What Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Post by: Eric Jones | Posted Date: April 15th, 2014 |

If you suffer an injury or illness on the job, you might qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Also known as workmans’ comp, workers’ compensation is a state-mandated program that provides compensation to employees who suffer on-the-job illnesses and injuries. Each state has its own workers’ compensation programs and laws.

What Injuries Are Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ comp is a no-fault system when you look at it from the employee’s point of view. What this means is that employees can receive workers’ compensation benefits regardless of whether it was the employee, the employer, a customer, a coworker, or some other third party at fault.

Any injury that occurs in connection with your work is covered by workers’ compensation. Employees are protected as long as the injury occurs in the course of employment. For example, an employee would be covered by workers’ compensation while on a business trip, but not while commuting to and from work. However, injuries that were intentionally self-inflicted or caused by substance abuse generally aren’t covered.

An injury doesn’t have to be caused by a sudden accident to be covered by workers’ compensation. For example, workers may be compensated for psychological stress caused by their job. Workers may also be covered for injuries resulting from repetitive motions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. A disease may be covered if the nature of a job increases a worker’s chance of suffering from the disease. However, there must be a clear connection between the job and the disease.

Employees covered by workers’ compensation may receive partial pay while they aren’t working, compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation benefits, and more. The dependents of a worker who is killed on the job or who dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness are typically eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

About Ohio’s Workers’ Compensation System

In the State of Ohio, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) provides workers’ compensation insurance coverage for employers and employees. The Ohio workers’ compensation system is very unique. There are no private workers’ compensation insurance companies in the state.

Ohio law requires employers with one or more employees to obtain workers’ compensation coverage or to be self-insured. Self-insuring employers are typically very large corporations that have been granted authority by the BWC to administer their own workers’ compensation claims. Self-insuring employers pay benefits directly to injured employees and service providers. State-fund employers are public or private employers that pay into the state insurance fund. Approximately two-thirds of all employers in Ohio are covered by the state insurance fund.

In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Ohio, an injured worker must file a claim. In many cases, the claim is filed electronically by the managed care organization when the injured worker seeks medical treatment for his or her injury. The BWC then provides the injured worker with a claim number.

An injured worker must file a workers’ compensation claim within a certain time limit, which is known as the statute of limitations. If you do not file your claim within the specified time limit, you are barred from ever receiving compensation for your injury. The statute of limitations begins the date you are injured. You must file the claim application within two years of the date of your injury. If you are filing a claim regarding an occupational disease, you must file it two years from the date the disability began or six months after a physician diagnosed the disease. 

Should You Hire an Ohio Workers’ Compensation Attorney?

If your workplace injuries are severe enough to permanently alter the course of your life, it’s recommended that you secure an attorney immediately. An Ohio workers’ compensation attorney can advocate on your behalf to ensure that you receive the workers’ compensation benefits to which you’re entitled. Call Jones Law Group at (614) 545-9998 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Our skilled workers’ compensation attorneys will review your claim and assess whether you need an attorney.

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