WILL OHIO WORKERS’ COMPENSATION PAY MY MEDICAL BILLS?
Nov. 17, 2017
Have you been hurt on the job? It’s pretty awful, right? Definitely not an ideal situation. Thanks to legal protections for workers (and employers), however, you have the right to file for workers’ compensation in Ohio. Having a good lawyer at your back can help you through the process, ensuring every form is filed correctly and that you secure the best claim result possible for your situation. The Ohio workers’ compensation system can be confusing, especially when you’re dealing with sickness or injury, so I don’t recommend you go it alone.
That’s great, I hear you saying. But what I really need to know is: will Ohio workers’ compensation pay my medical bills? I understand your concern! So, let’s talk about workers’ compensation in Cleveland, Ohio and what exactly it covers.
WHAT IS OHIO WORKERS’ COMPENSATION? WHAT DOES IT PAY FOR?
Every business with employees is required to have an active workers’ compensation policy in Ohio to protect workers in case they develop an occupational disease or experience an injury while on the job. The fact of the matter is that some employers are careless with their workplaces or assignments, and may subject their employees to unsafe working conditions while on the job. Sometimes, it’s no one’s fault and accidents happen. However, whether you suffer a catastrophic injury in Cleveland, Ohio - like losing an arm or a leg! - or hurt your back or even just sprain your ankle in Ravenna, Ohio, you’re entitled to having your medical costs and lost wages covered either in full or part, depending on the circumstances of your case.
As for what workers’ compensation in Ohio will pay for? Listen closely, keep clear records, and hold on to all of your medical bills: workers’ compensation in Cleveland, Ohio, will generally cover all reasonable and necessary medical expenses that relate to the illness or injury you sustained on the job. This includes everything from doctor’s appointments and diagnostic tests like MRIs to surgeries, hospital stays, physical therapy, and required medication. You may also be able to claim travel expenses if significant travel for treatment is necessary. Additionally, you may be compensated for lost wages or granted disability compensation should there be a permanent physical disability.
HOW DO OHIO WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIMS WORK?
The Ohio workers’ compensation system has very specific and complex requirements for claimants to win the maximum benefits they may be entitled to receive. This is why I strongly recommend my services - having a Cleveland, Ohio workers’ compensation attorney with decades of experience in the system is a huge asset for your case! That expertise is used to gather and prepare the necessary documents, attend all scheduled hearings, and communicate among all medical professionals and state administrators involved.
As soon as you are injured or become ill on the job, you should seek prompt medical treatment. Tell your healthcare provider that the injury or illness is work-related. You should also report the injury to your employer and start the workers’ compensation claim process in Ravenna, Ohio, by completing a First Report of Injury, Occupational Disease, or Death (FROI) and filing it with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). The BWC will work with a Managed Care Organization (MCO) to coordinate medical care for your injury or occupational disease at approved facilities and provide payment.
Of course, medical treatment (or lost wages or disability) is only covered if your claim is approved. As I’ve mentioned, the Ohio workers’ compensation claims process is very technical, and you may face a denial due to missing information or failure to report. If you miss any necessary hearings or medical examinations, that’s also grounds for a denial. If your employer denies that your injury happened on the job or that your illness is related to your work, that may also result in a denial - for example, they might try to claim your injury was pre-existing. There’s good news, though: if you’re denied, you can appeal and that’s where I come in again!
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MY OHIO WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIM IS DENIED? I CAN’T PAY MY MEDICAL BILLS.
The first thing you can try is an appeal. You have fourteen days after receiving a denial on your Cleveland, Ohio workers’ compensation claim to file an appeal. Your appeal will be handled through the Industrial Commission of Ohio (IC), and there are three levels you can appeal at. That means that if your first appeal is denied, you can file a second, and then a third if necessary - graduating from district hearing officer level to staff hearing officer level to commission level. If you’re still denied even then, you may have the option of presenting your case to the Court of Common Pleas. So it’s important not to be discouraged if you’re denied at first - there’s a robust appeal systems in place to help you.
If your healthcare provider is sending you bills and perhaps threatening to send you to a collections agency, keep them informed of where you are in the Ohio workers’ compensation claim process, and ensure that they are billing through the MCO (i.e. billing the workers’ compensation insurance policy). This is another place where I can help you, communicating with medical providers on your behalf to keep them informed and take pressure off of you.
When you’re dealing with pain and stress of a work-related injury or occupational disease in Ravenna, Ohio, there’s no reason for you to worry about filing for workers’ compensation and getting your medical bills taken care of all by yourself. You need a professional who will be there for you every step of the way: give my office a call today.