Office of Injured Employee Counsel
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About the Office of Injured Employee Counsel

The Office of Injured Employee Counsel (OIEC) is the state agency that assists, educates, and advocates on behalf of the injured employees of Texas.  OIEC provides services in 21 offices across the state, with the central office located in Austin, Texas. Agency services include advocacy, customer service and dispute assistance through OIEC’s Ombudsman Program. It is headed by Public Counsel Jessica Barta.
OIEC Customer Support Specialists

  • First point of contact for injured employees in the OIEC system.
  • Educate injured employees about workers’ compensation and their rights and responsibilities during the dispute resolution process.
  • Offer referrals to help people find services from other local, state and federal agencies.
  • Resolve more than 400 disputes each month with informal dispute resolution.
  • Connect injured employees with OIEC Ombudsman.

 OIEC Ombudsmen

  • Assist unrepresented injured employees and beneficiaries at no cost with disputes relating to workers’ compensation income or medical benefits.
  • Do not give advice, make decisions or sign agreements (Ombudsmen assist – attorneys represent).
  • Required to complete a six-month training program, have a workers’ compensation insurance adjuster’s license and at least one year of field experience.
  • Work within the workers’ compensation dispute resolution process which includes:
    • Informal Dispute Resolution
    • Benefit Review Conference
    • Contested Case Hearing
    • Review by Appeals Panel

OIEC Legal Services

  • Staff of attorneys that support the Ombudsman Program through training and resources.
  • Identify systemic issues and address them through the legislative and rulemaking processes.
  • Participate in cases pending before appellate courts if they impact injured employees as a class.