Workers injured on the job should report their injuries to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) as soon as possible. The BWC accepts claims filed by the employer, the employer’s medical provider, managed care organization or legal representative. The claims will then be assigned a number and examined by a claims specialist.
The BWC will decide whether to allow or deny claims and a written order will be issued informing the employee, employer and any authorized representatives of its decision. The letter will also address other issues, such as whether the employee’s injury entitles him or her to compensation. Any parties to the claim may file an appeal, if they are dissatisfied with the decision.
Appeals must be submitted in writing, either by completing the Notice of Appeal (IC-12), or a signed and dated letter that includes the injured worker’s name, the employer’s name, the claim number, the date of the order and the reason for the appeal. The letter will state how long interested parties have to file an appeal, but appeals generally must be filed within 14 days of receipt of the order. Parties may file an appeal of any part of the BWC’s decision at any point during the allotted period.
Formal appeals will be forwarded to the Industrial Commission of Ohio (IC), an agency that works with the BWC to decide workers’ compensation claims disputes. All parties must attend a hearing at which they will present evidence and receive notice of the IC’s decision. Workers who suffer workplace injuries may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits even if their claim is initially denied if the IC ultimately decides in their favor.