One common question workers’ compensation clients have is how long their claim will remain open. This is not to be confused with the statute of limitations, which dictates how long you have to submit a workers’ compensation claim.
The length of time a case stays open is important. If your approved workers’ compensation injury or occupational disease requires additional treatments months or years later, you will undoubtedly want them covered.
While you should always consult with an attorney when you have workers’ compensation questions, the following may help you understand your coverage.
Statute of limitations
The statute of limitations limits how long you have to file a claim. Ohio workers have one year from the date of their injury to file for workers’ compensation.
If the claim involves a workplace occupational disease, the statute of limitations starts on the most recent of these dates:
- When the injured worker first became aware of the disease through medical diagnosis;
- When the injured worker was first treated for the disease; or
- When the injured worker first quit work due to the disease.
For example, if you were injured, diagnosed, or met one of the other conditions on October 1, 2021, you need to submit your claim before October 1, 2022. Failing to submit your claim will bar you from recovering compensation.
How long claims stay open
Provided you submit your claim before the statute of limitations runs out, your claim is officially “open.”
Claims can close for one of three reasons: the claim was rejected, the claim was settled, or the claim expired due to inactivity.
If your claim is rejected, you can work with an attorney to file an appeal. Your lawyer will work on your behalf to prove the injury is eligible for workers’ compensation coverage. Otherwise, your case will stay open until it is settled or expires. Ohio workers have five years from the last payment for medical treatment or the last date compensation was paid before their claim expires.
That means that your claim can remain open indefinitely as long as you are still receiving treatment or compensation. (Make sure your medical providers are filing the appropriate paperwork to support your claim.)
Keep in mind that the laws regarding claim inactivity have changed over the years and may change again. When in doubt, consult a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney who will be familiar with the laws that affect your case.
For assistance with your claim, contact Nager, Romaine, & Schneiberg Co. L.P.A. today.