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OhioBWC - Basics:  OAC 4123-3-10

4123-3-10 AWARDS

(A) Compensation check issuance, delivery and endorsement.

(1) Definition of claimant.

As used in this rule the word "claimant" shall apply to an employee who sustained an injury or contracted an occupational disease in the course of and arising out of employment, to the dependent of a deceased employee, as well as to any person who was awarded compensation under the Ohio Workers' Compensation Act.

(2) Time limit for issuance.

(a) Any order, finding or decision of the bureau, the industrial commission, its hearing officers or boards of review wherein payment of compensation is to be made shall be promptly forwarded to the appropriate department of the bureau charged with the duty of making the payment, or in the case of a self-insuring employer to the personnel of such employer charged with the disbursement of funds in industrial claims.
(b) The initial check of the bureau in payment of compensation under an order shall be issued no later than within five working days from the date of receipt of that order by the appropriate department of the bureau charged with the duty of making the payment. It will include compensation accrued and due the claimant at that time. Further payment of compensation due under that order shall be made by the bureau in biweekly installments. In self-insuring employers' claims payment will be made in accordance with the rules of the industrial commission.

(3) To whom paid.

(a) Awards of compensation shall be made payable only to the claimant as defined in paragraph (A)(1) of this rule, except in cases of lump sum advancements, or where the claimant is an incompetent person or a minor, awarded a lump sum of compensation.
(b) In cases of lump sum advancements, claimant's creditors may be co-payees.
(c) If the claimant is an incompetent person, checks shall be issued payable and shall be mailed to his legally appointed guardian upon the receipt of documentary proof establishing the existence of such guardianship.
(d) If the claimant is a minor and was awarded a lump sum of compensation, such sum shall be paid to his legally appointed guardian or in accordance with section 2111.05 of the Revised Code.
(e) If the bureau or the industrial commission determines that it is to the best interest of the claimant that a guardian of the property be appointed to receive the benefits payable, payment shall be withheld until such guardian is appointed.

(4) Information to accompany checks. All checks for compensation payments shall be accompanied by information which clearly indicates the source of payment, type of payment, method of computation, inclusive days of payment, the reason for any changes in payment and the telephone number or address for inquiries concerning the payment that was made.

(5) Mail delivery of the bureau's checks to claimant and exceptions. The standard method of delivering checks of the bureau is by mail. The bureau's checks payable to a claimant shall be mailed to his address, as officially recorded in his claim file, except as provided below:

(a) The mailing of the bureau's compensation check to a place requested by the claimant in a power of attorney, executed in accordance with paragraph (A)(6) of this rule, must be approved by the administrator, or his designee, or by the industrial commission or designee.
(b) When a final settlement of the claim has been agreed upon, the check or checks of the bureau in settlement of the claim will not be delivered until the claimant signs proper releases in connection with the settlement. Except in self-insuring employers' claims, such releases shall be signed before an authorized employee of the industrial commission or the bureau of workers' compensation, whereupon the settlement check or checks will be delivered to an office of the commission or bureau within the district where the claimant resides. In cases where the claimant is unable to come to the office or is not an Ohio resident, special arrangements shall be made under the direction of the industrial commission and the bureau for obtaining from the claimant proper releases and for delivery of the check or checks.
(c) Checks for lump sum advancements shall be disbursed in accordance with instructions of the industrial commission, as indicated in the order approving such advancements.
(d) In cases of advancements made by employer during period of disability, the bureau's checks shall be delivered in accordance with rule 4123-5-20 of the Administrative Code.

(6) Personal pick-up of the bureau's checks by a claimant and/or by parties other than a claimant.

(a) Providing approval has been given by a member of the industrial commission or designee, the administrator of the bureau of workers' compensation or his designee, or a hearing officer, a claimant, an attorney for a claimant, or any other person authorized by a claimant, may pick-up a compensation check issued by the bureau of workers' compensation.
(b) When a claimant authorizes another person to pick up his compensation check, the authorization shall be by a power of attorney. Such power of attorney must be executed within ninety days prior to or five days after the hearing on which compensation is to be paid, or within thirty days of the filing of the C-92 or C-92A application. Powers of attorney for temporary total disability compensation are not valid unless executed within thirty days of date of the order and must specifically state that the power of attorney is for temporary total disability compensation.
(c) The pick-up of the check, when properly approved, shall be made at the bureau or industrial commission office requested by the claimant in his power of attorney or as designated by the administrator or designee.
(d) The person authorized to pick-up the check shall furnish adequate identification and sign a dated receipt verifying acceptance of the check.
(e) In self-insuring employers' claims, the claimant and the employer may agree on check pick-up, such agreement to be based on the same principles as outlined in this rule.

(7) Endorsement of checks and procedure in the event of claimant's death.

(a) A power of attorney, allowing an attorney or an employee of an attorney to cash or endorse a check on behalf of the claimant is prohibited. Checks payable to claimant's guardian must be endorsed by said guardian in his official capacity.
(b) When a claimant dies, prior to endorsing his compensation check, no one has the right to endorse and cash such check. In order to ensure that the bureau or commission effectively obtains notice of death of a claimant, each check payable to a claimant shall bear on the reverse side, immediately above the point specified for endorsement, a printed certification to the effect that the signer or endorser certifies that he is the person to whom the check is payable and that the signature is his signature.
(c) Checks that cannot be endorsed because the claimant is deceased must be returned to the bureau's central office, warrants returned unit, claims section, Columbus, Ohio 43215 by the party handling his affairs, notifying the bureau of the date of death, if known. Upon receipt of information of claimant's death, payment of compensation shall be terminated and proper entry made in the records of the bureau.

(B) Medical awards.

Medical awards shall be paid by the data processing section of the bureau within twenty-one working days from the date of receipt of the order for payment by that section or on a more frequent disbursement schedule, as established by the administrator.

(C) Rules for self-insuring employers. The self-insuring employers shall make payment of compensation and benefits within the time as required by law and rules of the industrial commission.

(1) It is the duty of the employer to pay, in accordance with the act, the amount of compensation due a claimant whose injury or occupational disease has resulted in more than seven days lost time. Payment to be made in the manner provided by law and the rules of the industrial commission.

(2) It is the duty of the employer to pay for necessary medical services rendered by health care providers as a result of an injury or occupational disease for which a claim was recognized by the employer or allowed by the industrial commission.

(3) It is the duty of the employer to pay the amount of compensation and/or benefits due in a compensable death case, and to make payment to the proper dependents or to such other persons who may be entitled thereto in accordance with the governing statutes and the orders and rules of the industrial commission. In the event death is the result of a compensable injury or occupational disease, the employer shall also pay the funeral allowance provided by statute at the time of death.

(4) All awards made by self-insuring employers must be at least equal to the amounts specified in the applicable statutes, the rules of the bureau and the industrial commission.