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Workers' compensation (or work-related disability) is a ‘no-fault’ system that compensates employees for work-related injuries or illnesses. Benefits are limited to wage loss, medical and rehabilitation expenses and are payable as long as the disability lasts or medical treatment is reasonably necessary. Workers’ compensation provisions can be found in the Ohio Constitution Article II, Section 35; Ohio Revised Code Chapters 4121 and 4123; and Ohio Administrative Code Chapters 4121, 4123 and 4125

About Workers' Compensation

When an Injury Occurs

Follow your agency's policy on reporting incidents and injuries. Not adhering to agency reporting guidelines or policy may result in denial of employer provided benefits.

Obtain medical care promptly if emergency treatment is required, go immediately to the nearest emergency facility. Otherwise, your Managed Care Organization (MCO) can provide you with names of WILMAPC approved providers in your area who can assist you or visit das.ohio.gov/wilmapc

Complete an Accident or Illness Report (ADM 4303).

Claim Processing

Your agency will forward the completed Accident or Illness Report (ADM 4303) to your Managed Care Organization and the state’s Third Party Administrator.

The Managed Care Organization will file the initial claim information and medical documentation with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

Your health care provider will forward all medical information regarding your claim to the Managed Care Organization who will contact you to gather additional information regarding your treatment, recovery and claim.

The Bureau of Workers' Compensation will send you a letter informing you of your claim number. This number is to be retained and referenced when contacting your agency, Bureau of Workers' Compensation, the third-party administrator, the managed care organization and your health care provider regarding your claim.

Shortly after you receive your claim number, the Bureau of Workers' Compensation will make an initial decision to allow/approve or disallow/deny your claim and will notify you in writing.

Medical-Only Claims

You may be eligible for a medical-only claim if you are unable to work for seven calendar days or less.

If your medical-only claim is approved, your managed care organization will pay your health care provider for authorized treatments that are directly related to your claim.

Lost Time Claims

If your attending physician determines that your injury or illness will prevent you from working for eight or more calendar days, you may be eligible to receive lost time benefits through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

If your claim is approved for lost time benefits, the Bureau of Workers' Compensation will begin paying benefits accordingly: 

  • On the eighth day, if you are off work from eight to 14 days; or
  • From the first day, if you are off work for 14 or more consecutive days;
  • Bureau of Workers' Compensation will pay you directly by electronic deposit to your bank account. If you do not have an account, you will receive a debit card that will permit access to benefits.

You cannot receive payment from the Bureau of Workers' Compensation for the same period you receive payment from your agency for Disability, Salary Continuation or Occupational Injury Leave benefits. If this occurs, you will be responsible for reimbursing your agency for the benefits you received.

Temporary Total Compensation

If your claim is approved for lost time, you may receive temporary total compensation at 72 percent of your full weekly wages for up to 12 weeks.

If your injury or illness prevents you from working for more than 12 weeks, your temporary total compensation will be reduced to 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage.

These lost time payments are subject to a weekly maximum amount established by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation and are not taxable.

Prescription Medications

Should you require prescription medications relative to your work injury, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation contracts with a pharmacy benefit manager to process pharmacy benefits.

  • You must provide your Bureau of Workers' Compensation claim number, your Social Security Number and your date of injury so that your pharmacist can bill the pharmacy benefit manager for the cost of your prescriptions

If you require a prescription but have not received your claim number from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, you may be required to pay your pharmacy for the cost of the prescription. Once you receive your claim number, give it to your pharmacy, which will then ask the pharmacy benefit manager to reimburse you for your out-of-pocket expenses.

Claim Denial

If any party (you or your agency) disagrees with the decision of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation your workers’ compensation claim, an appeal may be filed with the Industrial Commission.

All appeals must be made in writing and must be filed within 14 calendar days of the date of receipt of the order issued by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. The order will inform you of your appeal rights. If you have questions regarding appeal rights, you can contact the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation at 800-OHIO-BWC.

Hearing Process

There are three levels in the appeal process, which include the district level, the staff level and the commission level.

If you disagree with a decision during the hearing process, you may appeal your claim to the next level, in the following order:

  • District Hearing Officer
  • Staff Hearing Officer
  • Industrial Commission
  • Common Pleas Court

You may represent yourself, or you may be represented by an attorney. For more detailed information, visit:

Employer-Provided Benefits

 

Salary Continuation

Salary continuation is a state of Ohio employee benefit that provides the injured worker with 100 percent of his/her regular rate of pay in lieu of workers’ compensation temporary total benefits.

  • Benefits are not to exceed 480 hours.
  • Once salary continuation benefits are exhausted, you may be eligible to receive lost time benefits from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. 
  • Payments for salary continuation are included in your bi-weekly pay.

To be eligible for salary continuation, you must:

  • Be a permanent full-time or part-time employee of the State of Ohio. The offices of the Auditor of State, Attorney General and Secretary of State have not opted into this program therefore their employees are not eligible to receive these benefits. Also, employees covered by the collective bargaining agreement with OSTA are not eligible for salary continuation.
  • Follow your Agency’s accident reporting guidelines;
  • Complete the Accident/Illness Form ADM 4303;
  • File a workers’ compensation claim within 20 calendar days from the date of the injury.
  • Receive treatment from an “approved physician” on the WILMAPC approved provider panel das.ohio.gov/wilmapc; and
  • Submit supportive medical information by having his or her physician complete the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s form, MEDCO 14 Physician’s Report of Work Ability.

Bargaining unit employees may appeal a denied salary continuation decision claim and should refer to the appeal procedure in the union contract. Appeals should be sent to the Office of Collective Bargaining within 20 days of the denial.

Non-bargaining unit employees do not have grievance rights. They may appeal a denied salary continuation decision using the appeal form; however, the decision by the Ohio Department of Administrative Services' Office of Benefits Administration Services is final. The appeal should be sent to the Office of Collective Bargaining.

Occupational Injury Leave

Occupational Injury Leave is a state of Ohio employee benefit that provides the injured worker with 100 percent of his/her regular rate of pay in lieu of workers’ compensation temporary total benefits. 

  • Benefits are limited to a maximum number of hours determined by your bargaining unit, or for non-bargaining unit employees, 960 hours. 
  • If your occupational injury leave benefits are exhausted, you may be eligible to receive lost time benefits from the Bureau of Workers' Compensation. 
  • Payments for occupational injury leave are included in your bi-weekly pay.

To be eligible for Occupational Injury Leave, you must:

  • Be employed by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Department of Developmental Disabilities, the Department of Veterans Services, the Schools for the Deaf and Blind, Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, or the Department of Youth Services. (Fraternal Order of Police and Ohio State Highway Patrol should refer to the applicable collective bargaining agreement and exempt employees at Ohio State Highway Patrol are covered by Ohio Revised Code 5503.08.);
  • Suffer a bodily injury inflicted by an inmate, patient, resident, client, youth or student in the above agencies. The injury cannot have been accidental in nature or involve misbehavior or negligence;
  • Follow the agency’s accident reporting guidelines, as well as complete and submit an Accident/Illness Form (ADM 4303) within 20 calendar days from the date of injury;
  • Receive treatment from an “approved physician” on the WILMAPC approved provider panel. das.ohio.gov/wilmapc
  • Submit supportive medical information by having his /her physician complete the Bureau of Workers' Compensation MEDCO 14 Physician’s Report of Work Ability form; and
  • Must file a Workers’ Compensation claim with the Bureau of Workers' Compensation within 20 days.

Bargaining unit employees may appeal a denied Occupational Injury Leave decision claim and should refer to the appeal procedure in the union contract. Appeals should be sent to the Office of Collective Bargaining within 20 days of the denial.

Non-bargaining unit employees do not have grievance rights. They may appeal a denied Occupational Injury Leave decision using the appeal form, however, the decision by the Ohio Department of Administrative Services' Office of Benefits Administration Services is final. The appeal should be sent to the Office of Collective Bargaining.

Disability Advancement

Disability Advancement is available only if the Bureau of Workers' Compensation denies your claim for workers’ compensation benefits and you are appealing the decision. If you do not intend to appeal, you may file for disability benefits within 20 days of the denial order.

To file for disability advancement, complete the disability application and submit it and your denial order to your personnel office within 20 days of notification of denial.

Payments are subject to the same two-week waiting period as disability leave benefits.

You may receive the advancement for a maximum of 12 weeks.

If your workers’ compensation claim is approved through the appeal process or by a settlement, you will be required to pay back all of the money that has been advanced, regardless of the amount received from the Bureau of Workers' Compensation or the settlement.

Leave Buy Back

Some bargaining unit employees have the option of buying back leave time that was used while waiting for a workers’ compensation claim to be approved. See your bargaining unit contract to determine your eligibility.

A wage advancement agreement is a contract between you and your employer that states the amount of leave time that you will buy back. https://www.bwc.ohio.gov/downloads/blankpdf/C-18.pdf.

You may buy leave time back either with or without a wage advancement agreement.

With a Wage Advancement Agreement

If you complete an agreement, you will be permitted to use your leave time (including sick leave) while waiting for your workers’ compensation claim to be approved. Under this agreement, you must use your Bureau of Workers' Compensation payments to buy back the leave up to the amount you receive from the Bureau of Workers' Compensation. The maximum amount of time that you can buy back is 12 weeks.

Without a Wage Advancement Agreement

If you do not file a wage advancement agreement, you may use leave time while you are waiting for your workers’ compensation claim to be approved; however, the Bureau of Workers' Compensation will not pay over any period in which you used sick leave to receive wages. Buy backs include vacation, personal and compensatory time and are limited to a maximum of 12 weeks.

Returning to Work

Step Increases and Leave Restoration
When you return to work from a disabling illness or injury, you may be eligible for a pay increase and/or restoration of your leave balances. Vacation leave, however, is not restored. Refer to your bargaining unit contract for more information, or ask your personnel officer.


Transitional Work
If you have been off work due to a workers’ compensation claim and still have temporary work restrictions, the state may provide you with a program to help you transition back to work. Transitional work provides injured employees with the opportunity to resume employment as soon as possible following a job-related injury or illness.

In many cases, the resumption of work will require some form of job modification. The modifications are based on medical restrictions provided by the employee’s medical provider which are directly attributable to the injury or illness. Most job modifications will be temporary in nature and will be handled on its own merits. Any accommodation made will be temporary and will be monitored periodically with the goal of assisting the employee to resume his or her regular assignment as soon as medically possible.

Pay
While participating in a transitional work program, you will receive your normal pay for the hours you work. You may be eligible to receive OIL, salary continuation, or workers’ compensation benefits for the time you are not working.

Duration
Most state agencies have developed their own transitional work program, which is typically approved for 30 days, but may be extended based on your attending physician’s recommendation. Most programs do not exceed 90 days. Your agency personnel officer will assist you with specific requirements.

Workers' Compensation Partners

Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation
800-OHIO-BWC

Industrial Commission
800-521-2691

CompManagement, a Sedgwick CMS Company, Third-Party Administrator
800-852-6755

CompManagement Health Systems, Managed Care Organization
888-268-4369

CareWorks, Managed Care Organization
888-627-7586

General Contact

Department of Administrative Services
30 East Broad Street, 27th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
614-466-8857 Local
800-409-1205 Toll Free

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