OHIO WORKERS' COMPENSATION
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Below you will find answers to the questions we get asked the most about Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation claims. If you have question(s) that are not listed, please submit them in the chat or in the contact form and we can help you further.
How long do I have to file a workers’ compensation claim in Ohio?
In Ohio, you have one year from the date of the injury to file a worker’ compensation claim. However, if the condition being requested is an occupational disease (a condition contracted in the course and scope of employment), then the injured worker has up to two years after the date the disability began or six months after a qualified medical provider diagnosed you with the condition.
How much will I get paid through my workers’ compensation claim?
In order to determine how much money an injured worker will receive for various benefits under Ohio BWC, you have to determine the Full Weekly Wage (FWW) and Average Weekly Wage (AWW). Check out our discussion on setting the FWW and AWW.
How long does it take to get paid after the injury?
Unfortunately, the workers’ compensation system is slow to pay out injured workers for lost wages. In the best case scenario, an injured worker could receive payment for lost wages in 4 to 6 weeks following the date of injury. However, in some cases, an injured worker could wait several months before being awarded lost wages.
Can I choose which doctor I go see to seek treatment?
Yes. Injured workers in Ohio have the absolute right to choose which doctor they seek treatment with for the work-related injuries. Neither the Ohio BWC, nor the employer, can force an injured worker to treat at a specific facility or with a specific provider.
If I do not like the current doctor I am treating with, can I switch to a new doctor?
Yes. An injured worker can change the physician of record any time.
Can the Ohio BWC or my employer force me to go see a doctor they choose?
Yes. The BWC or employer may require an injured worker be examined by a doctor one time for each issue before the BWC or Industrial Commission.
Do I have to sign releases to allow my employer to request my medical records?
Yes. The employer can require the injured worker to sign medical authorizations to request the injured workers medical records. However, the injured worker does not have to sign medical releases that allow the employer to request any and all records whether they are related to the workers’ compensation claim or not.
If my employer offers me a light-duty position within my restrictions, do I have to take it?
Yes. If an injured worker is unable to return to the position held on the date of injury, but the employer offers the injured worker a job within the workers medical restrictions, then the injured worker must accept that position. If the injured worker does not accept the position, then the injured worker would not be eligible for temporary total disability benefits while the worker remains out of work.
Will all my medical bills get paid?
Yes, all medical bills that are related to the allowed workers compensation claim will be paid in their entirety. However, all treatment needs to be requested and approved prior to the injured worker beginning the treatment.
Do I have to pay co-pays when I go see my doctors?
No. There are no-copayments required when treating under an allowed workers' compensation claim.
If my workers’ compensation claim gets denied, do I have to pay my medical bills?
Yes. If the workers’ compensation claim ultimately gets denied, any medical treatment related to the injuries alleged to have been a compensable workers’ compensation claim will be the responsibility of the injury worker. If the injured worker has private health injury, they should submit those bills to their insurance.
Can I get fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim?
No. An employer is prohibited from discharging, demoting, reassigning, or taking any punitive action against any employee because the employee filed a claim, or pursued or testified in any proceedings under the workers’ compensation act.
What is Maximum Medical Improvement ?
Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). MMI occurs when a condition has stabilized and further functional improvement is unlikely, despite continued medical treatment or physical rehabilitation.
Can I get my travel expenses paid for traveling to and from treatment?
No. The Ohio BWC does not reimburse injured workers for travel to and from the injured worker’s treating doctor unless the treatment cannot be obtained within the city or community where the claimant resides, and the treatment has been pre-authorized and approved.
Can I get my travel expenses paid for traveling to and from examinations that the employer or BWC sends me to?
Yes. If the Ohio BWC sends the injured worker for an examination, then the injured worker can be reimbursed travel expenses if the injured worker travels more than 45 miles round trip.
If the employer sends the injured worker for an examination, then the injured worker can be reimbursed travel expenses regardless of the amount of miles traveled.
Should I hire an attorney?
Yes. An experienced and skilled workers’ compensation attorney can generally provide greater benefits to the Claimant than what they would receive without having an attorney. A good attorney will pay for itself in the long run.
How much does it cost to hire an attorney?
Upfront, nothing. Most, if not all, attorneys that represent injured workers in an Ohio workers’ compensation claim, do so on a contingency fee basis. The attorney will only receive money if the injured worker’s claim is is successful and is also receiving money. Generally speaking, an attorney will receive 33.33% of the money the injured worker receives as a result of the attorney's work on the case.
Will an attorney take a fee on my ongoing Temporary Total Disability benefits?
No. When an injured worker is receiving ongoing temporary total disability, the attorney would not be entitled to a fee on those ongoing benefits.
Can I fire my current attorney and hire another attorney?
Yes. An injured worker can choose to terminate his/her current workers’ compensation attorneys and hire new counsel at any time. However, I encourage all claimants that are unhappy with their current legal representation to call their counsel and attempt to work through the problems before deciding to terminate the representation.
That is a list of the most common questions that we get asked. If you have question(s) that are not listed, please submit them in the chat or in the contact form and we can help you further.
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