Changes To The Ohio Workers’ Compensation Law

Since September 15, 2020, H.B. 81 became effective making remarkable changes to the Ohio workers’ compensation law. The new bill intends to build workers’ compensation coverage for delay facility employees. It makes several changes that will benefit all Ohio employers.

H.B. 81 codifies the voluntary abandonment doctrine about temporary total disability (“TTD”).

If an employee is not working or has suffered a wage loss because of reasons unrelated to the injury or occupational disease, the employee isn’t eligible to get the compensation.

In other words, if the employee can’t work because of factors unrelated to the injury, they aren’t getting compensation. Because this new law replaces any prior court decision regarding voluntary abandonment, the new law reduces judicially-created exceptions to the voluntary abandonment doctrine.

Next, H.B. 81 reduces the statute of limitations for applications for additional awards for violations of specific safety requirements (“VSSR”). The time limitation to file a VSSR application now is shortened to one year after the date of the injury. Before, the injured worker had two years from the date of injury to file it. The reduced one-year limitation is in line with the new one-year statute of limitations for filing a work-related injury.

worFinally, H.B. 81 increases the length of time for open claims. Under proceeding jurisdiction, the Industrial Commission can invoke jurisdiction after five years from the last medical services being provided or the date of the last payment of compensation. Under the prior law, the Industrial Commission could request jurisdiction from the date of payment of the medical services. So, the five years start when the medical services are declared as compared to when they are paid for, dramatically reducing the length of the claim.

All of this applied after September 15, 2020.

For more info, please contact our office.