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Cincinnati Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Basic information after filing a workers' compensation claim

Most workers in Ohio who are injured on the job can get workers' compensation benefits. However, it is essential that they understand the entire process to ensure that they receive the benefits and do so in a timely fashion. When a worker is injured, the Bureau of Workers' Compensation will take various steps regarding the claim. Understanding these steps is crucial for a successful claim.

There will be a claims service specialist who will oversee the claim. The CSS will investigate the case by asking that the following information be provided: medical documentation from medical providers regarding the injury; documentation from the medical provider as to the restrictions the worker has when it comes to work; a request for Temporary Total Compensation if the worker will have restrictions for more than seven calendar days; and a documentation of wages from the employer or employers for the previous 52 weeks before the workplace injuries took place.

Ohio workers' compensation and return-to-work options

Not all workers in Ohio who are injured, suffer a condition or illness on the job are permanently disabled. Oftentimes, they can get back to work with their limitations. There might be a disagreement as to how capable they are of working and what kind of work they can do. There are options if they can return to work and they cannot return to the job they did before. The Bureau of Workers' Compensation and managed care organization work in conjunction to help the claimant based on the situation.

There are four different alternatives that the BWC gives to workers if they are not able to return to their regular job. Understanding these is essential to a case: transitional, modified, light duty and alternative. Transitional will use real job duties for a certain time period. In general, it will not go beyond two or three months. This is meant to help the worker progress sufficiently to return to work at the job he or she had before going out on workers' compensation. Modified work is the type of work that accounts for various barriers that the employee has in doing basic job functions. The work given will be altered accordingly.

How previous work will be assessed when seeking SSD benefits

For Ohio residents who are seeking Social Security Disability benefits, one of the most important factors when the Social Security Administration decides whether to approve or deny benefits is if the applicant can do work he or she did in the past. This is a key to the decision. For claimants who are concerned about this issue, it is important to understand what the SSA does when it makes its assessment and subsequent decision.

The SSA will consider the demands the previous work placed on the claimant and do a comparison with the assessment of the current ability to perform activities associated with basic work. Only work that is deemed relevant will be considered. In general, this is limited to the following: work that was done in the 15 years before the claim; if it involved significant and productive activities in a physical and mental way; and if the person did the job for a sufficient period to learn how to do it.

Why you should be prepared to fight for your SSDI benefits

If you are getting ready to file for Social Security disability benefits in Ohio, you may be thinking of all the things you can get done once your claim is approved. Besides catching up on your bills, you can regain some of the financial security you lost when you became injured. There is nothing wrong this expectation, but it could leave you unprepared for one of the harshest realities in the world of SSDI. 

The reality is that there is a good chance your initial claim for benefits is going to be denied. According to CNBC.com, the percentage of SSDI claims the SSA approves the first time is less 25 percent. Many applicants end up getting their benefits after going through a long and drawn out appeals process. It is important for you to understand the application and appeals process so you can take steps to improve the chances of getting your benefits approved on your initial claim. 

What are the five steps to get SSD benefits?

When a Ohio resident has an injury, illness or other medical condition and is seeking Social Security Disability benefits, knowing the basics of the application process are essential. Understanding the federal regulations and the steps that the Social Security Administration takes when determining whether an applicant should receive SSD benefits or not is key. There are five steps. Knowing these steps can help avoid surprises and can be useful when going through the application process.

First, the SSA will ask if the person is working. If the applicant is working and earnings surpass a certain amount per month, there will generally be a determination that the person is not disabled. The amount differs annually. For people who are not working or who have a monthly income that is at the current limit or below, the process will move to the second step. Step two is deciding whether the condition is "severe." By that, it means that the problem is a significant limitation on being able to do the basic activities necessary for work. This includes standing, lifting, sitting, walking and remembering. It must last for a minimum of 12 months.

Key points about a workers' compensation appeal in Ohio

Ohio workers who suffer workplace injuries or who are afflicted with an occupational disease or have some other issue that prevents them from working can seek workers' compensation benefits. However, there are times when there is a dispute between the worker and the Bureau of Workers' Compensation about the decision. If there is a denial of workers' compensation, the worker has the right to appeal. There are important points to remember regarding the appeal and how to move forward with it.

The BWC must receive the appeal in written form. The following information must be included: the worker's name and the name of the employer; the claim number; the date of the order about which the employee is seeking an appeal; and the reason that the appeal is being filed. It must be signed and dated. Workers will have a certain timeframe in which the appeal must be filed. In general, it is 14 days after the order was received. It will say on the order what the timeframes are. Any decision made by the BWC can be appealed, provided it is done within the timeframe. After the BWC gets the appeal, it will be forwarded to the Industrial Commission of Ohio.

What workers' compensation benefits can I get for wage loss?

When a worker in Ohio suffers injuries, illness or a condition due to their work, they should be aware of their right to seek workers' compensation benefits. One part of workers' compensation that should be considered is wage loss. Wage loss benefits can be useful when the person has had their income reduced after they have become ill, injured or been diagnosed with a condition.

A worker will receive wage loss when his or her earnings are reduced because of the restrictions that are conditional as part of the claim. People who suffered their injury or were diagnosed on or after August 22, 1986 can get wage loss benefits. There are two conditions that the person must meet to be eligible. They are: that there was a loss or decrease in wages; and the wage loss came about due to the restrictions that are part of the claim.

Understanding how lupus affects victims

According to the Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, throughout the United States, including victims from Cincinnati, Ohio, as many as 50 million Americans suffer from some form of autoimmune disease, including lupus. Victims of lupus traditionally begin to experience symptoms starting while they are teenagers through their thirties. Symptoms vary widely, and may go in and out of remission, often making lupus difficult to diagnose.

Autoimmune diseases trick the body's immune system into believing that normal cells are foreign, which causes the immune system to naturally attack these cells. This can lead to many different symptoms ranging from mild symptoms such as fatigue, dry mouth, dry eyes and low-grade fevers, to more serious conditions including kidney and pulmonary problems.

SSD denial appeal vs a new claim

If you have a condition that prevents you from being able to work at full capacity, you may qualify for Social Security disability. Unfortunately, many individuals who file such claims face some sort of pushback or possibly denial.

If you have received an SSD denial, you may consider filing an appeal or a new claim. Depending on the particular factors of your situation, one of the two options may be most beneficial for you.

How Social Security can help accident injury victims

Throughout the United States, including the Cincinnati, Ohio, area, one of the most common causes of injuries are motor vehicle accidents. Each year, millions of Americans will be involved in an accident. Although a majority of these accidents are minor, some can be serious, leaving victims with severe or even catastrophic injuries.

Even if you are the most cautious driver on the roads, the person next to you could be distracted, drunk or negligent, and you could wind up in an accident. Common automobile accident injuries include brain injuries, neck injuries and spinal cord injuries. Each of these could be quite serious, and could lead to long-term or even lifelong care and continuing medical expenses.

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