If You Are Involved in a Dispute

Disputes

Disputes concerning compensability, extent of injury, ability to work, or the amount of income benefits due are called indemnity disputes.

The Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) has a system to resolve these disputes. Your dispute might go through one or more steps of this dispute resolution process. OIEC assistance is available to help you.

About the Dispute Resolution Process
(customer handout)

More information about the dispute resolution process in also available on the DWC website.

OIEC has ombudsmen located across the state who assist unrepresented injured employees (or beneficiaries of employees who die from a work-related accident) with their workers’ compensation disputes.

More about ombudsman services

Benefit Review Conference (BRC)

The ombudsman may request a benefit review conference (BRC) on behalf of the injured employee. Prior to the BRC, the ombudsman assists the injured employee with obtaining all the necessary documents and information relevant to the dispute. The ombudsman assists in presenting the injured employee’s position at the BRC.

 

If a dispute remains unresolved, a contested case hearing may be held. The OIEC ombudsman helps the injured employee by assisting with presenting evidence and making arguments at the hearing. An administrative law judge issues a written decision within ten days of the hearing.

Either side can file a written appeal of the contested case hearing decision. An OIEC ombudsman can help the injured employee file an appeal by requesting a review by the Appeals Panel. Ombudsmen also assist injured employees with filing responses to appeals by insurance carriers. This is the last step in the dispute resolution process that OIEC assistance is available.

A party that is not satisfied with the final decision of DWC may request a Judicial Review and new evidence may be added.

You may need to hire an attorney if you or the insurance carrier decide to request Judicial Review.  OIEC cannot help at this level because it is statutorily barred from Judicial Review.

What to do when you disagree
with an Appeals Panel decision
(customer handout)

Office of Injured Employee Counsel

7551 Metro Center Drive, Suite 100, Austin, TX 78744 | 1-866-393-6432 | OIECInbox@oiec.texas.gov

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