Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that offers wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who suffer injuries while performing their job duties. In return, employees give up their right to sue their employer for negligence.
But what happens when an employee needs to take time off due to a work-related injury or illness? Can they use their vacation or sick time to cover this period? This blog post will explore these questions within the context of Ohio workers’ compensation.
Our Ohio workers’ comp lawyers are here to help with your claim.
The Ohio Workers Compensation System: An Overview
Ohio’s workers’ compensation program is highly regarded nationwide. It operates as a state-run monopoly, eliminating third-party insurers and the profit motive. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) describes temporary total disability as a situation where an injured worker is temporarily unable to return to their previous job.
The Role of Vacation and Sick Time
The primary goal of Ohio’s workers’ compensation system is to cover all expenses related to a work-related injury or illness. If you’re absent from work for a few days following a workplace accident, you can use your paid time off (PTO) to cover this period.
However, if your injury or illness results in eight or more days off work, you become eligible for temporary total compensation benefits from workers’ comp to make up for your lost income.
For injuries resulting in less than 14 days of disability, no workers’ compensation benefits are paid for the first week. An employee may choose to use sick or vacation days for that week.
Temporary Total Compensation Benefits: What You Need to Know
If your workers’ comp benefits claim is approved, your medical bills related to the injury will be covered regardless of the length of your absence from work. However, temporary total compensation benefits—or reimbursement for PTO already taken—don’t kick in until the eighth day you’re off work.
If you miss two weeks of work, you’ll only be compensated for the second week. If your absence extends beyond 14 days, you’ll be compensated for all the days you have missed, including the first week.
Compensation Rates: A Closer Look
It’s crucial to understand that receiving these benefits doesn’t equate to getting 100 percent of your wages. You’ll receive between 72 and 66 2/3 percent of your wages, depending on the length of your absence. Temporary total compensation benefits cease when you return to work.
However, if your injury results in work restrictions that lead to a decrease in earnings, you may qualify for wage loss benefits.
Can an Employer Make You Use Sick Days?
Generally, an employer cannot force an employee to use their sick, personal, or vacation days before receiving workers’ compensation benefits. However, for injuries resulting in less than 14 days of disability, no workers’ compensation benefits are paid for the first week. An employee may choose to use sick or vacation days for that week.
Call Our Ohio Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today
Understanding these rules can help ensure that you receive adequate compensation in the event of a work-related injury or illness. If you’re uncertain about your rights or need assistance navigating the workers’ compensation system, consider seeking legal advice from Ohio Workers Compensation Lawyers at 833-406-0060.