Ohio Workers’ Compensation News

Ohio Workers’ Compensation News

Updated: June 21, 2017

Select a year to see that year’s Ohio workers’ compensation news. For more news about the Ohio workers’ compensation system, subscribe to the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Bulletin.

2017 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Court

June, 2017

  • The Supreme Court held that an Industrial Commission decision that a pre-existing condition has returned to its pre-injury status can only be challenged through a mandamus action, not an R.C. §4123.512 appeal. Read more >>

Administrative

May, 2017

  • S.B. 27, which became effective April 6, 2017, added a new fire fighter’s cancer presumption to the schedule of occupational diseases.

    R.C. §4123.68(X) now provides that fire fighters who contract cancer after at least six years of hazardous duty contracted the cancer due to their employment if they were

    exposed to an agent classified by the international agency for research on cancer or its successor organization as a group 1 or 2A carcinogen.


    The BWC has adopted a new form for fire fighters pursuing such claims. The fire fighter must file the new BWC form, the Presumption of Causation for Firefighter Cancer (form C-265), along with the FROI-1.

Administrative

April, 2017

Site

March, 2017

  • The Ohio AFL-CIO honored Stewart Jaffy at their annual workers' compensation institute for his lifetime of service supporting Ohio's injured workers. Read more >>

Administrative

February, 2017

  • The Commission and BWC reviewed joint rules O.A.C. 4125-1-01 and 4125-1-02. They proposed minor changes to O.A.C. 4125-1-01 (Wage loss) and determined that no changes are necessary for O.A.C. 4125-1-02 (Electronic submission and acceptance of documents).

    The proposed amendment incorporates the requirement of a "good faith" job search in the definition of non-working wage loss and adds a requirement that injured workers seeking working wage loss include claim related limitations on their ability to make employer contacts (in addition to the already existing requirement that this indicate non-claim related limitations).

Court

January, 2017

Administrative

January, 2017

  • See the 2017 rates for Ohio workers' compensation awards on our rates page.

2016 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 2016

  • See the 2017 rates for Ohio workers' compensation awards on our rates page.

Administrative

November, 2016

  • The Industrial Commission is reviewing nine administrative rules. Based on its initial review, the Commission has proposed amendments to four of the rules, and suggests no changes to the other five rules. Read more >>

Administrative

October, 2016

  • The BWC is going to update some of its core claims and policy management systems between Thursday, November 10 – Monday, November 14, 2016. As a result, many BWC services, including phone and web services, will not be working. The BWC expects services to resume functioning on Tuesday, November 15, 2016.

Administrative

September, 2016

  • The Industrial Commission has issued a new version of the Hearing Officer Manual, titled Adjudications Before the Ohio Industrial Commission. The new Hearing Officer Manual has 19 new provisions. Fourteen provisions were deleted from the previous version, and 85 provisions are in both versions (although they may have been edited).

Court

August, 2016

  • The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that an injured worker does not have to establish their right to participate in the workers' compensation system to pursue a court suit against the employer for discharging them because they filed a workers' compensation claim. Read more >>

Site

July, 2016

  • Since 1982, the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Bulletin has been providing information about the Ohio workers’ compensation system. Now you can learn about the history of the Ohio workers’ compensation system by viewing our online archive which currently provides access to issues from the first ten years (1982-1991) of the WCB. For current workers’ compensation information, you can subscribe to the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Bulletin by filling out the subscription form and returning it (with a check for $95) to Stewart R. Jaffy Co., 306 E. Gay St., Columbus OH 43215.

Administrative

July, 2016

  • Because of logistical concerns related to the Republican National Convention, the Industrial Commission will not conduct hearings in its Cleveland office from Friday, July 15, 2016 through Friday, July 22, 2016. The Commission will resume conducting hearings in Cleveland on Monday, July 25, 2016.

Legislative

June, 2016

  • The legislature passed Am. Sub. H.B. 207 which changed the requirements for an employer to become a self-insured employer, and made certain changes which affect how employers' experience (which affects the premiums paid by employers) is calculated. The governor signed Am. Sub. H.B. 207 on May 31, 2016. The amendments become effective 90 days after signing.The amendments removed the requirement that an employer or Board of County Commissioners must have a minumum of 500 employees in the state, in order to qualify as a self-insurer. The amendments also enacted R.C. §4123.932, which permits the BWC to charge certain workers' compensation claims resulting from third party motor vehicle accidents to the surplus fund, rather than the employer's experience and amends R.C. §4123.931(K) to provide that subrogation amounts recovered in such claims are paid to the surplus fund.

Administrative

May, 2016

  • The  governor has appointed interim administrator Sarah Morrison as the new administrator of the BWC.

Administrative

May, 2016

  • The Industrial Commission has updated form IC-32a, the “Application for Lump Sum Payment of Attorney Fees.”

Case

April, 2016

  • The Ohio Supreme Court has accepted the state's appeal from the Court of Appeals’ decision in Ferguson v. State, 8th Dist. No. 102553, 2015-Ohio-4499. Ferguson found the provision of R.C.  §4123.512(D) which prohibits injured workers from unilaterally dismissing their complaint when the employer filed the notice of appeal unconstitutional. Ferguson conflicts with a more recent Court of Appeals' decision in Dillard v. Automation Tool & Die, Inc., 9th Dist. No. 15CA0055-M, 2016-Ohio-529, which found that an injured worker has no right under Civil Rule 41(A)(1)(a) to unilaterally dismiss their complaint in an employer's R.C. 4123.512 appeal to court.

Administrative

April, 2016

  • The administrator of the BWC, Steve Buehrer, has resigned effective April 15, 2016. The BWC's chief legal officer, Sarah Morrison, will act as the interim administrator of the BWC until a new  administrator is appointed.

Legislative

March, 2016

  • S.B. 27 has been introduced in the legislature. The bill, if adopted, would amend R.C. §4123.68 to provide a presumption that certain types of cancer contracted by fire fighters occurred “in the  course of and arising out of” their employment, which would permit them to receive workers’ compensation.The new  R.C. §4123.68(X) presumption, which “may be refuted by affirmative evidence” would apply to any fire fighter “who has been assigned to at least three years of hazardous duty.” The term hazardous duty is given “the same meaning as in 5 C.F.R. 550.902, as amended.”

Administrative

February, 2016

  • The Industrial Commission recently reviewed nine administrative rules. The Commission determined that O.A.C. 4121-3-17 (Briefs), O.A.C. 4121-3-18 (Administrative Appeals), O.A.C. 4121-3-21 (Change of Address), O.A.C. 4121-3-24 (Fee Controversies), and O.A.C. 4121-3-31 (Waiver for Recreational Activities) did not require any changes, and recommended the following three amendments:

    O.A.C. 4121-3-16 (Motions): Removes current O.A.C. 4121-3-16(E), which provides for motions to include legal citations and renumbers the remaining subsections.

    O.A.C. 4121-3-22 (Inspection of Claim Files): Removes current O.A.C. 4121-3-22(B), which sets forth requirements for accepting an authorization on behalf of an injured worker which lacks the claim number, removes current O.A.C. 4121-3-22(E)(F)(G) and (H) which contained requirements related to physical inspections of claim files, and renumbers the remaining subsections.

    O.A.C. 4121-3-30 (Emergency Hearings): Amends current O.A.C. 4121-3-30(B)(2) and (C)(2) to provide that the hearing administrator and Commission shall contact the parties and attempt to reach an agreement regarding the date and time of an emergency hearing before scheduling the hearing.

Site

January, 2016

Administrative

January, 2016

Administrative

January, 2016

  • See the 2016 rates for Ohio workers' compensation awards on our rates page.

2015 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 2015

  • See the 2016 rates for Ohio workers' compensation awards on our rates page.

Court

November, 2015

  • The Eighth District Court of Appeals ruled that the provision of R.C. 4123.512(D) preventing injured workers from dismissing a complaint without prejudice, unless the employer agrees, violates the constitution. Read more >>

Administrative

October, 2015

  • The Industrial Commission has updated form IC-2, the Application for Permanent Total Disability.

Administrative

October, 2015

  • Effective October 1, 2015, the BWC and MCOs will use ICD-10, rather than ICD-9, to describe injuries. (ICD stands for International Classification of Diseases). Additional information about ICD-10 is available on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ICD-10 website.

Administrative

September, 2015

  • The BWC has updated the Physician’s Report of Work Ability (MEDCO-14) form. The form, used by the treating doctor to provide information about the injured worker’s ability to work, is available on the BWC’s web site under the Medical Provider tab.

Court

August, 2015

  • The Supreme Court dismissed the BWC's appeal in Ohio Bur. of Workers' Comp. v. McKinley as improvidently granted. The Court of Appeals had held that a third party that settled with an injured worker could not be held responsible for the BWC’s subrogation interest when the BWC had notice of the settlement proceedings, even if the actual settlement agreement did not reference the BWC’s subrogation right. Read more >>

Legislative

July, 2015

  • The Governor has signed the BWC and IC budget bills. In addition to funding the agencies, the budget bills made some changes to the Ohio workers' compensation law. Read more >>

Administrative

June, 2015

  • The Governor has reappointed Jodie Taylor to serve as the employer member on the Industrial Commission. Taylor's second six year term will begin July 1, 2015.

Court

May, 2015

  • The Eighth District Court of Appeals is considering an appeal from a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Decision holding that the legislature's amendment of R.C. §4123.512 to deny injured worker's the right to dismiss their complaint in cases where the employer filed the notice of appeal. The case is pending in the Court of Appeals as Ferguson v. State of Ohio, 8th Dist. No. CA-15-102553. Read more >>

Court

April, 2015

  • The Fifth District Court of Appeals has held that an injured worker is not barred from participating in the workers' compensation system because they failed a drug test a week after their injury. Read more>>

Administrative

March, 2015

  • The Industrial Commission is reviewing a number of rules relating to the access to confidential personal information by employees and members of the Industrial Commission. The Commission proposes no changes to the following rules relating to confidential personal information:
    1. O.A.C. 4121-4-01 Definitions;
    2. O.A.C. 4121-4-02 Procedures for accessing confidential personal information;
    3. O.A.C. 4121-4-03 Valid reasons for accessing confidential personal information;
    4. O.A.C. 4121-4-04 Confidentiality statutes; and
    5. O.A.C. 4121-4-05 Restricting and logging access to confidential personal information in computerized personal information systems.

Case

February, 2015

  • The Supreme Court found that an injured worker who voluntarily quit his employment for personal reasons while he was injured lost his eligibility for temporary total compensation. Read more >>

Administrative

January, 2015

  • The Commission adopted an amendment to the permanent total rule (O.A.C. 4121-3-34). The amendment provides parties with 30 days from receipt of a tentative order to “file a written request to change the start date or allocation of permanent and total disability compensation.” The amendment became effective December 15, 2014.

Administrative

January, 2015

  • See the 2015 rates for workers' compensation awards on our rates page.

2014 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 2014

  • See the 2015 rates for workers' compensation awards on our rates page.

Administrative

December, 2014

  • The BWC’s Board of Directors adopted O.A.C. 4123-6-21.6, which provides for first fill of outpatient medications.  This rule, expected to take effect on February 1, 2015, permits the BWC to approve payment for prescription medication for certain drugs (listed in an appendix to the rule) before the administrator makes the initial determination whether to allow the claim.  The rule also permits the BWC to provide first fill reimbursement for prescription medication not included in the appendix “in cases of medical necessity supported by clinical documentation and evidence of need.” Under this plan, the BWC will pay for no more than ten days worth of prescription medication, with no refills permitted.

Case

November, 2014

  • The Supreme Court ruled that workers injured while traveling must satisfy the course of, and arising out of, test to receive workers' compensation benefits for their injury and rejected a test applied by other jurisdictions known as the dual purpose doctrine.   Read more >>

Administrative

October, 2014

  • The Industrial Commission has revised form IC-13, the Request for Corrected Order. Use form IC-13 if you want "to request a correction of a clerical or typographical error contained in an Industrial Commission order."

Administrative

September, 2014

  • The Industrial Commission adopted new policies for its Hearing Officer Manual. The new policies are: Memo I.3 (Last Payment of Compensation – Date on Face of Warrant or Date of Last Transfer), Memo O.1 (Settlements – Finality, Abatement, and Withdrawal), and Memo Q.1 (Adjustments in Average or Full Weekly Wage). The new policies became effective on September 8, 2014.

Administrative

August, 2014

  • The Industrial Commission will hold a hearing on Monday, September 29, 2014 to consider an amendment to the permanent total rule which would "provide a procedure by which parties can request a new start date or new allocation" of a permanent total award granted by a tentative order. The proposed amendment would permit a party to file a request in writing, within 30 days of receipt of the tentative order, to change the start date or allocation of a permanent total award granted through a tentative order, without objecting to the award of permanent total.

Legislative

July, 2014

  • H.B. 493, the BWC Budget Bill, amended provisions of the workers' compensation law. Read more >>

Administrative

July, 2014

  • The Industrial Commission revised Hearing Officer Manual Memo I.5, "Processing Compensation and Medical Benefits Issues in Claims when an Original Allowance or Additional Allowance Issue is in Court." The policy provides a chart listing different issues which may arise in a claim which states whether the Commission can process the issue while the claim is pending in court.

Legislative

June, 2014

  • The Ohio Senate passed Senate Bill 252, which would amend R.C. 4123.01 to provide workers' compensation benefits to police officers, fire fighters and emergency medical workers who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder ("PTSD") due to their employment. The law currently prohibits workers' compensation coverage for any psychiatric claim (including PTSD) unless the psychiatric claim arose from an allowed physical injury or occupational disease. The bill is now pending in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Administrative

May, 2014

  • The Industrial Commission is considering an amendment to the permanent total rule, Ohio Administrative Code 4121-3-34. The proposed amendment would only affect the processing of tentative permanent total orders in O.A.C. 4121-3-34(6)(a)(1). You can see the proposed new amendments on the Commission's website.

Administrative

April, 2014

  • The Industrial Commission updated the following policies in the Hearing Officer Manual.
    1. Memo G.5: Guidelines for Permanent Total Disability Tentative Grant Orders (new)
    2. Memo O.3: Staff Hearing Officers Review of Settlements (revised)
    3. Memo R.7: Use of Audiovisual Evidence (revised)
  • The Commission also adopted Telephone Hearing Request Guidelines. The new policies became effective April 4, 2014.

Administrative

March, 2014

  • The BWC corrected the 2013 statewide average weekly wage calculation, which has slightly changed the rates for 2013 given on the back cover. Our rates page has the updated rates.

Administrative

February, 2014

  • The BWC and Industrial Commission have adopted a new wage loss rule, O.A.C. 4125-1-01, effective February 13, 2014. Read our summary of the new rule.

Administrative

January, 2014

  • The Industrial Commission scheduled a hearing on January 3, 2014, to consider amendments to O.A.C. 4125-1-01 (wage loss) and O.A.C. 4125-1-02 (electronic submission and acceptance of documents). The proposed change to O.A.C. 4125-1-02 adds Revised Code Chapter 4125 to a listing of situations where electronic signatures can be used when a signature is required.

Administrative

January, 2014

  • See the 2014 rates for workers' compensation awards on our rates page.

2013 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 2013

  • See the 2014 rates for workers' compensation awards on our rates page.

Court

November 2013

  • The Supreme Court issued two decisions finding that an injured worker's voluntary abandonment of employment barred them from receipt of workers' compensation benefits. State, ex rel. Hoffman v. Rexam Beverage Can Co. (10/16/13), which involved temporary total, and State, ex rel. Black, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm., (10/17/13), which involved permanent total, indicated that the question of whether an injured worker voluntarily retired is a question of fact for the Industrial Commission to decide.

Administrative

October 2013

  • The BWC and Commission are considering a new wage loss rule to replace the current wage loss rule, O.A.C. 4125-1-01. The new rule would also be numbered O.A.C. 4125-1-01. Read more >>

Court

September 2013

  • In State ex rel. Sigler v. Lubrizol Corp., 136 Ohio St.3d 298, 2013-Ohio-3686 (8/29/13), the Supreme Court found that a member of the Industrial Commission can rule on a case without attending the hearing or reviewing a transcript of the hearing. Read more >>

Court

August 2013

  • The Supreme Court recently decided a case limiting workers' compensation coverage for workers who suffer psychological injuries in their employment. Read more >>

Administrative

August 2013

  • The Governor named employee member Tim Bainbridge as the new Industrial Commission chair. Bainbridge replaces employer member Jodie Taylor as chair.

Administrative

July 2013

  • The Industrial Commission amended three rules: O.A.C. 4121-3-32 (temporary disability), O.A.C. 4121-3-34 (permanent total disability), and O.A.C. 4121-15-10 (standards of conduct for adjudicators). The amendments became effective June 20, 2013.

Administrative

July 2013

  • Effective July 1, 2013, the Commission updated its Medical Examination Manual which "presents Commission policies for independent medical examinations and medical file reviews." You can find the Manual on the Commission's web site.

Administrative

June 2013

  • The Governor appointed Tim Bainbridge as the new employee member on the Industrial Commission. Bainbridge will replace Gary DiCeglio. Bainbridge's term begins July 1, 2013.

Administrative

May 2013

  • In 1993 the legislature created the Public Employment Risk Reduction Program (PERRP) to create a safe workplace for public employees. The BWC administers PERRP and you can find more information about PERRP on the BWC’s web site.

Administrative

April 2013

  • The governor of Ohio signed the law creating the Industrial Commission on March 14, 1913. In honor of its 100th anniversary, the Industrial Commission created a poster illustrating the Commission’s history. The poster starts in 1885 with the first voluntary attempt to resolve accidents between employers and employees and ends with the 100th anniversary of the Industrial Commission on March 14, 2013. The Commission will display the poster in its offices. You can also see the poster on the Industrial Commission’s website.

Administrative

March 2013

  • Governor Kasich appointed Jodie Taylor chair of the Industrial Commission. Taylor, the employer member on the Commission, became chair effective February 13, 2013.

Court

February, 2013

  • Two recent Supreme Court decisions have limited an injured worker's ability to sue their employer for intentional tort. Read more >>

Administrative

February, 2013

  • Industrial Commission Resolution R12-1-03 updated the policy for representatives seeking hearing blocks (times when they do not have any scheduled hearings). The Resolution also updated the Commission's continuance policy. Read more >>

Administrative

January, 2013

Administrative

January, 2013

  • See the 2013 rates for workers' compensation awards on our rates page.

2012 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 2012

  • See the 2013 rates for workers' compensation awards on our rates page.

Court

December, 2012

  • The Supreme Court limited R.C. 2745.01, the intentional tort statute, and held that an injured worker can only establish an R.C. 2745.01(A) intentional tort by showing that the employer acted with deliberate intent to cause the injury. Read more >>

Court

November, 2012

  • The Supreme Court ruled that for an R.C. 2745.01 intentional tort "equipment safety guard" means a device designed to shield an operator from injury. The Court also ruled that the statutory term "deliberate removal" refers to an employer's deliberate decision to eliminate the safety guard. Read more >>

Administrative

October, 2012

  • The Commission revised five Hearing Officer Manual policies: memo C.3 (jurisdiction over MMI), C.4 (salary continuation), M.5 (documentation submitted by physician assistants, advanced practical nurses, certified nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists), R.2 (Commission hearings -- court reporters) and R.7 use of audiovisiual evidence). Read more >>

Administrative

September, 2012; Updated: October, 2012

  • The Commission is considering amendments to O.A.C. 4121-3-09 (Conduct of hearings before the commission and its staff and district hearing officers); O.A.C. 4121-3-10 (Lump sum payments for attorney’s fees for securing an award); O.A.C. 4121-3-13 (Disputed self-insuring employers’ claims); O.A.C. 4121-3-15 (Percentage of permanent partial disability); O.A.C. 4121-3-32 (Temporary disability); and O.A.C. 4121-3-34 (Permanent total disability). The Commission determined that three other provisions need either no amendment, or minor amendment. The Commission scheduled a public hearing on Friday, October 12, 2012, at 1:30 in the William Green Building to consider these amendments. Read more >>

Administrative

August, 2012

  • The BWC adopted new C-84 Request for Temporary Total Compensation) and MEDCO14 (Physician’s Report of Work Ability) forms, effective August 17, 2012. Read more >>

Administrative

August, 2012

  • H. B. 487, the 2012 budget bill, changed the method of payment for amputation awards. The bill amended R. C. 4123.57(B) to provide for payment of amputation awards in weekly installments, instead of in a lump sum. This provision becomes effective September 10, 2012.

Court

July, 2012

  • The Supreme Court held that the Commission improperly found that an injured worker committed fraud because fraud requires knowing misrepresentation of a material fact. Read more >>

Court

June, 2012

  • Two cases currently before the Supreme Court involve interpretation of R.C. 2745.01, the intentional tort statute. One of the cases involves the requirements for an intent/substantial certainty intentional tort, while the other involves the meaning of the provision prohibiting removal of an equipment safety guard. Read more >>

Administrative

May, 2012

  • The Industrial Commission adopted an “agreement as to compensation for permanent partial disability”, form IC-GC-1. Parties can use this form to agree to the amount of a permanent partial award. When signing the form the parties agree to the amount of permanent partial. The form also states that the parties waive their right to notice of hearing and their right to appeal the award.

Court

April, 2012

  • The Ohio Supreme Court decided that an injured worker who worked at a job involving seasonal unemployment can have those weeks of unemployment excluded from the average weekly wage calculation, as long as the period of unemployment did not occur due to a lifestyle choice. Read more >>

Court

April, 2012

  • The Ohio Supreme Court held that a party can pursue an R.C. 4123.512 appeal to court even if they did not name the Administrator of the BWC as a party to the appeal. Read more >>

Administrative

March, 2012

  • The Industrial Commission will add video evidence to its document management system. The Commission will make such evidence available on I.C.O.N. and at hearings. Video evidence will show in the list of claim documents as document type “HCE” and the document description will state “video.” Not all offices can currently upload videos, although they should soon have that ability. If video evidence does not show up on the list of claims documents, the party presenting the video will need to bring the video evidence, and equipment to play the video evidence, to the hearing.
  • Memo R.7 of the Hearing Officer’s Manual governs use of audiovisual evidence at hearings. Any party planning to use video evidence must provide notice either when filing a motion based on the evidence or 14 days before the hearing (whichever is earlier). The party must also provide a written synopsis of the evidence when it files its notice. Any party planning on using video evidence should review Memo R.7, which provides that failure to comply with the guidelines set forth in that Memo “shall prohibit the filing or use of audiovisual evidence before the Commission.”

Administrative

February, 2012

Administrative

January, 2012

  • Members of the Industrial Commission will now sign orders electronically. Under the new procedure, Commissioners can sign orders in discretionary appeals remotely which will help eliminate delays.

Administrative

January, 2012

  • See the 2012 rates for workers' compensation awards on our rates page.

2011 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 2011

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2012.

Court

December 2011

  • The Supreme Court decided that eyewitness testimony is not required for the Commission to find a VSSR. Read more >>

Court

November 2011

  • The Supreme Court found that an injured worker who applies for permanent total compensation after they retire does not have to provide medical evidence from the time they retired to establish that the retirement occurred because of the injury. Read more >>

Court

October 2011

  • The Supreme Court held that a six year statute of limitations applies to R.C. 4123.931(G) subrogation claims. Read more >>

Administrative

September 2011

  • Effective September 1, 2011, the BWC adopted a formulary as Appendix A to O.A.C. 4123-6-21.3. The formulary contains a list of drugs the BWC will cover when prescribed for allowed conditions in a claim. According to O.A.C. 4123-6-21.3(B), “[d]rugs not listed in the formulary are not eligible for reimbursement by the bureau.”The formulary also “contains specifc reimbursement, prescribing or dispensing restrictions that have been placed on the use of listed drugs.” [O.A.C. 4123-6-21.3(C).] The BWC will update the formulary and will post the most recent version on the BWC web site.

Court

August 2011

  • The Supreme Court held that an injured worker can pursue a claim for aggravation of a condition during an R.C. 4123.512 appeal even when they had only pursued a theory of direct causation at the administrative level. Read more >>

Administrative

August 2011

  • The Governor appointed the new public member of the Industrial Commission, Karen Gillmor, Chair of the Commission. Gillmor was appointed to the Commission on July 13, 2011. Gillmor replaces Jodie Taylor, the employer member, as chair. Taylor remains on the Industrial Commission as the employer member.

Court

July 2011

  • The Supreme Court decided in Sutton v. Tomco Machining Inc.that R.C. 4123.90 creates a clear public policy against retaliatory discharge based on a workplace injury when the retaliatory discharge occurs before a workers' compensation claim is filed. [An R.C. 4123.90 claim can only be filed if the discharge occurs after a workers' compensation claim is filed.] Read more >>

Administrative

July 2011

  • Governor Kasich appointed State Senator Karen Gillmor as the public member of the Industrial Commission. Gillmor will replace Kevin Abrams, whose term expired June 30, 2011.

Legislative

June, 2011

  • H.B. 123, the BWC Budget bill, makes changes to R.C. 4123.512 and R.C. 4123.52 which change the requirements for payment of medical bills. Read more >>

Administrative

June, 2011

  • The Industrial Commission is beginning a pilot security badge program in the Columbus office. On June 8, 2011, representatives who had their pictures taken for security badges can pick up their badges at the front desk of the hearing room lobby in the first floor of the William Green building. Only representatives in the Columbus office will be able to pick up their security badges. The Commission will implement the program throughout the state in coming months.

Court

May, 2011

  • The Supreme Court held that a challenge to the BWC's reduction permanent total awards due to lump sum advancements sought restitution of money owed under a contract and therefore had to be filed in the Court of Claims. Read more >>

Administrative

April, 2011

  • The Industrial Commission will hold a hearing on Friday, April 29, 2011 to consider amendments to a number of rules. Read more >>

Legislative

March, 2011

Administrative

March, 2011

  • The Industrial Commission will reinstate the use of live interpretive services for hearings, instead of telephone interpretive services, effective March 7, 2011. The Commission will continue to use Language Line telephone interpretive services for Customer Service desks, prehearing conferences and other situations.

Administrative

February, 2011

  • The Commission has stopped holding video hearings, except for special circumstances. Video hearings will only be held (1) when there is bad weather; (2) if a hearing officer is ill; or (3) if a pre-hearing conference is scheduled. Video hearings will only be held if all parties present agree to a video hearing. If the parties do not agree, the hearing will be rescheduled.

Administrative

February, 2011

  • Governor Kasich named employer representative Jodie Taylor the new chair of the Industrial Commission, replacing employee representative Gary DiCeglio. Gary DiCeglio remains on the Commission as the employee member.

Administrative

January, 2011

  • Industrial Commission Resolution R10-1-01 provides continuance guidelines. Resolution R10-1-01, effective January 17, 2011, supercedes the continuance guidelines provided by Resolution R03-1-04 and R05-1-01.Resolution R10-1-01 defines “good cause” for granting a continuance as well as “extraordinary circumstances that could not have been forseen.” In conjunction with the new continuance guidelines, the Commission adopted a new docketing policy which permits authorized representatives to schedule blocks where hearings will not be scheduled for certain dates. The hearing blocks can be scheduled online through ICON on the Commission’s web site.

Administrative

January, 2011

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2011.

2010 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 2010

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2011.

Administrative

November, 2010

  • The Governor named State Senator Steve Buehrer the new Administrator of the BWC.

Administrative

October, 2010

  • On October 1, 2010, five new Commission rules regarding confidential personal information became effective. The rules are
    1. O.A.C. 4121-4-01: Definitions;
    2. O.A.C. 4121-4-02: Procedures for Accessing Confidential Personal Information;
    3. O.A.C. 4121-4-03: Valid Reasons for Accessing Confdential Personal Information;
    4. O.A.C. 4121-4-04: Confidentiality Statutes; and
    5. O.A.C. 4121-4-05: Restricting and Logging Access to Confidential Personal Information in Computerized Personal Information Systems.

Administrative

October, 2010

  • BWC will permit representatives limited access to claims information by social security numbers (for employee representatives) and claim numbers (for employers and employer representatives). Read more >>

Administrative

September, 2010

  • The Commission is now providing email notifications of orders, notices and letters. Representatives can sign up for email notifications on the representative profile page on I.C.O.N. (the Industrial Commission Online Network). Representatives also have the option to stop receiving printed copies of such notices, but are not required to do so.

Administrative

August, 2010

  • The Commission updated three memos in its Hearing Officer Manual:
    1. Memo E.7 (Processing Applications for Benefits Pursuant to O.R.C. 4123.57 when Allowance Question is in Court);
    2. Memo I.5 (Processing Compensation and Medical Benefits Issues in Claims When an Original Allowance or Additional Allowance Issue is in Court); and
    3. Memo K.1 (Allowance – Dismissal Order v. Merits).
    The changes became effective August 2, 2010. Read more >>

Administrative

August, 2010

  • The Commission has begun holding video hearings between the Portsmouth and Columbus offices. For video hearings, instead of the hearing officer being in the hearing room with the parties there will be a video monitor. Video hearings are being held three days per week.By the end of July, the Industrial Commission intends to have equipment for video hearings installed in its Cambridge, Logan and Cincinnati offices. Eventually, the Industrial Commission plans to expand the video hearing process to Mansfield and Logan.

Court

July, 2010

  • According to the Supreme Court, the average weekly wage of a worker who held more than one job at the time of injury should be based on the earnings from all jobs, not limited to the earnings of the job the injured worker was performing when injured. Read more >>

Administrative

July, 2010

  • The Industrial Commission will hold a hearing on Friday, July 30, 2010, to consider new rules relating to confidential personal information. The Commission will hold a hearing at 1:00 p.m. at 30 West Spring Street in Columbus in training room B on the third floor to consider the following rules:
    1. O.A.C. 4121-4-01: Definitions;
    2. O.A.C. 4121-4-02: Procedures for Accessing Confidential Personal Information;
    3. O.A.C. 4121-4-03: Valid Reasons for Accessing Confdential Personal Information;
    4. O.A.C. 4121-4-04: Confidentiality Statutes; and
    5. O.A.C. 4121-4-05: Restricting and Logging Access to Confidential Personal Information in Computerized Personal Information Systems.

Administrative

June, 2010

  • The Commission changed its procedure for notifying parties that it has decided to accept an appeal from a Staff Hearing Officer order. Instead of issuing an interlocutory order, the Commission will issue a "Notice of Acceptance of Appeal for Hearing" letter. The Commission claims that this change will speed up processing appeals by up to 14 days because parties will not have to wait for an order.

Administrative

May, 2010

  • The BWC will hold a public hearing on Friday, June 11, 2010, at 2:00 p.m. in Room 1 on the 2d floor at 30 W. Spring St. in Columbus to consider amendments to O.A.C. 4123-3-15 and 4123-3-37. The amendments would increase the time before a claim becomes inactive from 13 months to 24 months. The amendments would also change the procedure for amputation/loss of use awards. The rule would permit payment of the award based on information contained in the file (such as the initial injury report) and change the method of payment to pay the award as a lump sum.

Court

April, 2010

  • In two decisions announced on March 23, 2010, the Ohio Supreme court found that the intentional tort statute is constitutional. (April, 2010) Read more >>

Administrative

March, 2010

  • On Friday, April 2, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Monday, April 5, 2010, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., the Industrial Commission will hold training sessions for its new docketing and continuance procedures. The training sessions will take place at the William Green Building at 30 W. Spring St. in Columbus.

Administrative

February, 2010

  • The BWC Board of Directors will hold a public forum on managed care organizations in the William Green Building, at 30 W. Spring St. in Columbus on Friday, February 26, 2010, from 10 a.m. to noon.The forum will review MCO/BWC rules and contract requirements and consider possible improvements.

Administrative

January, 2010

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2010.

2009 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 2009

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2010.

Administrative

December, 2009

  • The 2010 rates for the Disabled Worker Relief Fund (DWRF) will be the same as the 2009 rates.

Administrative

November, 2009

  • The Industrial Commission will consolidate the Hamilton and Cincinnati offices. As a result of the consolidation, the Industrial Commission will close the Hamilton office on November 6, 2009.

Administrative

November, 2009

  • The BWC selected a new pharmacy benefits manager. Effective November 1, 2009, SXC Health Solutions Corporation is the new pharmacy benefits manager for the workers' compensation system.

Administrative

October, 2009

  • Effective November 5, 2009, a C84 form signed by the injured worker will be required for all payments, or extensions, of temporary total compensation.

Court

October, 2009

  • The Supreme Court held that an Industrial Commission order refusing to terminate an allowed claim based on an employer's allegation of fraud cannot be appealed to court under R.C. 4123.512. Read more >>

Administrative

September, 2009

  • The Industrial Commission is making repairs to its William C. Green office building in Columbus. Construction is expected to take 150 days and be finished by December, 2009. As part of the construction, the entrance at the east end of the building has been closed. The west end entrance is currently open. During the construction, an underground leak in the building will be repaired. The Commission will also replace the revolving doors at the east and west ends of the lobby.

Administrative

August, 2009

  • Effective August 21, 2009, the Industrial Commission will consolidate its Bridgeport and Zanesville offices into a new office in Cambridge. The Commission will hold hearings for claims which had been held in Bridgeport or Zanesville in the Commission office closest to the injured worker's residence.

Administrative

July, 2009

  • Governor Strickland appointed Jodie Taylor as the employer member of the Industrial Commission, replacing Bill Thompson whose term expired on June 30, 2009.

Administrative

June, 2009

  • On June 26, 2009, the Industrial Commission will close its Canton office and relocate it into the Akron office. This closing follows the March, 2009, closing of the Springfield office, which the Commission relocated into the Dayton office.

Administrative

May, 2009

  • The Industrial Commission has redesigned its web site. The new design has quick links designed to make it easier to access information and provides Industrial Commission news on the front page of the site.

Court

April, 2009

  • The Supreme Court found that temporary total is not terminated when an injured workers' condition has not reached maximum medical improvement, even if the condition will "permanently" prevent the injured worker from returning to their former position of employment. Read more >>

Administrative

March, 2009

  • The BWC and Industrial Commission will close the Springfield Service Office, effective March 27, 2009 and consolidate it with the Dayton Service Office. Injured workers and employers who used the Springfield Service Office will be advised to go to Dayton or Columbus. With the closing of the Springfield office, the BWC and Commission will have only 15 service offices throughout the state.

Court

February, 2009

  • In Thorton v. Montville Plastics & Rubber, Inc., 2009-Ohio-360, the Supreme Court indicated that the 2006 workers' compensation amendments (Am. Sub. S.B. 7) became effective August 25, 2006. The amendments had previously been thought to have been effective October 11, 2006.

Administrative

February, 2009

  • The BWC amended a number of rules, effective February 10, 2009. Read more >>

Administrative

February, 2009

  • On Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009, the BWC Board of Directors will hold an open forum on paperwork reduction. Read more >>

Administrative

January, 2009

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2009.

2008 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 2008

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2009.

Administrative

November, 2008

  • The Industrial Commission issued a new resolution providing its policies for granting reconsideration. The resolution, R08-1-01, eliminates the previous requirement that a party opposing a request for reconsideration must file a reply within 14 days of receiving the request for reconsideration.

Administrative

October, 2008

  • The BWC Board of Directors approved a new fee schedule for medical providers which sets forth the rates of reimbursement for medical providers. The new fee schedule will raise the rate of reimbursement for about 85% of services and products provided by medical providers.

Administrative

September, 2008

  • The BWC hired Dr. Robert Balchick as the BWC's medical director. The medical director will direct the development of the BWC's medical policy and will oversee the medical components of workers' compensation claims.

Administrative

August, 2008

  • The Industrial Commission added the ability to request cancellation of a hearing on ICON (the Industrial Commission Online Network). Online requests to cancel a hearing must be made two days before the hearing date. When you request cancellation of a hearing, fax any documentation in support of the request, along with a cover letter, to the Regional Hearing Administrator for the region hearing the claim. Requests to cancel a hearing less than two days before the hearing date can be made by submitting a written request to the Hearing Administrator’s Office for the region hearing the claim.

Legislative

July, 2008

  • Governor Strickland signed Am. Sub. S.B. 334, a bill primarily concerned with coordinating workers' compensation coverage between Ohio and other states. Read more >>

Administrative

June, 2008

  • On May 5, 2008, the Commission issued six new or amended Hearing Officer memos. Read more >>

Administrative

May, 2008

  • In response to the Wise decision, on May 5, 2008, the Commission adopted a new section of the Hearing Officer Manual, Memo 03, setting forth the standards for hearing officers to follow in reviewing settlements.

Court

May, 2008

  • The Supreme Court in Wise ruled invalid a settlement which did not set forth an explanation of why the settlement is desired. Read more >>

Court

April, 2008

  • The Supreme Court held that federal workers' compensation law preempts a state intentional tort lawsuit. Read more >>

Court

March, 2008

  • The Supreme Court ruled the workers' compensation subrogation system constitutional. Read more >>

Administrative

February, 2008

  • Starting in March, 2008, the BWC will make all scheduled bi-weekly payments to injured workers through electronic deposits. Injured workers will be able to give the BWC a bank account number for the automatic deposit of benefits. If the injured worker does not give the BWC a bank account number, the BWC will provide a debit card through Chase Bank which will permit access to benefits.

Court

January, 2008

  • The Supreme Court held that public policy does not prevent an employer from firing an injured worker while they are temporarily and totally disabled due to a work injury. Read more >>

Administrative

January, 2008

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2008.

2007 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 2007

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2008.

Court

December, 2007

  • The Supreme Court held that temporary total can restart after an injured worker has surgery, even if the allowed condition had not worsened before the surgery. Read more >>

Administrative

November, 2007

  • The BWC issued a new C-86 form. This form is the general motion form used to request action from the BWC or Industrial Commission where no other form or application applies.

Court

October, 2007

  • The Supreme Court granted reconsideration in the Gross case and held that an injured worker remains eligible for temporary total disability even after the employer fired them for the actions which led to the injury. Read more >>

Administrative

September, 2007

  • The new BWC Board of Directors held its first meeting in August. Members of the Board were sworn in at this meeting. The chair of the BWC Board of Directors is William Lhota (self-insured employers member). The vice chair is James Harris (employee organizations member).

Administrative

August, 2007

  • Governor Strickland appointed Gary DiCeglio as the employee member and chair of the Industrial Commission. DiCeglio replaces Pat Gannon.

Legislative

July, 2007

  • Governor Strickland signed Am. Sub. H.B. 100, the BWC budget bill, on June 11, 2007. This bill made a number of changes to the oversight of the BWC. Among other changes, the bill replaces the BWC oversight commission with a BWC board of directors which has more authority over the BWC's operations than the oversight commission had. Read more >>

Administrative

June, 2007

  • The Commission amended two sections of the Hearing Officer Manual and issued four new sections. Read more >>

Court

May, 2007

  • The Supreme Court ruled that an employer's decision to fire an employee does not bar temporary total when the firing was because of the industrial injury. Read more >>

Administrative

May, 2007

  • The Industrial Commission adopted a new resolution, R07-1-02, on lump sum payments. R07-1-02 replaces two previous resolutions (R95-1-13 and R90-1-10) and raises the amounts that can be paid in a lump sum for attorneys fees from $8,000 to $10,000 and also raises the amount which can be paid in a lump sum for expenses from $500 to $1000.

Court

April, 2007

  • The Supreme Court granted oral argument on May 2, 2007, to consider whether to grant reconsideration in State, ex rel. Gross v. Indus. Comm. (12/27/06), 112 Ohio St.3d 65, 2006-Ohio-6500. Gross indicated that an injured worker fired due to the conduct which led to his injury had abandoned his employment could not receive temporary total. Gross’ motion for reconsideration was supported by the Ohio AFL-CIO, the Ohio State Building and Constructions Trade Council, the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the United Auto Workers.

Administrative

March, 2007

  • Governor Strickland appointed Marsha Ryan as the new administrator of the BWC. Ms. Ryan replaces Tina Kielmeyer, who served as interim administrator since the resignation of William Mabe. Ms. Ryan will begin working as the Administrator on May 1, 2007.

Administrative

February, 2007

  • Governor Strickland appointed Patrick Gannon as the new chair of the Industrial Commission.

Administrative

January, 2007

  • The jaffylaw.com permanent partial page now has links to tables for calculating the 26 week waiting period and the 40 week waiting period which must pass before an injured worker is allowed to file the permanent partial application. Which chart to use depends on the date of injury.

Administrative

January, 2007

  • William Mabe resigned as Administrator of the BWC, effective on January 5, 2007. Tina Kielmeyer will act as interim Administrator until a replacement is hired.

Court

January, 2007

  • The Supreme Court held that non-attorney representatives can perform acts which are not explicitly permitted in Resolution R04-1-01, as long as they do not constitute the practice of law. Read more >>

Administrative

January, 2007

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2007.

2006 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 2006

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2007.

Legislative

December, 2006; Updated: February, 2009

  • The effective date for the portions of Am. Sub. S.B. 7 unsuccessfully challenged by the referendum petition drive is August 25, 2006. [Provisions of the bill not challenged by the referendum petition became effective June 30, 2006.] This entry was edited based on the Supreme Court's 2009 decision in Thorton v. Montville Plastics & Rubber, Inc., 2009-Ohio-360, which indicated the proper effective date and changed the previous effective date which the BWC had applied to those provisions. Read more >>

Court

December, 2006

  • The Supreme Court held in Thornton v. Salek that when a referendum petition is filed, but lacks sufficient signatures, the effective date of the law challenged by that petition is the date the Secretary of State determined that the petition did not have sufficient signatures. This means that those portions of the recent workers' compensation amendments challenged by the attempted referendum were not effective June 30, 2006, as previously believed, but when the Secretary of State rejected the referendum petition.

Court

December, 2006

  • The Supreme Court held that employer attorneys violated the disciplinary rules governing lawyers when they failed to provide a copy of a favorable employer medical exam to the claimant and the BWC/IC. Read more >>

Administrative

December, 2006

  • The BWC conducted an audit of its policies concerning adjustments which affect the premiums paid by employers. The audit disclosed a number of problems in the procedures followed by the BWC in making adjustments. Read more >>

Site

November, 2006

  • Jaffylaw.com now provides an RSS feed.

Court

November, 2006

  • A Court of Appeals ruled the current subrogation statute constitutional. Read more >>

Legislative/Court

October, 2006

  • The Secretary of State found that insufficient signatures were filed in support of Issue 1, the referendum challenge to the Senate Bill 7 workers' compensation amendments. The Court of Appeals in Mahaffey v. Blackwell rejected a challenge to the Secretary of State’s decision and on October 20, 2006, the Supreme Court refused to accept an appeal from the Court of Appeals' decision.

Court

September, 2006

  • On Friday, August 25, 2006, the Secretary of State’s office informed the committee which circulated the petitions challenging the 2006 workers’ compensation amendments that they did not have sufficient signatures. Additional time for filing signatures was provided. Read more >>

Court

August, 2006

  • The Supreme Court determined that the "special circumstances" provision of R.C. 4123.61 does not apply to increase the average weekly wage of an injured worker worked for 15 years after the initial injury before dying because of that injury. Read more >>

Administrative

August, 2006

  • The BWC closed its Ashtabula Customer Focus Center on July 13, 2006. The BWC indicated that the closing occurred due to increased use of its web site. Injured workers who wish to meet with a BWC representative will have to do so at the BWC’s Youngstown Customer Service Office.

Legislative

July, 2006

  • The referendum petition has been filed; certain provisions not challenged became effective June 30, 2006. Read more >>

Legislative

July, 2006

  • A description of the provisions of the recent workers' compensation amendments challenged by the referendum petition which harm injured workers. Read more >>

Administrative

June, 2006

  • The Commission issued a new Hearing Officer Manual provision relating to salary continuation. New Hearing Officer Manual Memo C4, issued May 10, 2006, indicates that it is in response to “[n]umerous questions and concerns [which] have been raised as to how hearing officers should handle Salary Continuation and what impact salary continuation has on the payment of temporary total.” Read more >>

Legislative

May, 2006

  • Information about the 2006 referendum petition challenging the changes to workers' compensation made by Am. Sub. S.B. 7, including the language of the referendum petition. Read more >>

Court

May, 2006

  • The Supreme Court ruled that the savings statute, R.C. 2305.19, applies when an injured worker voluntarily dismisses the complaint in an R.C. 4123.512 appeal to Court. Read more >>

Legislative

April, 2006

  • A petition has been filed to start a referendum challenge to Amended Substitute Senate Bill 7, the bill recently passed by the legislature to reduce workers' compensation benefits paid to injured workers. Read more >>

Legislative

April, 2006

  • The effective date for Amended Substitute Senate Bill 7 is June 30, 2006.

Legislative

March, 2006

  • The legislature passed Amended Substitute Senate Bill 7, which reduces workers' compensation benefits paid to injured workers. The amendments to the workers' compensation law reduce the amount of time a workers' compensation claim stays open to 5 years. Read more >>

Administrative

March, 2006

  • The Commission's Medical Examination Manual is now available on the Commission's web site. The Medical Examination Manual sets out the Commission’s policies regarding independent medical examinations and file reviews, as well as specific exam requirements.

Court

February, 2006

  • The Supreme Court’s Board of Commissioners on the Unauthorized Practice of Law has issued another report in the CompManagement case which further addresses what actions a non-attorney representative can perform during the administrative processing of a workers' compensation claim. Read more >>

Court

January, 2006

  • The Supreme Court held that the exclusion of psychiatric-only injuries from workers' compensation coverage does not violate Equal Protection. Read more >>

Administrative

January, 2006

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2006.

2005 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 2005

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2006.

Court

December, 2005

  • An injured worker who received a permanent partial award can also receive temporary total compensation for the same condition, covering the same time period. Read more >>

Administrative

November, 2005

  • Governor Taft appointed William E. Mabe as the new BWC Administrator, replacing interim administrator Tina Kielmmeyer.

Court

October, 2005

  • The Supreme Court ruled that an employer cannot avoid the responsibility to pay temporary total to an employee by firing them for forgetting to list a previous job on their job application. Read more >>

Administrative

September, 2005

  • The Industrial Commission issued a new resolution, R05-1-03, which sets forth the standards the Commission will apply when deciding whether to accept appeals from Staff Hearing Officer orders. The resolution also sets forth the procedural requirements for appeals to the Commission from the Staff Hearing Officer. Resolution R05-1-03, adopted on September 1, 2005, applies to all appeals from Staff Hearing Officer decisions filed on or after September 6, 2005.

Administrative

September, 2005

  • The Industrial Commission issued a new resolution, R05-1-02, setting forth the standards and procedural requirements for filing requests for reconsideration with the Commission. Resolution R05-1-02, adopted on September 1, 2005, applies to all requests for reconsideration filed on or after September 6, 2005.

Court

August, 2005

  • The Supreme Court held that R.C. 4123.512 provides a limited appeal which can only consider the conditions addressed by the Industrial Commission order being appealed. Read more >>

Administrative

July, 2005

  • Governor Taft appointed Kevin Abrams to the Industrial Commission. Abrams’ appointment is until June 30, 2011. Abrams replaces Donna Owens, whose term had expired, as the public member of the Industrial Commission. Abrams had been the Assistant Director, Legal Operations for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

Administrative

July, 2005

  • The Commission issued additional clarification of what non-attorney representatives may do. [This document is no longer available on the Commission web site.]

Administrative

June, 2005

  • Tina Kielmeyer has been appointed interim Administrator of the BWC.

Administrative

June, 2005

  • The Industrial Commission published an inter-office memo which provides guidelines for non-attorney representatives and indicates what actions non-attorney representatives can perform. [This document is no longer available on the Commission web site.]

Administrative

May, 2005

  • Due to the ongoing scandal regarding the BWC’s investment in coins, autographs, etc., James Conrad resigned as Administrator of the BWC, effective June 3, 2005.

Court

May, 2005

  • The Supreme Court ruled that the Commission cannot grant reconsideration based on a dispute over interpretation of the evidence. Read more >>

Administrative

April, 2005

  • Commission Resolution R05-1-01 modifies the continuance guidelines previously set forth in Resolution R03-1-04 and R04-1-02 and provides that a representative can request hearings not be scheduled for 20 business days per calendar year for pre-scheduled events. Read more >>

Legislation

March, 2005

  • Two bills which would cut workers' compensation benefits for injured workers have been introduced in the legislature. Read more >>

Legislation

March, 2005

  • The House of Representatives passed the Bureau of Workers' Compensation's budget bill. This bill, which will now go to the Senate, would make some substantive changes to the workers' compensation system. Read more >>

Administrative

February, 2005

  • The Commission issued an inter-office communication, dated January 6, 2005, to clarify permanent partial procedure which indicates that Staff Hearing Officers will consider medical evidence which was not on file at the District Hearing Officer Hearing only at a reconsideration hearing on an initial permanent partial application. Staff Hearing Officers cannot consider new medical evidence in cases seeking an increase in the permanent partial award.

Administrative

February, 2005

  • In response to the Supreme Court's CompManagement decision, the Commission adopted Resolution R04-1-03 which made the standards for non-attorney conduct set out in Resolution R04-1-01 permanent.

Court

January, 2005

  • The Supreme Court ruled in the CompManagement case that non-attorneys may represent employers or claimants before the BWC and IC, as long as they comply with Industrial Commission Resolution R04-1-01. Read more >>

Court

January, 2005

  • The Supreme Court recognized that evidence that a worker has performed (or has the ability to perform) occasional activities is not evidence of an ability to perform sustained remunerative employment and does not bar permanent total. Read more >>

Administrative

January, 2005

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2005.

2004 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 2004

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2005.

Court

December, 2004

  • The Supreme Court issued its decision in the CompManagement unauthorized practice of law case and ruled that nonlawyers can represent others before the Industrial Commission and Bureau of Workers' Compensation under the terms of Industrial Commission Resolution No. R04-1-01.

Administrative

November, 2004

  • The Industrial Commission revised Hearing Officer Manual Memo F.2 (Loss of Vision -- Corneal Transplants and Corneal Implants) to provide that Hearing Officers should not consider the improvement of vision caused by a corneal transplant or corneal implant in determining the loss of vision. The new policy is based on the Supreme Court's decision in State ex rel. Gen. Elec. Corp. v. Indus. Comm. (11/3/04).

Court

October, 2004

  • An injured worker who wins the right to participate at trial is entitled to reimbursement for the fee charged by an expert witness for live trial testimony. Read more >>

Administrative

September, 2004

  • The Industrial Commission modified its Hearing Officer Manual and revised Memo S.2 (IC Overpayment Policy) and Memo R.11 (Policy on Use of Computers at Hearings). The Commission rescinded Memo S.9 (Employers' Rights and Responsibilities in Conducting Medical Examinations Pursuant to O.R.C. 4123.651). Read more >>

Legislative

August, 2004

  • The Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, a new law regarding testing for controlled substances when a worker is injured. Read more >>

Court

July, 2004

  • CompManagement filed its objections to the report of the Board of Commissioners on the Unauthorized Practice of Law. A number of amicus groups, including the Ohio AFL-CIO and the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, supported CompManagement's objections. The Supreme Court will hear the oral argument on this case on August 17, 2004.

Administrative

June, 2004

  • Because hearing officers were not acting in a uniform manner in response to the CompManagement unauthorized practice of law decision, the Commission issued a new resolution setting forth the policy for hearing officers to follow regarding what non-attorneys can do at hearings. Read more >>

Court

June, 2004

  • The parties agreed to a stipulated extension of time in the CompManagement case, giving CompManagement until June 29, 2004 to file their objections to the report of the Board of Commissioners on the Unauthorized Practice of Law.

Court

June, 2004

  • The Fifth District Court of Appeals again held the exclusion of psychiatric-only claims from coverage under the workers' compensation system unconstitutional. Read more >>

Administrative

May, 2004

  • The Industrial Commission initially responded to the finding that CompManagement was engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by continuing hearings involving actuaries. The Commission decided that as of Monday, May 24, 2004, it will return to the earlier policy of permitting representation by actuaries until the Supreme Court issues a ruling.

Court

May, 2004

  • The Board of Commissioners on the Unauthorized Practice of Law recommended the Supreme Court find that CompManagement, Inc., an actuarial company, engages in the unauthorized practice of law when it represents employers in workers' compensation proceedings. Read more >>

Court

May, 2004

  • The Supreme Court ruled that eligibility for wage loss compenation does not justify a self-insurer's decision to terminate temporary total. Read more >>

Administrative

May, 2004

  • Amendments to O.A.C. 4121-3-09 (Conduct of Hearings Before the Commission and its Staff and District Hearing Officers); O.A.C. 4121-3-13 (Disputed Self-Insuring Employer's Claims); O.A.C. 4121-3-15 (Percentage of Permanent Partial Disability); O.A.C. 4121-3-32 (Temporary Total Disability); and O.A.C. 4121-3-34 (Permanent Total Disability) became effective April 1, 2004.

Administrative

April, 2004

  • The BWC combined two Cleveland area offices, and is expected to make additional changes to office locations in the coming year. Read more >>

Court

March, 2004

  • A Court of Appeals found that an injured worker who performs unpaid charitable activities remains eligible for temporary total. Read more >>

Administrative

February, 2004

  • The Commission rules (Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 4121) and joint Commission/Bureau Rules (Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 4125) are now available on the Industrial Commission web site.

Administrative

February, 2004

  • Effective February 1, 2004, the BWC amended O.A.C. 4123-3-15, O.A.C. 4123-6-04.3 and O.A.C. 4123-6-045. The BWC amended: O.A.C. 4123-3-15 to alter the provisions relating to reactivation of a claim and permanent partial applications; and O.A.C. 4123-6-04.3 and O.A.C. 4123-6-045 to provide for an MCO to refer a request for treatment in a claim without activity for the past 13 months to the Bureau for a determination of causal relationship.

Court

January, 2004

  • A Court of Appeals' decision found that an injured worker fired because of absenteeism resulting from the industrial injury remained entitled to receive temporary total. Read more >>

Court

January, 2004

  • A Court of Appeals' decision found that an injured worker replaced after participating in a lawful strike remained entitled to temporary total. Read more >>

Administrative

January, 2004

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2004.

2003 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 2003

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2004.

Court

December, 2003

  • An injured worker who voluntarily abandoned his employment regains eligibility for temporary total after returning to work part-time. Read more >>

Administrative

December, 2003

  • The BWC renumbered the Safety and Hygiene rules used to establish VSSR violations from 4121:1 to 4123:1. This change became effective November 1, 2003.

Administrative

December, 2003

  • The Commission refiled its proposed rules changes on October 9, 2003. Read more >>

Court

November, 2003

  • The Supreme Court found that an employer cannot fire an employee for absenteeism when a period of temporary total disability resulting from an industrial injury caused the absence. Read more >>

Court

November, 2003

  • The Supreme Court found that a nurse who changed her career after she could no longer work as a nurse due to an industrial injury did not lose eligibility for wage loss compensation as a result of changing her career. Read more >>

Administrative

October, 2003

  • Update on the Commission's proposed rules changes and testimony from the public hearing. [Note: On September 25, 2003, the Commission withdrew the proposed rules changes; the Commission refiled the proposed rules on October 9, 2003.] Read more >>

Administrative

September, 2003

  • The Commission is considering changes to rules 4121-3-09 (Conduct of Hearings); 4121-3-13 (Disputed Self-Insuring Employer's Claims); 4121-3-15 (Percentage of Permanent Partial Disability); 4121-3-32 (Temporary Total Disability) and 4121-3-34 (Permanent Total Disability). Read more >>

Court

August, 2003

  • The Supreme Court held that an injured worker seeking temporary total compensation must only provide medical evidence that they cannot return to work due to the allowed conditions . The injured worker does not have to prove that no other disabling conditions exist. Read more >>

Administrative

July, 2003

  • Governor Taft reappointed William E. Thompson to the Industrial Commission. Mr. Thompson's new term begins July 1, 2003, and ends June 30, 2009. Mr. Thompson, the employer member on the Commission, has been chair of the Industrial Commission since August, 1997.

Administrative

July, 2003

  • The BWC announced that it will charge employers the full amount of the workers' compensation premium they owe for the July 1, 2003 - June 30, 2004 policy year. This is only the second time since 1996 that the BWC will charge employers the full amount. The BWC also announced a premium increase of 9%.

Court

June, 2003

  • The Supreme Court upheld an Industrial Commission decision to award temporary total to a claimant who earned rental income from properties he owned. Read more >>

Court

June, 2003

  • The Supreme Court held an injured worker entitled to working wage loss when he returned to a lower paying job for the employer he had worked for when injured, even though he did not conduct a job search. Read more >>

Administrative

May, 2003

  • Hearing Officer policy issued regarding claims for exposure to bodily fluids. Read more >>

Administrative

May, 2003

  • Commission issues resolution governing attorney fee authorization requirements. Read more >>

Administrative

April, 2003

  • The BWC announced a plan to reduce the number of customer service offices. Read more >>

Administrative

April, 2003

  • The Industrial Commission adopted a new resolution, R03-1-02, indicating the medical evidence necessary for asbestos related cases. Read more >>

Court

March, 2003

  • Another Court of Appeals declared the previous subrogation law unconstitutional. Read more >>

Administrative

March, 2003

  • The Commission adopted Hearing Officer's Manual Memo M.6. This policy, effective February 10, 2003, provides that licensed professional clinical counselors and independent social workers can provide evidence within their specialties of an injured worker's condition. Such evidence should be considered in the allowance of a claim. However, such evidence alone is not sufficient to certify disability.

Legislative

February, 2003

  • The Governor signed a new subrogation law which will become effective April 9, 2003. The bill will apply to workers who have a workplace injury which involves a potential third party action (an action arising outside of the workers' compensation system). Read more >>

Legislative

February, 2003

  • The funeral benefits limit for workers' compensation death cases has been raised from $3,200 to $5,500, effective April 9, 2003.

Court

January, 2003

  • The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that suspicionless random drug/alcohol testing of injured workers violates the workers' right to privacy under the United States and Ohio Constitutions. The Ohio Supreme Court denied a motion for reconsideration of this decision. Read more >>

Administrative

January, 2003

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2003.

2002 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 2002

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2003.

Court

December, 2002

  • The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that suspicionless random drug/alcohol testing of injured workers violates the workers' right to privacy under the United States and Ohio Constitutions. Read more >>

Court

November, 2002

  • The Supreme Court clarified the abandonment doctrine and ruled that a worker does not lose the right to temporary total when they suffer a "flare-up" of a condition after returning to different employment. Read more >>

Court

October, 2002

  • A Court of Appeals found a workers' compensation claim properly allowed for radiculopathy. Read more >>

Administrative

September, 2002

  • ACS State Healthcare replaced RxNet as the pharmaceutical benefits manager for state fund claims. Their address is: ACS State Healthcare, Northridge Center One, 365 Northridge Rd., Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30350.

Court

September, 2002

  • A Court of Appeals found an employer entitled to judgment on the pleadings where it files an appeal from a Commission order allowing the claim and the employee fails to timely refile after dismissing the complaint. Read more >>

Court

August, 2002

  • The Supreme Court held that a doctor's report supported wage loss compensation, even though it referenced restrictions due to a non-allowed condition, because it indicated that the allowed condition caused the wage loss. Read more >>

Court

July, 2002

  • A Court of Appeals found that an employer may have committed an intentional tort in a case where an employee was electrocuted after another employee had suffered a similar injury and the employer had not complied with federal safety requirements. Read more >>

Court

July, 2002

  • A Court of Appeals found that an employer committed an intentional tort in a case where a machine had been modified and the employer had trained the employee to use an unsafe procedure. Read more >>

Court

July, 2002

  • The Supreme Court held that the premium reduction credit given by BWC to employers in 1999 (which gave employers credit for past premiums) was improper. Read more >>

Court

June, 2002

  • The Supreme Court held that an injured worker who engaged in non-paying activities in a workplace is not barred from receiving temporary total where the activities were consistent with the injured worker's physical restriction against performing their former employment. Read more >>

Court

June, 2002

  • The Supreme Court found a permanent total claimant not entitled to take a doctor's deposition because the doctor reached the same ultimate conclusion as the treating doctor. Read more >>

Administrative

May, 2002

  • The Industrial Commission issued five new hearing officer guidelines addressing: (1) occupational disease statute of limitations, (2) order writing, (3) medical documentation by certain nurses, (4) hearing officer complaints, and (5) the role of sureties in hearings. Read more >>

Court

May, 2002

  • The Supreme Court held that a doctor's report supported the Commission's decision to authorize surgery, even though the doctor indicated pessimism about the success of the surgery. Read more >>

Court

April, 2002

  • The Supreme Court held that decisions of the Self-Insuring Employers Evaluation Board ("SIEEB") cannot be appealed to Common Pleas court. The proper method to challenge an SIEEB decision is by mandamus. Read more >>

Court

April, 2002

  • The Supreme Court held that a workers' compensation claimant who wins an appeal to Common Pleas court may recover the expense of taking videotaped depositions as a cost of the case. Read more >>

Legislative

March, 2002

  • Senate Bill 223 would expand the definition of injury to include situations where an emergency worker's blood or other bodily fluid comes in direct contact with the blood or bodily fluid of another person while they are working.

Legislative

February, 2002

Court

February, 2002

  • The Ohio Supreme Court heard oral arguments in State, ex rel. Ohio AFL-CIO v. Ohio Bur. of Workers' Comp., which challenges the constitutionality of the drug/alcohol testing requirements of R.C. 4123.54, as amended by H.B. 122, on January 30, 2002. A summary of the argument is at the bottom of the page. Read more >>

Administrative

January, 2002

  • The BWC adopted a pilot program permitting the immediate allowance and payment for specified medical conditions. Read more >>

Administrative

January, 2002

  • The BWC amended a number of self-insurer rules. Read more >>

Administrative

January, 2002

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2002.

2001 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 2001

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2002.

Court

December, 2001

  • A Court of Appeals found the subrogation statute in effect from 1993 to 1995 unconstitutional. Read more >>

Court

November, 2001

  • The Supreme Court held all workers with dust-induced occupational diseases eligible for the change of occupation award. Read more >>

Court

October, 2001

  • Update on challenge to the constitutionality of Amended Substitute House Bill 122 filed in Ohio Supreme Court. All briefs filed by October 15, 2001. Read more >>

Court

October, 2001

  • The Supreme Court decided two cases which clarify that an injured worker who has not abandoned the job market remains eligible for temporary total, whatever caused them to leave their job of injury. Read more >>

Court

September, 2001

  • Update on challenge to the constitutionality of Amended Substitute House Bill 122 filed in Ohio Supreme Court. Briefs opposing law filed on or before September 6, 2001. Read more >>

Court

September, 2001

  • The Supreme Court decided that an injured worker fired based on an unwritten work rule remains eligible for temporary total. Read more >>

Court

September, 2001

  • The Supreme Court determined that the Commission properly calculated wage loss by applying a bonus only to the weeks for which the bonus was earned. Read more >>

Court

August, 2001

  • The Ohio Supreme Court found the method used to fund the MCO system constitutional. Read more >>

Court

July, 2001

  • Update on status of Ohio Supreme Court challenge to the constitutionality of Amended Substitute House Bill 122. Read more >>

Court

July, 2001

  • The Ohio Supreme Court declared the workers' compensation subrogation statute unconstitutional. Read more >>

Administrative

June, 2001

  • The BWC will make claims examiners' notes for claims filed on or after June 1, 2001 available over the internet. The BWC will not provide access to notes for claims filed before June 1, 2001.These notes can be viewed from the BWC's web site. Only individuals authorized to view information about a claim will have access to these notes.

Court

May, 2001

  • Supreme Court rules that an injured worker only loses temporary total eligibility when they voluntarily abandon the entire job market. Read more >>

Court

May, 2001

  • Update on status of Ohio Supreme Court challenge to the constitutionality of Amended Substitute House Bill 122. Read more >>

Court

May, 2001

  • A Court of Appeals' Magistrate found that medical treatment that produces a temporary benefit can be reasonably necessary to treat an injury and ruled that the Commission improperly denied medical treatment because it would not provide "lasting benefits." Read more >>

Court

April, 2001

  • The Ohio AFL-CIO and the United Auto Workers filed a case in the Ohio Supreme Court to challenge the constitutionality of Amended Substitute House Bill 122. Read more >>

Court

March, 2001

  • Where the VSSR code requires the employer to provide safety equipment, the employer must make equipment available. Safety equipment not at job site was not available and a VSSR occurred. Read more >>

Court

February, 2001

  • Supreme Court finds psychiatric injury caused by injury to co-worker compensable. Read more >>

Administrative

January, 2001

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2001.

2000 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 2000

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2001.

Legislative

December, 2000

  • The Legislature passed Am. Sub. H.B. 122, which amends R.C. 4123.54 and provides a rebuttable presumption in certain cases that an injury was caused by a controlled substance. When a controlled substance causes the injury, the injured worker will not receive workers' compensation. Read more >>

Court

December, 2000

  • The Ohio Supreme Court held that when an injured worker dies while owed workers' compensation benefits, the injured worker's estate is entitled to receive the benefits owed to the injured worker. Read more >>

Administrative

November, 2000

  • The BWC's project for providing internet access to claim information, called the "dolphin project" is now on-line. The BWC's web site now permits you to file a claim on-line, as well as change some personal information relating to your claim. Additional improvements are expected in December 2000, February 2001 and April 2001.

Administrative

October, 2000

  • The BWC and Industrial Commission adopted a joint rule, O.A.C. 4125-1-02, dealing with electronic submission and acceptance of documents. The rule became effective October 1, 2000.

Court

September, 2000

  • The Supreme Court issued its new decision in State, ex rel. Baker v. Indus. Comm. The new decision holds that an injured worker remains eligible for temporary total after leaving the job they had been doing when injured to work at a different job. Read more >>

Legislative

July, 2000

  • The Governor signed two bills dealing with electronic records which will permit the use of electronic records and electronic signatures. Read more >>

Legislative

June, 2000

  • The Ohio House of Representatives approved a bill which would deny workers' compensation benefits to employees under the influence of alcohol or other drugs at the time of injury. Read more >>

Administrative

June, 2000

  • The Industrial Commission issued a new policy regarding when hearing officers can make a determination that the injured worker's condition has reached maximum medical improvement. Read more >>

Court

June, 2000

  • The Supreme Court held oral argument in the Baker case (which involves the issue of whether an injured worker gives up the right to future temporary total benefits by leaving the job of injury). Read more >>

Court

April, 2000

  • The Franklin County Court of Appeals found that the BWC improperly reduced premiums paid by state fund employers. Read more >>

Administrative

April, 2000

  • After public hearing on March 20, 2000, the Commission withdrew a proposed permanent partial rule.

Court

April, 2000

  • The Supreme Court denied a VSSR award where the employer had complied with the safety code requirements and the injury occurred due to the employee's unilateral negligence. Read more >>

Court

April, 2000

  • Supreme Court denies temporary total when an employer fired the injured worker pursuant to the employer's drug policy. Read more >>

Court

March, 2000

  • Supreme Court grants reconsideration in the Baker case, which held that an injured worker who leaves the job of injury may forfeit eligibility for future temporary total.

Court

March, 2000

  • Leaving employment of injury for better (or different) job may bar temporary total. Read more >>

Court

March, 2000

  • The Supreme Court decided that an injured worker cannot receive permanent partial and permanent total for the same time. Read more >>

Court

March, 2000

  • Court of Appeals finds MCO program improperly funded. Read more >>

Administrative

February, 2000

  • Commission considers amending permanent partial rule. Read more >>

Court

February, 2000

  • Supreme Court rules MCO program consitutional. Read more >>

Administrative

January, 2000

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2000.

1999 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 1999

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 2000.

Court

November, 1999

  • Fifth Appellate District finds the exclusion of psychiatric-only injuries from workers' compensation coverage unconstitutional. Read more >>

Court

August, 1999

  • Supreme Court declares "tort reform" legislation unconstitutional. Read more >>

Court

August, 1999

  • Receipt of social security disability does not bar wage loss compensation. Read more >>

Court

July, 1999

  • Two year notice requirement does not apply to claims for residual conditions. Read more >>

Administrative

July, 1999

  • BWC adopts new permanent partial forms and procedure. Read more >>

Legislative

July, 1999

Administrative

June, 1999

  • The Governor appointed Donna Owens as the new public member of the Industrial Commission, replacing Barbara Knapic. The new public member's term is a six year term which starts on July 1, 1999 and runs through June 30, 2005.

Court

May, 1999

  • The Ohio Supreme Court ruled a perimeter fence a structural enclosure which justifies application of the "workshops and factories" safety code. Read more >>

Court

May, 1999

  • A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge ruled R.C. 4123.931, the workers' compensation subrogation statute, unconstitutional. Read more >>

Court

April, 1999

  • The Supreme Court declared Ohio's "Empoyment Intentional Tort" statute, R.C. 2745.01, unconstitutional in its entirety. Read more >>

Court

April, 1999

  • The Supreme Court ruled a doctor's report which has a signature stamp valid evidence which the Commission can relied on. The Supreme Court distinguished a case which held an unsigned doctor's report invalid as evidence. Read more >>

Court

April, 1999

  • The Supreme Court clarified that VSSR requirements which apply to factories and workshops may apply to outdoor injuries in some situations. Read more >>

Legislative

March, 1999

  • Two bills which would amend the workers' compensation law have been introduced in the legislature: one would amend R.C. 4123.54 (where employee tests positive for controlled substances), and one would amend R.C. 4123.512 (requirements where filing notice of appeal to court). Read more >>

Court

March, 1999

  • The Supreme Court decided that where a treating doctor explains an ambiguous report (and indicates that the injured workers' condition remains temporary total), that report does not support a finding of maximum medical improvement. Read more >>

Court

March, 1999

  • The Supreme Court decided in a VSSR case that a grandfather clause does not apply to a moving vehicle because it is not an installation or a construction. Read more >>

Court

February, 1999

  • Supreme Court finds that an injured worker remains entitled to wage loss benefits even if they no longer work for the company where they worked when injured. Read more >>

Court

February, 1999

  • Supreme Court denies wage loss compensation to a self-employed individual. Read more >>

Court

January, 1999

  • Supreme Court finds that average weekly wage should be recalculated due to special circumstances in a case involving a 1970 occupational disease which caused disability in 1990. Read more >>

Administrative

January, 1999

  • BWC regulation changes affecting MCO appeals and vocational rehabilitation. Read more >>

Administrative

January, 1999

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 1999.

1998 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 1998

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 1999.

Court

December, 1998

  • A third Court of Appeals declares intentional tort statute unconstitutional. Read more >>

Court

November, 1998

  • Supreme Court rules fire fighter with R.C. 4123.68(W) occupational disease not entitled to wage loss. Read more >>

Court

October, 1998

Administrative

August, 1998

  • Commission issues new resolution applying the Russell decision, which declared the Commission's temporary total overpayment policy invalid. Read more >>

Court

August, 1998

  • Supreme Court declares commission temporary total overpayment policy invalid. Read more >>

Court

August, 1998

  • Supreme Court permits injured worker with psychiatric only claim to sue employer for negligence. Read more >>

Court

August, 1998

  • Another Court of Appeals declares intentional tort statute unconstitutional. Read more >>

Court

July, 1998

  • In an effort to eliminate a backlog of two hundred workers' compensation cases pending in the Ohio Supreme Court since 1996, the Ohio Supreme Court announced plans to issue brief "decisions" in these cases. These "decisions", which have already started to issue, affirm or reverse the Court of Appeals' decision without any reasoning or explanation.

Administrative

July, 1998

  • The statistics for permanent total disability decisions, for the first quarter (January through March) of 1998:
    1. Akron: granted 43.2%, denied 56.8%;
    2. Cincinnati: granted 56.2%, denied 43.8%;
    3. Cleveland: granted 48.8%, denied 51.3%;
    4. Columbus: granted 49.8%, denied 50.2%;
    5. Toledo: granted 66.7%, denied 33.3%;
    6. Total: granted 51.8%, denied 48.2%.

Administrative

July, 1998

  • Employers received a $2 billion rebate in June. Employers received a check, not a dividend credit, because the BWC is refunding more than it is collecting in premiums. The BWC provided this refund in addition to 20% dividend credits on premiums paid in 1997 and the 75% dividend credit on premiums paid in 1998. The BWC Oversight Commission also approved an overall 6% reduction in the July 1, 1998 rate for premium payable in 1999. This is the fourth straight rate reduction. The decrease will reduce premiums paid by $80 million.

Administrative

May, 1998

  • The BWC adopted new medical "treatment plan approval guidelines", effective June 1, 1998. Read more >>

Administrative

May, 1998

Administrative

May, 1998

  • Industrial Commission adopts Resolution R98-1-3, revising guidelines for Commission grant of reconsideration. Read more >>

Court

May, 1998

  • In State, ex rel. Nicholls v. Indus. Comm. (1998), 81 Ohio St.3d 454, the Supreme Court held that the Industrial Commission's authority to grant reconsideration from a Staff Hearing Officer's order awarding permanent total disability compensation is limited. Read more >>

Court

May, 1998

  • A case has been filed in the Ohio Supreme Court challenging the practice of permitting Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to terminate medical treatment in workers' compensation claims. Read more >>

Court

March, 1998

  • Supreme Court decision in Ruckman v. Cubby Drilling involving an injury while traveling to work, holds that injury compensable. Read more >>

Administrative

March, 1998

  • Industrial Commission Resolution R98-1-02, adopted February 12, 1998, instructs its hearing officers how to apply Greene v. Conrad (8/21/97), Franklin Co. App. No. 96APE12-1780. The resolution applies to situations where an injured worker has had a claim denied by the Bureau and then refiles a claim. Read more >>

Court

February, 1998

  • Supreme Court in Stivison finds an injury which occurred due to work not compensable under workers' compensation. Read more >>

Court

February, 1998

  • Supreme Court in Williams-Laker finds an injured worker entitled to wage loss compensation for time missed from work to receive medical treatment for the injury. Read more >>

Administrative

January, 1998

  • The statistics for permanent total disability decisions, for 1997:
    1. Akron: granted 48.5%, denied 51.5%;
    2. Cincinnati: granted 57.0%, denied 43.0%;
    3. Cleveland: granted 49.1%, denied 50.9%;
    4. Columbus: granted 44.7%, denied 55.3%;
    5. Toledo: granted 66.2%, denied 33.8%;
    6. Total: granted 50.7%, denied 49.3%.

Legislative

January, 1998

  • The "Vote Yes" Committee ("Keep Ohio Working") spent $7,784,194 on the Issue 2 campaign. The "Vote No" Committee ("Committee to Stop Corporate Attacks on Injured Workers") spent $2,449,480 on the Issue 2 campaign. The total spent by both sides on Issue 2 was $10,233,674. For more information on Issue 2, see our referendum page.

Administrative

January, 1998

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 1998.

1997 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

December, 1997

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 1998.

Court

December, 1997

  • Court declares intentional tort statute unconstitutional. Read more >>

Court

November, 1997

  • Lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of H.B. 350, the tort reform bill, has been filed in the Ohio Supreme Court on November 20, 1997. Read more >>

Legislative

November, 1997

Administrative

November, 1997

  • Phil Haddad is the new executive director of the Industrial Commission of Ohio, effective October 13, 1997. H.B. 362, the Industrial Commission budget bill passed by the Ohio General Assembly last summer, created the executive director's position. The executive director has responsibility for all  agency operations. Previously, the three-member Industrial Commission handled administrative matters. Haddad, a native of Cleveland, graduated from Kent State University where he earned a degree in business management. His background includes nineteen years with the City of Cleveland where he was the manager of labor relations before joining the Commission.

Administrative

October, 1997

  • The BWC Claims Management Resources Guide indicates that the C-85A has been eliminated. The Claims Management Resources Guide says to work with the MCOs on medical issues and use the C-1A instead of the back of the C- 85A. Use a C-86 motion if you can't get it worked out with the MCO or the self-insurer, on issues other than reactiviation. The Claims Management Resources Guide says that with the computer system, Version 3 (V3) determinations will be made based on benefit requests from the customer.

Court

September, 1997

  • Northwest Ohio Bldg. and Construction Trades Council v. Conrad, which claims that the BWC's MCO procedure violates Art. II, Sec. 35 of the Ohio Constitution, has been transferred from Lucas County to Franklin County. The case asks for declaratory judgment, a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to stop enforcement, implementation or application of statutes dealing with managed care for workers' compensation.

Court

August, 1997

  • Ohio Supreme Court clarifies time limit for filing claim for a psychiatric flow-through condition. Read more >>

Legislative

August, 1997

  • On Monday, July 21, 1997 referendum petitions containing 414,934 signatures were filed with the Ohio Secretary of State, to challenge the Benefits Reduction Act. The Secretary of State's Office certified over 278,000 valid signatures on the referendum petition. This is more than enough signatures to qualify the referendum challenge for the ballot. 200,775 signatures were necessary to qualify. This referendum challenge will be State Issue 2. A no vote will reject the changes made by S.B. 45, the Ohio Workers' Compensation Benefits Reduction Act.

Administrative

August, 1997

  • The Ohio Industrial Commission is considering amendments to Ohio Administrative Code 4121-3-09 which would permit the BWC and self-insured employers to suspend a claim where an injured worker refuses or fails to appear at a medical examination. The Ohio Industrial Commission held a public hearing on this rule on August 22, 1997. Representatives of the Ohio AFL-CIO and Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers testified against this rule.

Legislative

July, 1997

  • Petitions filed with Secretary of State containing over 400,000 signatures to get referendum issue on ballot. Read more >>

Court

June, 1997

  • On June 30, 1997, a case challenging the BWC MCO procedure was filed in the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas. The case is called Northwest Ohio Bldg. and Construction Trades Council v. Conrad. The case asks for declaratory judgment, as well as a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to stop enforcement, implementation or application of statutes dealing with managed care for workers' compensation. The suit claims that the MCO procedure violates Art. II, Sec. 35 of the Ohio Constitution.

Legislative

May, 1997

  • Referendum challenge mounted to benefit reduction legislation. Read more >>

Administrative

May, 1997

Legislative

April, 1997

  • Governor signs workers' compensation benefit reduction legislation on April 22, 1997. Read more >>

Legislative

April, 1997

  • Legislature passes workers' compensation benefit reduction legislation on April 16, 1997. Read more >>

Administrative

April, 1997

  • A new company out of California will handle all of BWC's pharmacy invoices. If any pharmacist in the state wants to get prescriptions paid, they have to go through RX Net. Payments will be reported on MIS printout, but not denials. To get information on a denial (state fund claim), you will have to call RX Net: 1-888-796-3864.

Administrative

April, 1997

  • BWC received some thirty-four hundred claims from MCOs in the start of this program. Fifteen hundred had sufficient data for the BWC to allow or disallow. Nineteen hundred defaulted because not enough information was sent by the MCO. These went to further BWC review. BWC called a meeting of the MCOs to discuss this computer problem. BWC says it will reject claims where there is not sufficient information.

Legislative

March, 1997

Administrative

January, 1997

  • Our rates page lists the rates paid for workers' compensation awards in 1997.

1996 Ohio Workers' Compensation News

Administrative

November, 1996

  • Industrial Commission Resolution R96-1-06, adopted September 16, 1996, makes Commissioners and administrative assistants subject to Canons 3C and D of the Ohio Supreme Court's Code of Judicial Conduct. The Resolution further provides all R.C. 4123.511(E) discretionary appeals and requests for reconsideration are not to be filed with any Commissioner.The Resolution also requires under O.A.C. 4121-15-03(G) no employee engage in ex parte written or oral communication regarding merits of a claim filed with the Commission. A Commissioner who engages in ex parte communication is to remove himself or herself from all matters dealing with the claim.

Administrative

November, 1996

  • The BWC started converting COLA claims to its version 3 (V3) system. The BWC will convert claims on a weekly basis until the task is accomplished. Letters are being sent to injured workers receiving COLA payments informing them of the change. Payment dates will differ as a result of the conversion. The BWC has started the conversion process with permanent total claims. The BWC will convert about 200,000 claims each weekend.The payment cycle will differ because COLA payments were made for periods of one week in the past and one week in the future. The V3 payments will be for two week periods in the past. Outside parties will still be able to review claims in COLA until another option is available.

Administrative

October, 1996

  • The Health Partnership Program applies to state fund claims and not to self-insured claims. A self-insurer could elect to use this program.The BWC plans to announce the BWC certified Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) which will oversee the provider networks on November 7, 1996. There will then be a four month period to work out problems. While that is being done the MCOs will be actively trying to sign up employers.The target date for starting the program is March 1, 1997 for new claims. By September 1, 1997, all claims filed since October 20, 1993, are expected to be included in the MCO program. Remaining claims will be assigned to MCOs by January 1, 1998.

Court

September, 1996

  • The Ohio Supreme Court found wage loss compensation payable where an injured worker was fired, because the medical evidence indicated he could no longer perform the job. Read more >>

Administrative

July, 1996

  • On July 3, 1996 the Industrial Commission issued Resolution R96-1-04 which ordered that Hearing Officers in permanent partial cases issue their decisions solely based on the medical evidence, pursuant to the Supreme Court's decision in State, ex rel. Holman v. Longfellow Restaurant (7/3/96), 76 Ohio St.3d 44.

Court

July, 1996

  • Supreme Court holds that permanent partial disability award does not include disability factors. Read more >>

Administrative

July, 1996

  • On July 2, 1996 the Industrial Commission issued Resolution R96-1-03 which required notices of appeal filed after August 1, 1996 by self-insured employers from Staff Hearing Officer orders to include a statement certifying whether the self-insured employer has timely paid compensation and benefits required by R.C. 4123.511. The Commission further indicated that it will consider whether the self-insurer paid compensation in determining whether to permit an appeal.

General

June, 1996

  • Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers honors Stewart Jaffy. Read more >>

Administrative

June, 1996

  • The Industrial Commission will hold pre-hearing conferences on VSSR claims in an effort to reduce the number of continuances; hearings will be scheduled about thirty days thereafter. Also in the planning stage is holding the hearings in the regional offices. SHOs will travel from Columbus to conduct the hearings.

Legislative

May, 1996

  • The House Commerce & Labor Committee held a hearing on May 7, 1996, on H.B. 660. That bill would provide that if a workplace injury occurs, and the employee tests positive for alcohol or drugs (non-prescription), a rebuttable presumption exists that the drugs or alcohol proximately caused the injury.

Administrative

May, 1996

  • Ohio AFL- CIO submits petitions seeking adoption of two new rules. Read more >>

Administrative

April, 1996

  • Ohio Industrial Commission issues instructions on permanent total tentative orders. Read more >>

General

April, 1996

  • Ohio AFL-CIO holds public hearings on the workers' compensation system. Read more >>