Tips From a Legal Perspective on How to Handle Overpayments in Ohio Workers' Compensation

After a job-related injury, understanding how to manage your claim and calculate benefits can be challenging. One issue that might arise during this process is an overpayment. An overpayment of workers' comp benefits occurs when the amount received exceeds what you had the right to based on your injury and wage calculations. This can lead to a requirement to repay the excess funds, affecting your financial stability and adding extra stress to your recovery. Here's what I often recommend as a corrective action.

What Is an Overpayment? Frustrated-woman-looking-at-paperwork

An overpayment in Ohio workers' compensation refers to any payment a claimant receives over and above what they're entitled to under the law. It can happen in various ways,  such as weekly wage benefits, medical bill payments, or lump-sum settlements. 

Absent a finding of fraud, an overpayment is not the fault of the claimant but a discrepancy that needs correction.

If you notice an overpayment of benefits, contact our office immediately for a consultation to help clarify the problem and get advice on how to resolve it. Our experienced workers' compensation team will help address the overpayment appropriately, avoiding unnecessary financial burdens and legal complications. Additionally, we'll provide representation if disputes arise with the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) or your self-insured employer, ensuring your rights are protected. 

Common Causes of Overpayment

Several factors lead to an overpayment in your workers' compensation claim:

  • Miscalculations. Errors can occur when calculating potential compensation based on your average weekly wage or percentage of disability. These miscalculations might be due to incorrect data entry or misunderstandings about the applicable laws and guidelines.
  • Changes in injury status. If an improvement in your medical condition wasn't immediately reported or processed, it might lead to receiving higher benefits than your current qualification.
  • Discrepancies in reported income. Benefits in workers' compensation cases are often based on earlier earnings. If the initial income information is wrong or your current earning capacity changes without proper notification, it might result in benefit discrepancies.
  • Administrative errors. Sometimes, overpayments result from clerical errors, such as duplicate payments or incorrect benefit adjustments.

Implications of an Overpayment of Ohio Workers' Compensation Benefits

If the BWC or your self-insured employer discovers an overpayment, they'll notify you. However, they won't automatically remove the money from your account.

The implications of a notice of overpayment can be significant:

  • Repayment. You may be required to repay the excess. This can be managed through a lump-sum payment or adjusting your future benefit payments to account for the overage.
  • Financial planning. Repayment can disrupt your financial planning, especially if you're not working due to your injury and depend on these benefits for daily living expenses.

Overpayments may affect your future benefit eligibility and complicate ongoing claims, so take action immediately once you receive the error notification. 

How the Monast Law Office Can Help You Address an Overpayment of Benefits

Here's how you can be proactive: 

  • Review the notice. Understand the details of the overpayment claim. Check the amounts, the periods involved, and the reason given for the overpayment.
  • Consult with an attorney. Our knowledgeable Monast Law Office team can advise on the claim's validity and what defenses might be available.
  • Ask for a reevaluation. If you believe the overpayment notice was issued in error or your circumstances have changed, you can request a reevaluation by filing an appeal. This might involve submitting additional medical documentation or proof of income changes. We'll help you in this process as well.
  • Plan financially. If repayment is inevitable, work on adjusting your budget to manage the financial impact. If the impact is significant, consider discussing payment plans with the BWC or self-insured employer.



James Monast
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Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Columbus, Ohio