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Workers Compensation in Ohio

Jason Matz

Ohio requires all businesses to have workers comp for employees, with only a few exceptions.

Workers comp insurance generally pays some lost wages and the medical bills for an employee who's hurt while doing a work-related task. The types of injuries that can be covered by workers comp range from carpal tunnel to breathing problems to broken bones.

Ohio workers compensation law specifies many details of which employees can be exempt from coverage, which employees must be covered, and the limits of workers comp payments. Below are many of the specifics contained in the workers comp law in Ohio. The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation also has a page with helpful information for employers.

Who has to be covered under Ohio workers compensation?

Can any employees opt out of Ohio workers compensation with a waiver?

Yes - corporate officers for non-profits and sole proprietors can.

Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in Ohio?

Yes, for individual employer and political subdivisions. Political subdivisions in Ohio are typically the state or a city, county, special district, school district or public agency.

By self-insuring, a business assumes responsibility for paying their own workers comp claims. A self-insured company typically hires a claims service company to handle claims administration and other services.

Are there exclusions for:

Small employers? No.

Agricultural employers? Yes, officers of family farm corporation are not covered unless coverage is selected.

Domestic employers? Yes, household workers who earn less than $160 in cash in any calendar quarter from a single household.

Independent contractors? Yes.

Casual employees? Yes, casual workers who earn less than $160 in cash in any calendar quarter from a single employer.

Volunteers? Yes.

Professional athletes? No.

Ohio workers comp medical benefits

Is there a Ohio workers comp fee schedule?


Fee schedules define payments for surgery, radiology, hospital services, chiropractic care, ambulance service, prescription drugs and other medical services for an injured worker.

Are there limits on medical treatment?

Yes, the medical provider must be Bureau of Workers' Compensation certified.

Who makes the initial choice of treating physician?

The employee.

Disability payments for workers compensation insurance in Ohio

Workers comp generally pays some lost income for an employee who cannot work due to a job-related injury. Based on both temporary and permanent disability, state law outlines certain limits on disability payment amounts and length.

How are temporary total disability (TTD) payments calculated?

72% of the employee's pre-injury wage, subject to a minimum and maximum.

Weekly minimum: $287.37, however, if the full weekly wage (FWW) or average weekly wage (AWW) is below the minimum, the TTD is 100% of the FWW or AWW.

Weekly maximum: $862, however, if 72% of the FWW or 66 ⅔% of the AWW is above the maximum, TTD is paid at the maximum amount.

Maximum length of TDD benefits: As long as the disability lasts.

How are permanent total disability (PTD) payments calculated?

66 ⅔% of the employee's pre-injury wage, not to exceed the maximum for the date of injury or date of disability in occupational disease claims.

Weekly minimum: $431

Weekly maximum: $862

Are there cost of living increases for PTD payments? There is a separate Disabled Worker Relief Fund benefit that provides a cost of living increase.

Maximum length of PTD benefits: No maximum.

How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?

33 ⅓% of the average weekly wage (AWW), subject to a maximum.

Weekly minimum: No minimum.

Weekly maximum: $287.33

Workers comp fatality benefits in Ohio

Maximum burial benefit: $5,500

Dependency benefits, weekly minimum / maximum: $431/862

When do children's dependency benefits end? At age 18; age 25 if the child is a student; if the child is disabled, benefits can continue until death or the disability ends.

Other injuries covered by Ohio workers compensation

Mental stress with no physical injury? No.

Cumulative trauma (such as injuries caused by repeated exposure or repetitive motion)? Yes.

Occupational hearing loss? Yes.

Disfigurement? Yes.

Source: Workers Compensation Research Institute, May 2016 report