A typo or two on your Ohio workers’ compensation application usually won’t result in a denial of temporary disability benefits and replacement wages. What will cost you workers’ comp payments are big, yet avoidable, errors like waiting too long to request benefits or failing to produce key documents.
Working with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer in central Ohio will help you collect and submit all the necessary paperwork on time and to the proper officials. Here’s what you can do before you even speak with an attorney to maximize your chances for qualifying to receive workers’ comp benefits.
This is not the first step in the workers’ comp application process, but an injured or ill employee must make meeting the one-year deadline for filing a claim a top priority. Ohio law gives a person who got hurt or developed an illness on the job exactly 12 months from the date of the workplace accident or the disease diagnosis to submit a workers’ comp application.
Qualifying for workers’ comp benefits requires showing that the injury or illness is work-related and substantially disabling. A worker must have received medical care and must have missed work for weeks or months in order to claim benefits.
Filing an accident or incident report opens an investigation. Workers can use the findings from their employer’s investigation to support their claims that their injury happened at work, caused a disability, and did not happen because they were doing something illegal or intentionally risky and in defiance of their supervisors’ instructions.
Each workers’ comp application must be accompanied with medical evidence. This comes from emergency room discharge papers, hospital records, prescription orders, therapy notes, and insurance bills. The more of these documents an applicant can produce, the less likely their application will be rejected for insufficient evidence.
Employers can challenge workers’ comp claims. They often do this by arguing that applicants are not really hurt or sick enough to miss work. Employers may even hire private investigators to “catch” workers’ comp applicants doing things like shopping and taking their kids to the park. So, when a doctor or physical therapist says, “Limit strenuous exercise,” stay out of the gym. This extends to minor details, as well, such as filling prescriptions and keeping appointments.
An injured or ill worker has an undeniable right to hire and seek advice from a central Ohio workers’ comp lawyer. This right can be exercised at any time and invoking it early in the application process significantly lowers the odds of making any major errors.
Just a reminder. Applications submitted after the expiration of the one-year statute of limitations get rejected automatically. Usually, such a decision cannot be appealed.
The Columbus-based workers’ compensation attorneys with Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman offer free consultations and can travel to meet with clients whose health makes visiting our offices difficult. Consultations can be scheduled online or over the phone at (614) 678-3318.