House Bill 27, which became effective September 29, 2017, made several substantive changes to Ohio workers’ compensation law, including:
- Reducing the statute of limitations for filing a claim to one year for claims involving injuries or deaths. The law does not change the statute of limitations for filing an occupational disease claim, which remains two years;
- Extending the deadline for filing court appeals to 150 days by filing a “notice of intent to settle” within 30 days of receipt of the order, unless the other party objects;
- Increasing the maximum Claimant’s attorney fee for a successful appeal to $5,000.00;
- Allowing for dismissal of PPD applications: the statute allows the BWC to dismiss a permanent partial application, without prejudice, if the employee misses or refuses to schedule a BWC medical exam;
- Other provisions of the bill include: 90 day exams-allows the BWC to waive 90 day exams for good cause, unless the employer objects; handicap reimbursements-settlement agreements are now treated as awards for purposes of handicap reimbursement; incarcerated dependents-dependents in death claims are not entitled to compensation while the dependent is incarcerated; drug testing-the bill revised the list of prohibited controlled substances and threshold limits; temporary total disability-workers awarded temporary total before their full weekly wage is calculated receive 33 1/3% of the statewide AWW, subject to later withholding or repayment once the full weekly wage is finally calculated; cancer claims for firefighters-provides that the presumption that firefighters’ cancer claims arose in the line of duty does not apply if it has been over 15 years since the firefighter worked in “hazardous duty”, allows additional ways to rebut the presumption, and adds working wage loss to the types of compensation firefighters can receive under the presumption; secondary payers-allows the BWC to reimburse CMS or Medicaid where CMS or Medicaid have a right of recovery.
The Ohio Legislature’s comprehensive summary of the bill’s changes can be found here