Maintenance Wage Loss
4121.67; O.A.C. 4123-18-21; 4125-1-01
Percy, Chief of Operational Policy, Analytics & Compliance (Signature on
#CP-12-02, effective 05/12/14
purpose of this policy is to ensure that BWC properly pays living maintenance
wage loss (LMWL) to eligible injured workers (IW).
policy applies to field staff.
Suitable employment in which the IW’s weekly rate of pay is equal to, or
greater than, the IW’s average weekly wage (AWW).
wage received while employed: The IW’s present earnings (actual weekly
earnings which are generated by gainful employment). It is a rebuttable
presumption that earnings from paid leave provided by the employer will be
included in present earnings.
return to work:
When the IW has returned to work within sixty days of closure of the IW’s
approved vocational rehabilitation plan, and the employment:
within the physical and/or psychiatric limitations caused by the impairments
resulting from the allowed conditions in the claim in which the IW completed
the vocational rehabilitation plan, as documented by the IW’s physician of
reasonable in comparison with the return to work goals of the vocational
rehabilitation plan completed by the IW.
Work which is within the IW’s restrictions, and which may be performed by the IW
subject to all physical, psychiatric, mental, and vocational limitations to
which the IW was subject on the date of the injury, or on the date of
disability in occupational disease claims.
limitation of income: When an IW chooses to limit his or her income, by
choosing to work fewer hours or at wages below reasonable expectations for
personal reasons, as opposed to reasons related to the allowed conditions in
A. It is the policy of
BWC to provide LMWL payments to an IW who:
1. Has a date of injury
on or after August 22, 1986;
2. Completes an approved
vocational rehabilitation plan;
3. Successfully returns
to work within 60 days of closure of the IW’s vocational rehabilitation plan;
4. Experiences a wage
loss while employed, as a consequence of the physical and/or psychiatric
limitations resulting from the allowed conditions of the claim.
B. It is the policy of
BWC to require an IW requesting LMWL payments to submit to BWC:
1. An application on an Authorization
for Living Maintenance Wage Loss (RH-18) or equivalent; and
2. Medical documentation
of the IW’s physical and/or psychiatric limitations resulting from the allowed
conditions of the claim as documented by the IW’s physician of record on a Physician’s
Report of Work Ability (MEDCO-14) or equivalent.
is the policy of BWC
to send a notification
letter to all parties of the claim of the IW’s eligibility or non-eligibility
for LMWL, which will include:
1. Any expectations for
2. Requirements for
submitting documentation to receive ongoing payments;
3. Any finding that the
IW has voluntarily limited his/her income and the resulting calculation of
4. Notice of the limited
duration of LMWL; and
5. Language advising the parties
of the right to appeal the decision to the BWC Rehabilitation Eligibility
Appeal Unit within fourteen (14) days of the receipt of the letter.
D. BWC Requirements for Documentation
and Calculation of LMWL
1. BWC requires that the
IW provide proof of present earnings for the weeks the IW is requesting LMWL.
Proof of present earnings includes, but is not limited to:
a. Pay stubs;
b. Payroll reports; or
c. A Report of
Earnings for Living Maintenance Wage Loss (RH-94A) or equivalent, signed by
2. BWC will calculate
the amount of LMWL at sixty-six and two-thirds (66 2/3) percent of the
difference between the greater of the IW’s full weekly wage (FWW) or AWW for
the claim in which the IW participated in the vocational rehabilitation plan;
and the weekly wage (present earnings) the IW is receiving while employed.
3. Present earnings
a. Present earnings
payments, including stock given as a bonus;
and holiday differential pay;
sharing paid to employees as payroll;
Diem & Travel Allowance – if not paid as a reimbursement of expense;
wage replacement program fully funded by the employer, (i.e., long-term
b. Present earnings do not
include payment of any kind funded in whole or part by the IW.
c. Self-employed present
earnings are the IW’s gross income minus expenses.
d. The Wages
policy may be referenced for further information regarding what is included and
excluded from present earnings.
4. If the IW voluntarily
limits his or her income by restricting the number of hours worked, or by working
at a wage below reasonable expectations when more appropriate jobs are
reasonably available, BWC will calculate the IW’s LMWL at:
a. Sixty-six and
two-thirds (66 2/3) percent of the difference between the greater of the IW’s FWW
or AWW for the claim in which the IW participated in the vocational
rehabilitation plan; and
b. The income the IW
would have earned if he or she had not voluntarily limited his or her income.
5. BWC shall pay LMWL at
the amount calculated in section D.2. of this policy unless the calculated
amount exceeds the statewide average weekly wage (SAWW), in which case BWC
shall pay LMWL at the SAWW.
6. The IW must notify BWC
prior to changing jobs to determine if the change will result in a voluntary
limitation of income.
E. Ongoing Submission Requirements
1. It is the policy of
BWC that the IW submit subsequent applications for LMWL before the specified
end-date of the restrictions provided by the IW’s physician of record, or every
six months, whichever occurs first.
2. The IW must submit
proof of present earnings:
a. No less than every
four weeks; or
b. Quarterly, if the IW
has a substantial variation in income with a copy of his or her Federal
Estimated Tax for Individuals (1040-ES) quarterly payment voucher, if
3. It is the policy of BWC
to require the IW to make a good faith effort to search for more suitable
employment which is comparably paying work if:
a. The IW is in a job
that is below the reasonable expectations of the return to work goals of the
vocational rehabilitation plan; or
b. If the IW can
reasonably be expected to obtain different employment, for which earnings are
more comparable to those prior to the injury.
1. BWC will issue LMWL
payments following submission of proof of earnings.
2. Payments may continue
for up to a maximum of two hundred (200) weeks. The number of weeks an IW may
receive LMWL will be reduced by the number of weeks the IW receives wage loss,
pursuant to R.C. 4123.56(B).
3. LMWL will not be paid
when the IW is participating in a gradual return to work program, even if no
living maintenance is paid during the gradual return to work.
may pay LMWL retroactively if the IW did not receive working wage loss while
participating in vocational rehabilitation-related:
1. Transitional work;
2. On-the-job training;
3. Employer incentive; or
BWC staff may refer
to the corresponding procedure for this policy entitled “Procedure for Living
Maintenance Wage Loss” for further guidance.