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State law requires Texas employers who do not carry workers' compensation insurance coverage to report their non-coverage status and work-related injuries and illnesses to the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation (TDI-DWC). Now non-coverage status can be reported online under "Employer Online Filings."

Employers completing the DWC Form-005, Employer Notice of No Coverage or Termination of Coverage, online will be required to supply the business name, business type, Federal Employer Identification Number and details on business locations or updated information on business locations. Online and hard copy versions of the DWC Form-005 recently were revised. Hard copies of the revised form are available for download from the TDI website.

All employers in Texas that do not carry workers' compensation insurance are required to notify the TDI-DWC by filing the revised DWC Form-005, when any of the following events occur:

  • Within 30 days after hiring an employee;
  • Within 30 days after receipt of a TDI request (within ten days for employers principally located outside of Texas); and
  • Within ten days of notifying their workers' compensation insurance carrier of their intent to cancel the policy, unless the employer purchases a new policy or becomes a certified self-insurer.

Employers must file the revised DWC Form-005 annually on the anniversary date of the original filing for as long as they remain in operation and do not carry workers' compensation insurance. An employer's failure to comply with these notification requirements is an administrative violation and the employer may be subject to penalties [Texas Labor Code §406.004(a)].

The DWC Form-205, Location of Employers' Business(es), has also been revised and is available for download from the TDI website. This form is filed as an attachment to the DWC Form-005. Employers will be required to file the new DWC Form-005 and DWC Form-205 with the TDI-DWC on and after Feb. 1, 2011.

Texas employers with five or more employees are also required to report work-related injuries and illnesses to the TDI-DWC. Employers must report each work-related injury or illness by the seventh day of the following month using the DWC Form-007, Non-Covered Employer's Report of Occupational Injury and Illness, for each:

  • Work-related injury resulting in the employee's absence from work for more than one day;
  • Occupational disease of which the employer has knowledge, and
  • Work-related fatality.

All employees are included under this requirement except domestic workers; casual workers engaged in employment incidental to a personal residence; certain farm and ranch workers; and employees covered by a method of compensation established under federal law.

Workers' compensation insurance coverage provides covered employees with income and medical benefits if they sustain a work-related injury or illness. Texas private employers can choose whether or not to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage for their employees. Except in cases of gross negligence, workers' compensation insurance limits an employer's liability if an employee brings suit against the employer for damages.

Posted 10:45 AM

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