Letter to NFIB/Texas Members from Texas Commissioner of Workers' Compensation

Date: January 31, 2017

Hello, NFIB members. It’s an honor to address so many of Texas’ small business owners—who as you know are a vital part of the state’s economic strength.

I’m Ryan Brannan, Texas’ Commissioner of Workers’ Compensation. Part of my role as commissioner is making sure the Texas workers’ compensation system works for all employers. As part of that mission, I’d like to make you aware of this year’s filing period for employers who do not carry workers’ compensation coverage.

While Texas is the only state where employers are allowed the option of not obtaining workers’ compensation coverage, employers who do not participate in the workers’ compensation system must submit two types of forms to the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), as required by state law.

The DWC 005 form notifies us if an employer has elected not to obtain workers’ compensation coverage on an annual basis. This reporting allows us to better understand why employers choose to participate in the workers’ compensation system or not, and work with all employers to make the system better. The DWC 007 form notifies us whether an employer (with 5 or more employees) has experienced a work-related injury, illness, or workplace fatality, and should be filed on a per-injury basis.

In 2016, DWC held a grace period for nonsubscribers who had not previously reported, allowing them to report without penalty. NFIB helped us get the word out last year, and your efforts were a significant factor in the program’s success. We’re happy to note that the effort increased compliance by more than 20%.

As a result, we are providing another grace period now through April 30.

I hope you’ll take advantage of this limited-time opportunity, and help us spread the word. Please visit www.tdi.texas.gov/wc/employer/index.html for more information.

Thank you again for everything your businesses do for Texas.

Commissioner W. Ryan Brannan

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