Ohio SealWhen an Injured worker files an Appeal to a Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Order, what happens next?

The Ohio Industrial Commission Appeals Process – Hearing Levels

The Industrial Commission of Ohio (ICO) hearing process offers injured workers and employers the opportunity to appeal claims decisions at three levels: District Level, Staff Level, and Commission Level.

District Hearing Officer Level

If a BWC order is appealed to the ICO, a hearing is set before the District Hearing Officer (DHO). The hearing, which is held at the IC office nearest the injured worker’s residence, allows involved parties to present any information regarding the dispute. After the hearing, an order detailing the DHO’s decision is mailed to the parties.

If either party is dissatisfied with the decision of the DHO, an appeal must be made in writing and filed within 14 days of receipt of the DHO’s decision.

Appealing parties should file an appeal online through I.C.O.N. or file Form IC-12 in the office where the hearing took place.

Staff Hearing Officer Level

Ohio law guarantees injured workers and employers the right to appeal a DHO’s decision to the Staff Hearing Officer level. A hearing is scheduled with the Staff Hearing Officer (SHO) so that the involved parties can present their dispute. After the hearing, an order detailing the SHO’s decision is mailed to the parties.

If either party is dissatisfied with the decision of the SHO, an appeal must be made in writing and filed within 14 days of receipt of the SHO’s decision.

Appealing parties should file an appeal online through I.C.O.N. or file Form IC-12 in the office where the hearing took place.

Commission Hearing Level

While injured workers and employers are guaranteed the right to District and Staff Level hearings, Commission Level hearings, which are heard by the ICO’s three Commissioners, are granted on a discretionary basis.

The Commissioners may refuse to hear the appeal or accept it for a hearing. Accepted appeals follow the same guidelines and rules as outlined on the Appeals Process page.

Appeals Beyond the Commission Level – Time to File in Court

If the injured worker or employer is not satisfied with the decision of the ICO, or if the ICO refuses to hear an appeal filed from a Staff Hearing Officer determination, then the injured worker or employer may file an appeal in the appropriate state court. For a denied diagnostic claim condition, the appeal is filed in the Court of Common Pleas in the county in which the injury took place. For denial of medical tests, termination of temporary total disability, Permanent Toatal Disability (basically all extent of disability denials) the appeal is filed in Mandamus in the Court of Appeals in Columbus, Ohio.

Should your claim be denied at the BWC level, immediately contact a Workers’ Compensation Specialist to represent you. Better yet, contact the lawyer to assist you in filing your claim. Get representation BEFORE your claim might be denied. Don’t go it alone!

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