benefit Review Conference (BRC) held at a local TDI-DWC office. Here, you will meet with a TDI-DWC Benefit Review Officer as well as a representative from the insurance company.
If BRC does not solve the issue, you can use arbitration. Here, an independent arbitrator appointed by TDI-DWC will make a judgement. This decision is final and cannot be appealed.
If you do not choose arbitration, your case will continue to a Contested Case Hearing (CCH). This is a formal hearing conducted by TDI-DWC, where a Hearing Officer will decide regarding your case.
If all else fails, you may appeal through the TDI-DWC Appeals Panel.
What is the best course of action for your work injury? First things first, seek medical attention. After you have been treated, act quickly and discuss your case with a workers’ comp lawyer. There are strict timelines for these types of things and your attorney can help you make sense of everything.