How Long Can A Workers' Comp Claim Stay Open?
A frequent question new clients ask is "How long is my workers' compensation claim open?" The length of time a claim stays "open" is dependent upon when the injury happened, or in the case of an occupational disease, the "date of diagnosis" and the date of compensation. Medical benefits and compensation cannot be paid in a claim if it has expired.
How long a workers' comp claim can stay open:
- For claims with dates of injury or diagnosis before August 25, 2006, the claim is considered to be a 10-year claim. It is open for ten years from the date of last payment of compensation, or ten years from the last payment of a medical bill, whichever is later. Compensation must have been paid pursuant to R.C. 4123.56, 4123.57 or 4123.58 (or payment in lieu of compensation is made under a salary continuation agreement or by a self-insured employer).
- For claims before August 25, 2006, in which no compensation has been paid; those are considered to be 6-year claims.
- For injury or occupational disease claims with dates of injury or diagnosis on or after August 25, 2006, the claim is considered to be a 5-year claim and is open for five years from the date of the last payment of compensation or five years from the last payment of a medical bill, whichever is later.
If Your Claim Is Open, You May Seek Compensation
While the claim is "open," the Industrial Commission of Ohio and Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation have "continuing jurisdiction" over the claim. See R.C. 4123.52. As long as the claim is open, the injured worker can seek payment of medical bills and various types of compensation based on the allowed conditions in the claim.
What is Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)?
Often, we find that new clients have "old" workers' compensation claims which are still open, but under which compensation was never paid. A common example is an employee who suffers an injury, has residual symptoms (whether ongoing or occasional), but never applied for a permanent partial disability (PPD) award.
Pursuing and obtaining a permanent partial disability award serves several purposes:
- PPD award will extend the life of the claim either five (5) years or ten (10) years, depending on the date of injury or date of diagnosis of the occupational disease.
- It will compensate the injured worker for the residual "impairment" he or she has due to the injury. A PPD award can be several thousand dollars.
- It can be a step forward in reactivating an otherwise inactive claim and open the door for additional treatment.
- It may serve to increase the settlement value of your claim should you choose to pursue a settlement at some future point. Being paid a permanent partial disability award may be viewed as an indication of future ongoing residual problems due to the work injury or occupational disease, which is likely to result in additional compensation or medical exposure to the employer or the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
Have Questions About Workers Compensation Claims? Contact Us!
Do you have a different workers' comp claim matter? Charles Zamora Co., L.P.A. can help answer your questions. We can review all of your old workers' compensation claims and possibly pursue benefits or compensation before they expire. If you are interested in legal representation, please call us today at (614) 344-6822 or complete an online form. Our workers' compensation attorneys are ready to help you!