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Cincinnati Workers' Compensation Law Blog

A lawyer can help with workers' compensation retaliation in Ohio

The goal of having workers' compensation benefits in Ohio is to protect workers who are injured in a workplace accident. There should not be any debate on this issue between the employer and the worker about this. After the workplace injuries have occurred, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation will deal with the case from there. However, some employers might not want the worker to report the accident and will use various underhanded - and illegal - tactics to dissuade the employee from doing so.

Retaliation is unfortunately all-too common in workers' compensation cases. An employer can take several actions to try and stop a worker from filing a workers' compensation claim. If there is not an outright attempt to stop the claim, employers may use various passive aggressive acts to show the worker that filing a claim is not worth it. For an injured worker, there is often hesitation before filing a workers' compensation claim. Problems with fellow employees, the possibility of losing their job, and other negative thoughts can creep in. When the worker is injured and seeks workers' compensation, it is essential to remember that an employer cannot hold it against the worker.

Ohio University study shows theater workers face head injury risk

Studies are useful to determine which forms of employment carry the greatest risk for workers. Ohio residents should also pay attention to these studies as they can sometimes find danger where it had previously not been a common concern. For example, football is a sport known for its blows to the head and the scientific and anecdotal evidence of the risk of head injury is indisputable. A new study has examined another endeavor - working in the theater - and found that these workers can be affected by head injuries and the aftermath.

The study was conducted by Ohio University. It found that, of the 258 theater workers who took part in the survey, more than two-thirds had suffered a head injury at some point. Seventy-seven percent stated they had suffered more than three. Forty percent said they had suffered more than five. The head injuries also led to dizziness, sensitivity to light, and confusion, which are all symptoms of a concussion. Most of those injured reported that they kept working, while close to half did not report their injury. Because theater workers are not commonly viewed as being prone to head injuries like an athlete would be, they are not checked like an athlete and pulled from the situation.

Does Ohio workers' compensation reimburse out-of-pocket costs?

A worry that afflicts many Ohio workers who suffer workplace injuries and are awaiting workers' compensation benefits is: what happens if there are out-of-pocket costs that they must pay for? Given the expensive nature of medical treatment, prescriptions, rehabilitative care and more, these expenses can be substantial. Knowing the law for claimant reimbursement is critical.

A claimant or anyone who makes payments for the claimant can be reimbursed if the workers' compensation claim is approved and evidence of the payment having been received is provided. This applies to medical services or supplies. There are exceptions to this rule in which the payor will receive only what would have been paid based on the law for claimant reimbursement.

Mistakes to avoid when applying for SSD benefits

If you are a disabled Amelia area resident and getting ready to file for social security disability benefits because a workplace accident has left you disabled, you need to understand that the approval process can take some time. Most first-time applicants end up waiting up to two years to learn if they will receive benefits or not. Currently, the approval percentage of SSDI applications received is one-third. 

In addition to the eligibility criteria, there are many factors that can affect the outcome of your claim. Because the claims process is complex, it is important for you not to rush while filing. Mistakes can cause delays and may result in a denial of Social Security Disability benefits. Consider the following common mistakes that applicants make so you can avoid them. 

What aspects of mental functioning are assessed for SSD benefits?

The ability to work largely hinges on the brain's functionality. Ohio workers who suffer a brain injury or have some other neurological issue should be aware of the various factors that are considered by the Social Security Administration when determining if the applicant has sufficient mental functioning to be able to work.

There are four different areas of mental functioning that the SSA will consider when deciding if a person is disabled. These areas are understanding, remembering and applying information; interacting with others; concentrating, persisting or maintaining pace; and adapting or managing oneself. When seeking SSD benefits because of neurological issues, the applicant should know how they fit into these categories.

What is subrogation in regard to workers' compensation?

Ohio workers who suffer injuries, incur medical expenses and are confronted with lost wages from injuries that did not occur on the job should be aware of subrogation and how it affects workers' compensation benefits. With subrogation, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation will collect benefits for injured workers if their injuries were caused by a third party. Often, for the worker to receive subrogation, there must be a settlement or a judgment against the party deemed at fault.

Under state law, the BWC, employers who self-insure, and employers who contract for medical services to be paid directly have the right to subrogation. With subrogation, the employer who self-insures can collect the costs for the workers' compensation claim from who or what caused the injury. Expenses that can be recovered include: medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, future compensation, and death benefits. A frequent reason for subrogation is if the worker was in a car accident that was caused by another driver. There are other circumstances where it can be used, including premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, a construction site accident that was caused by a third party, or an animal attack.

Law enforcement officer injured in crash

When an Ohio workplace accident happens, it can be in a wide variety of jobs. There can be employment options that are inherently dangerous or predominately safe, but accidents and injuries can lead to major problems for those who are victimized.

Some of the most at-risk people are law enforcement officers and first responders. Placing themselves in harm's way is just part of the job, but that does not mean that these workers should not get workers' compensation if they are hurt while going about their duties. If there is an issue getting the workers' compensation benefits they need, legal help might be required.

Workers' compensation and the claims hearing process in Ohio

While some Ohioans who suffer workplace injuries or a medical condition from their work will be approved for workers' compensation benefits, others will have their claims denied by the Bureau of Workers' Compensation and it is necessary to file an appeal. Simply being denied at the outset does not mean that the applicant will not be awarded benefits eventually. Understanding the claims hearing process and all of its aspects is imperative to receiving workers' compensation after a denial. When appealing a workers' compensation claim, the worker will have three levels in which to do so. The three levels are the district hearing officer, staff hearing officer and the commission.

At the district level, the appeal will be heard by an Industrial Commission of Ohio district hearing officer. This hearing will be held within 45 days of the appeal being filed. After a decision has been made, the worker and others involved in the case will receive written notice. If the district hearing officer denies the claim, the worker can then appeal to a staff hearing officer. This must be done within 14 days of the decision.

How an offset affects your SSD and workers' comp benefits

For many people, injuries can mean the loss of much-needed income. Thankfully, there are systems in place that may be able to assist such people, especially if the injury is job-related

If employees qualify for more than one benefit, offset might apply. It can be helpful to understand how offset affects SSD and workers' compensation benefits.

Legal help is key for appealing workers' compensation denials

When an Ohio worker has a workplace accident and is injured, they will undoubtedly seek and expect to get workers' compensation benefits. However, not every case is as simple as filing the application, getting approved and receiving the medical care and other benefits that are part of workers' compensation. It is not unusual for the case to be denied for a variety of reasons. While this might instill fear in the worker who believes that the process is over and there is no alternative to get benefits, appealing can be effective. Having legal assistance is vital toward this goal.

When the claim is denied by every possible level of the Ohio Industrial Commission, the worker can appeal to the Court of Common Pleas. When the worker is appealing in this way, it is referred to as right-to-participate. If the matter relates to the workers' compensation benefits or workplace injuries, it generally means that the case will be filed in the 10th District Court of Appeals located in Columbus, Ohio. With this, it is a question surrounding extent-of-disability.


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