OhioBWC - Basics: (Policy library) - File


Policy and Procedure Name:

Abatement and Claims Processing Post Notification of Death

Policy #:


Code/Rule Reference:

O.A.C. 4123-5-21

Effective Date:



Shawn Crosby, Chief Operating Officer


Claims Policy


Policy #CP-01-05, effective 09/15/2021


Previous versions of this policy are available upon request


Table of Contents








Pending Application


A.         Abatement of Pending Applications

B.         Abatement Does Not Prohibit


A.         General Claim Note and Documentation Requirements

B.         Verification of Claimant’s Death

C.         Discontinuing Indemnity Payments

D.         Pending Applications

E.         Issuing an Order to Abate a Pending Application

F.          Applications Filed After Death






The purpose of this policy is to ensure that, upon notification of an injured worker or claimant’s death, BWC takes the proper steps to abate a pending application(s) and/or stop payment of benefits.




This policy applies to claims services staff.




Abatement: To discontinue any further action on a pending application(s) in a claim at the time of the injured worker’s or claimant’s death.


Application: A form or other means of communicating to BWC the following:

1.      Requests: Communications requesting an initial or subsequent action be taken. Examples include, but are not limited to:

a.      First Report of an Injury, Occupational Disease or Death (FROI);

b.      Request for Temporary Total Compensation (C-84);

c.       Motion (C-86).

2.      Authorizations: Communications that serve to grant permission. Examples include, but are not limited to:

a.      Claimant Authorized Representative (R-2);

b.      Authorization to Receive Workers’ Compensation Payment (C-230).

3.      Agreements: Communications that serve as a contract between the parties. Examples include, but are not limited to:

a.      Settlement Agreement and Application for Approval of Settlement              Agreement (C-240);

b.      Amended Settlement Agreement and Release (C-241);

c.       Rehabilitation Agreement (RH-1).


Claimant: One who asserts a right, demand or claim for workers’ compensation benefits. For purposes of this policy, a claimant may be an injured worker or a person pursuing workers’ compensation benefits due to the injured worker’s death.


Pending Application: For purposes of this policy, an application that is not in a final status, such as dismissed, allowed or denied when notice of death is received. A suspended application is considered to be pending.




A.      Abatement of Pending Applications

1.      It is the policy of BWC to abate a pending application, if applicable, when the claimant dies.

2.      BWC will abate the application only upon the receipt and verification of notice of the claimant’s death.


B.      Exceptions

1.      BWC will not abate a pending application:

a.      For a C-240 and/or a C-241, if the claimant dies after issuance of the “LSS Approval” letter;

b.      For the payment of approved medical services related to the injured worker’s allowed injury or occupational disease claim; or

c.       When it is before the Industrial Commission (IC) on appeal by the employer or administrator.

2.      Abatement of an application filed by an injured worker does not prohibit:

a.      A surviving claimant (e.g., dependent, spouse) from filing an application in a deceased claimant’s claim; or

b.      BWC from pursuing continuing jurisdiction.  




A.      General Claim Note and Documentation Requirements

1.      BWC staff must refer to the Standard Claim File Documentation and Altered Documents policy and procedure for claim note and documentation requirements; and

2.      Must follow any other specific instructions for claim notes and documentation included in this procedure.


B.      Verification of Claimant’s Death

1.      Upon receipt of notice of the death of a claimant, claims services staff must verify the death through:

a.      Social Security cross match;

b.      A death certificate;

c.       A published obituary; or

d.      A police report.

2.      If the claimant’s death cannot be verified using one of the sources described immediately above, claims services staff may use other reliable means consistent with the Death Claims policy.


C.      Discontinuing Indemnity Payments

1.      When a claimant is receiving payments in a claim, claims services staff must discontinue payment immediately upon verification of the claimant’s death.

2.      Payments will be discontinued effective the date of the claimant’s death.

3.      Claims services staff may seek guidance from BWC Legal on issues regarding discontinuation of payment in a claim.


D.     Pending Applications

1.      After confirming the claimant’s death, claims services staff must determine if there are pending applications in the claim that must be abated.

a.      If no applications are pending, no action is necessary.

b.      If an application is pending and no order addressing the request has been published, claims services staff must abate the application.

c.       If the pending application has been addressed by order and is still within the appeal period claims services staff:

i.        Must vacate the order, abate the application, and update the status of the application to dismissed in the claims management system if:

a)      No appeal has been filed; or

b)     An appeal has only been filed by the claimant.

ii.      Will not abate the application if an appeal has been filed by the employer and/or administrator. If the pending issue is whether the claim should be allowed, and the IC:

a)      Allows the claim, claims services staff must staff with a BWC attorney.

b)     Denies the claim, no further action is necessary.

2.      Claims services staff should not abate the following applications:

a.      Requests for payment of medical services rendered as a result of an injured worker’s allowed injury or occupational disease claim; and

b.      C-240s and C-241s. Reference the Lump Sum Settlement policy and procedure for specific action steps.


E.      Issuing an Order to Abate a Pending Application

1.      Claims services staff must issue:

a.      An Abatement Order when the pending FROI (either signed or unsigned by the IW) is being abated; or

b.      A Miscellaneous Order for all other pending applications or requests using the “Abatement Adhoc Insert for Miscellaneous Order” on the Abatement and Post Notification of Death Processing policy page on the Claims Online Resource (COR).

2.      The order must:

a.      Document the specific application that is being abated; and

b.      Note the basis for BWC’s decision to abate the application(s) (i.e., how the claimant’s death was verified, e.g., a death certificate, published obituary, etc.).

3.      Claims services staff must send the order to all parties, including:

a.      The surviving spouse; or

b.      If no surviving spouse can be identified, to another dependent or family member; and

c.       To the deceased claimant’s authorized representative, if applicable.

i.        Claims services staff must not immediately expire the deceased claimant’s authorized representative upon notice of death.

ii.      Refer to the Authorized Representatives policy for further instructions.

4.      If claims services staff is unable to identify a surviving spouse, another dependent or family member, claims services staff must make the following change in the claims management system:

a.      Use “Change Delivery Options” in the claims management system and address the order to “The family of…”; and

b.      Mail it to the deceased claimant’s last known address.

5.      Claims services staff may also need to update the claims management system to:

a.      Change the “Original Recipient”; or

b.      Add a “New Participant”.

6.      If an order abating a pending application is appealed, claims services staff will refer the issue to the IC, following the Notice of Referral to the Industrial Commission policy.


F.      Applications Filed After Death

1.      Upon receipt of an application following the death of an IW or surviving spouse, claims services staff:

a.      Must process the application(s) following all applicable policies and procedures (e.g., Accrued Compensation and Death Claims); and

b.      May staff the request with BWC Legal.

2.      When BWC receives medical bills for approved medical services related to the allowed injury or occupational disease, claims services staff must refer the bills to the managed care organization (MCO) for processing.