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New Ohio Workers Comp Statutory Changes Take Effect September 14th

By Michael Bertsch, Member

On June 16, 2020, Governor DeWine signed House Bill 81, which will bring several important changes to the Ohio Workers’ Compensation System. These changes take effect on September 14, 2020, and include the following key provisions:

1. Reduces the statute of limitations for filing an application for violation of specific safety requirement to one year from the date of injury or occupational disease.

2. Creates a statutorily recognized voluntary abandonment defense to temporary total disability claims which supersedes any pre-existing judicial decisions on the issue.

The newly codified language in Ohio Revised Code 4123.56 provides: “If an employee is not working or has suffered a wage loss as the direct result of reasons unrelated to the allowed injury or occupational disease, the employee is not eligible to receive compensation under this section”;  RC 4123.56(F).

3. Settlement of state fund claims can no longer be objected to by the state fund employer if both of the following apply: (a) the employee is no longer employed with the employer; and (b) the claim is no longer within the date of impact for the employer’s experience rating.

4. In certain circumstances, enlarges the time period from 60 days to 150 days for filing judicial level appeals under Ohio Revised Code 4123.512 for claims pending on or arising after September 29, 2017.

5. Increases the maximum amount of reimbursable funeral expenses in death claims from $5,500 to $7,500.

6. Permits the Industrial Commission to invoke continuing jurisdiction from within five years from the date medical services were provided or services rendered without further requirement that the medical services were paid under the claim.

 For more insights on House Bill 81, please contact Michael Bertsch.