Bill Text: TX SB433 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the eligibility of nurses for workers' compensation benefits for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and payment of those benefits.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-1)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-02-09 - Co-author authorized [SB433 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-SB433-Introduced.html
  87R610 KKR-D
 
  By: Zaffirini S.B. No. 433
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the eligibility of nurses for workers' compensation
  benefits for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and payment of those
  benefits.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter A, Chapter 408, Labor Code, is
  amended by adding Section 408.009 to read as follows:
         Sec. 408.009.  PRESUMPTION OF COMPENSABILITY OF CORONAVIRUS
  DISEASE (COVID-19) FOR NURSES. (a) In this section, "nurse" means
  an individual licensed under Chapter 301, Occupations Code.
         (b)  A nurse, including a nurse employed by a state agency or
  a political subdivision of this state, who suffers from coronavirus
  disease (COVID-19) on or after February 1, 2020, resulting in
  disability or death is presumed to have contracted the disease
  during the course and scope of employment as a nurse if the nurse:
               (1)  is assigned:
                     (A)  to treat a patient diagnosed with the
  disease; or
                     (B)  to duties that require the nurse to come in
  contact with a patient diagnosed with the disease; and
               (2)  contracts the disease during the patient's
  admission to the health care facility at which the nurse treated or
  came in contact with the patient or not later than the 14th day
  following the date of the patient's discharge from the facility.
         SECTION 2.  Section 409.021(a-3), Labor Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a-3)  An insurance carrier is not required to comply with
  Subsection (a) if the claim results from an employee's disability
  or death for which a presumption is claimed to be applicable under
  Section 408.009 of this code or Subchapter B, Chapter 607,
  Government Code, and, not later than the 15th day after the date on
  which the insurance carrier received written notice of the injury,
  the insurance carrier has provided the employee and the division
  with a notice that describes all steps taken by the insurance
  carrier to investigate the injury before the notice was given and
  the evidence the carrier reasonably believes is necessary to
  complete its investigation of the compensability of the
  injury.  The commissioner shall adopt rules as necessary to
  implement this subsection.
         SECTION 3.  Section 415.021(c-2), Labor Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (c-2)  In determining whether to assess an administrative
  penalty involving a claim in which the insurance carrier provided
  notice under Section 409.021(a-3), the commissioner shall consider
  whether:
               (1)  the employee cooperated with the insurance
  carrier's investigation of the claim;
               (2)  the employee timely authorized access to the
  applicable medical records before the insurance carrier's deadline
  to:
                     (A)  begin payment of benefits; or
                     (B)  notify the division and the employee of the
  insurance carrier's refusal to pay benefits; and
               (3)  the insurance carrier conducted an investigation
  of the claim, applied the statutory presumptions under Section
  408.009 of this code or Subchapter B, Chapter 607, Government Code,
  and expedited medical benefits under Section 504.055.
         SECTION 4.  (a) Except as otherwise provided by this
  section, Section 408.009, Labor Code, as added by this Act, applies
  only to a claim for workers' compensation benefits filed on or after
  the effective date of this Act. A claim filed before that date is
  governed by the law as it existed on the date the claim was filed,
  and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         (b)  A person who on or after February 1, 2020, but before the
  effective date of this Act, filed a claim for workers' compensation
  benefits related to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and whose claim
  was subsequently denied may file another claim on or after the
  effective date of this Act, and the changes in law made by this Act
  apply to that claim.
         SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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