Beginning on September 15, 2020, House Bill 81 became effective. This made significant changes to the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Law. The goal of the bill was to create workers’ compensation coverage for detention facility employees. However, it makes a variety of changes that can benefit all employers in Ohio.
The new law codifies the voluntary abandonment doctrine in relation to temporary total disability. Under the new law, “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.” Simply put, if an employee is unable to work due to factors unrelated to the injury, they will not receive compensation. This new law supersedes any previous court decision regarding voluntary abandonment, meaning it eliminates judicially-created exceptions to the doctrine. This will apply to claims pending on or arising after September 15, 2020.
In addition to this, the new bill reduces the statute of limitations for applications for additional awards for violations of specific safety requirements (VSSR). The time limit to file an application is reduced to one year after the date of the injury. In the past, injured employees had two years from the date of their injury to file a VSSR application. The reduction brings it in line with the new one-year statute of limitations for filing a work-related injury. The limitation will apply to all claims pending on and arising after September 15, 2020 as well.
Lastly, the bill changes the length of time that a claim remains open. The Industrial Commission can invoke jurisdiction after five years from the last medical services being rendered or the last payment date of compensation under continuing jurisdiction. Under the past law, the Industrial Commission could invoke jurisdiction from the date of payment of medical services. As a result, the five years will run when the medical services are rendered rather than when they are paid for. This shortens the lifespan of the claim.
If you have become the victim of an on the job injury, it may be beneficial to speak with an attorney and the doctor that is treating you to determine how to make the process as easy as possible. AllianceMeds understands that a workplace accident can be challenging and is here to help. We will deliver your medication to your door using overnight delivery and cover any out of pocket expenses that may arise. If you have any questions about how we can help, contact AllianceMeds today.