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February 2015 Archives

Compensation and benefits

Chapter 4123 of the Ohio Revised Code prescribes the amount and duration of compensation payable to a claimant. The Industrial Commission lacks the power to adopt rules and regulations establishing a rate of compensation other than that prescribed by the statute, and compensation to which a claimant is entitled is a substantive right the amount of which is determined with reference to the statute in effect on the date of injury.

The hearing process

Upon receiving a claim, the Industrial Commission is required to refer the file to an "appropriate district hearing officer" in accordance with rules adopted by the Commission under R.C. § 4121.36. The Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) identifies what an "appropriate district hearing officer" is. The OAC requires the scheduling of hearings before a district hearing officer from the Industrial Commission service office in the city nearest the claimant's residence, or for out-of-state claimants, from the service office nearest the claimant's home if the service office is within one hundred and fifty miles thereof, or in Columbus for those claimants who live more than one hundred and fifty miles from an Industrial Commission service office, unless otherwise directed.

Are repetitive injuries eligible for workers' compensation?

If you've ever performed a job that required you to repeat the same motions over and over again, then you may not have realized that you could have seriously damaged your muscles and connective tissues in the process. Called repetitive motion injuries, the damage associated with such injuries can take a long time before symptoms present themselves. But in some cases, when symptoms -- such as pain or numbness -- do present themselves, it may be too late to fully correct the damage.

Filing an Application for Workers' Compensation Benefits

A workers' compensation award is the exclusive remedy for claims arising out of compensable injuries and diseases. For this reason, workers' compensation jurisdiction attaches only upon the filing of a claim application within the time prescribed by law. The claimant must file within the statutorily prescribed period; the filing of the claim application at any office of the Bureau of Workers' Compensation or with the Industrial Commission qualifies as the "receipt" of the claim for processing purposes. A claimant may effect a timely filing by mailing an application that is received by a Bureau employee responsible for receipt and distribution of Industrial Commission corespondence.

The Bureau of Workers' Compensation Ombudsperson

The General Assembly created an ombudsperson system in 1977. As a neutral and independent resource in the workers' compensation system, the ombudsperson assists claimants and employers in their dealings with the Bureau of Workers' Compensation and the Industrial Commission. 

What is the most common reason a workers' comp claim is denied?

As an employee here in Ohio, you are supposed to have access to workers' compensation benefits when you suffer an injury while at work or develop a work-related illness. This compensation is typically considered incredibly important by those who receive it because it can be used to offset the impact of expensive medical bills and lost income from missing days at work.

Disability cut would be 'death sentence,' says Social Security Chief

A failure by Congress to shore up the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund would be a "death sentence" for its beneficiaries, the acting commissioner of the Social Security Administration said Wednesday.

Can I receive workers' compensation benefits if I am incarcerated?

Workers' compensation benefits are not payable to a claimant during the period of confinement in any state or federal correctional institution. However, the provision denying compensation benefits to a claimant during the period of confinement in a penal institution does not apply to a worker whose award was made prior to the effective date of the statute. Ohio Revised Code § 4123.54(J) establishes the rule for non-payment of compensation or benefits during a duration of confinement or incarceration. 

Blurring the lines between TTD and PTD

The roles of temporary total disability (TTD) and permanent total disability (PTD) are supposed to be separate and distinct. TTD is designed to compensate an injured worker for a loss of earnings while he or she is unable to return to his former position of employment. TTD stops once the client reaches the level where he or she is "as good as they are going to get" (also called MMI) with respect to the allowed conditions. Depending on the severity of the injuries, the client may then be looking at the possibility of permanent total disability. PTD is intended to compensate an injured worker for the loss of wages caused by an injury which removes the injured worker from all sustained gainful employment. This would mean that the injured worker is not only unable to return to his or her former position of employment, but is also unable to return to any form of sustained employment on account of the allowed conditions in the workers' compensation claim.

Social Security strategy to boost couples' benefits

WASHINGTON -- With one out of every four 65-year-olds living past age 90 and one in 10 living beyond 95, having enough money to live on during a retirement that could last 30 years or more is critical.

Are food additives leading to a serious illness in workers?

When you hear the phrase "safe for human consumption," what do you think of? Do you think of a product that is completely safe and shouldn't be worried about? Or do you think of a product that is safe for consumption but still potentially harmful in other ways?

Expedited Social Security Benefits for Wounded Warriors

Through the Wounded Warrior program, Social Security expedites processing of disability claims of current military service members or veterans disabled while on active duty on or after Oct. 1, 2001. Also, service members and veterans who have a Veterans Administration compensation rating of 100 percent Permanent and Total may receive expedited processing of applications for Social Security disability benefits. Keep in mind, this expedited process applies to only the application for benefits. To be eligible for benefits, you must meet Social Security's strict definition of "disability," which means you must be unable to do substantial work because of your medical condition, which must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least one year or to result in death.

Obama Juggles the Numbers to Save Social Security Disability Benefits

President Obama's $4 trillion budget blue print for fiscal 2016 has garnered a lot of attention for its proposals for raising caps to bolster spending for defense and domestic programs largely geared to the middle class.
However, tucked away in the massive budget document is a series of proposals for salvaging a program critically important to the middle class - the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund that experts warn is fast running out of money.

Required rest breaks for truckers creating new unsafe situation

The death of Mike Boeglin was a tragedy that not only affected his widow and unborn child, it was a catastrophe that has resonated with the entire nation. That's because his death, according to his widow, could have been prevented had there been a safer place available for him to park his commercial vehicle while he took the rest break federal law requires. In response to this tragedy, many within the trucking industry are now asking policy makers to reconsider rest rules that promise to reduce the likelihood of a fatigued driving crash but are actually creating another unsafe working condition entirely.

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The Bainbridge Firm, LLC

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