Ohio Workers’ Compensation Benefits Process

Ohio Workers' Compensation

All workers’ compensation claims are processed at the state level according to local laws. Employees with on-the-job injuries or occupational illnesses can file an Ohio workers’ compensation claim using the steps listed below. You’ll also find an informative chart showing how the program’s statistics have changed since 2012.

How to File Your Ohio Workers’ Compensation Claim

According to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), all private employers must provide workers’ compensation coverage through insurance purchased directly from the state. The BWC provides an online portal to make filing Ohio workers’ compensation claims, checking your current status and accessing your records easier. To file your Ohio workers’ compensation claim for a work-related injury or occupational illness, follow these steps:

  1. Notify your employer or your injury or illness immediately and seek medical attention, if needed. There’s no specific deadline for informing your employer about the incident, but waiting more than a couple of days can make it more difficult to prove your injury or illness is work-related.
  2. Your employer should provide you with a First Report of Injury (FROI) form. (If not, you can download the form in PDF format from the BWC’s website.) To be eligible for Ohio workers’ compensation benefits, you must submit this form within two years of the date you got hurt or sick at work.
  3. Have your doctor fill out the FROI form in as much detail as possible. Then, your healthcare provider, legal representative or your employer can file the form on your behalf with the BWC. You can also submit the FROI form yourself online, in person, through the mail or by fax, if you prefer.
  4. Upon receipt of your FROI, the BWC will issue your claim number and assign a claims service specialist (CSS) to review your request for benefits. Be sure to include your claim number on all claims correspondence and forms you submit to the BWC.
  5. After receiving your claim number, you must see a BWC-certified physician for all medical care related to your workplace injury or illness. (You can look up certified healthcare providers through the BWC’s online portal.)
  6. Your CSS has 28 days to complete your claim review and approve or deny your request for benefits. If your medical condition prevents you from returning to work for seven or more days, you can submit a Request for Temporary Total Compensation form (C-84).
  7. If your claim’s approved, you’ll receive a letter informing you of the decision by mail. Your workers’ compensation benefits should cover all medical bills as well as any compensation for lost wages related to your workplace injury or illness.
  8. If your claim is denied, you have 14 days from the date you received the determination letter to appeal. You must notify your CSS in writing of your intent to dispute the decision or file a Notice of Appeal form (IC-12) online through the BWC’s website.
  9. The Industrial Commission of Ohio (IC) will schedule a hearing at the IC office that’s closest to your home. The IC will notify you in writing of the time and place your appeals hearing is scheduled to occur. These hearings are informal, and you may have legal representation with you when you attend. Be sure to submit any additional documents or evidence that supports your claim to the IC before your hearing, if possible.
  10. After reviewing evidence and concluding your hearing, the presiding officer will make a final determination decision and publish an order either granting or denying your workers’ comp claim.

These steps should give you an idea of what to expect during your own Ohio workers’ compensation claims process. That said, each individual claim is unique, and the procedure you follow may be slightly different than what we’ve outlined here.

Ohio Workers’ Compensation Statistics

Each year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases a statistical workers’ compensation program report for nearly every state. The report shows the total claims filed within each state as well as those filed within each specific industry, plus how many employees missed work, changed jobs or received restrictions. Our chart below lists the Ohio workers’ compensation program statistics from 2012-2015.

Since 2012, the Ohio workers’ compensation program has been quite stable with only slight fluctuations in each year’s reported claims numbers. The biggest change happened from 2012 to 2013, when 6,600 fewer total claims were filed. The total claims filed jumped up a bit again by 4,400 in 2015, but stable program numbers overall indicate that worker safety is a priority for employers in Ohio.

How An Ohio Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help You

If you’re an employee with an on-the-job injury or occupational illness, speak to a workers’ compensation attorney before you file your claim. A legal consultation can provide you with helpful information on what to expect, any documentation you’ll need to submit in order to support your claim and help filing your appeal, if it comes to that. An experienced lawyer can explain the ins and outs of the Ohio workers’ compensation claims process. And best of all, having legal representation on a for-contingency basis means unless you win benefits, you’ll pay absolutely nothing to get professional help with your claim.

If you’re ready to connect with an attorney in your area, click on the button below and check your eligibility today.

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