Recently, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 27, which was signed into law by Governor Kasich. The new law became effective on September 29, 2017. There were numerous significant changes in the statute that impact Ohio workers’ compensation law, as well as the business community in general. Some of the changes include the following:
I. Reduction in the Statute of Limitations
House Bill 27 effectively reduced the statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim from two years from the date of the incident or accident to one year. This applies to any and all injuries occurring on or after September 29, 2017.
II. Extended Periods for Appeal from an Industrial Commission Order
House Bill 27 extended the time in which a party can appeal an Industrial Commission Order to the Court of Common Pleas. The previous time period was 60 days, and House Bill 27 extended that to 150 days. This extension applies only if the party provides notice of intent to settle the claim and the opposing party does not object. Additionally, the statutory attorney fees associated with a failed appeal to court were increased from $4,200 to $5,000.
III. Revisions to Drug Testing Presumption Ohio
House Bill 27 revised the types and amounts of controlled substances that will result in the creation of a rebuttable presumption that an employee was under the influence at the time of an accident. Section 4123.54 has been modified to include all controlled substances, and the threshold limits are changed to comply with the Code of Federal Regulations.
IV. Prohibition Against Payments to Incarcerated Dependents For claims arising on or after September 29, 2017
House Bill 27 prohibits workers’ compensation payments to a deceased employee’s dependent while the dependent is incarcerated.
V. Requires Dismissal of Certain Permanent Partial Disability Applications
Applications for permanent partial disability filed on or after September 29, 2017, require the dismissal of the application if the employee fails to schedule a medical examination with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation or fails to attend a scheduled medical examination. Previously, when an injured worker failed to attend a medical examination, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation suspended the application until the worker attended the exam. House Bill 27 allows the BWC to dismiss the application rather than suspend it, but the worker may, nonetheless, refile the application.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this information, contact Matthew R. Hunt, Esq. (firstname.lastname@example.org) 330-497-0700.
NOTE: This general summary of the law should not be used to solve individual problems since slight changes in the fact situation may require a material variance in the applicable legal advice.