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The Ohio Supreme Court Rules to Make it Easier for Employers to recoup overpayments

16 Apr

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Update Applicable to:Effective date
All employers with at least 1 worker in OhioSee details below


What happened?

On March 5, the Ohio Supreme Court, in a very polemic decision, will now make it easier for employers to recoup overpayments when an injured worker has reached maximum medical improvement after collecting temporary total disability benefits.


What are the details? 

From 1998 until March 2024 (the Last 25 Years), the court determined that the proper date for termination of Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits based upon a finding of Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) was the date of the termination hearing and not the earlier date of the non-attending physician’s report declaring MMI.  


The 2024 Ruling: THE CHANGE.

In March 2024, The Ohio Supreme Court determined that the date for termination of TTD benefits was the date when the injured worker was declared MMI by any physician, including a physician hired by the employer to examine and determine MMI.

Conclusion: essentially the court overruled the 1998 decision, which is great news for employers, and according to Roetzel & Andress law firm: “…employers are permitted to request termination of a claimant’s ongoing TTD compensation from the date of the independent medical examination report finding MMI. This is true even if the date of the independent medical examination report precedes the date of the Industrial Commission Hearing on the issue.”  


Business Considerations 

  • Employers can now argue for the retroactive termination of Temporary Total Disability (TTD) and a determination of Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) based on the date of an Independent Medical Examination (IME), not the termination hearing date.
  • If retroactive termination of TTD is approved, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) or self-insured employer can declare an overpayment.
  • They can then recoup any compensation paid between the date of the MMI finding and the Industrial Commission hearing that terminates TTD.
  • This change in process could lead to significant cost savings for employers.
  • You should seek an attorney’s advice if you feel concerned about the implications of this ruling. 


Resources


Source References

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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