FAQ

To the right are some of the most commonly asked workers' compensation questions we receive. Browse through our responses or feel free to contact us using our inquiry form.

WORKERS COMPENSATION - FAQ

If you have been injured at work the first thing you should do is report the injury in writing to your employer. You should also go to an urgent care center, emergency room, or make an appointment to see a doctor who is Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation certified. You should tell the doctor how your injury occurred. Once you tell a doctor that you were injured at work they will normally complete the form that starts the claim called an FROI.

Immediately following the injury is often the best time to retain an attorney. This allows you to use the attorney's experience and knowledge to make sure your claim is as strong as possible. It also allows the attorney to become familiar with you and the facts of your case; and gives the attorney time to gather the necessary medical evidence and request forms and records from your physicians.

Often individuals call several months after an injury when medical treatment is no longer being approved, their disability benefits have just stopped, or the hearing officer just denied a condition their doctor believes was caused by the accident. We are happy to help these individuals and get the claim back on track but often many of the issues being faced could have been prevented had the worker contacted us sooner.

Remember, the initial consultation with Dean R. Wagner Co. LPA is free, and you will not be charged any money up front.
If your claim is approved, you can request payment of disability benefits starting on the eighth day of disability. If you miss fourteen consecutive days, the BWC or self-insured employer will then go back and pay you for the first seven days of work that you missed.
For the first 12 weeks of missed work you will be paid 72% of your Full Weekly Wage (FWW). Your FWW is calculated at the higher of either your average earnings for the 6 weeks prior to your injury or the earnings the full week prior to the date of injury. After the 12 weeks, temporary total disability benefits will be paid at 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage subject to state wide maximum. The Average Weekly Wage (AWW) is calculated by taking your total earnings for the 52 weeks prior to the injury and dividing by 52. In some cases, we may be able to help you exclude weeks that you were not working to make your AWW higher.
Your disability benefits will continue as long as your doctor continues to disable you using the appropriate forms and you have not yet reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). Maximum Medical Improvement is defined as a treatment plateau in which the condition has stabilized and no further functional improvement is expected.

In some cases a hearing will be scheduled on the termination of your disability benefits. During the hearing a hearing officer will examine the medical evidence and determine whether or not you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement. If the hearing officer finds you at MMI then your benefits will stop as of the date of the hearing.

It is important to make sure all of the medical evidence from your treating providers is available for the hearing officer to review. If you are a client of Dean R. Wagner Co. LPA we will work with your treating doctor to gather evidence to oppose a finding of MMI.
Once you have been found to be at Maximum Medical Improvement your temporary total disability benefits will stop. The claim will remain open and you can and should continue to use the claim for necessary medical care. Depending on if you can return to your former position of employment, you may qualify for additional benefits such as vocational rehabilitation or wage loss.
If you have been found at Maximum Medical Improvement but still are not able to return to your former job, the Workers' Compensation system provides a specific benefit called Vocational Rehabilitation. If you are found to be feasible for vocational rehabilitation and enter into the program you will be paid Living Maintenance while you progress through the program. The program is different for each individual worker however it normally includes a occupational therapy, a functional capacity evaluation, and a job search. You will be assigned a vocational rehabilitation specialist to help you through the program.
Wage loss is a benefit designed to compensate you for you lost earnings due to your inability to return to your former job. You may qualify for this benefit if you are currently working and are experiencing a reduction in earnings as a result of the allowed medical conditions of your claim.
Non Working Wage Loss (NWWL) is a benefit designed to compensate you if you cannot return to your former position of employment and are actively searching for work. As long as you complete enough job applications, and document your efforts, we may be able to get you paid while you are searching for a job within your current work restrictions. You can receive this benefit for up to 52 weeks of compensation.
This is a question that must be determined based on your individual situation. It depends on numerous factors such as whether you need the claim for future medical coverage, whether you are currently receiving Social Security Disability and Medicare, as well as many other factors. In most cases it is wise to speak with an attorney prior to settling your claim so they can explain to you the ramifications of doing so. There may be options available other than settlement and there may be ways an attorney can help you maximize the value of your settlement.
In most cases the answer to this questions is yes. If you are not represented by an attorney and you received notice of a hearing then you should always attend. Even if you are not prepared for the hearing, the hearing officer should give you a continuance if you tell him or her that you plan on retaining an attorney. If you do not attend, It is possible that the hearing will go forward without you and this could end up being harmful to your claim.

If you are represented by Dean R. Wagner Co. LPA we will send you a letter letting you know that a hearing has been scheduled and we will let you know whether your attendance is necessary. Also, an attorney may contact you to discuss the issue for the hearing and whether it is necessary for you to come. In some situations we may attend a hearing on your behalf and it will not be necessary for you to attend. Whether or not this is possible really depends on the issue of the hearing and whether your testimony will be required.