Miscellaneous Workers Comp Issues

There are numerous issues that may arise in an Ohio workers’ compensation case.  Here are just a few:

Child Support:

Workers’ compensation benefits can be reduced if there is an outstanding child support order.  The amount of the reduction may vary by the county enforcing the child support order.

Intoxication:

An injury may not be caused by the injured worker’s intoxication.  Positive post-injury drug screens can create significant obstacles in getting claims allowed and compensation paid.  (See O.R.C. § 4123.54(B))

Fraud:

Both injured workers and employers can commit fraud and be held liable under the Ohio workers compensation system.  Fraud can result in overpayments in the claim as well as criminal prosecution and jail time.

Incarceration

An injured worker may not receive compensation while incarcerated. (click here to see the BWC Policy on incarceration)

“Independent” Medical Exams:

The Ohio BWC and/or the employer can have the injured worker examined by a physician of their choice on any contested issue.  The BWC and Managed Care Organizations also have files reviewed by physicians of their choice to evaluate requests for compensation, additional conditions, medical treatment and many other issues.  (Click here to see the BWC Policy)(Click here to see the Disability Evaluators Panel Handbook)

Interstate Jurisdiction:

Injuries occuring in Ohio where the injured worker is employed out of another state or injuries that occur in other states where the injured worker is employed out of Ohio.

Statute of Limitations:

How long your claim remains viable depends on the date of injury and what types of compensation have been paid.   The payment of compensation and medical bills extends the statute of limitations on claims.

Taxes:

Ohio workers’ compensation benefits are not taxable.

Vocational Rehabilitation:

An injured worker may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation as part of a workers’ compensation claim if the injured worker is unable to return to the former position of employment as a result of restrictions from the allowed conditions in the claim.  In theory, vocational rehabilitation is designed to provide job retraining to enhance the injured worker’s ability to re-enter the workforce at an earnings level equivalent to the wages earned prior to injury.  Unfortunately, vocational rehabilitation often does not involve much more than a job search coach.  (click here to see the Ohio BWC vocational rehabilitation guidelines)

Voluntary Abandonment

A termination for cause by the employer may preclude an injured worker from receiving Ohio workers compensation benefits.  These issues are very case and fact specific as there is voluminous case law addressing various scenarios in which this situation may arise.