We may not all love what we do to earn a living, but no one wants to be injured on the job or to acquire a job-related illness to avoid work and collect benefits.
Unfortunately, when the worst happens, and you're unable to work due to injury or illness, the process of applying for benefits can be confusing, overwhelming, and even make you feel like you have done something wrong.
The key to a successful application is often following all the instructions and guidelines from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) and the Ohio Administrative Code. Submitting the required forms at the right time is an essential part of the process.
A Doctor Must Verify Your Inability to Work
When you apply for workers’ comp the first time, you must submit Form C-84 as proof of temporary total disability and, along with it, your physician must fill out the MEDCO-14 form to verify your inability to work. Each time you apply to extend your benefits for ongoing total disability, you have to submit a new C-84, and your doctor has to provide a new MEDCO-14 form.
On this form, your doctor will do the following:
- Indicate whether there are changes to the worker’s health since the last form was submitted.
- Review a description of the injured worker’s job duties at the time of the injury.
- Verify the individual has restrictions which prevent him from performing those job duties and complete a checklist of typical work activities, indicating whether the person is capable of doing them or not.
- Describe the work-related conditions that prohibit the employee from performing job duties, including supporting evidence and reasons for the delay in improvement.
- Determine if the worker has reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) and, if not, provide a treatment plan for getting her to MMI.
- Indicate whether the patient is a candidate for vocational rehabilitation services or, if not, provide recommendations for helping the patient return to work.
While it's your doctor’s responsibility—not yours—to accurately complete this form, you have a lot riding on it.
How I May Be Able to Help
If you have a severe and ongoing injury, you shouldn't be dealing with the BWC or your self-insured employer’s third-party administrator alone. If you will be off work for a significant amount of time to recover, contact me to discuss your claim. I can help you navigate the system and get the time, medical care, and lost wages you need to recover.
To learn more about workers’ compensation in Ohio, request a free download of my book, The Worker’s Guide to Injury Compensation.