Industrial Commission Appeals Process

The Appeals Process

Did you know that most Industrial Commission (IC) hearings take place in a small hearing room with a few people present? Our hearings are much different than you might see in a common courtroom. They are informal, quasi-judicial, and less intimidating, while still providing sufficient opportunity for injured workers and employers to present their positions on the claims under review.

Authority and Role of the IC

Working under the authority and guidance of the Ohio Legislature and the Ohio Revised Code, the IC utilizes a structured hearing process to resolve disputed workers' compensation claims. For a detailed breakdown of the hearing process, check out the IC’s informational Fact Sheets (link located in the Quick Links).

Appealing a Claim to the IC

After receiving a workplace injury claim, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) issues an order regarding payment of the claim. An injured worker or employer who disagrees with the order may appeal the decision to the Industrial Commission and request a hearing to evaluate the merits of the claim.

Anyone wishing to appeal a claim to the IC should file Form IC-12 (located on the Forms page) with a local IC office, or file the appeal online by accessing ICON in the navigation bar at the top of this page.

If the IC has already decided your case and you wish to appeal the IC decision, click on ICON above to file an appeal online, or click Hearing Levels for further information on the levels of appeals.

If you are filing a Permanent Total Disability (PTD) application, please review our Permanent Total Disability guidelines.

Hearing Administrators

The state's five hearing administrators help to ensure a smooth and timely hearing process. Hearing administrators review and process requests to continue (postpone) and cancel hearings, and issue subpoenas, depositions, and interrogatories.

Hearing Guidelines

Legal representation is not required for IC hearings. However, parties may choose to be represented by an attorney or other authorized person.

District-level and staff-level hearings are generally held at the local office closest to the injured worker's home. For more information on the hearing levels, visit the Hearing Levels page.

Medical Examinations

The IC may request that injured workers undergo a medical examination to determine the extent or nature of the injured worker's workplace injury or disease.

Injured workers are required to attend any exam scheduled by the IC. The Ohio Revised Code specifies that compensation may be suspended if the injured worker refuses or obstructs a medical exam relating to a workers' compensation claim.

An IC-ordered exam is performed by a medical professional at no cost to the injured worker. Qualified travel, lodging and food expenses may be authorized for reimbursement by the IC.

If you require foreign language interpreting services or hearing impaired services at your medical examination, you must request this service prior to the exam. Requests can be made electronically through ICON, or by faxing a copy of the appropriate form, found by visiting the Forms link, to 614-728-7004. If you have questions regarding these services, please contact Customer Service at 1-800-521-2691.

Compliance Letters

The Hearing administrator may issue compliance letters granting parties the right to depose or submit interrogatories to a BWC or IC physician. Furthermore, a hearing administrator may issue compliance letters when an injured worker fails to sign medical releases or attend required examinations.

Hearing Notification

IC guidelines require that a hearing notification be mailed to the concerned parties at least 14 days prior to the hearing. The notice will state the date, time, and location of the hearing, as well as the issues in dispute.
If the IC rules on a case without you having received your hearing notice in a timely manner, you may submit a Request for .522/.52 Relief Form (located on the Forms page) asking for a new hearing, or file that request online through ICON

Hearing Decisions

All parties will be notified of the hearing officer's decision via US mail.

Appealing IC Decisions

Please see Hearing Levels for details on appealing IC decisions or filing an appeal online through ICON

Payment of Claims

Whenever the IC grants an injured worker's appeal, compensation is paid after the order is issued, even if an opposing party appeals the action.

Medical payments are payable when ordered by a staff hearing officer.

Office of the Ombudsperson

The Office of the Ombudsperson serves as an impartial liaison between the injured worker or employer, and BWC or IC. If you feel your claim is not being handled properly by either agency, or have inquiries about your claim that are not being resolved, the Ombudsperson may be able to help.



ICON is your online resource for managing your hearing file. Logon to file appeals, objections, continuances, cancellations, request services, and view or add documents to your hearing folder.


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Download individual PDFs of IC forms.

IC Policies

Get the information you need to comply with IC rules, resolutions, policies and guidelines.

The Appeals Process

Confused about the process or what is expected of you? Visit the Appeals Process section to learn the ins and outs of workers’ compensation claims and hearings.