Serious injuries can keep a person from working for days, weeks, or even months. Not being able to earn an income during this time is a scary prospect. So, what do you do if you’ve been permanently injured or disabled to the point where you will never be able to work again?
When people are made permanently injured or ill by their place of work, the most common options an employee has for compensation are to file for workers' compensation benefits or pursue a third-party claim.
In either scenario, it is wise to hire a lawyer who knows how the system works in Ohio. A misstep in the process, for example, could mean an unfairly injured or sick employee loses out on enjoying a future free from financial struggle and medical debt.
Your options if you can't return to work
For hard-working people who were irrevocably injured on the job, Ohio has the Permanent Total Disability program, or PTD.
People who qualify for PTD will receive about 66% of their pre-injured wages - with a weekly minimum of $375.50 (even if you earned less than this while working) and a maximum of $751.
A PTD application requires lots of paperwork, the collection of medical evidence from various physicians, an Ohio Industrial Commission medical exam, and a hearing with the commission. This is a lot of running around for a recently disabled person and their traumatized family. Obtaining medical proof is typically one of the most difficult steps in the often complicated workers’ comp application process.
If the claim is accepted, the injured or ill employee will receive scheduled benefit payments throughout their lifetime. The money is meant to compensate the injured worker for their impaired earning capacity.
In addition to PTD, a permanently disabled or chronically ill worker might also qualify for:
- Disabled Workers’ Relief Fund (DWRF), which supplements PTD payments by raising the cost-of-living level.
- Facial Disfigurement (FD), a one-time award of up to $10,000 granted for visible damage to the face or head with the potential to impair the injured workers’ ability to gain employment.
- Death benefits can be paid to the dependents of a worker who died on the job or later as the result of an occupational injury or illness. Dependent death benefits are determined by the level of support each dependent received from the deceased.
- Violation of Specific Safety Requirement (VSSR), a payment can be awarded in cases where the Industrial Commission finds that an employer did not adhere to necessary safety standards.
We can fight for the benefits you deserve
Following a workplace accident, as soon as possible, you should notify your employer of the injury in writing, then see a doctor. Even if you feel fine following an industrial or workplace accident, you could be suffering “invisible” injuries, otherwise known as internal damage and bleeding.
Skipping these steps, or not doing them quickly enough, can leave you without the paperwork you need to file a workers’ comp claim. Also, if your boss later tries to deny you were injured, you have a paper trail that proves otherwise.
These vital actions are things a recently, permanently injured worker and his or her family might miss - a mistake that could cost them their financial security.
The legal team at Hochman & Plunkett Co., L.P.A. has more than 150 years of combined experience fighting for clients’ rights following a workplace injury or death.
Our highly skilled attorneys provide exceptional, no-nonsense, never-back-down support for you and your workers’ comp claim or injury lawsuit throughout the entire application process.
If you’ve already filed a workers' compensation claim and it was denied, our team can also help you pursue an appeal.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We have office locations in Dayton, Cincinnati, Springfield, and Troy, Ohio.