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What Are the Requirements for Workers’ Compensation Eligibility in Ohio?

Work injury claim form showing business insurance concept. what are the requirements for workers' compensation eligibility

What are the requirements for workers’ compensation eligibility? Most workers are eligible for workers’ compensation in Ohio if they sustain a work-related injury or illness. There may be exceptions, depending on the nature of their employment or the incident leading to the worker’s condition.

Discover what eligibility requirements are currently in place for employees under Ohio workers’ compensation law and how to proceed with a claim.

If you need help calculating compensation and filing a claim in Ohio, reach out to the experienced Cincinnati workers’ comp lawyers at Young, Reverman & Bolotin by calling 513-400-0000.

Who Is Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?

The majority of employees in Ohio are eligible to recover workers’ compensation through their employers’ insurance coverage, as most employers must carry a degree of this coverage. Generally, employees working for qualifying employers must be able to file a claim against the employer’s insurer as soon as they start their job.

What Are the Requirements for Workers’ Compensation Eligibility in Ohio?

If you work for an employer with workers’ compensation coverage and sustain a work-related injury or illness, you can generally recover compensation. However, you may not qualify for workers’ comp if you are an independent contractor or otherwise work for an employer without coverage.

Some circumstances may prevent you from collecting workers’ compensation benefits, such as if your injuries result from a fight, impairment on the job, company policy violations, or self-inflicted harm.

When Are Workers Not Eligible for Compensation?

If you are responsible for your injuries or work under a type of employer that doesn’t need to carry workers’ comp insurance, you may not qualify for these benefits.

If you sustain your injuries while impaired by drugs or alcohol, during a fight, or in another capacity in which you are responsible, you may not be eligible for compensation. You could also be ineligible if you work for an employer such as:

  • A partner or sole proprietorship without employees
  • LLCs or individually incorporated businesses without employees
  • Family farm corporate officers who have no employees
  • Religious organizations, if you are working in the capacity of an associate or ordained minister

Missing the Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Comp Cases

You may be ineligible for workers’ compensation if you fail to file a claim on time. Every state has a statute of limitations in place for every type of case, including workers’ comp cases, giving claimants a limited amount of time to file a claim or lawsuit.

In Ohio, the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation is one year from the date of the injury, with exceptions. If you fail to file in time based on this statute, you may be unable to recover any compensation.

Recoverable Damages in Ohio Workers’ Compensation Cases

If you sustain a work injury or illness in Ohio, you may be able to recover compensation for damages resulting from your condition. For instance, you could recover medical expenses and lost income sustained because of your condition, along with disability or death benefits. Here is a brief overview of each type of compensation you may recover through workers’ compensation coverage.

Medical Benefits

You may be able to recover various medical benefits through workers’ comp, including immediate medical treatment and diagnostics, hospitalization, ongoing care, and rehabilitation.

Lost Income

You can recover compensation for the income you lost while out of work due to your condition, along with lost earning capacity if you’re unable to work the same position or in the same capacity.

Disability Benefits

Injured workers may recover disability benefits, depending on the type and severity of the disability. These benefits may cover Temporary Partial Disability (TPD), Temporary Total Disability (TTD), Permanent Partial Disability (PPD), or Permanent Total Disability (PTD).

Death Benefits

If an injured worker dies because of his or her condition, his or her loved ones may recover death benefits. This compensation could cover lost income and other costs pertaining to the worker’s death, along with burial and funeral costs.

If you’re not sure what types of benefits you can recover or the total amount of compensation your case is worth, you may be able to determine the precise amount with the help of a workers’ compensation lawyer.

Steps for Filing Workers’ Compensation in Ohio

With a better idea of whether you qualify for workers’ compensation in Ohio, you may wonder how to file a claim and recover compensation.

The following are the basic steps involved in the workers’ comp process in this state:

1. Get Medical Care

The first step to take is to seek professional medical attention as soon as possible upon discovering your injury or illness. The sooner you seek care, the sooner you can get on the road to full recovery and gather medical records to support your claim.

Remember, the longer you wait to seek treatment, the more severe your injuries may become and the more difficult it may become to prove that your condition is work-related. Insurance companies could argue that your injuries didn’t result from work, or that they aren’t as severe as you claim if you wait too long to receive treatment.

2. Notify Your Employer

Not only should you seek medical care as soon as possible, but you should also inform your employer of your condition shortly after the initial incident. Specifically, provide your employer with written notice detailing your injury or illness and the circumstances that caused it.

Your employer should then provide you with instructions on how to proceed with a claim.

3. Consult an Attorney

Before you file your claim, you may need to speak with a Cincinnati workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your case and everything it involves. Even if your case seems simple and easy to get through on your own, an attorney can help you determine the total amount of compensation you can recover and assist with the claims process.

An attorney can also help you gather and collect evidence supporting your claim. This evidence could include:

  • Medical records and bills
  • Accident reports
  • Footage of the accident scene
  • Proof of lost income and lost earning capacity
  • Proof of disability

He or she can also help you complete your workers’ compensation claim checklist to ensure the process goes smoothly from start to finish.

4. File Your Claim With the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC)

After consulting an attorney and completing the previous steps, you can begin your claim by filing with the BWC. You can file your claim online using the BWC’s provided forms, or you can have your lawyer, physician, employer, or another party file the claim on your behalf.

You will then need to wait for a response from the BWC regarding your claim, which can take up to 28 days.

What to Avoid Doing on Workers’ Compensation

Knowing the steps involved in filing a claim can help you succeed with a case, but you should also know what not to do while on workers’ comp in Ohio.

The following are some ways you could inadvertently compromise your case:

Failure to Report Your Injury

As discussed, you should always report a work injury or illness to your employer as soon as possible after your accident or the discovery of your condition. If you don’t report your condition on time, you may fail to file a claim before the statute of limitations passes, which is only a year following an injury and two years following the discovery of an illness.

Posting on Social Media

Even if your posts are innocuous, they may unintentionally imply that your injuries aren’t as serious as you claim. Workers could post physical activities that contradict injury claims, or they may otherwise show that they’re not as debilitated as initially thought, any of which could compromise a claim during investigations by insurers.

Hiding Critical Information

Be open and honest about your condition and situation. If insurers discover that you hid vital information, this could also hurt your case and lead to a denial.

Determining Eligibility for Workers’ Comp

Under most circumstances, you could recover compensation in a workers’ comp case if you sustain a work-related injury or illness. The key is collecting sufficient evidence to support your claim and to file on time to avoid disqualification. One key question you might ask is, “Can I sue my employer for an injury on the job?” In most cases, the answer will be no.

To learn more about the options available to you and get started on a claim, contact us at Young, Reverman & Bolotin and schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. 

Jay A. Bolotin is a partner at the injury law firm of Young, Reverman & Bolotin. Serving the people of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, Jay dedicates his career to helping clients in the tri-state area obtain financial compensation after suffering serious injuries. He focuses his practice on cases involving car accidents, trucking accidents, dog bites and animal attacks, and other types of personal injury incidents.

Years of Experience: More than 25 years
Registration Status:: Active
Bar Admissions: Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Cincinati Bar Association