The Industrial Commission of Ohio is responsible for adjudicating claim-related disputes between the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, the injured worker and the employer. The usual time period between an appeal of a BWC decision and the scheduling of a hearing before the Industrial Commission may be between thirty (30) days and sixty (60) days. When the issue before the Industrial Commission involves a matter of the payment of compensation or the allowance of a claim, and the injured worker is suffering an extreme hardship due to the usual delay in the docketing of the hearing, the Workers' Compensation Law sets forth a remedy:
Ohio Adm.Code 4121-3-30 allows an injured worker to request an emergency hearing, in order to bypass the usual delay in the scheduling of his/her hearing. Section (A) of this rule states that a hearing is considered to be an "emergency" when a party "...is undergoing severe financial hardship due to immediate foreclosure actions, eviction notices, shutoff notices for gas, electric, or water, or a party to a claim is in dire need of emergency medical treatment, and the issue to be heard can potentially resolve the financial hardship or approve payment of the needed medical treatment."
This is not a remedy to be pursued in every claim, by every injured worker, every time a hearing is necessary. However, when time is of the essence and the injured worker is experiencing a financial or medical emergency, the injured worker is afforded this opportunity to obtain an expedited hearing. The injured worker must support the request for an emergency hearing with appropriate evidence. When properly supported, the request for hearing is usually approved in one (1) to two (2) days, and the hearing is held within three (3) to four (4) days after the request has been submitted.
If you are suffering a severe financial hardship because of an issue involving your request for compensation or you are in dire need of medical treatment as certified by your physician, please call my office immediately at 614-221-1300. We will determine if there is sufficient evidence to request an emergency hearing for you.