Temporary Income Benefits (TIBS)
If, following your work-related injury or illness, you earn less income than you did before your injury or illness, you may be entitled to Temporary Income Benefits (also called TIBS). TIBS are income replacement benefits and are designed to compensate you for your loss of income following your workplace injury.
To qualify for TIBS, you must earn less than your pre-injury earnings for more than seven days. So, on your eighth day of lost income, you become eligible to receive weekly TIBS checks.
How TIBS Are Calculated
Your amount of your weekly TIBS check is calculated in the following way:
- All of your combined earnings for 13 weeks leading up to your date of injury will be divided by 13 in order to determine your Average Weekly Wage (also called AWW). Your average weekly wage will be a reflection of your average gross wages (before taxes or any other deductions are calculated). Your AWW may also include other fringe benefits and is not limited to wage earnings only.
- Your employer is required to send the insurance carrier a complete breakdown of all of your pre-injury earnings in the state DWC Form-003 Employer’s Wage Statement in order to validate your true earnings leading up to your injury or illness.
- Your weekly TIBS check will be 70% of your gross Average Weekly Wage (AWW). Considering that there are no additional taxes or withholdings from TIBS checks, your weekly workers’ comp benefit check should not be much less than your regular take-home pay (for most people). The final calculated amount is called the “Comp Rate”. The Comp Rate is subject to maximum limits.
How Long Will TIBS Continue?
Your Temporary Income Benefits will continue (weekly) until one of the following situations occur:
- You are once again able to earn the same amount of wages you earned before your injury or illness.
- You reach your Maximum Medical Improvement, certified by either your treating doctor or a state-appointed Designated Doctor, stating that your overall improvement has stopped and active treatment will result in little or no improvement to your medical condition.
- 104 weeks have passed since the first day you began earning less income than you did before your work-related injury or illness.
When your TIBS stop, you will be examined to determine whether or not you have any permanent impairment associated with your work-related injury or illness. If so, you will receive Impairment Income Benefits to compensate you for your impairment and loss of function. Read more about Impairment Ratings and Impairment Income Benefits (IIBS) here.
Things to remember about Temporary Income Benefits
If you’ve worked at your current employer for less than 13 weeks before your date of injury, then your Average Weekly Wage will be calculated using another employee’s wage information. Your employer will choose the “similar employee” whose earnings your Comp Rate will be based on. If your Average Weekly Wage was calculated in this manner and you feel it’s not calculated fairly, contact our office right away.
A previous survey found that more than 40% of injured workers were being paid using incorrect wage calculations, usually caused by the employer’s failure to provide accurate wage earnings or failure to include information about overtime wages or other fringe benefits in the initial stages of the claim. Additionally, for those claimants receiving the wrong amount of weekly benefits, more than half were incorrectly calculated in favor of the insurance carrier, resulting in long-term underpayments to the injured worker. Many of these underpayments are never discovered and corrected.
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Houston, Texas 77034
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Abbott, Clay & Bedoy attorneys are licensed only in the state of Texas unless otherwise indicated in the biographical section. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. We consider employment in another State only in association with co-counsel licensed in that State. References to laws are limited to federal and State of Texas law.