By Jim Sammon
Governor Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that he has asked Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation Administrator Stephanie McCloud to send up to $1.6 billion in dividends to Ohio’s employers to ease the economic impact of COVID-19.
This follows similar dividend returns dating back to 2013 and is equal to 100% of the premiums employers paid in 2018.
The dividend will be applied as follows:
- BWC will first apply the dividend to an employer’s outstanding balance
- Any amount remaining will be sent to the employers
- $1.4 billion will be paid to private employers
- $200 million will be paid to local government taxing districts (counties, cities, school districts, etc.)
The Ohio BWC Fund has assets under management of more than $29 billion and represents the largest state-operated workers’ compensation fund in the country. Governor DeWine’s announcement comes on the heels of his signing of HB 197 in late March, which waived several safety education and training requirements for employers participating in programs that lower their premiums as a reward for creating safer workplaces and doing BWC business online and on time.
The BWC already announced that its private and public employer members could defer their monthly premium installments due from March through May until June 1, 2020, at which time the matter would be reconsidered.
The Ohio BWC pays benefits of approximately $1.4 billion per year in medical, disability and other compensation awards to individual employees.