On June 29, 2021, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 75 into law. This law appropriates funds for the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) for 2022-2023. It also created new changes to Ohio workers’ compensation laws.
The bill goes into effect on September 27, 2021. As always, if you have an active Ohio workers’ compensation claim, discussing your case with an attorney can help. Here’s what you need to know about the new rules.
New ‘Pro-employer’ Changes
The National Law Review has deemed HB 75’s new rules to be largely “pro-employer” changes. That means it may be more difficult for employees to get certain benefits to which they were previously entitled. The most notable new rules include:
- Permanent partial disability claims. If you’ve filed a claim and are in receipt of salary continuation, you will now have to wait 26 weeks before you can file a permanent partial disability claim. According to the National Law Review, this “should encourage some injured workers to return to work so they become eligible for a PPD award sooner.”
- Permanent total disability claims. If you’ve filed for permanent total disability before but were denied, you will now have to show “new and changed circumstances” before you can reapply for this benefit. This is supposed to cut down on “frivolous pursuits of this coveted benefit.”
- Occupational disease statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for occupational disease claims used to be two years from the date of disability, due to disease. It has been reduced to one year.
- Powers of attorney. An amendment to HB 75 allows claimants’ attorneys to file for a power of attorney, to cash checks on their claimants’ behalf.
- Journalist exception. This amendment prevents attorneys from entering into “an agreement with a journalist for the purpose of soliciting work from injured workers,” and prohibits journalists from using BWC-obtained information for anything but reporting.
The new rules won’t affect every Ohio workers’ compensation case. If you are affected, however, it’s important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible. This is especially important when it comes to the occupational disease statute of limitations. When you’re dealing with a serious illness, a year can go by fast. Don’t miss your chance to be fairly compensated.
For more information about how these rules might affect your claim, or to get help with your workers’ compensation case, call Dworken & Bernstein for a consultation.