Your Rights & Responsibilities

Scales of justice on law book
OIEC assistance is offered at local offices across the state. These local offices also provide other workers’ compensation system services from the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). TDI is the state agency that administers and regulates the workers’ compensation system through the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC).

Many services provided by OIEC and DWC can be completed over the telephone. You can contact OIEC by calling the toll-free telephone number (866) 393-6432. Additional information, including office locations, is available on our Contact Us page. You can contact DWC by calling the toll-free telephone number (800) 252-7031. Information about DWC is available on their website.

Printable versions of the Injured Employee Rights and Responsibilities are available in several languages:

English    Spanish    Vietnamese    Chinese    Korean

Your Rights

For assistance locating an attorney, contact the State Bar of Texas’ lawyer referral service at 1-877-983-9227 or Attorney information can also be found on OIEC’s attorney information page.

Attorney information

OIEC customer support specialists and ombudsmen are available to answer your questions and provide assistance with your workers’ compensation claim.

You must sign a written authorization before an OIEC employee can access information on your claim. Call (866) 393-6432 or visit an OIEC office to fill out the Request for OIEC Assistance (Form OMB-02).

Customer support specialists and ombudsmen are trained in the field of workers’ compensation and can help you with scheduling a dispute resolution proceeding about your workers’ compensation claim. An ombudsman can also assist you at a benefit review conference (BRC), contested case hearing (CCH), and an appeal. However, ombudsmen cannot make decisions for you or give legal advice.

More ombudsman information

You may have the right to reimbursement of your incurred expenses after traveling to attend a medical appointment or required medical examination if the trip meets qualifying conditions.

There are several types of income benefits and eligibility requirements. Information on the types of income benefits that may be available and the eligibility requirements can be found on DWC website or by visiting with OIEC staff.

You may request Medical Dispute Resolution if you disagree with the insurance carrier regarding medical benefits. You may request Indemnity (Income) Dispute Resolution if you disagree with the insurance carrier regarding income benefits. The law provides that your dispute proceedings will be held within 75 miles from your residence.

If you are in a Workers’ Compensation Health Care Network (network), you must choose your doctor from the network’s treating doctor list. You may change your treating doctor once without network approval. If you are not in a network, you may initially choose any doctor who is willing to treat your workers’ compensation injury; however, changing your treating doctor must be pre-approved by the DWC if you are not in a network.

If you are employed by a political subdivision (e.g. city, county, school district,) you must follow its rules for choosing a treating doctor. It is important to follow all the rules in the workers’ compensation system.

If you do not follow these rules, you may be held responsible for payment of medical bills. OIEC staff can help you to understand these rules.

Workers' compensation networks

In most cases, the contents of your claim file cannot be obtained by others. Some parties have a right to know what is in your claim file, such as your employer or your employer’s insurance carrier. Also, an employer that is considering hiring you may get limited information about your claim from DWC.

Your Responsibilities

If you do not know whether you are in a network, ask the employer you worked for at the time of your injury. If you are in a network, you have the responsibility to follow the network rules. If there is something you do not understand, ask your employer or call OIEC. If you would like to file a complaint about a network, call TDI’s Customer Help Line at (800) 252-3439 or file a complaint online.

Workers' compensation network

Your employer should be able to provide you with the information you will need in order to determine which health care providers can treat you for your workplace injury.

Tell your doctor how you were injured and whether the injury is work-related.

You have one year to send the form after you were injured or first knew that your illness might be work-related. Send the completed DWC041 form even if you already are receiving benefits. You may lose your right to benefits if you do not timely send the completed claim form to DWC.

File DWC041 claim form

Examples of changes include: you stop working because of your injury; you start working; or you are offered a job.
Do not make frivolous or fraudulent claims or demands.

Office of Injured Employee Counsel

7551 Metro Center Drive, Suite 100, Austin, TX 78744 | 1-866-393-6432 |

Accessibility | Compact with Texans | Privacy/Security
Linking | Texas Homeland Security | Texas Veterans Portal | TRAIL
To report Fraud, State Auditor’s Office Hotline:
SAO Website | Texas State Spending