Workers' compensation provides payment for medical expenses and lost wages to Ohio workers who are injured on the job. Temporary total disability benefits are available to workers who are temporarily unable to return to work and permanent total disability benefits are available to those who are permanently unable to return to work. Workers who, because of their injury, are limited in their ability to work, may be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits. Other wage loss benefits, including vocational rehabilitation and living maintenance are also available to workers who require additional assistance.
A previous blog post announced that the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) would be rolling out a new wellness program in early 2018 as part of its plan to focus on wellness and workplace safety. The wellness program is now in effect, providing health and wellness resources to employers with 50 or fewer employees in high-risk industries across Ohio.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) has targeted the opioid addiction epidemic by establishing a new rule regarding workers with back-related injuries. Ohio has seen many negative effects from the opioid overdose crisis, which experts attribute to prescription painkiller addictions that progress into heroin addictions. The BWC rule is similar to those in other states, which decline immediate payment for surgery, requiring injured workers to first try other remedies such as physical therapy and chiropractic care. However, the BWC takes it a step further by including an opioid warning in its surgical restriction.
Workers' compensation benefits assist injured workers with medical bills and other expenses associated with work-related accidents. There are several types of compensation offered by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC), including awards for disabilities, wage loss, change of occupation and living maintenance. An injured worker's dependents may also collect accrued compensation and file a claim for ongoing death benefits if the worker died as a result of a workplace accident or occupational disease.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) is ringing in the New Year with a wellness program, set to debut in early 2018. The BWC had several significant accomplishments in 2017, including: a $1 billion rebate to Ohio employers; a fire department grant program to help with the purchase of safety gear; base rate reductions for Ohio employers; continuation of the enhanced care program which allows medical providers to provide injured workers with more holistic treatment; and improvements to the pharmacy department that led to a 54 percent reduction in opioid-dependent injured workers in 2017.
Ohio workers who suffer workplace injuries may file a workers' compensation claim with the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC). However, they may not be granted the compensation they deserve the first time around. Many workers' compensation claims are denied simply due to the complex nature of the system.
The Ohio House of Representatives recently approved House Bill 380, the Ohio Workers First Act. This act would prevent undocumented immigrants from filing workers' compensation claims. The Ohio Workers First Act is designed to discourage employers from hiring undocumented immigrants by allowing injured workers to sue their employer if they can prove that the employer knew of their undocumented status. With no groups testifying in support of the bill, it generally lacks backing from businesses, labor groups and other officials, however it was still passed by the Ohio House.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) and the Ohio fire marshal recently announced that they will work together to address the high rate of cancer among firefighters. They plan to provide grants to fire departments throughout the state for protective equipment and to provide funding for training, exposure prevention and the improvement of emergency responses - the BWC is allocating $1 million and the fire marshal has provided a $500,000 fund to advance these goals.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) may issue citations for violations of OSHA regulations in connection with workers' compensation accidents. Ohio employers should be aware that if they accept and pay these citations, it can lead to increased Workers' compensation payouts.
The Workers' Compensation system is predicated on the notion that employees, regardless of fault, should be compensated for injuries they sustain at work. However, the Ohio Second Appellate District Court recently stated that while this is generally the case, there is one exception to the rule -- unexplained falls.