The possibility of getting an injury always exists. However, the difference between getting an injury at work or somewhere else is that if you get hurt on the job, your employer has to compensate you for your medical expenses and lost wages. If this ever happens to you, you must file a claim with Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) to get your lawful benefits. You must act quickly, as you can lose your right to the benefits if you don’t file on time.
Workers’ compensation in Ohio
The law in Ohio requires all employers to get workers’ compensation insurance for their workers. This obligation for employers allows workers to receive compensation benefits if they get an injury or contract an occupational disease on the job. An employer can either be state-funded or self-insured. However, no matter how your employer pays for your benefits, you must file a claim with Ohio’s BWC to get them.
Time limits to file a claim
The first thing you must do after getting a work-related injury or disease is report it to your employer. After you let them know about your condition, you will have to file a worker’s compensation claim, and you must do this within the legal time frame. If you file a claim after the time to file expires, you may not be able to get your benefits. The time limits are different for claims related to diseases or injuries:
- For an injury: you must file within one year of the injury.
- For an occupational disease: you must file within two years after you became aware of your disease, after you started receiving medical treatment or after you had to quit work due to your condition.
If you cannot file the claim, your doctor or your employer can do it for you. After you or someone else files your claim, the BWC will review it and make a decision regarding your case. Usually, the BWC takes about four weeks to notify workers if they have accepted or denied their claim.
Your right as a worker
If the BWC accepts your claim, your employer’s insurer will have to pay for all the medical expenses related to your injury, as well as compensate your lost wages if your condition doesn’t allow you to work for more than 8 days. If the BWC denies your claim, you must not panic. In that case, you would have the right to appeal their decision. It is your right as a worker to receive workers’ compensation benefits, and you have the power to fight for them.