Ohio Workers' Compensation

Ohio Workers’ Compensation Benefits Process

Important: We updated this article in August 2023 to ensure the information below is current and correct. State law outlines who receives Ohio workers’ compensation benefits and how the process works. If you’re a Buckeye who’s experienced an accident or illness on the job, you should focus on feeling better ― not feeling anxious about the claims process.

We’ve gathered the information you need to get the workers’ comp benefits you deserve.

Ohio Workers’ Compensation Eligibility

Important: State rules don’t cover federal employees (i.e., postal carriers, maritime or railroad workers). Learn how to file a federal claim.

Any business that employs at least one worker must automatically provide Ohio workers’ compensation coverage. According to state law, this policy covers all full-time and part-time employees.

There are some exceptions, though, including:

  • Independent contractors
  • Domestic workers who earn less than $160 every three months (i.e., babysitters, housekeepers, gardeners/yard upkeep)
  • Volunteers
  • Workers who are intoxicated, have self-inflicted injuries, or that result from reckless behavior while on the job

Follow these links to find out about workers’ comp for:

Ohio Workers’ Compensation Claims for Covid-19

You can file a workers’ comp claim for COVID-19, but there’s no guarantee you’ll receive benefits.

Important: While the state did approve some Covid-19 WC claims last year, most came from healthcare workers and first responders.

To qualify for workers comp benefits, you must:

  • Prove you contracted the disease specifically from workplace exposure, not anywhere else, such as at home, school or while running errands.
  • Show a positive Covid-19 test and required medical care.

Get more details from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) workplace Covid-19 FAQs.

How to File an Ohio Workers’ Compensation Claim

Important: Get treatment immediately if you require emergency or urgent care from an on-site healthcare provider or off-site facility. Tell them your case is work-related, provide your employer’s name, and keep all receipts and bills.

1. Notify your employer immediately about your illness or injury and seek appropriate medical attention.

If you don’t seek medical care for your injury or illness, then you can’t receive Ohio workers’ compensation benefits. You must see a BWC-authorized doctor

Important: Going to a doctor without authorization makes you responsible for paying those medical bills — not your employer.

2. Verify time off for treatment and recovery.

If you miss eight or more workdays because of your workplace injury or illness, you must file your claim directly with the BWC. Keep a copy of the letter or form for your records.

Important: If you don’t file, your employer is only required to pay medical bills related to your injury.

If you have a pre-existing health condition, you may want to consult a workers’ compensation attorney.

3. Wait for a decision.

The BWC must approve or deny your workers’ comp claim for lost-wage benefits within 28 days. If you’re eligible, you’ll receive a BWC Order saying you are allowed, accepted or approved for lost-wage benefits. (In 2023, the max weekly workers’ comp payment is $1,149.) Then complete Form C-101, Authorization to Release Medical Information and file it with the BWC.

Important: You must do this within one year of your injury or illness diagnosis date to receive Ohio workers’ comp.

4. File Form IC-12, Notice of Appeal if you’re denied or want to dispute benefits.

You have 14 days to appeal a denied claim. If the BWC dismisses your claim, you must re-file within one year for injury or death and two years for an occupational illness.

Important: In 2022, 1 in every 8 Ohioans were denied. That’s why you may want to work with an Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer.

Visit the BWC’s website to learn more about filing an Ohio workers’ compensation claim.

More Facts About Ohio Workers’ Compensation

The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzes workers’ comp data on most U.S. states and territories. The total number of recordable cases in the Buckeye State was declining before the pandemic, plummeting 20% from 2017 to 2021.

Much of the drop is attributable to a considerable reduction in claims from the service sector, which decreased by 25% during these five years. The number of employees who missed work, transferred jobs or received restrictions also fell by 14% from 2017 to 2021.  

Important: You can get free, confidential help with your claim.

When you live with a workplace accident or injury, navigating the Ohio workers’ compensation system can make you feel even worse. That’s why we recommend working with an experienced Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer.

Important: These specialists work on contingency. If you don’t win a cash settlement, you owe your lawyer $0. If your case is successful, you pay only a reasonable, one-time fee.

Ready to see if you qualify? Click the button below to sign up for a free phone call during regular weekday business hours:

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Margot Lester is the CEO of The Word Factory, a B2B & B2C content marketing agency that provides services for Fortune 100 brands, healthtech companies and SaaS developers. An award-winning business and brand journalist, she writes for daily and weekly newspapers and business journals, national magazines, in-flight publications and leading websites. Margot is also an in-demand writing coach and organizational communications trainer, helping individuals and teams write more effectively. Twitter/X: @word_factory LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/margotlester.