Workers’ Compensation and Wage Loss

Kayla Moreland , May 18, 2015

Working Wage Loss compensation (“WWL”) is available to an injured worker who has restrictions related to the allowed conditions in the claim, which cause a loss of earnings. An injured worker may qualify for WWL if they have found work other than their former position, and now receive less pay than they did at the time of the injury. Moreover, to receive WLL, the injured worker must: (1) Seek suitable employment with your employer (unless it would be futile), (2) register with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, or an equivalent out of state agency, (3) and submit medical reports identifying your restrictions.

In a recent case State ex rel. Holmes v. Indus. Comm., 2014-Ohio-4823, the Tenth District Court of Appeals in Ohio determined that the claimant should not be allowed to receive WLL, as the claimant’s medical reports were both inconsistent and equivocal. Id at ¶ 47. Moreover, the Court found that the claimant had not conducted a good-faith job search for suitable employment with comparable pay. Id. at ¶ 53. The Supreme Court of Ohio has held that a claimant is required to show a good faith effort to search for suitable employment, which is comparably paying work before the claimant can recover wage loss compensation. State ex rel. Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. v. Morse, 72 Ohio St.3d 210 (1995).

This recent decision among others make it increasingly difficult for a claimant to recover WWL, as there are many factors that go into its determination. Injured workers should be aware of these factors, and should contact an attorney if they have any questions as to their own case. More information on the Holmes case and wage loss compensation can be found in the links below.

http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/10/2014/2014-ohio-4823.pdf
https://www.bwc.ohio.gov/downloads/blankpdf/wageloss.pdf 
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