and Procedure Name:
Guardianship, Power of Attorney and Incapacitation
Ohio Constitution, Article 1, Section 1 and Section 16; R.C. 1337.22(E); R.C.
4123.89; O.A.C. 4123-3-08; O.A.C. 4123-3-10.
R. Abrams, Chief Operating Officer
Policy and procedure #CP-03-06, effective 07/19/13
11/14/16; New 07/19/13
of this policy is to provide general guidance relating to the legal concepts of
custody, guardianship, power of attorney and incapacitation.
policy applies to claim services staff.
who asserts a right, demand or claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Conservator: A guardian
appointed by a probate court at the request of a mentally competent adult who
is physically unable to manage some aspects of life. Powers of the
Conservator are specified by the requestor of the conservatorship and set forth
in the probate court order.
immediate charge, care and control of a thing or person.
Guardian: A person lawfully
vested with the power, and charged with the duty, of taking care of and/or
managing the property and rights of another person because the person is of
minor age, has a defect of understanding or self-control, or is considered
incapable of administering his or her own affairs.
Incapacitated: The inability to manage
property or business affairs because the individual has an impairment in the
ability to receive and evaluate information or make or communicate decisions
even with the use of technological assistance.
of Attorney: A written document that conveys the legal authority to act for
another person in specified matters.
A. It is the policy of BWC
to provide a claimant with all legal rights afforded by law unless the
authority to exercise such rights has been given to another via statute, court
order or a legally binding written instrument executed by the claimant (e.g., a
power of attorney).
B. It is the policy of BWC
that a minor child who is injured or suffers an occupational disease in the
course and scope of employment has the legal capacity to act on his or her own
behalf and file a claim directly with BWC without the assistance of a parent or
C. It is the policy of BWC
that if BWC or the Industrial Commission determines that it is in the best
interest of the claimant that a guardian be appointed to receive benefits
payable, payment shall be withheld until such guardian is appointed.
D. It is the policy of BWC, in the event a
claimant is unable to complete the first report of injury (FROI) due to
physical or mental disability, to allow the FROI to be completed and filed by
the claimant’s spouse, next friend, guardian or employer.
A. Claim services staff
shall follow the direction of any subject-matter specific policy that addresses
custody, guardianship, power of attorney (POA), and incapacitation. In the
absence of a subject-matter specific policy, field staff shall follow this
policy and procedure.
B. If claims services
staff receive notice or are otherwise alerted that another person may have some
legal right to act on behalf of a claimant, claim services staff shall:
1. Contact the claimant
and/or the person claiming such rights and request the supporting legal
2. Ensure the submitted
documentation is imaged into the claim file; and
3. Consult with the local
BWC attorney to determine the specific rights bestowed by the document(s).
C. In general, documentation addressing
the legal right one may have to act on behalf of another person may include:
1. Birth certificates or
other documents relating to custody;
2. Guardianship of the
person or the estate;
3. Power of Attorney;
4. Court orders establishing
D. Entering Information
into the Claims Management System
1. Claim services staff
shall ensure any verified guardian:
a. Is entered into the claims management
system as a customer with the appropriate relationship identified; and
b. Entered into the claim as a participant.
2. Claim services staff may refer to the
PowerSuite Training Manual – Initial Notification for more information.
E. Claim services staff
shall accept a FROI filed by a minor child on his or her own behalf. If there
is any conflict or question regarding the minor child/claimant’s continued
capacity to act on his or her own behalf, claim services staff shall consult
with the BWC attorney.
1. If claim services staff
receive notice or have reason to believe that a claimant may be incapacitated,
as defined by this policy, claim services staff shall contact the local BWC
attorney to determine what, if any, action needs to be taken relating to the
2. Claim services staff shall
not assume that the physical inability of a claimant to sign a document, by
itself, establishes incapacity and the need of a guardian. See the Signature
on Applications policy and procedure for additional information.