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Michael J. Duber and Brandon T. Duber

Cleveland Workers’ Compensation: Are You Eligible For Benefits?

Work injuries can be devastating. Not only are you dealing with physical pain and recovery, but lost wages can create a significant financial burden. Workers’ compensation is a safety net designed to help injured workers during this difficult time. However, navigating the system can be overwhelming, with complex eligibility requirements and the potential for denials.

Our attorneys at Bentoff & Duber Co., L.P.A., understand the challenges you face after a work injury. We have decades of experience, dating back to 1965, helping injured workers in Cleveland secure the benefits they deserve. This page will answer your questions about workers’ compensation eligibility in Ohio.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated insurance program that provides financial assistance to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. This includes coverage for medical bills, lost wages and rehabilitation costs.

In exchange for providing this no-fault system, employers are generally protected from lawsuits by their employees. This means you don’t have to prove your employer was negligent to receive benefits.

Am I Eligible For Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

The workers’ compensation process can seem complex and overwhelming. Here are the main factors that determine eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits in Ohio:

  • Employee status: You must be considered an employee, not an independent contractor. Independent contractors are typically responsible for their own workers’ compensation coverage. If you’re unsure about your employment classification, an attorney can help you determine your eligibility.
  • Work-related injury or illness: The injury or illness must have occurred during your employment and be related to your job duties. This includes a wide range of situations, from slipping and falling on the job to repetitive stress injuries caused by performing the same motions over and over. In addition to physical injuries, workers’ compensation can also cover work-related mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression, if they can be demonstrably linked to your job.
  • Reporting requirements: You must report your injury to your employer as soon as possible, typically within one year. Specific deadlines and reporting procedures may vary depending on your employer and the nature of your injury. It’s important to report the injury in writing and keep a copy of your report for your records.
  • Documentation: You’ll need medical records to prove the injury is work-related and the extent of your disability. This means seeking medical attention promptly after your injury and informing the doctor that it happened at work. The more documentation you have, the stronger your claim will be.

Even if you meet these criteria, your claim could still be denied. The insurance company may argue the injury wasn’t work-related, the severity of your condition is disputed or you didn’t follow reporting procedures.

However, even if you are initially denied, there is an appeals process. Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers can help you determine what comes next and walk you through the process of making an appeal. Having an attorney by your side can ensure that you have someone fighting for you.

How Can A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help?

Our workers’ compensation attorneys at Bentoff & Duber Co., L.P.A., can guide you through the process and advocate for your rights. We can:

  • Help navigate complex paperwork: Workers’ compensation forms can be confusing and have strict deadlines. We can ensure all necessary forms are filed correctly and on time.
  • Gather evidence to support your claim: We’ll work with doctors to document your injury and its connection to your job. This may involve collecting witness statements, work site photos and other relevant evidence.
  • Negotiate with the insurance company: We’ll fight for the maximum benefits you deserve, including medical coverage, lost wages and potential vocational rehabilitation.
  • Represent you at hearings: If your claim is denied, we can represent you in appeals and hearings before the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

Having an experienced attorney on your side makes a significant difference in the outcome of your claim.

Schedule A Free Consultation With Our Bentoff & Duber Co., L.P.A., Team In Cleveland

Don’t wait to get the help you deserve. Contact our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Bentoff & Duber Co., L.P.A., in Cleveland if you’ve been injured at work. We offer free consultations to discuss your case and answer your questions. Call us today at 216-861-1234 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We serve clients throughout Cleveland and have a by-appointment office in Beachwood.