In 2015, nearly three million people were injured or fell ill at work across the United States. In Ohio, over 88,000 people were allowed a workers’ compensation claim. For those who experience workplace injuries, the consequences can include missed work, lost wages, diminished future earnings, medical expenses, and physical pain. The workers’ compensation system exists to ensure that employees are protected when they suffer a workplace injury or illness. The benefits can offer employees the care and time they need to recover as fully as possible without having to deal with added financial stress and burden. And because every situation is unique, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) attempts to address as many situations as possible by offering many different types of benefits.
Types of Ohio Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Injuries and illnesses can affect different people in different ways, and there are many degrees of recovery that a person can reach over time. The BWC acknowledges this by addressing numerous possible situations—from the minor injuries that resolve quickly to serious and complete injuries that never fully heal. In Ohio, injured workers have a number of benefit options that can be available to them, including:
- Temporary total compensation (TT) – These benefits are available to an injured employee who is unable to work at all for a specific period of time. The injury or illness sustained is fully recoverable, and the employee will return full ability after the recovery period.
- Percentage of permanent partial disability (%PP) – When some amount of permanent damage results from the work injury, the employee can receive these benefits. For example, if a worker injures his arm and heals but is never able to fully extend the arm, he may be entitled to this type of compensation. It is also referred to as compensation for residual impairment.
- Permanent total disability (PTD) – These benefits cover employees who suffer an injury or illness so severe that they will never be able to recover enough to return to work. PTD can be payable for life, as it addresses the employee’s loss of earning capacity.
- Death benefits – In some cases, a workplace accident or injury results in the death of the employee. When that happens, the employee’s surviving family members may qualify to receive compensation.
Other Benefits Can Address Specific, Serious Injuries and Illnesses
In addition to the main categories of benefits, Ohio workers may also obtain compensation for other certain injuries. These injuries typically have a significant negative effect on the worker’s lifestyle and/or ability to work in the future, and they include:
- Scheduled loss – A scheduled loss comprises amputation, loss of use, or ankylosis of a specific body part, as well as loss of vision or hearing. This compensation is offered in addition to the other types of benefits.
- Facial disfigurement – When an employee suffers a disfigurement to the face or head that can impact his ability to find and retain work, he may be eligible for this type of compensation.
Ensuring That Compensation Is Sufficient to Live a Secure Life
Workers’ compensation benefits may not always be enough to allow the injured worker to live a stable lifestyle. As a result, the BWC offers a few programs that provide supplemental compensation to employees. Some of these options are:
- Living maintenance – For those injured workers who are participating in an approved rehabilitation program.
- Living maintenance wage loss – For those who have completed rehabilitation and returned to work, but experience a loss of earning compared to their wages before the injury.
- Disabled workers relief fund – For those receiving permanent total disability payments that are below the current cost of living. The cost of living is determined annually by the BWC.
- Wage loss – For those who have returned to work in a different form than before an injury and experience a comparative loss of wages, or those who have not returned to work because they have been unable to find appropriate employment.
The state of Ohio operates one of the largest workers’ compensation systems in the country, and the many different types of compensation available can easily become confusing. If you or someone you love has suffered a workplace illness and injury, you want to be sure you obtain the full amount of compensation you deserve. Call the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at the Monast Law Firm to learn more about your rights and how our dedicated legal team can help.