Skip to Top Main Navigation Skip to Left Navigation Skip to Content Area Skip to Footer
Texas Department of Insurance
Topics:   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z All

Employer FAQ

Employer homepage

Open all     Close all   

In most cases, workers' compensation insurance is not required in Texas.

Read more about workers' compensation insurance coverage.

Related questions

What are the benefits of buying a workers' compensation insurance policy?

Having a workers' compensation insurance policy will provide lost wages and medical benefits to your employees if they are hurt on the job. Except in cases of gross negligence resulting in a fatality, workers' compensation insurance coverage limits your liability if an employee sues your business for damages.

Learn about:

How do I buy a workers' compensation insurance policy?

There are many insurance companies licensed by the Texas Department Insurance (TDI) to sell workers' compensation insurance coverage policies. Some employers may also have the option to be certified by the Texas Department of Insurance to self-insure or participate in a self-insurance group certified by TDI.

For information about costs and how to buy workers' compensation insurance coverage:

  • TDI has information on this web site including a rate guide for comparison; or
  • you may contact an insurance agent near you.

What do I tell my employees about my workers' compensation insurance coverage for them?

If you have workers' compensation insurance, you must post a notice at your workplace to let employees know:

  • If you have coverage through a commercial insurance company, use notice 6.
  • If you are a certified self-insurer, use notice 7.
  • If you are a member of a self-insurance group, use notice 10.

These notices let your employees know how to get help from DWC, and how to report unsafe work conditions through our Safety Violations Hotline.

You must also give written notice of your coverage to new employees when they are hired and tell them about their right to reject your workers' compensation coverage and retain their common law right for action in district court. If at any time your coverage ends or changes, you must let employees know within 15 days of the effective date of the changes.

Referenced links listed below:

Texas Law Regarding Workers' Compensation Insurance Coverage (Texas Labor Code 406.002)
DWC Rule Regarding Employers Notifying Their Employees of Workers' Compensation Insurance Coverage (28 Texas Administrative Code 110.101, 110.105)

If I choose to not provide workers' compensation insurance coverage for my employees, do I have any obligation to tell my employees or a government agency about it?

If you do not buy workers' compensation insurance coverage, you are considered a "non-subscriber," and you must let your employees know that you do not have coverage. You must notify your employees by posting Notice 5, Notice to Employees Concerning Workers Compensation in Texas, at your work place. Notice 5 also provides a telephone number to the Safety Violations Hotline for reporting unsafe work conditions. This notice must be placed in your personnel office and in a place where employees can see it regularly.

You must also notify DWC if you are a non-subscriber by filing DWC Form-005, Employer's Notice of No Coverage or Termination of Coverage (File online using Internet Explorer or Edge or fill out the PDF version and fax to 512-804-4346). You must also report your status as a non-subscriber each year.

Referenced links listed below:

Texas Law Regarding Workers' Insurance Compensation Coverage (Texas Labor Code 406.004 and 406.005)
Texas Law Regarding Common-Law Defenses and Burden of Proof (Texas Labor Code 406.033)
DWC Rule Regarding Employers Notifying Their Employees of Workers' Compensation Insurance Coverage (28 Texas Administrative Code 110.101, 110.103)
Texas Law Regarding Required Coverage for Certain Building or Construction Contractors (Texas Labor Code 406.096)
Joint Agreement Forms for Contractors, Subcontractors, Construction Workers and Motor Carriers

If I choose not to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage, do I have any reporting requirements if one of my employees is injured?

If you’re a private employer and if you have at least five employees who are not exempt from workers' compensation insurance coverage, you must report workplace injuries and illnesses on the DWC Form-007, Non-covered Employer's Report of Occupational Injury or Illness, each:

  • work-related injury that causes the employee to be off work for more than one day;
  • work-related illness that you knew about; and
  • work-related fatality.

An employer must report any of these to DWC no later than the seventh day of the month following the month when the:

  • death occurred;
  • employee was off work for more than one day because of the on-the-job-injury; or
  • employer learned about the work-related illness.

Are there other posting requirements for my workplace?

Laws require employers to display several posters in the workplace. These posters are available, at no cost, from state and federal agencies.

A list of required postings from the Texas Workforce Commission, U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission can all be found on the Texas Workforce Commission's web site.

A private employer who wants to self-insure must send TDI a completed and signed application form for a certificate of authority to self-insure along with a non-refundable $1,000 application fee.

Generally, the employer must present evidence to DWC of a total unmodified workers' compensation insurance premium of at least $500,000 and must provide a security deposit for incurred liabilities for compensation. The employer must show sufficient financial strength or a total unmodified national workers' compensation premium of at least $10 million and liquidity to ensure that they can quickly meet their workers' compensation obligations. The employer must present a plan for claims administration by a qualified claims servicing contractor and demonstrate that they have an effective safety program for each location in the state where they conduct business. For detailed information or to get an application packet, see Self-Insurance Regulation or call 800-252-7031, extension 44775.

See the list of employers that are currently certified self-insurers in Texas.

A private employer may also choose to join a group of similar employers that is a self-insurance group under Texas Labor Code Chapter 407A. For more information on group self-insurers, email the Company Licensing and Registration office,

Insurance companies that provide workers' compensation insurance policies must provide accident prevention services to its policyholders at no added cost. Accident prevention services include surveys, consultations, recommendations, industrial hygiene/health services, claims history and accident analysis, and training. Contact your insurance carrier if you want help to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. If you do not get the help you asked for from your insurance carrier, you may report this to DWC at 512-804-4610.

DWC also offers several safety and health resources to help employers with training and accident prevention, including:

There may be several state and federal health and safety regulations that apply to Texas employers depending on the type of business and its operations

For help understanding OSHA regulations and other safety laws that may apply to your business, contact DWC's free safety and health consultation program, OSHCON, at 800-687-7080. For more information about the OSHCON program, see the OSHCON frequently-asked questions.

If you have workers' compensation insurance coverage, you can send us a Prospective Employment Authorization and Certification (DWC Form-156) to get general information about previous work-related injuries. DWC will only provide this information if the applicant has had two or more general injuries in the past five years. To get this information, you must get written permission from the job applicant and if the person is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the employer must have made a conditional offer of employment.

If you have workers' compensation insurance coverage, are a certified self-insurer, or a member of a certified self-insurance group:

  • File the Employer's First Report of Injury or Illness (DWC Form-001) with your insurance carrier within eight (8) days from the date your employee is unable to work for more than one day due to their injury, or immediately if their injury is a work-related disease or death.
  • Provide a copy of the completed DWC Form-001 and Employee's Rights and Responsibilities to your employee at the time the DWC Form-001 is filed.
  • Check with your insurance carrier to see what methods of reporting they have available to you.

If you are not required to and do not have workers' compensation insurance coverage and you have at least five employees who are not exempt from workers' compensation insurance coverage, you must report on the DWC Form-007, Non-covered Employer's Report of Occupational Injury or Illness, each:

  • work-related injury that causes the employee to be off work for more than one day;
  • work-related illness that you knew about; and
  • work-related fatality.

An employer must report any of these to DWC no later than the seventh day of the month following the month when the:

  • death occurred;
  • employee was off work for more than one day because of the on-the-job-injury; or
  • employer learned about the work-related illness.

Send the DWC Form-007 to DWC:

By fax: 512-804-4378 


By mail:

Division of Workers' Compensation 
PO Box 12050 
Austin, TX 78711

Related questions

How will I know if my injured worker is unable to work?

After a doctor examines the employee, the doctor should send you a copy of the Work Status Report (DWC Form-073). This form has details about what kind of work your employee is able to do.

If I complete the First Report of Injury (DWC Form-001 or DWC Form-007), does this fulfill OSHA reporting requirements?

In some cases, yes. However, not all workplace injuries are OSHA recordable, and some industries are exempt from OSHA record keeping. Contact the OSHCON program at 800-687-7080 for requirements specific to your business.

Where can I find my North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code formerly Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code required on the DWC Form-001?

Your NAICS (formerly SIC) code identifies the classification of your business. Your business may be assigned multiple codes depending on the processes and operations involved at your business. The numbers may be found in either Block 5 of your Unemployment Quarterly Report (Form C-3) from the Texas Workforce Commission or in the left margin of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 3020 (multiple worksite attachment) for employers with multiple NAICS codes.

Try to work with your carrier and provide any information or documentation you have to support your position. If the carrier continues to accept liability for the claim, you can file an Employer's Contest of Compensability (DWC Form-004) and a Request to Schedule, Reschedule, or Cancel a Benefit Review Conference (BRC) (DWC Form-045) with DWC. You will be required to attend a Benefit Review Conference to present your evidence. For more information, please contact Customer Assistance at 800-252-7031.

Learn more about dispute resolution.

DWC Field Offices

You may be able to get money back for benefits you paid depending on the type of payments made and when they were issued.

You are able to get reimbursement of benefits you paid an injured employee if you have timely reported the injury to the insurance carrier and when:

  • the insurance carrier has contested compensability or liability for the injury and you do not agree; or
  • the insurance carrier has not completed its initial investigation of the injury which is limited to seven days after the insurance carrier receives first written notice of injury. The insurance carrier must begin income benefits no later than the 7th day after the 8th day of disability (accrual date).

The employer must file the Employer’s Report for Reimbursement of Voluntary Payment (DWC Form-002) and detail the total amount of benefits paid up to the point when the insurance carrier notified the employer that they have accepted liability for the injury and began paying benefits. The insurance carrier must reimburse the employer for the amount of benefits the insurance carrier would have paid. If the employer paid benefits above what the carrier owes in benefits, the extra amount is not reimbursable unless there is a written agreement between the injured employee and the employer that those benefits can be recouped from future impairment income benefits, if any.

An employer is not able to be reimbursed for wages paid to continue the employee's full salary after an injury. An employer must let the insurance carrier know that they are paying full salary to the worker to prevent the insurance carrier from paying temporary income benefits (lost wage benefits) for the same time period. An employer who pays salary to supplement income benefits being paid by the insurance carrier is not entitled to and may not seek reimbursement from the employee or the insurance carrier.

Reimbursable Employer Payments; Salary Continuation; Offset Against Income Benefits; Limits (Labor Code 408.003)

Definitions for Temporary Income Benefits Terms (Rule 129.1)

Non-Reimbursable Employer Payments (Rule 129.7)

Employer Initiation of Benefits and Reimbursement (Rule 126.13)

An insurance carrier is not liable for benefits if:

  • your employee was hurt while intoxicated;
  • the injury was caused by the employee's willful attempt to injure himself or unlawfully injure another person;
  • a person that is not your employee injures your employee for a personal reason and not directed at the employee as an employee or because of employment;
  • your employee was injured while participating in a voluntary off-duty recreation, social, or athletic activity that was not part of the employee's duties unless the activity is expected or required by the employer;
  • the injury arose out of an act of God unless the employment exposes the employee to a greater risk of injury from an act of God than ordinarily applies to the general public; or
  • horseplay caused the injury.

An early Return-to-Work program makes good business sense for many reasons. It allows your employee to return to work, within his or her restrictions, as soon as it is medically safe. By having your employee back at work, your business can:

  • Reduce costs. Returning an injured employee to work can reduce business costs (overtime, temporary workers) and workers' compensation costs (increased premiums, income benefits, medical benefits).
  • Reduce employee turnover. Returning an injured employee to work can reduce employee turnover and costs related to replacing an employee. The cost to replace an employee can be up to 1.5 times their annual salary. It can take a new employee more than 13 months to become efficient at their job.
  • Maintain productivity. Returning your experienced and skilled injured employee to work will prevent your business from losing a valuable resource. Although they may not be able to do their regular job right away, the goal of return to work is to get that employee back to work sooner, and eventually back to their regular job.
  • Increase employee morale. By returning your injured employee to work, the employee and their co-workers will know that your business sees them as a valuable resource, which will make them want to return to their regular job as soon as medically possible after a work-related injury.

Related questions

As an employer how do I develop a return-to-work program?

DWC can help employers develop strong return-to-work programs. Find resources on our return-to-work page.

Are there any assistance programs to help make workplace modifications to return my injured employee to work?

DWC coordinates a Return-to-Work Reimbursement Program for employers with 2-50 employees. Employers can be reimbursed up to $5,000 for special equipment, furniture and other workplace modifications that enable an injured employee to return to work.

To apply for reimbursement for workplace modifications you must send DWC a completed DWC Form-008.

Am I required to hold my employee's job open for them after they are injured?

DWC encourages employers to provide a return-to-work program. However, employers are not required under the Texas Workers' Compensation Act to provide employment after an injury occurs.

If your employees believe their work environment is unsafe, they can contact the Safety Violations Hotline at 800-452-9595 or Reports are taken in both English and Spanish and can be made anonymously.

DWC collects workers’ compensation data for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Annual Survey of Non-Fatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, and BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Interested parties can create customized reports from the online database or choose from various data and statistics by visiting the TDI website.

Workers’ compensation fraud occurs when someone willfully makes a false statement or conceals information in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits or prevents someone from receiving benefits to which they might be entitled. To learn more about fraud in the Texas workers’ compensation system and how to report it, go to the DWC fraud page.

DWC investigators are available for presentations that include tips on identifying fraud, making fraud referrals, as well as the investigation process and confidentiality. To request a presentation for your organization, please contact

The employer must fill out a wage statement per Rule 120.4(a) and send it to the insurance carrier, the employee, and the employee’s representative (if any). This form must be completed within 30 days of whichever of these dates happens first:

  • the date the employer is notified that the employee is entitled to income benefits; or
  • the date of the employee's death because of the compensable injury.

If DWC asks for a copy of the wage statement, it must be filed within 7 days.

Related questions

What information must the wage statement include? 

  1. Employee's name, address, and social security number.
  2. Date employer hired the employee.
  3. Employee’s date of injury.
  4. Employer's name, address, and federal tax identification number.
  5. Employee’s employment status (e.g., if the employee works full-time, part-time, etc.).
  6. Name of person completing the form.
  7. Wage information required by Rule 120.4(d).
  8. Certification that the employer reported the required wage information (signature of person completing the form).

What wage information is required?

Employers, other than school districts, must report the average amount of money they paid the employee in each of the 13 weeks before the employee was hurt (average weekly wage) and the number of hours the employee worked in each of those weeks.

Some wages are not paid in money, such as health insurance, housing, car allowance, or dry cleaning (non-pecuniary wages). The employer must report these wages for each pay period before the employee’s date of injury, and whether they will still pay these wages after the date of injury.

What if the employee was paid on a monthly or semi-monthly basis?

The employer can report wages that the employee earned in the three months before the injury.

If the employee is paid every two weeks, the employer can report the wages the employee earned in the 14 weeks before their injury.

What if the employee was not employed for 13 weeks prior to the work injury?

The employer must report the wages of an employee who has similar duties. If the employer doesn’t have a similar employee who was employed in the 13 weeks before the injured employee's date of injury, the employer must report the wages the injured employee earned during the time they were employed.

What if the employee is a school district employee?

School district employers must report the wages that would be deducted from the employee's salary if the employee was absent from work for a week and didn’t have personal leave available to make up for the lost wages.

If an employee works under written contract, the employer must report the:

  • Full value of the contract (including stipends, like a salary or allowance).
  • Number of days or months that the contract required the employee to work.

If an employee does not work under written contract, the employer must:

  • Report the wages paid in money (salary, bonuses, commissions) in the 13 weeks before the employee was hurt. These are known as pecuniary wages.
  • Number of hours the employee worked to earn those wages.

For all employees, the employer must report the pecuniary wages that the employee earned in the 12 months before the injury.