When you have a job you love, work is a source of pride and joy. But some of the most exciting jobs in the world are highly dangerous and workplace injuries happen at every job site, no matter what the industry. Being injured on the job often entails more pain than the initial damage, especially if you have to take a lower paying job as a result.
Wage loss compensation was designed to alleviate the financial stress of being forced to alter your career path because of a workplace injury or illness. To be eligible, a worker must have experienced a reduction in earnings or position and responsibilities due to injury or illness.
On the surface, it seems like a simple, cut-and-dried process. You’re injured, you apply, your claim is approved, and you get to pay at least some of your bills. However, the Ohio workers’ compensation claims process is not that simple. Too often, the claim is denied because some integral piece of information is missing.
The attorneys of Plevin & Gallucci have more than 40 years of experience fighting on behalf of injured Ohio workers and we can help you successfully seek the maximum benefits for your wage loss claim.
Applying for Wage Loss Benefits
To apply for wage loss benefits, both you and your doctor must complete form C-140. You can obtain this form at bwc.ohio.gov. Detailed medical records, employment history, and past and present educational pursuits must be included in your application.
Securing an attorney before you submit the wage loss compensation application can help prevent your claim from being denied. A qualified workers’ compensation attorney is well aware of the all necessary documentation to support your case.
Your medical records are arguably the most vital component of your wage loss claim. Whether your health restrictions are permanent or temporary, this information must be submitted to the BWC by your health care provider. This can be a daunting task to face alone, especially if your injury date is more than a few months ago and you need to collect medical records spanning back years.
To receive wage loss payments, you must prove that you are actively looking for new employment opportunities when you initially apply. The BWC requires workers to submit a weekly job search while receiving benefits.
Wage Loss Eligibility
To be eligible for wage loss benefits, an injured worker must have a decrease in wage earning capacity as a direct result of a workplace injury or illness. You must also register with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
There are two types of wage loss benefits:
- Working wage loss (WWL) is available to an injured worker who returns to work in any position other than his or her former position. This applies if you return to work with your old employer or a new employer with different job duties, fewer hours, and less pay resulting from the medical restrictions.
- Non-working wage loss (NWWL) is granted to an injured worker medically released to return to work with restrictions but unable to find suitable employment. To qualify for NWWL, the injured worker must demonstrate that he or she is making a good faith job search effort to secure employment within his or her physical restrictions.
Factors That Can Influence Your Claim
The nature of your workplace injury or illness, the date of onset, and many other factors influence the outcome of your wage loss claim. These factors can include:
- Your skills, prior employment history, and previous education;
- The amount of time spent seeking employment and quality of opportunities sought;
- If you’ve refused to accept assistance in seeking employment of any public or private employment agency, BWC, or your previous employer;
- Current condition of the labor market;
- Your current physical capabilities;
- How your workplace injury affects your earnings potential;
- Attending an education or rehabilitation program approved by the BWC.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
While the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is the governing body that grants benefits to injured workers, ultimately it’s employers who pay the insurance premiums. These premiums can increase significantly depending on how grave or serious an injury a worker sustains during the course of employment.
Far too often, the injured worker has to fight for benefits to which they’re supposed to be entitled because the employer disputes the claim. Without a thorough understanding of the finer points of workers’ compensation, it can be difficult to counter obstacles to your claim presented by your employer.
When you hire the workers’ compensation attorneys of Plevin & Gallucci, we will deal with the bureaucracy and paperwork to ease the burden of your wage loss claim. If you’ve experienced a significant change in your earnings capabilities due to a workplace injury or illness, call us today. A consultation is free and without obligation. Trusting Plevin & Gallucci to handle your workers’ compensation claim can help you receive all the compensation to which you are entitled.