OIEC Quarterly Review, Number 9, January-March 2008 Page: 3
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Brian White Appointed Deputy Public Counsel
In January 2008, Brian White was appointed Deputy Public Counsel for OIEC. Norman Darwin, Public Counsel, stated, "I
am pleased to express my confidence in the skills that Brian brings to the position and look forward to working with him in
a mutual effort to fulfilling OIEC's statutory mandate."
Brian served as OIEC's General Counsel and has been with OIEC since March 2006. Prior to employment at OIEC, Brian
served as Assistant General Counsel at the Division of Workers' Compensation and Staff Attorney in the Financial Counsel
Section at the Texas Department of Insurance. Brian is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and South Texas
College of Law in Houston.
Agency Program Area Updates
Customer ServiceS. The OIEC Customer Service
Department is up and running! Although the Customer
Service Department is not quite fully staffed, Customer Service
Representatives (CSR's) are working with injured employees
by phone and in person in nearly half of the field offices. It is
rewarding to observe them using the knowledge that they
gained through the training that they have completed as they
interact with injured employees. Several of the CSR's have
already expressed the desire to become Ombudsmen so that
they can assist injured employees during the dispute
resolution process. There are still several vacancies which
should be filled within the next month or two.
Ongoing training includes bi-weekly teleconferences
conducted by the Customer Service Supervisors and monthly
training put together by the Regional Staff Attorneys (RSAs).
The RSAs will also be presenting an extensive workers'
compensation overview training session to all of the CSRs at
the OIEC Conference scheduled in July.
OIEC is extremely proud of the progress made by these newly
hired and highly motivated CSR's.
Injured Employee Services. Our new
Ombudsman Associates, who were transferred from the Texas
Department of Insurance, Division of Workers Compensation
to OIEC, have successfully completed the second phase of
their training program. Currently the Ombudsman Associates
have entered the third phase of training, which includes
obtaining an adjuster's license, and assisting injured
employees in preparation appointments, Benefit Review
Conferences, Benefit Contested Case Hearings, and Appeals.
The expected date of completion of the training is August 31,
2008 or sooner. Effective September 1, 2008 all Ombudsman
Associates will be Ombudsmen I. They will be assisting
injured employees in the field offices around the state. The
unrepresented injured employees of the state of Texas will
benefit from these newly trained Ombudsmen. (Continued on
Question of the Quarter
\Ay husband is still healing from his
york-related injury and prefers that I
nake the phone calls regarding his
workerss' compensation claim. Can
QIEC staff talk to me about his claim
so we can get our questions answered
and get the information we need?
Absolutely! OIEC employees are always available
to provide general information about workers'
compensation and to answer general questions.
OIEC protects the confidentiality of every claim.
Only certain people are allowed to have claim
specific information, and a spouse is not included
as a party permitted to obtain confidential claim
information. However, if your husband wants to
give his permission for you to receive confidential
information about his claim, he can do that.
The best thing would be to have that permission in
writing. It doesn't have to be fancy, just a simple
statement signed and dated by your husband that
says something like this, "I give permission for my
wife, Jane Doe, to receive confidential information
regarding my workers' compensation claim." You
can send it to your local OIEC field office and it will
be documented and forwarded to the workers'
compensation claim file.
After that, you will be able to call OIEC and receive
information regarding your husband's claim. It
would still be a good idea when you call to let your
OIEC representative know that the permission
letter has been submitted so that they can confirm
that and then provide you with the information
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Texas. Office of Injured Employee Counsel. OIEC Quarterly Review, Number 9, January-March 2008, periodical, January 2008; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth576211/m1/3/: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.