Work it Out Blog

Is Your Business Eligible for Repayment in the Recent Bureau of Workers' Compensation Settlement?

Aug 14, 2014

On July 24, 2014, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ compensation agreed to repay $420 million to businesses that were overcharged for premiums from June 2001 – July 2008.  The settlement administrator has pre-determined which businesses are eligible to file a claim, and those businesses will receive a claim form in the mail.  Claim forms are scheduled to be mailed on August 22, 2104.

Any business that receives a claim form and wishes to be considered for repayment should fill out the form and return it no later than October 22, 2014.  However, please be aware that eligibility to file a claim form does not guarantee that your business will receive payment from the settlement.

For your convenience, we’ve answered many frequently asked questions below.

How will I know if my business is eligible for repayment?

To be eligible for repayment, businesses must meet three criteria:

  1. Subscribed to the state workers’ compensation fund;
  2. Were not group-rated; and
  3. Reported payroll and paid premiums in a manual classification for which the non-group effective base rate was “inflated” due to application of the group experience rating plan.

Eligible business should automatically receive a claim form in the mail from the settlement administrator.  The settlement administrator is scheduled to mail the claim forms at any time, so businesses should pay close attention to incoming mail over the next few weeks to ensure they do not overlook correspondence from the BWC or the settlement administrator.

What do I do once my business receives a claim form?

The claim form will request basic information about your business, including your BWC policy number, address, and acknowledgement that the business remains in good standing in the state of Ohio.  To file a claim, the completed form should be notarized and mailed directly to the address provided.  Claim forms must be postmarked no later than October 22, 2014.  Late claim forms will not be accepted.

How much repayment will my business receive?

At this time there is no way to determine how much each business will receive.  Remember, eligibility to file a claim form does not guarantee that a business will receive repayment.  From the $420 million settlement, the settlement administrator will first deduct court costs, attorney’s fees, and fees for the plaintiffs who initiated the lawsuit.  Once all claim forms are received, the settlement administrator will calculate the amount owed to each business, and prorate the remaining funds between those businesses.  Claims that amount to $10 or less will not be paid.  The BWC has set aside sufficient funds to cover the full amount of repayments to be issued. 

When can my business expect to receive repayment?

The final approval hearing for the settlement is scheduled for November 19, 2014.  Once the time period for filing an appeal of the final approval has passed, the settlement administrator will mail the appropriate amount of repayment to all eligible businesses.

What if my business does not receive a claim form?

All eligible businesses should receive a claim form in the mail within the next few weeks.  If you have reason to believe your business is eligible for repayment, but you do not receive a claim form, your Day Ketterer Workers’ Compensation attorney may be able to help.  However, it is likely that if you do not receive a claim form, you were not overcharged for BWC premiums, and you are not eligible for repayment.

What if I have more questions?

More information can be found at www.OhioBWCLawsuit.com.  If you need assistance completing your claim form or have any other questions, please contact Michelle Reese, or your Day Ketterer attorney, at 330.455.0173, or via email at mrreese@dayketterer.com

The content of this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice for any purpose. This blog is not intended to present an exhaustive summary of all applicable laws, or to take the place of legal advice.  If you have any questions regarding the law, please contact us for assistance.