Injuries on the job hurt – both physically and financially. Fortunately, through the Texas Workers Compensation Act, workers are able to receive financial and medical support to help them through their treatment and recovery while also providing coverage for lost wages from missed work.
For some serious injuries, workers can apply for extended benefits, known as Supplemental Income Benefits, or SIBs. SIBs are paid to workers after their impairment income benefits run out. However, for a worker to receive SIBs, they must apply every three months. Requirements to qualify for SIBs are as follows:
- Your impairment rating is 15 percent or more
- You have not elected to receive any impairment income benefits paid in a lump sum
- You’ve not returned to work, OR
- You have returned to work, but are earning less than 80 percent of your former weekly wage
- You have proof that you are making active efforts to comply with the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC) work search requirements.
What If My SIB Application is Denied?
An SIB denial can be devastating for the injured worker who relies on those benefits. Common reasons for SIB denial include missed deadlines or failure to meet one of the above requirements. But an SIB denial is not the end of the world; you are still able to apply for SIBs in the quarter following a denial. However, know that you will lose your ability to apply for SIBs permanently if you either do not continue to apply, or you apply and are rejected for four consecutive quarters. With the help of a Texas workers’ comp attorney, you have a much better chance of obtaining the long-term benefits that you need.