DWC AND WORKERS’ COMPENSATION NEWS

MAY 20
Coronavirus reverberates through workers’ compensation market
Workers’ compensation insurers have had a lot on their hands as they manage the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak on businesses across the United States while navigating the evolving regulatory landscape. Read more here.

MAY 26
Big Changes Coming for Workers’ Comp

There is still much unknown about how deeply and pervasively the pandemic will affect the U.S. and global economies; however, a deep and long-lasting recession is now a foregone conclusion. The downstream effects of a recession will change the workers’ compensation market dramatically for years to come. Read more here.

MAY 14
Missouri Family Files Workers’ Comp Claim in Nurse’s Death from Virus
Attorneys for the family of a Missouri nurse who died from COVID-19 filed a claim for death benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation laws. Read more here.

MAY 06
California Governor Announces Workers’ Comp Presumption for COVID-19
California Gov. Gavin Newsom today announced that workers who contract COVID-19 while on the job may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation. Read more here.

MAY 01
DWC Offers Texas Employers Online Safety Consultations
The way we work has changed, but our mission is still the same. Because of changes brought on by COVID-19, the Texas OSHA Consultation Program is now providing online consultations. Read more here.

APRIL 30
Longer Claims, Falling Premiums: NCCI Details How COVID-19 Could Affect Workers’ Comp
A recent report looks at how the economic effects of COVID-19 are hitting workers’ compensation. Read more here.

APRIL 29
Maximum medical improvement (MMI) and impairment rating (IR) evaluations are not permitted through telemedicine
DWC reminded system participants that doctors are not allowed to bill and be reimbursed for MMI and IR evaluations conducted through telemedicine or telehealth. Read the memo here.

COVID-19’s Impact on Workers’ Comp
Is a worker who contracts COVID-19 compensated under workers’ compensation for income loss and medical expenses? Read more here.

APRIL 28
During this pandemic, many workers (nurses, police, grocery store clerks, transit professionals, etc.) are considered essential, potentially putting them at heightened risk for contracting COVID-19. Read more here.

APRIL 25
Lawsuit Pits Businesses vs. Pritzker in COVID-19 Legal Battle
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to withdraw a temporary, emergency rule put in place earlier this month that ensures “first responders and essential front-line workers, who are most susceptible to exposure to COVID-19, are afforded the full protections of the Workers’ Compensation Act in the event they are exposed to or contract the virus.”

APRIL 23
The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has crafted a white paper to assist in understanding the potential cost impact on WC losses due to COVID-19.  While there are many unknowns, the paper serves to provide an estimate of potential WC system cost impacts under  various hypothetical scenarios. It is meant to be used as a tool to gain insight into the potential implications of a state enacting legislation related to the compensability of COVID-19 related claims in certain occupations. 

NCCI will be hosting a live WebEx Briefing on Friday, May 1st at 2 p.m. EST, where they will review the model’s capabilities and intended usage. To register for the webinar go here. The document in its entirety, as well as a letter by NCCI Chief Regulator are attached.

APRIL 14
DWC Emergency rule on telemedicine
DWC adopted an emergency rule allowing health care providers licensed to perform physical medicine and rehabilitation services, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists to bill and be reimbursed for services currently allowed under CMS telemedicine and telehealth billing codes. Read more here.

MARCH 27
DWC Commissioner’s Bulletin 
Commissioner Brown has issued a bulletin regarding suspension of certain provisions of the Labor Code and DWC rules related to WC, which will remain in effect for the duration of the Governor’s COVID-19 declaration. Governor Abbott has approved suspending the some requirements including, work search compliance standards for supplemental income benefits under Labor Code Sec. 408.1415(a) and 28 TAC 130.102(d), Testing, training, and application requirements for designated doctor and maximum medical improvement and impairment rating recertification. Read the bulletin here.

MARCH 25
DWC Commissioner Issues Bulletin in Response to COVID-19
Commissioner Cassie Brown has issued a bulletin on COVID-19 as it relates to the Texas workers’ compensation system. Included are  insurance carrier operations, suspension of exams, tolling of medical billing deadlines and more. View the full bulletin on the TDI website.

MARCH 24
DWC Operations
DWC has announced the cancellation of their April 22nd Quarterly Carrier Meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. DWC issued a bulletin outlining their precautionary measures. Learn more here.

Updates from our workers’ compensation regulatory counsel
Additionally, our regulatory counsel has prepared useful information regarding the issues surrounding COVID-19. Here are links to those updates:
BAJB March 6, 2020 Update
BAJB March 17, 2020 Update

DWC Meeting and Training Cancellations
DWC has a list of all cancellations of the division’s meetings and events at the bottom of their Coronavirus Resources webpage