Loss or “Loss of Use” of a Body Part

Most employees know that if they are injured on the job, they are entitled to benefits for lost wages and medical treatment related to the injury. But many employees don’t realize that there is a subset of permanent partial disability benefits for the loss or “loss of use” of a body part due to a work-related injury. Employees who sustain this type of loss due to an injury on the job are eligible for an additional permanent partial award under Ohio law.

If you have suffered the loss of a body part (meaning that the part was amputated or severed) or if you have suffered a loss of use of a body part (meaning that you can’t use the body part anymore), you can be awarded compensation. In Ohio, workers’ compensation law allows any injured worker who has suffered the loss of a body part or the loss of its function to apply for an additional permanent partial scheduled loss award.

The determination of “loss of use” is a question for the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation to decide. The loss of use of a certain body part means the loss of it “for all practical intents and purposes.” This means it must be a loss more severe than one that would allow an injured worker to use the injured body part in his or her employment. It does not mean that the body part is completely useless, however.

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation uses a schedule of injuries and awards (sometimes known as Schedule B) to determine the amount of permanent partial disability benefits that will be paid for specific body parts, such as fingers, legs, eyes, arms, etc. For each body part “lost,” the statute assigns a certain number of weeks to pay the injured worker. The formula multiplies the number of weeks authorized by the maximum rate for the year of the injury. For 2013, the weekly rate for a Schedule B award is $837. For example, if the body part involved is a hand, the scheduled award is for 175 weeks, so the award would be $146,475 (175 weeks times $837). A few other examples from the schedule are:

  • Loss of an arm: $188,325
  • Loss of a foot: $ 125,550
  • Loss of a leg: $167,400

To learn more about obtaining compensation for the loss or loss of use of body parts due to an injury on the job, contact our experienced Cincinnati workers’ compensation lawyers.