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Recent Blog Posts

  • What changes are coming to the well-known Ohio workers’ compensation voluntary abandonment doctrine? By Rebecca Rayner    Recently, Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 81 which contains several changes to workers’ compensation laws. Most significantly, the bill contains a provision that will codify the common law voluntary abandonment doctrine. This provision should ensure that injured workers do not receive certain disability benefits if their loss of income is not related to the allowed conditions in a claim. Significantly, this codification specifically supersedes any court opinions applying the well-known doctrine. Over the years the voluntary abandonment doctrine... More
  • Industrial Commission of Ohio unanimously votes to add remaining issues to active telephonic hearing docket By Rebecca Rayner    On June 3, 2020, the Ohio Industrial Commission unanimously voted to place all issues referred for adjudication on the active telephonic hearing docket. Since March, the Industrial Commission has conducted all hearings by phone due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, the commission heard only claim allowances and certain compensation issues telephonically. Following the recent vote, the hearing docket will expand to include treatment issues. According to Tom Connor, the Director of Adjudications, approximately 76% of the issues not currently... More
  • Premium deferral extended and other Ohio BWC updates By Rebecca Rayner    Previously, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) announced it will defer employer premium installment payments for the months of March, April and May, making those payments due June 1, 2020. Now the BWC has announced it will further defer premium installment payments for the months of June, July and August as well. This means the deferred premium installment payments are now due Sept. 1, 2020. Importantly, the BWC  announced coverage will not lapse nor will penalties be applied... More
  • Ohio BWC pandemic-related developments By Rebecca Rayner    As Ohio attempts to move forward during this pandemic, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is doing the same. For example, the BWC has resumed the scheduling of medical exams where necessary, is using alternative methods such as file reviews when possible, and has provided guidance on telemedicine resources to assist with the continuation of benefits to injured workers. The BWC is also making efforts to ease the economic impacts to businesses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.... More
  • Ohio BWC to refund $1.6 billion to Ohio employers By Rebecca Rayner    On Friday April 10, 2020 the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors approved Gov. Mike DeWine’s plan to distribute $1.6 billion to state business in light of the current economic downturn related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The agreed amount is roughly equal to premiums paid by Ohio employers for the 2018 policy year. The dividends will be distributed with approximately $1.4 billion going to private employers and the remaining $200 million going to local governments including... More
  • Updated Ohio BWC guidance regarding COVID-19 concerns By Rebecca Rayner    On April 8, 2019, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) published an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page that specifically recognizes the potential compensability of COVID-19 claims as occupational disease claims. The BWC acknowledges that although communicable diseases like COVID-19 are typically not compensable, there is a possibility that the BWC could allow claims for this virus. When evaluating compensability, the BWC will consider how the disease was contracted and the nature of the claimant’s occupation. The... More