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 who suffer traumatic amputations or loss of use due to industrial injuries. The BWC currently pays these “scheduled loss awards” biweekly. Following the filing of a challenge to that practice by the Ohio Association for Justice, the 8th District Court ruled in Kljun v. Admin., Ohio Bur. of Workers’ Comp., 2017-Ohio-7724, that these awards should be paid in lump sums. In fact, the court granted injunctive relief, ordering the BWC to pay these awards in lump sums. It is that order that the BWC seeks to have reversed.
“Scheduled loss awards are designed to compensate our Ohio workers who are the most grievously injured because they have lost a hand or a leg or use of their arm. These awards are designed to help those injured workers who are in desperate need of compensation at possibly the worst time in their life,” commented OAJ President Rich Brian. “To pay these awards over time defeats their purpose.”
“It is time to ask, when did the Ohio workers’ compensation system stop being about injured workers?” remarked John Van Doorn, OAJ Government Affairs Director. “We are all in favor of job creation in this state, but let’s share some of the BWC’s financial surplus with the injured workers who the system was constitutionally created to protect.”