Workers’ compensation provides replacement of income, payment of medical costs, and sometimes will provide assistance for job placement if vocational rehabilitation is required after recovery from an injury. Workers’ compensation benefits are helpful, but benefits received through this program tend to be relatively modest. Compensation is intended only to tide the worker over until he or she medically recovers from the injury and returns to the workforce.
If you are temporarily unable to work, you will most likely receive about two-thirds of your regular wages through workers’ compensation. In Ohio, you are eligible for wage-loss replacement (called Temporary Total Disability, or TT) as soon as you’ve lost seven consecutive calendar days of work. Your absence must be certified by a physician who has personally examined you.
If you become permanently debilitated because of your injury and are unable to do any work at all, you may be entitled to receive long-term payments called Permanent Total Disability Compensation, or PTD. The process of receiving these benefits is lengthy and complex. Benefit amounts are dependent on a number of factors, including wages in the year before the disabling injury and whether or not the injured worker receives Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
Lesser amounts of compensation can be paid to workers with partial disabilities. In Ohio, these awards are paid as lump sums, except in cases of very serious injuries involving loss of a body part or function, such as amputations or blindings. Compensation for these injuries is determined by a schedule of benefits and paid over many weeks at a fixed rate which varies from year to year. Finally, death benefits may be available to the spouse, dependents, or, in some cases, the estate of an employee who dies on the job.