Ohio BWC to give $1.5 billion back to employers.

Posted by on May 29, 2018 in updates

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation recently approved a 1.5 billion dollar rebate to Ohio employers.  The Ohio BWC is doing so despite Ohio BWC service offices being understaffed and overworked.  For a link to the article click here.    The Ohio BWC has issued premium cuts and rebates totaling over 8 billion dollars since 2011.  At the same time the Ohio BWC is cutting premiums and giving rebates, they have shortened the statute of limitations on claims from two years to one year and have refused to pay out amputation awards in a lump sum, and instead have paid these out over time. The Ohio Association of Trial Lawyers issued the following response to the BWC’s most recent premium rebate:   Ohio Association for Justice asks: Why is BWC not sharing some of surplus with injured workers?   Yesterday, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) announced yet another employer rebate, this time in the amount of $1.5 Billion, bringing the total number of employer premium rebates, refunds and credits to $8 Billion since 2011. And yet, at the same time the BWC has recently filed an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court seeking reversal of an 8th District Court of Appeals case that ruled in favor of injured workers...

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Ohio Supreme Court denies right to permanent partial disability to injured worker receiving permanent and total disability.

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in updates

In State ex rel. Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services, Inc. v. Indus. Comm., 2017-Ohio-7577 the Ohio Supreme Court held: “When an injured employee has previously been determined to be entitled to permanent-total-disability compensation pursuant to R.C. 4123.58, the commission does not have statutory authority to grant in the same claim a permanent-partial-disability award pursuant to R.C. 4123.57(A). Previously an injured worker was entitled to a permanent partial disability award for any medical conditions that was not considered as a basis for the prior finding of permanent and total disability.  This decision is a further erosion of injured workers’ right to compensation under their workers’ compensation claim by a republican supreme...

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Statute of Limitations to File Claims Reduced to 1 year

Posted by on Aug 3, 2017 in updates

Governor Kasich has signed House Bill 27.  Among other changes to Ohio workers’ compensation law, the statute of limitations to file a workers compensation claim has been reduced to one year.  Previously, the statute of limitations was two years.  This change goes into effect on 9/29/17 and applies to claims arising on or after this effective date.  Other changes include: Increase attorneys’ fees to $5,000 for representation in Common Pleas Court cases Facilitate settlement of claims by injured handicapped workers Allow firefighters with cancer to receive working wage loss Allow compensation to be paid before the claimant’s full weekly wage has been determined, and Allow more time to settle claims after final IC orders by filing a notice of intent to settle the claim with 30 days of receipt of the order. Click here to see a full copy of the new...

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Governor Kasich signs Michael Louis Palumbo Jr. Act

Posted by on Jan 13, 2017 in updates

Governor Kasich recently signed the Michael Louis Palumbo Jr. Act.  This act creates a rebuttable presumption that a firefighter who develops cancer did so while in the course and scope of and arising out of employment.   To read more about this new law click here.  To see the full text of the new law click...

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Ohio law firm challenges BWC’s privacy statute

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 in updates

An Ohio law firm, Bevan & Associates, is challenging Ohio’s statute that makes injured workers’ personal information private.  Previously, the names, claim numbers and addresses of injured workers were available to the public via a public records request.  The Ohio BWC changed the law making this information private with an exception for journalists.  The law firm apparently is using a “journalist” to get this now private information and is using it to solicit business by direct mailing advertisements to injured workers.  The law firm may argue that their advertising is commercial speech that is protected under the First Amendment and that the government must have a substantial interest in curtailing this speech.  However, the state of Ohio will likely argue that the injured workers’ privacy concerns outweigh the law firm’s commercial speech rights.  The law firm may also have issues as to whether or not they qualify as a “journalist” and/or whether or not it is permissible to obtain this information from a journalist and use it in a manner clearly in contravention as to the intent of the statute.  It will be interesting to see how this case develops. (Click here to see the article in Forbes Magazine) (click here to see the article in the Columbus Dispatch)...

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BWC changes to prospective rating for employers

Posted by on Aug 18, 2016 in updates

According to the BWC website, the BWC began its switch to a prospective billing last year and now collects premiums upfront, an insurance industry standard practice. The new system has allowed BWC to reduce base rates and offer employers more flexible payment options while allowing employers to better forecast their workers’ compensation costs.  For the full story click...

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