Workers injured on the job in Ohio can recover various types of work injury compensation benefits through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC).The type of benefit you can recover depends on how the injury affects you. Workers’ Compensation can be a long and complicated process. Your company can deny coverage, or you can be denied by the BWC. That’s why the advice of an experienced workplace injury lawyer can be vital in determining your rights to compensation.
Injured or ill workers can recover benefits if:
- They cannot work (whether that is for a short period of time or ever again)
- They can return to work but at a lesser-paying position
- The injury affected them permanently
- The injury caused facial disfigurement
What benefits can I recover if I am unable to return to work?
There are two types of Ohio workers’ compensation benefits available if you are injured on-the-job and have a work related injury.
For example, if your doctor says that you cannot work at all during a two-month period while you are healing, you may be eligible for Temporary Total (TT). Temporary total is usually the first form of compensation awarded during an injured worker’s recovery from a work related injury. It’s a benefit paid to replace lost income due to a work-related injury.
The second type of compensation for those unable to return to work after an on-the-job injury is Permanent Total Disability (PTD). This type of compensation is payable for life because it is granted to workers that will never be able to return to work due to the severity of their injuries.
In order to determine eligibility for PTD, injured workers must attend an Industrial Commission of Ohio examination and hearing. Once the BWC grants you PTD benefits, you may be able to receive additional relief to cover increased cost-of-living expenses over time from the Disabled Workers’ Relief Fund.
What if my injuries are permanent?
Some injuries may not prevent you from returning to work, but they may nonetheless result in permanent damage that can affect your quality of life. There are several types of compensation for such injuries.
Scheduled Loss (SL)
For example, if you lose a limb in an accident at work, you might be entitled to Scheduled Loss (SL) compensation. Other types of permanent, or residual, damage eligible for SL compensation include loss of hearing or vision.
If you believe you are eligible for SL compensation, you must file a Motion C-86 and provide the BWC with medical evidence. Dollar amounts for SL awards are based off type of injury and year the injury occurred.
Percentage of Permanent Partial Award (%PP)
If your permanent injury is less severe, such as the inability to extend your arm fully after breaking the bone in your arm at work, you may still be entitled to a Percentage of Permanent Partial Award (%PP).
For this type of workers’ compensation claim, you must file a Motion C-92. %PP may cover psychiatric injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorders, under certain circumstances. Psychiatric injuries must be accompanied by a related physical injury and must have confirmation from two independent doctors and medical examinations.
Facial Disfigurement (FD)
The BWC also provides a one-time award for visible damage to a worker’s face or head under its Facial Disfigurement (FD) compensation. To be eligible, the injury must have the potential to impair the injured workers’ ability to secure or retain employment.
The BWC bases compensation for FD on the severity of the damage. Injured workers will receive a lump sum of up to $10,000.
What if I am diagnosed with an occupational disease?
The BWC provides Change of Occupation (COA) compensation for injured workers who contract occupational diseases, e.g., silicosis, coal miners’ pneumoconiosis or asbestosis, and who have received medical advice to change occupations to avoid coming into contact with silica dust, asbestos, or coal dust.
What if I cannot continue to work the same job?
If your injury makes you unable to return to your original job and you must instead take a lower paying job, BWC may provide you with Wage Loss (WL) compensation. In order to be eligible for WL compensation, you must prove that your injury resulted in a wage loss or decrease.
There are two available forms of WL compensation:
- Working Wage Loss
- Non-working Wage Loss
Working wage loss (WWL) compensation is available for people who return to work in a new position that pays less due to different job duties or fewer work hours.
Non-working wage loss (NWWL) is available to injured workers who have received a doctor’s release to return to work “with restrictions,” but who are who are unable to find a job. In order to be eligible for NWWL, you must demonstrate is you are “making a good faith job search effort to secure employment within [your] physical restrictions.”
What work injury compensation is available while I am recovering from my injury?
The BWC provides Living Maintenance (LM) compensation to injured workers participating in approved rehabilitation plans. This compensation lasts for a total of six months, but extensions are possible.
For injured workers who complete a rehabilitation plan, but continue to struggle with restrictions, the BWC provides Living Maintenance Wage Loss (LMWL) compensation. LMWL compensation is provided for injured workers who must contend with lesser wages after completing a rehabilitation program and returning to work.
What work injury compensation is available for my family if I die at work?
If a worker dies as a result of an on-the-job accident or from an occupational disease, that worker’s family members can bring a Death Claim. Even if the worker was already receiving (or had received) workers’ compensation before death, the dependents of that worker can still file a claim for death benefits. The BWC bases awards on familial relationships and the dependency each beneficiary had on the deceased.
Surviving family members must file all claims for death benefits within two years of the worker’s death.
When should I contact an attorney?
At some point in the workers’ compensation process, you may be asked to accept a certain amount of money as a settlement for your work injury claim.
An attorney can help you determine if the amount proposed is fair based on your injuries. Additionally, an attorney can assist you with requesting advancements on your future compensation if you are in financial need.
Furthermore, if you believe that your injury was the result of a safety violation, you may be entitled to additional compensation. A work injury attorney can help you file the proper paperwork to bring a safety violation claim.
The work injury attorneys at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co. L.P.A. are here to help you complete and file your Ohio workers’ compensation paperwork. We will fight to get you the largest work injury compensation settlement possible. Contact us today: 419-843-6663.