In Ohio, most workers’ compensation matters involve the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Some involve self-insured employers. Regardless of whether an injured Ohioan is employed by a state-funded employer (i.e., an employer who pays into and obtains coverage for work injuries through the BWC) or a self-insured employer (large employers who must apply and be granted the privilege of administering and paying claims directly), claims are filed the same way. An injured worker can file a workers comp claim by manually completing the First Report of Injury (FROI) and mailing it or delivering it in person to any BWC service office or the FROI can be completed online at ohiobwc.com.
According to the BWC, most Ohio workers’ compensation claims are filed by the managed care organization (MCO) after being notified of the work-related injury or occupational disease by the health-care provider (i.e., the hospital emergency room, your treating physician or urgent care facility) or the employer. A claim may have already been filed by the health-care provider if treatment has already occurred. To determine whether a claim has been filed, the injured worker may contact the BWC.
Claims for on-the-job injuries can be filed by injured workers, employers, authorized representatives (i.e., your attorney or union representative) or another designee. As mentioned, MCOs and medical providers can also file claims.
After the FROI is filed, the BWC begins the process of investigating the claim and obtaining information. The BWC has up to 28 days to decide whether to allow or deny a claim. The BWC will issue a letter notifying the injured employee of the claim number and the name of the BWC Customer Service Specialist assigned to the claim.
Denied or disputed claims may be appealed and scheduled for a hearing before the Industrial Commission of Ohio.