4.26.2012

Authorization of Diagnostic Testing Does Not Support the Continued Payment of Temporary Total Disability Compensation

In State ex rel. Huffman v. Industrial Commission, 2012-Ohio-1609, the claimant argued that he was entitled to the extension of temporary total disability (TTD) compensation based upon the authorization by the Industrial Commission of Ohio of diagnostic testing recommended by the claimant’s physicians to further medically treat him for an injury in an allowed claim. At the time of this authorization, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) was requesting that the claimant be declared to have reached maximum medical improvement under the allowed conditions at that time. The claimant argued that termination of TTD compensation would be premature in light of this authorization,  and that he was entitled to continued TTD compensation during the course of this testing.

The Tenth District Court of Appeals disagreed with the claimant’s rationale, citing State ex rel. Jackson Tube Serv., Inc. v. Indus. Comm., 2003-Ohio-2259, where the claimant was entitled  to the continued payment of TTD compensation only if the claimant’s allowed conditions had not reached maximum medical improvement. The Tenth District Court of Appeals relied upon the Industrial Commission’s finding that the claimant in this case had reached maximum improvement for the allowed conditions. State ex rel. Jackson Tube Serv., Inc. v. Indus. Comm. does not support the continued payment of TTD compensation under these circumstances. Also, the court held that if the testing showed the existence of new medical conditions, the payment of TTD compensation during the process of the testing to determine these conditions would not be permitted as these conditions would not yet be allowed in the claim.

It has been the common practice before the Industrial Commission of Ohio that if any additional medical treatment is authorized  the termination of TTD is not indicated. State ex rel. Jackson Tube Servs., v. Indus. Comm. instructs the Ohio BWC and Industrial Commission of Ohio that only treatment of the allowed conditions supports the payment of TTD so long as the claimant has not been declared to have reached maximum medical improvement for these conditions.



Contact: Brian A. Tarian
614.723.2028
btarian@ralaw.com

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