When you have been injured on the job in Ohio, you may need to file a Workers’ Compensation claim. Most workers are eligible to receive benefits that cover their lost wages and medical care, so that they can focus on recovery.
When filing a Workers’ Compensation claim, many people are worried about how long it takes. If their claim is denied, then they may be in a precarious position. According to a recent study, about 63% of Americans say they are living paycheck to paycheck. Losing wages and incurring medical costs can be devastating.
How Long Does the Claim Process Take?
When you are injured on the job, the first thing to do is report the injury to your employer. The more time that passes between the injury and your report, the harder it will be to prove that your injury was work-related. Similarly, the longer you wait, the longer it will be before the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation can open the claim.
The injury can be reported to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) by the injured worker, the employer, a healthcare provider, a Managed Care Organization (MCO) or another authorized representative. The initial form is called the First Report of Injury (FROI).
Once the FROI has been received by the BWC, it will respond to the claim within twenty-eight days. If the BWC requests additional information, then you send it right away. The longer you wait, the longer the claims process will take.
How Long Does the Appeals Process Take?
Unfortunately, some Workers’ Compensation claims are denied. If your claim has been denied, you have fourteen days from the denial to file an appeal in writing. Appeals are determined by the Ohio Industrial Commission, which offers three different levels of appeal.
Once your appeal is filed, you will usually be required to appear at a hearing. Afterward, the Ohio Industrial Commission has seven days to issue a decision. Should the appeal be denied, you have another fourteen days to file a second appeal. Then you will wait for a new hearing date. After the second hearing, there is another seven-day decision-making period. A denial at this stage can be appealed one final time, adding another three to four weeks to the appeals process.
With any luck, your Workers’ Compensation claim will be approved within twenty-eight days. If you need to appeal, the process can take around two to four months. That is why it is advisable to work with a skilled Workers’ Compensation attorney, particularly if you cannot afford to live without your paycheck.
To ensure you are getting the best help obtaining compensation, contact one of the experienced attorneys at Nager, Romaine, & Schneiberg Co. L.P.A. today.