Working with a Cincinnati Worker’s Comp Lawyer to Appeal Your Claim
If your claim for worker’s compensation is denied, you will receive a letter of instruction detailing how you can appeal the decision. Keep in mind that even if your claim is approved, your employer always has the right to appeal as well.
Generally, to appeal the decision, you must file an appeal with the Industrial Commission of Ohio within 14 days of the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation Order. This can be done online through the Industrial Commission Online Network (ICON) or it can be done in writing through the “Notice of Appeal – IC-12” form. You then mail this form to your local Industrial Commission service office.
Appealing a work injury claim is a complex process that requires detailed preparation and knowledge of how the worker’s compensation law works in Ohio, and the quirks of the hearing process in Cincinnati. Failure to comply with all mandates can result in dismissal of your claim, or at the very least can further delay benefits.
How Long Do Worker’s Compensation Appeals Take?
First, it’s important to remember that appealing a workers’ comp denial is a legal process. You will be summoned to a hearing and the other party will most likely have retained a lawyer. You do not receive many chances to appeal, so consider bringing your own attorney to the process. Once you have submitted the appeal, you’ll have a hearing in front of a District Hearing Officer of the Industrial Commission of Ohio. They will issue a decision with regard to your issue based on evidence presented at the hearing. The District Hearing Officer’s decision can also be appealed to a Staff Hearing Officer. The decision of the Staff Hearing Officer can then be appealed to the Full Commission located in Columbus (note that the Full Commission declines to hear the vast majority of appeals). Once you receive the orders of the District and Staff Hearing Officer, you have 14 days to appeal the decision.
14 Days is Not a Long Time
If two weeks sounds like a quick turnaround time… it is. Filing your initial appeal with the Industrial Commission of Ohio has to happen within that 14-day time frame, or your claim denial will be finalized. Generally, after that time, there is no other recourse, and no other availability for appeal.
Among the fifty states in the U.S., four of them insist that employers buy insurance coverage directly from the state. These four states are North Dakota, Wyoming, Washington, and Ohio.
Ohio does not allow employers to buy insurance from a private issuer. Therefore, in Ohio, the state Bureau of Workers Compensation acts as an insurance company, and decides whether you can be eligible for benefits, if you are a worker who has been injured on the job.
Having a sense for the length of the claim process is not always a simple proposition. You must file a claim for your injury within one year of the date of the accident. After that initial reporting, the claim investigation begins, and this investigation can take longer than you might anticipate.
In the state of Ohio, the BWC can deny a claim for a wide range of reasons.
Generally, the Ohio BWC will send you its decision within 28 days, in written form. If they deny your claim, they will explain why they made that decision. In many cases, denied claims are ones for which the injury was not proven to be clearly work-related. In others, it is because something else contributed to the injury, even if the injury happened while you were working.
Personal Legal Advocacy
If you are appealing a denial of a claim, contact the law firm of Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen, L.P.A., Co. We will explain every step of the process as we advocate for your legal rights. We feature a very small support staff. Your worker’s comp lawyer will be your primary source of contact, working with you directly to address your questions or concerns.