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OhioBWC - Basics: (Policy library) - File

Policy Name:

CHANGE OF OCCUPATION

Policy #:

CP-03-02

Code/Rule Reference:

R.C. 4123.57 (D) and (E); 4123.68 (W) (Y) (Z) and (BB)

O.A.C. 4123-3-25; 4121-3-25; and 4123-3-16

Effective Date:

05/24/17

Approved:

Kevin R. Abrams, Chief Operating Officer

Origin:

Claims Policy

Supersedes:

05/19/15; 03/21/13; Change of Occupation policy CP-03-02 dated 08/31/12

History:

New 08/31/12; Rev. 11/21/12; 03/21/13; 05/19/15

Review date:

05/19/20

 

 

I.      POLICY PURPOSE

 

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that BWC allows a change of occupation award to an injured worker who is entitled to the award by statute.

 

II.    APPLICABILITY

 

This policy applies to Claims Services staff.

 

III.   DEFINITIONS

 

None.

 

IV.  POLICY

 

A.    General policy statement

 

1.    It is the policy of BWC to make an appropriate determination on a change of occupation award for the purpose of substantially reducing an injured worker’s exposure to a harmful agent.

 

2.    The law permits a change of occupation award for the purpose of substantially reducing an injured worker’s exposure to a harmful agent.  There are two types:

a.    R.C. 4123.57 (D) is specific to an injured worker who has contracted, in the course of employment, silicosis, coal miners’ pneumoconiosis, or asbestosis.

b.    The Supreme Court of Ohio extended R.C. 4123.57 (D) to include an injured worker who has any dust-induced occupational disease.  State ex rel. Middlesworth v. Regal Ware, Inc. (2001), 93 Ohio St.3d 214.

c.    A change of occupation award pursuant to IV. A. 2. a. and b. above is payable up to a maximum of 130 weeks.

d.    R.C. 4123.57 (E) is specific to firefighters or police officers who have contracted, in the course of employment, cardiovascular, pulmonary, or respiratory disease.  The award is payable up to a maximum of 105 weeks.

 

3.    It is the policy of BWC that a change of occupation is only payable:

a.    When a fire fighter (paid or volunteer) or a police officer have any of the following conditions:

i.      Cardiovascular;

ii.     Pulmonary;

iii.    Respiratory.

b.    When an injured worker other than a fire fighter or police officer has any of the following conditions:

i.      Silicosis;

ii.     Coal miners’ Pneumoconiosis (black lung);

iii.    Asbestosis;

iv.   Any dust-induced occupational disease.

 

4.    It is the policy of BWC that if an injured worker has received a change of occupation award or has one of the occupational diseases in IV. A. 3. a. and b. that any requests for compensation, except for temporary total compensation, permanent total compensation and death, shall be referred to the Industrial Commission.

 

5.    It is the policy of BWC to not pay a change of occupation award concurrently with:

a.    Temporary Total Disability; or

b.    Permanent Total Disability.

 

6.    If the injured worker has multiple allowed claims, he/she is entitled to only one change of occupation award.

 

7.    If the exposure occurred before January 1, 1967, only the change of occupation award may be paid to the IW.  No other types of compensation are payable.

 

B.    Eligibility for Change of Occupation

 

1.    A request for change of occupation award must be filed on a C-86 Motion with supporting medical evidence.

 

2.    In order to qualify for the award and permit BWC to pay the change of occupation award, the injured worker shall establish by appropriate evidence that:

a.    He/she has contracted in the course of employment silicosis, coal miners’ pneumoconiosis, asbestosis, or any dust-induced occupational disease or is a fire fighter or police officer who has contracted cardiovascular, pulmonary, or respiratory disease in the course of employment; and

b.    He/she has been medically advised that a change of occupation is recommended to substantially decrease further exposure; and

c.    He/she has changed or shall change occupations to one in which the exposure is substantially decreased.

 

3.    An injured worker who has established eligibility is entitled for the first thirty (30) weeks of compensation if he/she discontinues current employment or changes employment to a job in which the exposure is substantially reduced.  For subsequent weeks:

a.    An injured worker who has contracted, in the course of his/her employment, silicosis, coal miners’ pneumoconiosis, asbestosis, or any dust-induced occupational disease is only eligible to receive an additional hundred (100) weeks immediately following the expiration of the first thirty (30) weeks by submitting evidence on a wage statement that documents the change of employment and loss of wages, or by submitting evidence of a job search on a wage loss statement documenting reasonable attempts to secure employment.

b.    A firefighter or police officer who has contracted, in the course of his/her employment, cardiovascular, pulmonary, or respiratory disease is only eligible to receive an additional seventy-five (75) weeks immediately following the expiration of the first thirty (30) weeks by submitting evidence on a wage statement that documents the change of employment and loss of wages or by submitting evidence on a wage loss statement for job search documenting reasonable attempts to secure employment.

 

4.    The award may be made to an injured worker who continues to work for the same employer as long as the job change substantially decreases the injured worker’s exposure to the harmful agent.

 

C.   Payment for a change of occupation award

 

1.    BWC shall pay fifty percent (50%) of the statewide average weekly wage (SAWW) as of the date of injury (DOI) per week for the first thirty (30) weeks after the date the employee discontinues or changes the former job (initiating as of the date of the discontinuance or change).

 

2.    BWC shall pay sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the wage loss resulting directly from the change of occupation, for the additional number of weeks as outlined in the policy.  This amount cannot be greater than one half (50%) of the SAWW as of the DOI.

 

 

BWC staff may refer to the corresponding procedure for this policy entitled “Procedure for Change of Occupation” for further guidelines.


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