Not all work injuries are created equally, and neither are the workers’ comp benefits you can get if you are injured on the job. The monthly payment amount, length of time you can collect, and type of benefits you are awarded will depend on several factors. Generally speaking, the goal of workers’ comp is to pay the medical bills that resulted from your workplace injury and replace your wages if you cannot work because of the injuries, but the medical treatment covered and the amount and duration of wage loss benefits are determined individually. We summarize benefits provided by the Ohio workers’ comp system.
What Is the Nature and Extent of Your Disability?
This is the key question in determining which type of benefit you will be awarded by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), and the answer will be determined by a BWC-approved doctor. You, ideally along with a workers’ comp lawyer, can present evidence and arguments for a particular rating and for a change in your status if your injury fails to heal over time and your disability becomes worse.
Types of workers’ comp benefits and the requirements for each are:
- Medical expenses. Everyone who is approved for workers’ comp should receive full repayment of medical bills. As long as they are approved, future treatment and prescription medication will be billed directly to the BWC.
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD). If you are found disabled from returning to your former position of employment, but it is expected that your disability is temporary, you should be awarded TTD wage replacement benefits. Your workplace injury must prevent you from working for over seven days. TTD compensation will begin on the eighth missed day. If you are off work for at least 14 consecutive days, you will also be paid for the first seven days you were out.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD). This payment is awarded to workers whose injuries will continue for an unknown amount of time with no indication of recovery, and that will prevent them from working. This often means that the worker will collect benefits for the rest of their life, but not always.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD). A permanent injury that has not left the worker completely disabled could be awarded PPD benefits. When an employee has recovered as fully as is possible but will never return to the same physical state as before the injury, that often means that the employee cannot earn income in the same manner. These benefits seek to address the loss of earning capacity created by the injury.
- Scheduled Loss (SL). If a worker suffers a permanent loss of vision, hearing, or use of a body part, they can be paid for a specific number of weeks based on a schedule set by the BWC. For example, the amputation or loss of use of a hand will result in 175 weeks of payment, while a total loss of hearing pays 125 weeks of benefits.
- Working Wage Loss Benefit. When an injured worker can return to work but has to take a job with different duties and less pay than what they earned before the injury, they could qualify for working wage loss payments of 2/3 the difference between their income before and after the injury. This is available for up to 200 weeks.
- Non-working Wage Loss Benefit. If it is determined that an injured worker can perform certain kinds of work but they cannot find suitable employment, they could be awarded this benefit for up to 52 weeks. To receive this benefit, the worker must prove that they are making a good-faith job search effort.
There are additional benefits available in certain very specific situations, such as for workers who suffer a facial disfigurement or who work in certain occupations and have work-related lung disease. Your workers’ comp attorney will know exactly which benefits you are eligible for and will make sure you maximize your compensation when you have been injured or have developed a serious illness due to exposure at work.
Contact Monast Law Office for a Personalized Assessment
I have been helping workers in Ohio get the benefits they deserved for over 30 years and have worked with many of my clients for a decade or more. If you have questions about the benefits to which you are entitled after a workplace injury or illness, contact my office today. We are happy to answer your questions.