TX Dept. of Insurance Study: High Percentage Of Injured Workers Have Previous Claims

FJ Thomas

Houston, TX (WorkersCompensation.com) – According to a study released in May 2018 by the Texas Department Of Insurance Workers’ Compensation Research and Evaluation Group, 40 percent of claimants had filed previous work comp claims. Of the remaining 60 percent without previous injury, 30 percent filed a subsequent claim within ten years. The Texas study falls in line with information released by the NCBI in 2011 that showed 37 percent of injured workers had filed previous claims.

The TDI study showed that the type of injury impacted the re-injury rate. Overall, the re-injury rate was 18.8 percent, with shoulder, back and knee injuries having a slightly higher percentage. Back injuries had a 26.3 percent re-injury rate out of the 14.5 percent of initial back injuries. Knee injuries had a 16.9 percent re-injury rate out of 6.9 percent of first knee injuries.

Overall, 34 percent of workers with multiple workers’ comp claims had changed employers by the time the subsequent claim had been filed. According to the study, employer change varied by industry. Real estate had the highest reemployment rate at 53.4 percent. Construction came in second at 45.4 percent. Public administration was the lowest at 11.9 percent, with healthcare and educational services following second to last at 17.4 percent.

Per these studies, a potential job candidate that has filed a previous work comp claim has a higher potential to file a subsequent claim. However, it is illegal to ask if a person has filed a previous work comp claim when conducting a job interview.

According to TG Daily, employers can garner some needed information in the application process.

  • Review the work history. Sometimes that will reveal a trend or information.
  • Ask applicants if they can perform the job duties. Employers need to include specifics of the job and allot room for an adequate response.
  • State the requirements upfront in the job description.
  • Disclose that a background check will be completed and how extensive the check will be.
  • Basic questions can be asked as allowed by the state for the scope of the job.

Including an Unemployment Claim search in background checks may also be an option for employers. They will want to verify state laws, and must comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and privacy laws in the process. There may be stipulations of when a search can be initiated. Searches are not available in all states.

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