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Ohio Workers' Compensation system's role in economic recovery

When an Ohio worker is injured in a job-related accident, the workers' compensation system can help with financial assistance during time away from work. This helps injured workers turn their efforts toward recovery and ultimately a return to the workforce in many cases. However, in the current economic client, some people in Ohio have questioned the role of the workers' compensation system that benefits all Ohio residents.

In a recent editorial in the Newark Advocate, Ohio State Representative Jay Hottinger addressed the importance of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation system. According to the editorial, in any given year, 15,000 workers are off work due to workplace injuries. More than 90 percent of injured workers in Ohio are back on the job within 45 days of being injured.

Data and evidence show that if injured workers are off more than 45 days, it is difficult to ever to obtain their previous quality of life. While the number of new claims is falling, the number of injured workers returning to work within a year has dropped over the past four years.

Also, in Ohio, 49 percent of the lost time claims have not been paid even after eight years after the date of injury. This is a very troubling statistic for the injured workers and for the economy of Ohio as a whole.

It is the opinion of Hottinger that Ohio needs to do a better job of rehabilitating injured workers, as it is better not only for the workers, but for the state's economy as a whole.

The Ohio House, the BWC and interested parties are currently working on three separate bills to improve the medical care and the delivery of services to injured workers. Along with other supporters, Hottinger believes improvements to the workers' compensation system are vital to the long-term economic stability and success of the state of Ohio.

Source: NewarkAdvocate.com, "Workers compensation system plays critical role in economic recovery," Jay Hottinger, May 31, 2012

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The Bainbridge Firm, LLC

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