Economic concerns from coronavirus have led the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to move up dividend checks that it expected to pay to employers this fall, and will now send them out by the end of this month.
Five times since 2013, returns from the BWC investment fund have been strong enough that the agency has sent out checks to employers, usually in the fall. The last time was a year ago, but in May, a few months after Gov. Mike DeWine took office.
Administrator and CEO Stephanie McCloud said the agency will send out checks in just a few weeks, though the rebate was planned for later this year. About $1.4 billion will go to private employers and $200 million to counties, cities, townships and schools.
“Checks will be applied to any arrearages first, and then they’ll receive the rest of it, and that will be one less bill they’ll need to worry about," McCloud said.
That means if employers are deferring BWC premium installment payments for March through May – which the state is allowing – those payments will be deducted from their checks.
And the BWC said they’ll review things in June, and another deferment may be possible.
The checks will go out in batches and will be good for 90 days. McCloud said that's important to note since some businesses have staff working exclusively from home and may not be checking mail frequently.
27 states have a government-run state compensation fund. North Dakota, Washington, Wyoming and Ohio have "monopolistic" workers' compensation, which means there are no other options for workers' compensation other being self-insured.