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Ohio Workers' Compensation: Injured Worker Information

This guide provides an overview of Ohio workers' compensation, which is a form of insurance that employers provide to employees who are injured in the course of and arising out of their employment.

Injured Worker Information

This page offers basic information for injured workers from how to file a claim to the hearing process.

How to File an Ohio Workers' Compensation Claim

Following a workplace injury, most employers require that the incident be reported to a supervisor. However, completing an internal accident report form will not initiate a claim with the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.  The injured worker should complete a First Report of Injury (FROI) form, which can usually be obtained from a medical provider, the employer, or the BWC website.  An injured worker has two years from the date of injury to file a workers' compensation claim, but the vast majority of injured workers want medical expenses and lost time compensation covered right away, so the FROI form is completed as soon as possible.

Once the FROI is filed with BWC, a claim number will be issued, which should be used on all future documents and medical records filed with the BWC.  A representative from the employer's managed care organization (MCO) may contact the injured worker after a FROI is filed to see if he or she needs any assistance in obtaining treatment.  


Other Injured Worker Forms

Source: Ohio BWC website

Types of Benefits and Compensation

Ohio workers' compensation pays for the medical bills and prescriptions necessary and related to treat injuries sustained in the course and scope of employment. For employees of state funded employers, medical bills should be submitted to the employer's Managed Care Organization for payment. For employees of self-insured employers, medical bills should be submitted to the employer's Third Party Administrator or to the employer directly. Employers do have a right to challenge authorization of treatment if they have reason to believe the requested treatment is not related or is unnecessary to treat to the allowed conditions in a claim.

There are a number of different types of compensation for lost wages for which an injured worker might qualify.  If an injured worker has missed eight or more calendar days of work due to a workplace injury, he or she may qualify to receive temporary total compensation (TT).  The TT compensation is payable at 72% of the injured worker's full weekly wage for the first twelve weeks and 66 2/3% of the average weekly wage thereafter, subject to a statewide maximum.  TT compensation will stop once the injured worker actually returns to work or is released by the treating physician to return to full duty work, has been declared to have reached maximum medical improvement, refuses a good faith offer of modified duty work when the treating physicians has issued work restrictions, or when the injured worker has voluntarily abandoned employment.  

Sometimes, an employer will continue to pay an injured worker's full wages out of pocket while the injured worker is recovering from a workplace injury.  This is called salary continuation.  The BWC must be notified of the employer's continuation of payment during a period of disability.

There are a number of other forms of compensation for which injured workers may be eligible.  Please see the BWC fact sheet below for more information.

Industrial Commission Hearing Process

When an employer and an injured worker do not agree on the initial allowance of a workers' compensation claim, or any subsequent issues such as treatment, lost time compensation, or additional allowances, the Industrial Commission of Ohio will adjudicate the dispute.  BWC can also ask the Industrial Commission of Ohio to decide a disputed issue.

All parties to the claim and their representatives will have at least 14 days written notice of a hearing date.  The Industrial Commission has 12 locations across the state, and hearings are scheduled at the location closest to the injured worker's residence.

The issue to be adjudicated will be heard initially by a District Hearing Officer (DHO).  Decisions are not usually announced at the the hearing table, but are published in writing following the hearing.  If a party disagrees with the DHO order, an appeal may be filed with the Industrial Commission within 14 days from receipt of the order.  A second hearing will then be scheduled before a Staff Hearing Officer (SHO), who will also issue the decision in writing.  While either party may appeal the decision of the SHO within 14 days of receipt of the SHO order, a third hearing is not guaranteed.  An appeal to an SHO is necessary if a party intends on appealing an issue into a court of common pleas. The full Industrial Commission or a deputy may decide to grant a third hearing if there appears to be a mistake of fact or law identified in the appeal.

Franklin County Law Library Information

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