Ohio’s Bureau of Worker Compensation (BWC) covers certain medical expenses and other benefits when you’re injured on the job. Understanding your rights as an injured Ohio worker is important: you could miss out on important deadlines and benefits if you’re not fully informed.
Here’s an overview of your rights and responsibilities when filing a workers’ compensation claim in Ohio.
Your rights as an injured Ohio worker
Ohio workers have specific rights. According to the BWC, injured workers are entitled to:
- Workers’ compensation benefits for work-related injuries and occupational diseases
- Fast access to quality healthcare from your BWC-certified provider of choice
- Quality independent medical examinations, when necessary
- All benefits, medical treatments and rehabilitation services for which you may be eligible
- Approved medical bills paid—you should not be billed any additional charges
- Timely payments for approved conditions and treatments
- Compensation after the first hearing, even if the claim is contested
- Access to your records both in person and online
- Represent yourself or hire a lawyer (at your own expense)
- Appeal a decision to the BWC, your managed care organization (MCO) or the Ohio Industrial Commission (IC)
While you may be able to handle simple claims on your own, working with Dworken & Bernstein is always a good idea, especially for complex claims and major injuries. The sooner you have quality legal representation, the faster you’ll receive benefits to which you are entitled.
As an Ohio worker, you also have certain responsibilities. For instance, you must use your claim number each time you’re dealing with your MCO, self-insuring employer or the BWC.
You’re also required to maintain contact with your BWC claims specialist or if your employer is self-insured, with the third-party administrator (or have your Dworken & Bernstein attorney do so.)
Finally, in most situations, you cannot work and collect workers’ compensation benefits at the same time. Be sure to talk to your Dworken & Bernstein attorney when you return to work, and/or notify the BWC yourself.
Having a trusted attorney on your side can make the claims process easier—especially if your claim is contested or dismissed. Call Dworken & Bernstein today for a consultation. Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers can help you navigate your Ohio worker’s compensation claim, and ensure your rights are protected.