You are! When a work injury occurs, immediately report the accident to your employer. They are supposed to help you file the claim with the company’s Managed Care Organization (MCO). Reporting the claim on the BWC website is the Bureau’s preferred way of filing a claim. When you file a claim online, you immediately receive a claim number.
You can also file the claim yourself through the MCO or manually complete the First Report of an Injury, Occupational Disease or Death (FROI) application and mail it to any BWC Service Office.
Did You Already See a Doctor?
If you seek medical attention before notifying your employer about the injury, tell the physician that this is a workers’ compensation claim. The medical provider must report the injury to the MCO within 24 hours of treatment. So, if you visit a physician before talking to your employer, you should let your employer know the physician may have already filed the claim.
If your employer is self-insured (meaning, they pay workers’ compensation benefits directly to you), check with them on how to file the claim. While you may file the claim directly with the BWC yourself, self-insured employers have an obligation to report the injury in certain situations involving potential lost-time from work. Note that for less severe injuries, the employer may handle the claim internally and not file it with the BWC. If your condition seems to you more serious than the attention the SI employer appears to be giving it (and they haven’t filed the claim with the BWC on your behalf), it’s wise to go ahead and file it directly with the BWC yourself. This helps you avoid issues with any statute of limitations on filing a claim.
If you have questions about a SI employer, call the self-insured department at 1-800-OHIOBWC or 614-466-8222.
Finally, always, Always, ALWAYS keep copies of the documents you file, sign and/or provide to the SI employer and the BWC—just in case they somehow get “misplaced”.