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Some states move to reduce workers’ compensation benefits

In 2006, Ohio passed a law that reduced the amount of time injured workers could collect workers' compensation from 4 years to 1 year. The reduction applies to cases in which workers are no longer physically compromised, but nevertheless are unable to find work that matches their skills. 

The Ohio law is one of several reforms some states have taken in recent years that limit workers' rights to compensation. According to a ProPublica investigation, some of the other ways states have limited worker benefits include: 

  • Setting more restrictive time limits on wage replacement benefits
  • Restricting workers' ability to see doctors of their choosing
  • Increasingly relying on pre-existing conditions to deny claims

According to the study and accompanying graphic, Pennsylvania's workers' compensation laws have remained stable, while Ohio and other states have enacted several such reforms. But with many states throughout the country making such reforms to workers' compensation programs, it is not impossible that Pennsylvania could follow suit at some point. 

Collecting workers' compensation after an on-the-job injury isn't necessarily easy, even in states where no additional obstacles such as those described above have been erected. But now, in many cases these laws are making it harder, not easier, for workers to get the help they need after suffering an injury. 

If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, it's more important than ever to consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney early in the process to make sure you don't miss any deadlines or run afoul of any other regulation that might limit your care. 

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