Have you suffered a workplace injury? If so, you will quickly find that securing workers’ compensation benefits isn’t an easy process. You may feel like you have to jump through many hoops to receive the benefits due to you. In fact, there are many requirements that must be met in order to receive full workers’ compensation benefits including three principal eligibility requirements.
Workers Compensation Requirements
1. The company that the injured person works for must carry workers’ compensation insurance or be legally required to do so.
- Not all employers are required to have workers compensation coverage.
- State laws vary on whether or not a company must carry workers’ compensation insurance.
- Regulations depend on the size of the business, type of business, and what type of work employees are doing.
- Federal employees are covered under a unique system separate from any state system.
- If your employer claims not to have workers’ compensation insurance, be sure to consult an experienced attorney to verify this claim. In Ohio, simply because your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance does not prohibit you from filing a claim.
2. You need to be an employee of that company or person.
- Employee status is very important when determining eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Independent contractors such as freelance workers or consultants are usually not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
- Volunteers are usually not covered, as they are not employees.
- It is possible that a company could misclassify an active employee as an independent contractor to avoid having to pay workers’ compensation benefits. If your company claims that you are not an employee eligible for benefits, consult an attorney.
3. Your injury or your illness must be work-related.
- This is generally defined as an injury or illness that occurred when you were doing something for the benefit of your employer. This might include falling while stacking boxes in a warehouse and breaking an ankle or developing respiratory problems as a result of breathing toxic chemicals while on the job.
- This is often the requirement that is the most difficult to meet, as many injuries (especially chronic conditions) are often challenging to prove as being truly work-related.
- If your claim is being denied because it is not considered work-related, an attorney with experience handling workers’ compensation benefits could help.
Injured in Ohio?
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has a wealth of information specific to Ohio workers that can be very helpful. If you are an injured worker in the state of Ohio, you have a host of rights when it comes to workers’ compensation benefits. Understanding those rights is an important step towards claiming your benefits.
Per the Ohio BWC, as an injured worker in Ohio you have the right:
- To workers compensation benefits if you sustain a work-related injury or contract an occupational disease.
- To quick access to high-quality health care from any BWC-certified health-care provider you choose.
- To have your approved medical bills paid and not to be billed an additional amount.
- To expect prompt, professional and courteous customer service from all BWC employees.
- To access your records either in person or online.
- To receive timely payments for the allowed conditions in your claim.
- To be considered for all benefits and rehabilitation services for which you may be eligible.
- To a quality independent medical examination when required in your claim.
- To appeal a decision made in your claim to BWC, the MCO or the Industrial Commission.
- To represent yourself or hire a lawyer at your own expense.
Navigating a workers’ compensation claim requires skill, knowledge, and experience. The attorneys at McKenzie & Snyder possess all of these qualities and more, successfully acquiring workers’ compensation benefits for countless clients over the years.
Call McKenzie and Snyder today at (513) 737-5180 to discuss your case with one of our qualified attorneys.