2004 Ohio Workers’ Compensation News

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 The Commission rescinded Memo S.9 (Employers’ Rights and Responsibilities in Conducting Medical Examinations Pursuant to O.R.C. 4123.651).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.