BWC Board Approves DeWine’s $1.6 Billion Dividend to Employers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (April 10, 2020) – The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Board has approved a request from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to send up to $1.6 billion to Ohio employers this spring to ease the economic impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s economy and business community. DeWine’s request outlined the following:

  • This dividend equals approximately 100% of the premiums employers paid in policy year 2018.
  • BWC will apply the dividend to an employer’s outstanding balances first, including the recent installment deferrals. Any amounts exceeding outstanding balances will be sent to the employer. For those employers, it means one less bill to worry about.
  • As in previous years, the dividend is possible due to strong investment returns on employer premiums, a declining number of claims each year, and prudent fiscal management. It’s also due to employers who work hard to improve workplace safety and reduce injury claims.
  • Even with the downturn in the market, BWC is able to provide this important dividend to employers while maintaining funds to take care of injured workers for years to come.
  • Should the proposed dividend total be approved for $1.6 billion (the final number is to be determined by the board):
    • Approximately $1.4 billion will go to private employers.
    • Approximately $200 million will go to local government taxing districts (counties, cities, schools, etc.).
    • Checks will start going out later this month.
  • This is BWC’s sixth dividend of $1 billion or more since 2013.
  • This proposal follows other recent actions by BWC to ease the strain on employers at this time. In the last two weeks, BWC:
    • Told employers they could defer their monthly premium installment payments for March, April, and May until June 1.
  • Waived or postponed some requirements and deadlines for several programs that reduce their premiums as a reward for participating. BWC will discount their premiums automatically, as if the employers successfully completed the programs.
  • The proposed dividend continues BWC’s trend of lowering workers’ comp costs for Ohio’s private and public employers. BWC has repeatedly lowered premium rates in recent years, including a 10% cut for public employers that took effect in January and a 13% cut for private employers that begins July 1.

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