Temporary Income Benefits (TIBs) are Texas workers’ compensation benefits paid to injured workers who cannot work. These benefits are a replacement for lost wages. When a work injury prevents you from being able to work, that is called disability in the workers’ comp system. Even if you can work light duty, but earn less than your regular pre-injury wages, you have disability. Anyone with disability is owed benefits.
How Are Temporary Income Benefits Calculated
All Texas workers’ compensation benefits are based on your average weekly wage (AWW). Lost wages are figured by finding the difference between your AWW and your current earnings, if any. If your pay rate is over $10.00 per hour, then you are entitled to TIBs at the rate of 70% of your lost wages, paid weekly. For those earning less than $10.00 per hour, you should get 75% of your lost wages for the first twenty-six (26) weeks you are off work. After that, it goes to 70% for the rest of your claim.
The Texas legislature has placed limits on how much an injured worker can get in any given week. Currently, anyone injured after October 1, 2019, can receive up to $971.00 per week in TIBs. The minimum weekly payment for someone who is unable to work at all is $146.00.
How Long Do TIBs Last?
You remain eligible to receive temporary income benefits until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI occurs in two ways. First, you get treatment and reach a point of healing where there is no longer any expectation of further recovery. Second, you reach MMI automatically 104 weeks from your 8th day of disability. Either way, MMI is the end point of TIBs.
That doesn’t mean that you get temporary income benefits every week until you reach MMI. You are eligible until you reach MMI, but you only get paid if you lose wages in any given week. So, if a doctor releases you to return to work at full duty, your TIBs can end until the beginning of another time when you can’t work.
What If The Insurance Company Refuses To Pay TIBs?
It is common for workers’ comp insurance companies to deny paying benefits that they may owe. When this happens, you have to pursue dispute resolution. This will require going to a hearing called a Benefit Review Conference. When benefits are denied, that’s a sign that it’s time to talk to a Texas workers’ compensation attorney.
For more info on the dispute resolution process, check out our free book, “The Ultimate Survival Guide For Texas Injured Workers: Everything You Need To Know To Beat Insurance Companies At Their Games.”