The deadline for filing workers’ compensation claim in Ohio differs depending on the reason you are submitting your application for benefits. The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) considers claims for work-related injuries, deaths in accidents on the job, occupational illnesses, and deaths from occupational illnesses.
Failing to meet the applicable Ohio workers’ compensation claim deadline results in an automatic rejection. No matter how clearly an injured, ill, or deceased worker deserves compensation, the BWC will not consider a claim that is submitted after the deadline has passed.
Also, meeting the deadline is only the most basic requirement for receiving benefits such as the payment of medical bills and replacement wages. The BWC and the employer involved in the case can challenge a claim. Many workers find it necessary to file one or more appeals after their initial application is rejected.
You have one year from the day on which you suffered your work-related injury to file a workers’ comp claim in Ohio.
This deadline is also a year from the day on which the fatal on-the-job accident occurred. A spouse, adult child, or legal representative of a minor child can file the claim on behalf of the deceased worker.
Here, things get a little complicated. The BWC provides the deadlines for occupational illness claims:
Consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable Ohio workers’ comp attorney will help answer questions about the exact start of the deadline clock.
It helps to submit your application as soon as possible. “Immediately” will not be practical because you must seek medical care, alert your employer, and physically and emotionally recover enough to actually complete the online forms that the BWC requires.
It is also generally a good idea to start a workers’ comp claim even if you think your injury or symptoms are less-than-completely disabling. As long as you require medical care, you likely have grounds for applying for workers’ compensation. If nothing else, reporting your injury or illness will alert your employer to a safety issue that may need to be addressed so other people do not get hurt or fall ill.
Lastly, waiting to file a workers’ comp claim could raise red flags for BWC investigators and at the insurance company who holds the workers’ compensation policy for your employer. Claims administrators and insurance carriers will wonder if a delay following the or diagnosis indicates that the injury or exposure to disease-causing substances did not happen on the job.
We explain much more about navigating the workers’ compensation process here—including what to do if managers or coworkers retaliate against you for filing your claim. Suffice it to say in this context that the sooner you file your application, the sooner you will know whether you will receive benefits or need to file an appeal for the denial of benefits. When a claim is rejected because you missed the filing deadline, you will almost definitely not be allowed to appeal that decision.
Workers’ compensation lawyers with Agee Clymer have decades of experience helping injured and ill workers all across the Ohio state. We have also represented families who lost loved ones to workplace accidents or diseases such as Asbestosis, mesothelioma and cancer. You can request a free consultation online or call us at (614) 221-3318.