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An overview of workers' compensation benefits

When an Ohio worker is injured on the job, workers' compensation benefits can provide essential financial assistance. In general, the workers' compensationsystem will pay eligible medical bills as well as provide wage loss benefits if the injury has resulted in time off work.

Medical payments are made directly to the medical provider. The injured worker has a right to choose his or her own doctor, as long as that doctor is listed as a certified provider by the Ohio Workers' Compensation Bureau. Once the employee's claim has been allowed, medical providers submit their bills directly to the appropriate managed care organization. MCOs are private companies that coordinate medical care for injured workers. Prescription medications are also covered; injured workers should make sure their pharmacies submit billing information to the BWC's Pharmacy Benefits Manager for payment.

Workers' compensation also pays wage loss benefits, also known as temporary total disability benefits, if the worker misses more than seven days of work due to the injury. The first seven days are payable only if the worker misses 14 consecutive days of work. If a worker is permanently and totally disabled, permanent total disability compensation is available.

Workers' compensation benefits are generally payable for any injury occurring while the employee is at work. The employee is not required to prove the employer was at fault. Under Ohio workers' compensation law, the employee is not allowed to sue the employer.

Employers and their insurance companies sometimes fight legitimate workers' compensation claims, or fail to pay benefits on time. Sometimes they will claim that an injury or illness is not work-related, or that medical treatment is not reasonable or necessary. When this happens, an experienced workers' compensation lawyer can make a difference.

Source: Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, "Injured worker questions and answers (Q&A)," accessed March 20, 2017

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