(a) If a compensable death occurs and no legal beneficiary survives or a claim for death benefits is not timely made, the insurance carrier shall pay to the division for deposit to the credit of the subsequent injury fund an amount equal to 364 weeks of the death benefits otherwise payable.
(b) The insurance carrier may elect or the commissioner may order that death benefits payable to the fund be commuted on written approval of the commissioner. The commutation may be discounted for present payment at the rate established in Section 401.023, compounded annually.
(c) If a claim for death benefits is not filed with the division by a legal beneficiary on or before the first anniversary of the date of the death of the employee, it is presumed, for purposes of this section only, that no legal beneficiary survived the deceased employee. The presumption does not apply against a minor beneficiary or an incompetent beneficiary for whom a guardian has not been appointed.
(d) If the insurance carrier makes payment to the subsequent injury fund and it is later determined by a final award of the commissioner or the final judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction that a legal beneficiary is entitled to the death benefits, the commissioner shall order the fund to reimburse the insurance carrier for the amount overpaid to the fund.
(e) If the commissioner determines that the funding under Subsection (a) is not adequate to meet the expected obligations of the subsequent injury fund established under Section 403.006, the fund shall be supplemented by the collection of a maintenance tax paid by insurance carriers, other than a governmental entity, as provided by Sections 403.002 and 403.003. The rate of assessment must be adequate to provide 120 percent of the projected unfunded liabilities of the fund for the next biennium as certified by an independent actuary or financial advisor.
(f) The commissioner’s actuary or financial advisor shall report biannually to the department on the financial condition and projected assets and liabilities of the subsequent injury fund. The commissioner shall make the reports available to members of the legislature and the public. The division may purchase annuities to provide for payments due to claimants under this subtitle if the commissioner determines that the purchase of annuities is financially prudent for the administration of the fund.
Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 269, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1456, § 10.02, eff. June 17, 2001.
Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 265 (H.B. 7), § 3.015, eff. September 1, 2005.