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Understanding workers' compensation benefits

Working away from home is fairly typical for residents in Ohio and elsewhere. When working in certain work environments, though, some dangers are present. These could unfortunately result in a worker suffering from a workplace illness or injury. When these incidents tragically befall upon a worker, they have the ability to determine their rights and options when it comes to filing for and collecting workers' compensation benefits.

When applying for workers' compensation benefits, a worker should first determine what benefits they are eligible for. To begin, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation states that injured workers who have an approved claim are entitled to the payment of medical bills for treatment related to the injury or occupational illness. In addition, a worker may also be entitled to the payment for the period of a temporary disability, wage losses due to work restrictions, payment for partial disability, payment for permanent total disability or a lump sum settlement.

When receiving workers' compensation benefits, these will be paid for the timeframe a worker is unable to work. However, this must be more than seven lost days of work. Additionally, the first seven days are not payable until 14 consecutive days have been missed. Besides this exception, workers will be paid for the entire period of work missed. If this timeframe exceeds 90 days, it might be necessary to have a medical exam to prove that benefits are still needed.

If a worker is deemed permanently or totally disabled due to a work injury or illness, it is expected that the worker's inability to work will be permanent. Thus, if a worker who has been declared to be permanently or totally disabled decides to return to work, these benefits will cease.

Suffering from a work injury or illness can be difficult to navigate. Finances might be limited because it has caused him or her to no longer work, whether temporarily or permanently. Thus, workers' compensation benefits can prove to be very valuable, helping a worker offset these hardships.

Source: Bwc.ohio.gov, "Injured worker questions and answers (Q&A)," accessed Feb. 18, 2018

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