Do You Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Ohio? Tips from a Columbus Workmans Comp Lawyer
Ohio’s workers’ compensation system provides a way for many people to cover their medical bills and other expenses when they cannot work due to a job-related illness or injury. So, do you qualify for benefits? In this article, a Columbus workmans’ comp lawyer explains Ohio’s workers’ compensation eligibility requirements.
Three Requirements to Qualify for Workers Compensation in Ohio
Ohio law establishes three main requirements to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. These requirements are:
1. You Are an Employee
To qualify for worker’s compensation benefits in Ohio, you must be classified as an “employee.” Ohio’s workers’ compensation law includes a lengthy definition of what it means to be an employee. It also identifies certain types of workers who do not qualify as employees for workers’ compensation purposes.
But, rather than trying to study Ohio’s workers’ compensation law, all you need to know for now is that the vast majority of people who work in Ohio are employees. If you work for a company and get paid regularly, then the odds are that you meet this requirement.
2. You Suffered an Injury or Occupational Disease
Next, filing for workers’ compensation in Ohio requires proof that you have suffered an injury or are suffering from an occupational disease. Here, too, while Ohio’s workers’ compensation law includes definitions of both “injury” and “occupational disease,” the most important thing to know is that the vast majority of injuries and occupational diseases are covered.
Under Ohio law, you are required to see a doctor certified by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) to preserve your eligibility for benefits. When you see a doctor, you should explain your symptoms in detail to help ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis.
3. You Suffered Your Injury or Disease “In the Course of” Your Employment
Finally, to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Ohio, you must be able to prove that you suffered your injury or occupational disease “in the course of” your employment. If you are unable to work due to an injury you suffered on your own personal time, you are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits (though you may have other options available).
However, you don’t necessarily need to be doing your job to act in the course of your employment. For example, if you slipped and fell on a recently cleaned floor in the bathroom, you could still qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Employees can file workers’ compensation claims under a broad range of scenarios; and, if you were injured or got sick on the job, you should talk to a Columbus workmans comp lawyer about your legal rights.