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What to Know About Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim as a Seasonal Worker

July 8, 2024

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Seasonal workers make up a small but important part of Ohio’s labor force. Most seasonal employees work in the agricultural sector of the state’s economy, but thousands of others work in retail stores, warehouses, tourist destinations, and other industries.

And while seasonal workers get regular paychecks while working like other permanent employees, they miss out on a few perks of full-time employment. If you’re a seasonal worker, you may be ineligible for health insurance, paid time off, a 401(k) plan, disability insurance, or tuition reimbursement, even when these perks are available to permanent employees.

However, one significant benefit you can receive as a seasonal worker is workers’ compensation. That means if you’re injured on the job as a seasonal worker, even if you’re part-time or it’s your first day, you can still apply for and receive benefits.

Applying for benefits as a seasonal worker involves all the same steps as applying for benefits as a full-time permanent employee, but you may go through a slightly different process than other employees. Read on to learn what to expect.

You May Experience Pushback from Coworkers or Management

Because seasonal workers are ineligible for many common benefits of full-time permanent employment, it’s common for people to assume they’re ineligible for any benefits, including workers’ compensation benefits. When seasonal workers are hurt on the job, they’re often dissuaded from seeking benefits by coworkers or managers who believe they’re ineligible to receive them.

If you attempted to start the application process after an on-the-job injury and were ignored or had your request refused by your supervisor or manager, it’s important to know and exercise your rights. The Ohio workers’ compensation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy can stand up for you and protect your right to get the benefits you’re entitled to.

Your Short-Term Employment Status Could Pose Challenges

Seasonal workers typically have shorter employment durations compared to full-time employees. This can create difficulties in documenting and verifying their employment status and injury details. Employers might not maintain comprehensive records for seasonal workers, leading to potential disputes about whether the injury occurred in the course of employment.

Employers hiring seasonal workers may also need to become more familiar with the workers' compensation process, especially if they don’t regularly deal with workplace injuries. This can lead to delays or errors in filing claims, affecting workers' ability to receive timely benefits.

Some employers may not promptly report injuries or fail to provide the necessary forms and information. Seasonal workers may also not be informed about their rights or the correct procedures for filing a claim.

You’re Eligible for the Same Benefits as Any Other Injured Worker

The workers’ compensation benefits that seasonal workers can receive are the same as those of any full-time permanent employee after an on-the-job injury. These benefits include:

Medical Benefits

These cover the costs of treatment related to your work-related injury or illness, such as:

  • Doctor Visits: This includes consultations with general practitioners and specialists.
  • Hospital Stays: This benefit covers costs associated with hospital admission, including surgeries and emergency care.
  • Medications: Prescription drugs needed for your recovery are covered by workers’ compensation.
  • Physical Therapy: Rehabilitation services to help you regain function and mobility are also covered.
  • Medical Equipment: Workers’ comp will pay for devices such as braces, crutches, or wheelchairs required for recovery.

Temporary Disability Benefits

If your injury prevents you from working temporarily, you may be eligible for temporary disability benefits. These benefits provide partial wage replacement during the period you can’t work. There are two main types of temporary disability benefits:

  • Temporary Total Disability (TTD): TTD benefits are available to workers who are completely unable to work for a temporary period due to their injury. TTD benefits are typically calculated as a percentage of your average weekly wage before the injury.
  • Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): TPD benefits are given to workers who can return to work but in a reduced capacity (i.e., they work fewer hours or have lighter duties). TPD benefits compensate for the difference between your pre-injury wages and post-injury earning capacity.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Permanent disability benefits are provided if your injury or illness results in a lasting impairment that affects your ability to work. There are two main types of permanent disability benefits:

  • Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): These benefits are for workers who sustain a permanent impairment but can still work in some capacity. PPD benefits are based on the severity of the impairment and the impact on your earning ability.
  • Permanent Total Disability (PTD): These benefits are for workers who can’t return to their jobs or any other jobs due to their injuries. PTD benefits provide ongoing financial support for the rest of your life.

Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational rehabilitation services are designed to help injured workers return to the workforce, either in their previous jobs or in a new role that accommodates their new physical limitations following their injury. These services can include:

  • Job Training: This includes training programs to develop new job skills or enhance existing ones.
  • Job Placement Assistance: This includes receiving help with finding suitable employment opportunities that better match your post-injury capabilities.
  • Ergonomic Assessments: These evaluations help ensure your workplace is set up to minimize strain and prevent further injury.

Seasonal Job Injury? Our Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help.

Despite playing important roles for the property owners, companies, and organizations that hire them, seasonal workers don’t always get the same recognition as permanent employees. Because of that, it’s easy for seasonal workers to slip through the cracks after on-the-job injuries. In other cases, seasonal workers’ injuries aren’t taken seriously, and they may not even receive the necessary forms to report their injuries.

At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we protect the rights of all injured workers, including part-time and seasonal workers. You put your health and well-being on the line to do a job, and now that you’re injured, you deserve maximum compensation and benefits for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. Contact our Ohio workers’ compensation attorneys today for a free consultation.

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