The Industrial Commission hearing process is fairly simple. Whenever there is an issue in dispute in a Workers’ Compensation claim that issue will be addressed at a hearing before an Industrial Commission hearing officer. The disputed issue whether it be the allowance of the claim, or any other issue within the claim, will first be addressed by a District Hearing Officer(DHO). At that hearing, both sides can present evidence in support of their position on the disputed issue. The testimony of the injured worker and any other witnesses will be given and medical evidence will be presented. After all the evidence has been discussed, the DHO will make a decision and issue a written order of that decision. The decision will be mailed and the parties to the claim will receive that decision in approximately 7 days after the hearing.
Once the DHO order is received any party that disagrees with any part of the order can file an appeal of the DHO order within 14 days from receipt of the order. The appeal will be heard by an Industrial Commission Staff Hearing Officer(SHO). The hearing before the SHO is similar to the hearing that was held before the DHO. The testimony of all witnesses will given at the hearing and all parties can present evidence at the SHO hearing, just like at the DHO hearing. After all the evidence has been presented, the SHO will make a decision and issue a written order. The order will be mailed to all the parties and should be received by all the parties within 7 days from the date of the hearing.
Once the SHO order is received any party may file an appeal of the SHO order to the Industrial Commission of Ohio within 14 days of receipt of the SHO order. This appeal may or may not be heard before the Industrial Commission as the Industrial Commission has discretion as to which appeals will be heard. A great majority of the appeals filed with the Industrial Commission of Ohio are refused.