When a workers’ comp claim is denied in Ohio, it's usually because the applicant failed to prove the injury happened at work, and that it's severe enough to warrant benefits.
This could be a particular problem if you're applying for benefits for a hernia injury because the symptoms of a hernia are often vague enough it can be difficult to connect it to a workplace incident.
However, if your hernia occurred while you were on the job and you're unable to work because of the injury for at least 14 consecutive days, you qualify for workers’ comp in Ohio. Let’s take a look.
What Is a Hernia?
A hernia is a general term for when an internal organ or fatty tissue squeezes through an opening or weak spot in the muscle or connective tissue that usually contains it. Hernias usually occur in the abdominal cavity, but can also happen in the groin, upper thigh, or belly button area.
You may experience symptoms such as the following:
- A bulge or lump in the affected area.
- Pain or discomfort.
- Weakness or pressure in the abdomen.
- A burning or aching sensation at the site of the bulge.
Doctors can usually diagnose a hernia with a physical examination. If a hernia is growing larger or causing pain, surgery to repair the tissue may be required.
When Did Your Hernia Happen?
The sticking point regarding qualification for workers’ comp benefits due to a hernia is whether the injury happened performing your job duties. Similar to heart attacks and strokes, it's challenging to make a direct connection between the injury or illness and your job.
Because hernias are often caused by physical strain, it's possible that yours happened suddenly when you lifted a heavy object; or was produced over time by repeated strenuous activity. It will be essential to your claim to do these things:
- If you feel a sharp pain in your abdomen or groin while lifting something at work, report it to a supervisor and see a doctor.
- If you first notice the bulge or lump when you're not at work, try to recall what you were doing at work that may have caused a hernia.
- See a doctor soon for a thorough exam. Tell him or her you believe the injury is work-related.
- Complete an incident report at work and explain what happened.
As with any workplace accident, it's vital that you report the injury, see a doctor, and document everything.
We Can Answer Your Questions
If you were denied workers’ comp for a hernia, or are having trouble getting accurate information from your employer, call us at Monast Law Office. We've handled lots of hernias (so to speak), can answer your questions and help you get on the right path to workers’ compensation approval.