A common question new clients ask at Taubman Law is how long do workers’ compensation claims stay open? This is a great question because medical benefits and compensation cannot be paid for an expired claim, and the timelines can be tricky to understand.
How long a claim stays open depends on several factors. First, the date of the injury (or in the case of an occupational disease, the date of diagnosis). Claims with dates of injury or diagnosis before August 25, 2006, are considered 10-year claims and are open for 10 years from the date of last compensation, or 10 years from the last payment of a medical bill, whichever is later. For injury or occupational disease claims with injury or diagnosis dates on or after August 25, 2006, the claim is considered to be a 5-year claim and is open for 5 years from the date of the last compensation or the last payment of a medical bill, whichever is later.
The Industrial Commission of Ohio and Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation have continuing jurisdiction over the claim while it’s open. As long as the claim is open, the injured worker can seek payment of medical bills and various types of compensation based on the allowed claim conditions.
At Taubman Law, we can work with you to review your workers’ compensation claim, even if you consider it old.
Often, we find that clients have old, open workers’ compensation claims, but under which compensation was never paid — like an employee who has residual injury symptoms (whether ongoing or occasional), but never applied for a permanent partial disability award. Obtaining a PPD serves several purposes. First, it extends the life of the claim either 5 years or 10 years, depending on the date of injury/diagnosis. Second, a PPD award will compensate the injured worker for residual impairment. Finally, it can be a step toward reactivating an inactive claim.
This post was written by attorney Bruce Taubman, who has been practicing plaintiff work in Cleveland, Ohio, for nearly 40 years. You can reach out to Bruce at brucetaubman[at]taubmanlaw.net.