Ohio BWC Authorizes Compensation Only Settlements-Keep Medical Portion Open

by Dean Pavick on December 28, 2011

Recently, the Ohio BWC LSS Executive Committee authorized partial settlement of Ohio workers compensation claims involving state fund claims.This is good news for injured workers who might be interested in settling the compensation portion of the injury claim but who need to keep the claim open for payment of future medical treatments by the BWC.In the past, self-insured employers have sometimes been willing to settle parts of a claim.A self-insured employer in Ohio directly pays compensation and medical benefits.However, in state fund claims, in which the BWC pays for all benefits, the BWC previously only permitted full settlement of a claim.

Settlement of only the compensation portion of a workers compensation claim may be particularly beneficial to an injured worker receiving permanent total disability compensation(PTD) and Disabled Workers Relief Fund(DWRF) payments. Injured workers receiving PTD compensation have significant injuries and permanent conditions which often require on-going treatments.When the entire claim is settled, the injured worker must either pay for future medical treatments out of his/her own pocket or must shift the cost of medical care to other entities such as Medicare or private health insurance.However, Medicare has laws and special rules designed to prevent shifting payments from a workers compensation claim over to Medicare.Often, it is necessary for Medicare to authorize a set aside fund which monetary fund must first be exhausted by the injured worker before Medicare takes over payments.This can be a lengthy and complex process.

Settlement of only PTD compensation and DWRF payments may provide the claimant with greater financial flexibility to pay down debts, make additional purchases, upgrade living conditions or provide future financial security to the claimant and his/her family.PTD and DWRF payments are only payable for the lifetime of the claimant and are terminated immediately at the time of death.There are no beneficiaries under the law.

If you are interested in exploring a possible partial settlement of your workers compensation claim we have the knowledge and experience to evaluate this option on your behalf.There are many factors used in determining the settlement range of a compensation only settlement particularly involving PTD and DWRF payments.You should not settle any portion of your Ohio workers compensation claim without first consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable Ohio workers compensation attorney.

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