Thousands of legitimate workers’ compensation claims are denied by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ (BWC) compensation every year. The reasons for denial range from missed deadlines to mistakes in the paperwork or providing insufficient information when submitting your claim, among others.
Fortunately, you can appeal against a denied claim and overturn the initial decision. Here is what the process looks like in Ohio:
Ohio’s worker’s compensation appeal process
There are three stages of appeal for a denied claim:
- District level: This is your first stage of appeal heard by a district hearing officer (DHO). Here, you may present more information about your claim. Within days, the DHO will issue an order on your claim and mail a copy to the interested parties.
- Staff level: If the DHO upholds the denial, you may appeal further. This time, a staff hearing officer will hear and determine your case.
- Commission level: If you are still unsuccessful with your appeal, you may seek an audience with the commission. Three commissioners will review your file alongside any submitted information and may agree or refuse to hear the appeal.
Once you have exhausted all the avenues above, it may be time to turn to the courts for relief.
Time is of the essence when appealing a denied claim
When appealing a denied claim, it is crucial that you adhere to set deadlines. Otherwise, your efforts may be in vain since your appeal will likely be dismissed. For instance, you have 14 days to appeal to the next level.
It may be prudent to get assistance when navigating the appeal process, especially if you are not conversant with the state’s labor laws. Knowing what to expect and the information needed at every stage could bolster your chances of turning things around.