Board OKs plan to give $1B workers’ comp rebates

Ohio schools to get largest slice at $42.5M million set for Ohio schools,cities to get $37M of total


COLUMBUS — Directors of Ohio’s insurance fund for injured workers Thursday unanimously approved Gov. John Kasich’s proposal to send rebate checks ranging from $5 to more than $3 million to employers.

About 210,000 business and public employers would see one-time rebates in June or July under the $1 billion plan signed off on by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation board.

Money for the rebate stems from investments by the agency, which provides workers’ compensation insurance for Ohio employers and covers about two-thirds of the state’s workforce. The agency said its net assets have grown to $8.3 billion.

Schools would receive about $42.5 million in total — the largest slice of the $112.8 million being returned to public employers. Cities would get $37 million, while counties would see $16.5 million. Townships could expect $7.6 million.

The rebate is separate from a court dispute over employer payments. The state is appealing a judge’s March decision awarding $860 million in repayments from the fund to employers the judge says were charged too much for nearly a decade.

The president of the group representing the workers in the lawsuit said the rebate program would help Ohio employers.

However, Earl Stein, president of Pay Us Back Ohio BWC Inc., also said the bureau “should immediately refund the $860 million the court ordered them to repay 270,000 employers.”