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.
After hearing a dispute a district hearing officer must issue an order no later than seven days after holding the hearing. When a timely appeal is filed, the Commission must refer the file to a staff hearing officer. The staff hearing officer has forty-five days from the date the appeal is filed within which to hold a hearing, and seven additional days within which to issue an order. The staff hearing officer must notify the parties and their representatives of the decision in writing, and any party may file a notice of appeal within fourteen days after receiving the order.
A discretionary hearing may be held before the Industrial Commission when an appeal is filed from a staff hearing officer’s order. If the Commission decides to hear the appeal, it must hold the hearing within forty-five days after filing of the appeal and issue its order within seven days after conclusion of the hearing. If the Commission declines to hear the appeal, it must issue an order to that effect within fourteen days after the filing of the notice of appeal.
It may be in an injured worker’s best interest to contact a licensed attorney to assist in navigating the Industrial Commission hearing process. Contact The Bainbridge Firm at www.bainbridgefirm.com for assistance gaining the compensation you deserve.