Texas Workers' Compensation

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§ 124.3. Investigation of an Injury and Notice of Denial/Dispute

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, upon receipt of written notice of injury as provided in §124.1 of this title (relating to Notice of Injury) the insurance carrier shall conduct an investigation relating to the compensability of the injury, the insurance carrier’s liability for the injury, and the accrual of benefits. If the insurance carrier believes that it is not liable for the injury or that the injury was not compensable, the insurance carrier shall file the notice of denial of a claim (Notice of Denial) in the form and manner required by Labor Code §409.022 (relating to Refusal to Pay Benefits; Notice; Administrative Violation) and §124.2 of this title (concerning Insurance Carrier Reporting and Notification Requirements).

(1) If the insurance carrier does not file a Notice of Denial by the 15th day after receipt of the written notice of injury or does not file a Notice of Continuing Investigation as described under Labor Code §409.021(a-3) (relating to Initiation of Benefits; Insurance Carrier’s Refusal; Administrative Violation), the insurance carrier is liable for any benefits that accrue and shall initiate benefits in accordance with this section.

(2) If the insurance carrier files a Notice of Denial after the 15th day but on or before the 60th day after receipt of written notice of the injury:

(A) The insurance carrier is liable for and shall pay all income benefits that had accrued and were payable prior to the date the insurance carrier filed the Notice of Denial and only then is it permitted to suspend payment of benefits; and

(B) The insurance carrier is liable for and shall pay for all medical services, in accordance with the Act and rules, provided prior to the filing of the Notice of Denial.

(3) The insurance carrier shall not file notice with the division that benefits will be paid as and when they accrue with the division.

(4) An insurance carrier’s failure to file a Notice of Denial or a Notice of Continuing Investigation by the 15th day after it receives written notice of an injury constitutes the insurance carrier’s acceptance of the claim as a compensable injury, subject to the insurance carrier’s ability to contest compensability on or before the 60th day after receipt of written notice of the injury. In the event of such a failure, the insurance carrier is liable for and shall pay all income and medical benefits that have accrued or become payable, subject to the insurance carrier’s right to contest compensability on or before the 60th day.

(5) The insurance carrier commits an administrative violation if, not later than the 15th day after it receives written notice of the injury, it does not begin to pay benefits as required, file a Notice of Denial of the compensability of a claim, or file a Notice of Continuing Investigation in the form and manner required by §124.2 of this title. The division will send periodic notifications to all insurance carriers regarding the amount of penalties owed and the proper way to submit and document the payments.

(b) Except as provided by subsection (c), the insurance carrier waives the right to contest compensability of or liability for the injury, if it does not contest compensability on or before the 60th day after the date on which the insurance carrier receives written notice of the injury.

(c) If the insurance carrier wants to deny compensability of or liability for the injury after the 60th day after it received written notice of the injury:

(1) the insurance carrier must establish that it is basing its denial on evidence that could not have reasonably been discovered earlier; and

(2) the insurance carrier is liable for and shall pay all benefits that were payable prior to and after filing the Notice of Denial until the division has made a finding that the evidence could not have been reasonably discovered earlier.

(d) If the claim involves the death of an injured employee, investigations, denials of compensability or liability, and disputes of the eligibility of a potential beneficiary to receive death benefits are governed by §132.17 of this title (concerning Denial, Dispute, and Payment of Death Benefits). Notwithstanding §132.17(f)(1) and (2) of this title, the insurance carrier may issue a Notice of Continuing Investigation in accordance with the provisions of §124.2(f) and this section.

(e) Notwithstanding §132.13 of this title (concerning Burial Benefits), if an insurance carrier has issued a Notice of Continuing Investigation in accordance with the provisions of §124.2(f) and this section, the insurance carrier shall either pay or deny a claim for burial benefits within seven days from the date the insurance carrier either initiated benefits or filed a notice of denial in accordance with §124.2(f) of this title.

(f) Labor Code §409.021 and subsection (a) of this section do not apply to disputes of extent of injury. If an insurance carrier receives a medical bill that involves treatment(s) or service(s) that the insurance carrier believes is not related to the compensable injury, the insurance carrier shall file a notice of dispute of extent of injury (notice of dispute). The notice of dispute shall be filed in accordance with §124.2 of this title and be filed not later than the earlier of:

(1) the date the insurance carrier denied the medical bill; or

(2) the due date for the insurance carrier to pay or deny the medical bill as provided in Chapter 133 of this title (concerning General Medical Provisions).

(g) If the insurance carrier receives a written notice of injury for a disease or illness identified by Texas Government Code, Chapter 607, Subchapter B (relating to Diseases or Illnesses Suffered by Firefighters, Peace Officers, and Emergency Medical Technicians), it shall investigate the applicability of the statutory presumption as well as compensability of the injury, liability for the injury, and the accrual of benefits.

(1) A claimant is not required to expressly claim the applicability of a statutory presumption in order for the statutory presumption to apply.

(2) A presumption under Government Code, Chapter 607, Subchapter B, is claimed upon an insurance carrier’s receipt of a written notice of injury which identifies:

(A) the injured or deceased employee’s occupation as a firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical technician, and

(B) the injured or deceased employee’s disease or illness is a medical condition identified by Subchapter B.

(3) A determination that the statutory presumption does not apply does not relieve the insurance carrier of its continuing obligation to conduct a reasonable investigation relating to the compensability of the injury, liability for the injury, and accrual of benefit

The provisions of this §124.3 adopted to be effective March 13, 2000, 25 TexReg 2096; amended to be effective March 14, 2004, 29 TexReg 2322; amended to be effective January 12, 2020, 45 TexReg 348

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At a Glance:

Title:

§ 124.3. Investigation of an Injury and Notice of Denial/Dispute

Title:

Title 28. Insurance

Status:

Current

Usage:

New Law Rule

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