What should I do to establish a claim with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation?

Question: I have an injury on the job.  What should I do to establish a claim with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (OBWC) and receive benefits?

Answer: The following information is intended to inform you of various procedures necessary to procure benefits you may be entitled to.

  • Report the incident/accident as soon as possible to your supervisor. Fill out an incident report if your employer has them and keep a copy.
  • Seek medical treatment at your physician’s office or nearby emergency room or urgent care. Be sure the provider includes in the history that this injury occurred while in the course of your employment.
  • Be sure to fill out a First Report of Injury (FROI) form and file it with the OBWC so you are assigned a claim number. You can even do so on the BWC web site at www.ohiobwc.com.  A hospital, medical provider, or employer may also file this FROI to initiate your claim.  Your claim must be filed within one year of your accident or be forever barred by Ohio law.
  • If you are totally disabled from work for eight days or more, you will be paid compensation for time lost from work. Total disability must be certified by your medical provider.
  • You are entitled to file an appeal if you disagree with the OBWC findings. The Industrial Commission of Ohio (ICO) will set up a hearing wherein your complaints/testimony will be heard.
  • If after 26 weeks from your date of injury or your last compensation payment, whichever is later, you still have physical and/or mental complaints, you may file for cash compensation with the   They will schedule you for a medical exam to evaluate your complaints and condition.  Appeals are available to the ICO if you disagree with the findings.  A hearing will be set up where you can present further medical evidence and testify.
  • As long as the claim is alive (usually five years from the date of last bill or compensation paid), you may apply for further treatment or a Lump Sum Settlement to close out your claim.

The OBWC will not contact you on the steps necessary to procure most of the additional benefits listed herein.  Most claimants will find it necessary to contact an attorney to assist them in obtaining further benefits.  In other words, you must be proactive in these claims.

There are other claims provided for under Ohio law including, but not limited to, death claims, wage loss, permanent and total disability, and occupational disease claims.

The above is not intended to include all of your rights and procedures necessary to procure benefits, including cash benefits, but to at least inform you of your rights.

As always, you may call our office with any questions.  There is never a charge for telephone inquiries.  We only charge legal fees when we obtain cash benefits for the client.