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Am. Sub. H.B. 81: Important Changes to Workers’ Compensation Laws

The Ohio workers’ compensation laws have been changed in accordance with Amended Substitute House Bill 81:

  1. Applications for additional awards for “violations of specific safety requirements” (VSSR) must now be filed within one (1) year “after the date of the injury or death or within one year after the disability due to the occupational disease began.” Previously, the VSSR statute of limitations was two (2) years. R.C. 4121.471 (effective 9/15/2020 and will apply to claims arising on or after 9/15/2020).
  1. Employees of a “detention facility” and “corrections officers” are now added along with peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers to the list of employees qualified to have the costs of conducting post-exposure medical diagnostic services covered by the Ohio BWC. R.C. 4123.026(A) (effective 9/15/2020 and will apply to claims arising on or after 9/15/2020).
  1. The life of workers’ compensation claims (i.e. time period that continuing jurisdiction exists in a claim) is now gauged on the later of the date compensation was last paid, or the date that medical services were “provided.” Previously, the date of “payment” of the medical bill was used. R.C. 41252(A) (effective 9/15/2020 and will apply to claims arising on and after 7/1/2020).
  1. An entire body of case law setting forth a principle that a “voluntary abandonment” of employment would preclude temporary total disability (TTD) compensation is legislatively abolished. Instead, an injured worker is not entitled to TTD or wage loss compensation if the inability to work or wage loss is “… the direct result of reasons unrelated to the allowed injury or occupational disease…” R.C. 4123.56(F) (effective 9/15/2020 and will apply to all claims pending on and arising after 9/15/2020).
  1. Language barring an injured worker seeking permanent total disability compensation (PTD) if the injured worker “voluntarily abandoned the workforce” has been removed. Instead, if the injured worker “is not working” for reasons unrelated to the allowed injury or occupational disease, then PTD will be denied. R.C. 4123.58(D)(3) (effective 9/15/2020 and will apply to all claims pending on and arising after 9/15/2020).
  1. A settlement application will be processed without the state funded employer’s consent if (1) the claim is no longer in the employer’s experience, and (2) if the injured worker is no longer employed with the employer of record. R.C. 4123.65(G) (effective 9/15/2020 and will apply to all claims pending on and arising after 9/15/2020).
  1. Funeral expenses are increased from $5,500.00 to $7,500.00. R.C. 4123.66 (effective 9/15/2020 and applies to claims arising on and after 9/15/2020).

If you are not being treated fairly by your employer, then contact the experienced Workers' Compensation Attorneys at Charles Zamora Co., L.P.A. today!

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