Ohio WC Guide: Administrative Agencies

Ohio Workers’ Compensation Guide

Administrative Agencies

Two administrative agencies run the Ohio workers’ compensation system: the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and the Ohio Industrial Commission.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation handles the administrative functions of the Ohio workers’ compensation system. The BWC has limited decision making powers, mainly related to the initial allowance of a claim. The BWC handles the processing of claims and the payment of money. An administrator, appointed by the Governor, heads the BWC.

The Industrial Commission handles the majority of the decision-making functions in the workers’ ┬ácompensation system. The Industrial Commission makes decisions about contested issues.

The Industrial Commission has three levels of decision-making: District Hearing Officers (DHO), Staff Hearing Officers (SHO), and a three member board called the Industrial Commission. The three-member Industrial Commission also sets policy for the Commission.

Any party unsatisfied with a decision can appeal. Appeals from a DHO go to an SHO. Appeals from an SHO go to the three-member Industrial Commission, but the three-member Commission has discretion whether to take such appeals and hears very few appeals.