In truth, it is not dwarf benefits; it is DWRF benefits and it can make all the difference for Ohio workers brought down by a workplace injury. An acronym for Disabled Workers’ Relief Fund, DWRF can supplement your workers’ compensation benefits if an on-the-job injury results in a permanent disability. It can also supplement Social Security Disability (SSD) payments as well.
We have found that many victims of a work-related permanent disability have no idea that a program like DWRF exists. This is probably because these benefits begin automatically, as long as you qualify for them financially. You will not need to apply for them as you do when seeking workers’ compensation. A representative will review your disability claim and if you meet the qualifications, you will receive a notification that you are eligible for DWRF.
So, how does an injured worker qualify for DWRF? Well, if all your combined benefits (workers’ compensation, social security, etc.) are less than the DWRF qualifying figure, the program should automatically kick in. On the first day of each year, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation adjusts and determines the cost of living, and this is the figure used to identify who is eligible for DWRF.
As is the case with many government programs, some people who qualify for DWRF may fall through the cracks, resulting in significant financial hardships. This is not a judgment on the government employees who work hard to make certain injured workers get their benefits. Rather, it is a simple and unfortunate fact.
On a more positive note, you can find out if you qualify for DWRF by taking the details of your work injury and the benefits you currently receive to an attorney for careful review. Please continue reading our workers’ compensation webpages for additional information about your benefit options.