What are Ohio Workers’ Compensation Permanent Total Disability Benefits?
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation defines Permanent Total Disability as “[t]he injured worker’s inability to perform sustained remunerative employment due to the allowed condition(s) in the claim.”
When you are no longer able to continue working due to a severe injury on the job or workplace illness, you could be entitled to Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits under Ohio workers’ compensation law, whether due to a chronic back injury, catastrophic loss of limb, debilitating illness, or many other conditions.
How Is Permanent Total Disability in Ohio Awarded?
You must have suffered an accident on the job - or developed a vocational illness - that has resulted in your complete inability to perform sustained, paid employment in order to be eligible for Permanent Total Disability in Ohio. While the term “permanent” is used, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your condition will never change or improve during your lifetime. It simply means that there is no known recovery time from the injury or disease.
When you apply for Permanent Total Disability benefits from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, you must provide evidence supporting your medical condition, as well as your inability to perform your former job or any other work.
Upon filing your claim, you must submit a physician's report with your PTD application that specifically addresses your inability to work. You also have a time limit attached to this report - it must have been made within 24 months before you filed the application. You must also ensure that your application for benefits submitted to the Industrial Commission of Ohio includes all evidence, including medical reports and other documentation, which you think will support your claim. Your employer has 60 days (from the date of the acknowledgement letter that the IC mails them) to submit their own medical evidence.
The Industrial Commission of Ohio will schedule an independent medical examination that you must attend. Once they consider all of the evidence in the file, they may issue a tentative order that you are either able to return to your job or unable to perform any work. If neither you nor your employer objects, this tentative order becomes final within 14 days of issuance. If either party objects to the ruling, the claim for PTD benefits will then proceed to the hearing level, and beyond if necessary.
What Are The Benefits You Will Receive For A Permanent Total Disability Award?
Permanent Total Disability benefits include all medical costs (including prescriptions) related to the work-related injury or illness. Additionally, the injured worker will receive a portion of their wages lost due to the injury or illness.
The amount of your lost wage benefits is based on your average weekly wage prior to the approved injury or condition onset - or the statewide average wage. Generally, the amount of your benefits is 66 2/3rd percent of your weekly wages, but is capped by the state based on a preset formula. These benefits are payable for the life of the claimant, but will not increase with inflation. (Additional death benefits may be paid to surviving family members if the worker dies as a result of his injury or illness.)
When to Call an Ohio Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Workers' Compensation claims which may include Permanent Total Disability benefits are complicated cases with strict timelines. If you have suffered an extreme work-related injury (or developed an illness as a result of work), it's time to contact an experienced Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer.
Have you experienced a severe injury on the job, or developed a vocational illness due to your working conditions? Call us today so that we can help you and answer any questions about the Ohio Workers’ Compensation system.