4123.57 Partial disability compensation.

Partial disability compensation shall be paid as follows.

Except as provided in this section, not earlier than twenty-six weeks after the date of termination of the latest period of payments under section 4123.56 of the Revised Code, or not earlier than twenty-six weeks after the date of the injury or contraction of an occupational disease in the absence of payments under section 4123.56 of the Revised Code, the employee may file an application with the bureau of workers' compensation for the determination of the percentage of the employee's permanent partial disability resulting from an injury or occupational disease.

Whenever the application is filed, the bureau shall send a copy of the application to the employee's employer or the employer's representative and shall schedule the employee for a medical examination by the bureau medical section. The bureau shall send a copy of the report of the medical examination to the employee, the employer, and their representatives. Thereafter, the administrator of workers' compensation shall review the employee's claim file and make a tentative order as the evidence before the administrator at the time of the making of the order warrants. If the administrator determines that there is a conflict of evidence, the administrator shall send the application, along with the claimant's file, to the district hearing officer who shall set the application for a hearing.

The administrator shall notify the employee, the employer, and their representatives, in writing, of the tentative order and of the parties' right to request a hearing. Unless the employee, the employer, or their representative notifies the administrator, in writing, of an objection to the tentative order within twenty days after receipt of the notice thereof, the tentative order shall go into effect and the employee shall receive the compensation provided in the order. In no event shall there be a reconsideration of a tentative order issued under this division.

If the employee, the employer, or their representatives timely notify the administrator of an objection to the tentative order, the matter shall be referred to a district hearing officer who shall set the application for hearing with written notices to all interested persons. Upon referral to a district hearing officer, the employer may obtain a medical examination of the employee, pursuant to rules of the industrial commission.

(A) The district hearing officer, upon the application, shall determine the percentage of the employee's permanent disability, except as is subject to division (B) of this section, based upon that condition of the employee resulting from the injury or occupational disease and causing permanent impairment evidenced by medical or clinical findings reasonably demonstrable. The employee shall receive sixty-six and two-thirds per cent of the employee's average weekly wage, but not more than a maximum of thirty-three and one-third per cent of the statewide average weekly wage as defined in division (C) of section 4123.62 of the Revised Code, per week regardless of the average weekly wage, for the number of weeks which equals the percentage of two hundred weeks. Except on application for reconsideration, review, or modification, which is filed within ten days after the date of receipt of the decision of the district hearing officer, in no instance shall the former award be modified unless it is found from medical or clinical findings that the condition of the claimant resulting from the injury has so progressed as to have increased the percentage of permanent partial disability. A staff hearing officer shall hear an application for reconsideration filed and the staff hearing officer's decision is final. An employee may file an application for a subsequent determination of the percentage of the employee's permanent disability. If such an application is filed, the bureau shall send a copy of the application to the employer or the employer's representative. No sooner than sixty days from the date of the mailing of the application to the employer or the employer's representative, the administrator shall review the application. The administrator may require a medical examination or medical review of the employee. The administrator shall issue a tentative order based upon the evidence before the administrator, provided that if the administrator requires a medical examination or medical review, the administrator shall not issue the tentative order until the completion of the examination or review.

The employer may obtain a medical examination of the employee and may submit medical evidence at any stage of the process up to a hearing before the district hearing officer, pursuant to rules of the commission. The administrator shall notify the employee, the employer, and their representatives, in writing, of the nature and amount of any tentative order issued on an application requesting a subsequent determination of the percentage of an employee's permanent disability. An employee, employer, or their representatives may object to the tentative order within twenty days after the receipt of the notice thereof. If no timely objection is made, the tentative order shall go into effect. In no event shall there be a reconsideration of a tentative order issued under this division. If an objection is timely made, the application for a subsequent determination shall be referred to a district hearing officer who shall set the application for a hearing with written notice to all interested persons. No application for subsequent percentage determinations on the same claim for injury or occupational disease shall be accepted for review by the district hearing officer unless supported by substantial evidence of new and changed circumstances developing since the time of the hearing on the original or last determination.

No award shall be made under this division based upon a percentage of disability which, when taken with all other percentages of permanent disability, exceeds one hundred per cent. If the percentage of the permanent disability of the employee equals or exceeds ninety per cent, compensation for permanent partial disability shall be paid for two hundred weeks.

Compensation payable under this division accrues and is payable to the employee from the date of last payment of compensation, or, in cases where no previous compensation has been paid, from the date of the injury or the date of the diagnosis of the occupational disease.

When an award under this division has been made prior to the death of an employee, all unpaid installments accrued or to accrue under the provisions of the award are payable to the surviving spouse, or if there is no surviving spouse, to the dependent children of the employee, and if there are no children surviving, then to other dependents as the administrator determines.

(B) For purposes of this division, "payable per week" means the seven-consecutive-day period in which compensation is paid in installments according to the schedule associated with the applicable injury as set forth in this division.

Compensation paid in weekly installments according to the schedule described in this division may only be commuted to one or more lump sum payments pursuant to the procedure set forth in section 4123.64 of the Revised Code.

In cases included in the following schedule the compensation payable per week to the employee is the statewide average weekly wage as defined in division (C) of section 4123.62 of the Revised Code per week and shall be paid in installments according to the following schedule:

For the loss of a first finger, commonly known as a thumb, sixty weeks.

For the loss of a second finger, commonly called index finger, thirty-five weeks.

For the loss of a third finger, thirty weeks.

For the loss of a fourth finger, twenty weeks.

For the loss of a fifth finger, commonly known as the little finger, fifteen weeks.

The loss of a second, or distal, phalange of the thumb is considered equal to the loss of one half of such thumb; the loss of more than one half of such thumb is considered equal to the loss of the whole thumb.

The loss of the third, or distal, phalange of any finger is considered equal to the loss of one-third of the finger.

The loss of the middle, or second, phalange of any finger is considered equal to the loss of two-thirds of the finger.

The loss of more than the middle and distal phalanges of any finger is considered equal to the loss of the whole finger. In no case shall the amount received for more than one finger exceed the amount provided in this schedule for the loss of a hand.

For the loss of the metacarpal bone (bones of the palm) for the corresponding thumb, or fingers, add ten weeks to the number of weeks under this division.

For ankylosis (total stiffness of) or contractures (due to scars or injuries) which makes any of the fingers, thumbs, or parts of either useless, the same number of weeks apply to the members or parts thereof as given for the loss thereof.

If the claimant has suffered the loss of two or more fingers by amputation or ankylosis and the nature of the claimant's employment in the course of which the claimant was working at the time of the injury or occupational disease is such that the handicap or disability resulting from the loss of fingers, or loss of use of fingers, exceeds the normal handicap or disability resulting from the loss of fingers, or loss of use of fingers, the administrator may take that fact into consideration and increase the award of compensation accordingly, but the award made shall not exceed the amount of compensation for loss of a hand.

For the loss of a hand, one hundred seventy-five weeks.

For the loss of an arm, two hundred twenty-five weeks.

For the loss of a great toe, thirty weeks.

For the loss of one of the toes other than the great toe, ten weeks.

The loss of more than two-thirds of any toe is considered equal to the loss of the whole toe.

The loss of less than two-thirds of any toe is considered no loss, except as to the great toe; the loss of the great toe up to the interphalangeal joint is co-equal to the loss of one-half of the great toe; the loss of the great toe beyond the interphalangeal joint is considered equal to the loss of the whole great toe.

For the loss of a foot, one hundred fifty weeks.

For the loss of a leg, two hundred weeks.

For the loss of the sight of an eye, one hundred twenty-five weeks.

For the permanent partial loss of sight of an eye, the portion of one hundred twenty-five weeks as the administrator in each case determines, based upon the percentage of vision actually lost as a result of the injury or occupational disease, but, in no case shall an award of compensation be made for less than twenty-five per cent loss of uncorrected vision. "Loss of uncorrected vision" means the percentage of vision actually lost as the result of the injury or occupational disease.

For the permanent and total loss of hearing of one ear, twenty-five weeks; but in no case shall an award of compensation be made for less than permanent and total loss of hearing of one ear.

For the permanent and total loss of hearing, one hundred twenty-five weeks; but, except pursuant to the next preceding paragraph, in no case shall an award of compensation be made for less than permanent and total loss of hearing.

In case an injury or occupational disease results in serious facial or head disfigurement which either impairs or may in the future impair the opportunities to secure or retain employment, the administrator shall make an award of compensation as it deems proper and equitable, in view of the nature of the disfigurement, and not to exceed the sum of ten thousand dollars. For the purpose of making the award, it is not material whether the employee is gainfully employed in any occupation or trade at the time of the administrator's determination.

When an award under this division has been made prior to the death of an employee all unpaid installments accrued or to accrue under the provisions of the award shall be payable to the surviving spouse, or if there is no surviving spouse, to the dependent children of the employee and if there are no such children, then to such dependents as the administrator determines.

When an employee has sustained the loss of a member by severance, but no award has been made on account thereof prior to the employee's death, the administrator shall make an award in accordance with this division for the loss which shall be payable to the surviving spouse, or if there is no surviving spouse, to the dependent children of the employee and if there are no such children, then to such dependents as the administrator determines.

(C) Compensation for partial impairment under divisions (A) and (B) of this section is in addition to the compensation paid the employee pursuant to section 4123.56 of the Revised Code. A claimant may receive compensation under divisions (A) and (B) of this section.

In all cases arising under division (B) of this section, if it is determined by any one of the following: (1) the amputee clinic at University hospital, Ohio state university; (2) the opportunities for Ohioans with disabilities agency; (3) an amputee clinic or prescribing physician approved by the administrator or the administrator's designee, that an injured or disabled employee is in need of an artificial appliance, or in need of a repair thereof, regardless of whether the appliance or its repair will be serviceable in the vocational rehabilitation of the injured employee, and regardless of whether the employee has returned to or can ever again return to any gainful employment, the bureau shall pay the cost of the artificial appliance or its repair out of the surplus created by division (B) of section 4123.34 of the Revised Code.

In those cases where an opportunities for Ohioans with disabilities agency recommendation that an injured or disabled employee is in need of an artificial appliance would conflict with their state plan, adopted pursuant to the "Rehabilitation Act of 1973," 87 Stat. 355, 29 U.S.C.A. 701, the administrator or the administrator's designee or the bureau may obtain a recommendation from an amputee clinic or prescribing physician that they determine appropriate.

(D) If an employee of a state fund employer makes application for a finding and the administrator finds that the employee has contracted silicosis as defined in division (X), or coal miners' pneumoconiosis as defined in division (Y), or asbestosis as defined in division (AA) of section 4123.68 of the Revised Code, and that a change of such employee's occupation is medically advisable in order to decrease substantially further exposure to silica dust, asbestos, or coal dust and if the employee, after the finding, has changed or shall change the employee's occupation to an occupation in which the exposure to silica dust, asbestos, or coal dust is substantially decreased, the administrator shall allow to the employee an amount equal to fifty per cent of the statewide average weekly wage per week for a period of thirty weeks, commencing as of the date of the discontinuance or change, and for a period of one hundred weeks immediately following the expiration of the period of thirty weeks, the employee shall receive sixty-six and two-thirds per cent of the loss of wages resulting directly and solely from the change of occupation but not to exceed a maximum of an amount equal to fifty per cent of the statewide average weekly wage per week. No such employee is entitled to receive more than one allowance on account of discontinuance of employment or change of occupation and benefits shall cease for any period during which the employee is employed in an occupation in which the exposure to silica dust, asbestos, or coal dust is not substantially less than the exposure in the occupation in which the employee was formerly employed or for any period during which the employee may be entitled to receive compensation or benefits under section 4123.68 of the Revised Code on account of disability from silicosis, asbestosis, or coal miners' pneumoconiosis. An award for change of occupation for a coal miner who has contracted coal miners' pneumoconiosis may be granted under this division even though the coal miner continues employment with the same employer, so long as the coal miner's employment subsequent to the change is such that the coal miner's exposure to coal dust is substantially decreased and a change of occupation is certified by the claimant as permanent. The administrator may accord to the employee medical and other benefits in accordance with section 4123.66 of the Revised Code.

(E) If a firefighter or police officer makes application for a finding and the administrator finds that the firefighter or police officer has contracted a cardiovascular and pulmonary disease as defined in division (W) of section 4123.68 of the Revised Code, and that a change of the firefighter's or police officer's occupation is medically advisable in order to decrease substantially further exposure to smoke, toxic gases, chemical fumes, and other toxic vapors, and if the firefighter, or police officer, after the finding, has changed or changes occupation to an occupation in which the exposure to smoke, toxic gases, chemical fumes, and other toxic vapors is substantially decreased, the administrator shall allow to the firefighter or police officer an amount equal to fifty per cent of the statewide average weekly wage per week for a period of thirty weeks, commencing as of the date of the discontinuance or change, and for a period of seventy-five weeks immediately following the expiration of the period of thirty weeks the administrator shall allow the firefighter or police officer sixty-six and two-thirds per cent of the loss of wages resulting directly and solely from the change of occupation but not to exceed a maximum of an amount equal to fifty per cent of the statewide average weekly wage per week. No such firefighter or police officer is entitled to receive more than one allowance on account of discontinuance of employment or change of occupation and benefits shall cease for any period during which the firefighter or police officer is employed in an occupation in which the exposure to smoke, toxic gases, chemical fumes, and other toxic vapors is not substantially less than the exposure in the occupation in which the firefighter or police officer was formerly employed or for any period during which the firefighter or police officer may be entitled to receive compensation or benefits under section 4123.68 of the Revised Code on account of disability from a cardiovascular and pulmonary disease. The administrator may accord to the firefighter or police officer medical and other benefits in accordance with section 4123.66 of the Revised Code.

(F) An order issued under this section is appealable pursuant to section 4123.511 of the Revised Code but is not appealable to court under section 4123.512 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 9/10/2012.

Effective Date: 08-06-1999; 2006 SB7 10-11-2006