Ohio's workers' compensation insurance provides several types of lost wages' compensation for injured employees. Employees may receive temporary disability insurance benefits and permanent benefits depending on the extent of their injuries and abilities to return to work. Additionally, Ohio provides survivor benefits or death awards to dependents when their family members die from work-related illnesses or injuries.
Understanding Workers' Compensation Rules in Ohio
In Ohio, the Bureau of Workers' Compensation administers the state's workers' compensation laws and ensures compliance by employers. Ohio law mandates that all employers who conduct business in the state purchase workers' compensation insurance policies or contribute to a state-maintained insurance fund for all employees. Employers are responsible for maintaining proper coverage and processing claims from injured employers. Injured employees have rights to receive prompt medical attention and determinations of coverage. Injured employees should report their injuries as soon as possible to the bureau and to their employers.
Once employees seek treatment from hospitals or physicians, health care providers must report injuries to the employers' managed care organizations within 24 hours. The Bureau of Workers' Compensation will send the injured employee an informational claims packet, and the injured employee must complete applications within the claims packet to process her claim. Under Ohio law, she may visit any physician or hospital to seek her first treatment. After the initial treatment, the injured employee should seek treatment from certified doctors participating in the state's workers' compensation coverage plan for non-emergency visits. Employees will receive determinations of their medical coverage benefits within 28 days, and they have 14 days to appeal denials.
Temporary Lost Wages
Employees who are unable to return to work for at least eight days may apply for lost wages benefits. Benefit amounts depend on the extent of employees' injuries and their annual wages. Employees may receive temporary total compensation when they are unable to work for at least eight days. Under Ohio law, employees cannot receive both lost wages compensation and return to work. Compensation begins on the eighth day after the employee's accident, and employees receive biweekly benefits. Employees can receive 72 percent of their normal weekly wages as temporary lost wages benefits for 12 weeks, and after 12 weeks, they receive 66.67 percent of their wages as compensation.
Permanent Lost Wages
Employees can receive permanent lost wages compensation after filing for permanent benefits 26 weeks after receiving their last temporary benefits compensation check (for injuries after June 30, 2006). Employees receive benefits based on their annual wages and the extent of their injuries as certified through independent medical examiners. The bureau uses a published chart of benefits for disfigurement, amputation and loss of limb functions to determine benefit amounts. Generally, employees who suffer more extensive loss of limbs and disfigurement will receive a higher benefits determination. The state must certify employees as permanently disabled, and employees may not return to work while receiving benefits. However, Ohio law allows injured employees to apply for living maintenance wage benefits if they must work in different positions because of their injuries and they complete rehabilitation programs.
Since disability and employment laws can frequently change, you should not use this information as a substitute for legal advice. Seek advice through an attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction.
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