Qualified Businesses Must File Claim for Ohio BWC Refund by Sept. 22nd– August 18, 2014

On July 23, 2014, a settlement was reached in San Allen, Inc., et al. v. Stephen Buehrer, Administrator, Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation that will require the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) to distribute $420 million among more than 200,000 private employers in Ohio. In the case, the BWC was found to have overcharged a group of employers that were either excluded or dismissed from the BWC’s group-rating program from 2001-2008. This settlement means that qualifying businesses have an opportunity to claim their refunds, or opt out altogether, on or before September 22, 2014.

As a private employer, you may be eligible to receive part of the $420 million settlement if for one or more of the policy years from 2001 through 2008 you:

  • subscribed to the State Workers’ Compensation Fund,
  • were not group rated, and
  • reported payroll and paid premiums in a manual classification for which the non-group rated base rate was inflated.

If you were not included in a group rate for only some of the policy years above, you could still qualify for a partial refund. Employers self-insured for their Ohio workers’ compensation coverage are not impacted.

Beginning August 22nd, eligible state-funded employers should receive a notice in the mail from the settlement administrator, Garden City Group, regarding eligibility and the process to either file a claim or opt out. Completed forms must be notarized and postmarked on or before September 22, 2014, and sent back to Garden City Group for review. Employers will have the opportunity to correct any issues Garden City Group may find in their claims. The entire process, including the receipt of refunds is expected to be complete in mid- to late January.

However, if you are affected by this ruling, be aware that the court must still approve the $420 million settlement before any payouts can be made.

Contact a member of your service team for more information.

This communication is published by Cohen & Company for our clients and professional associates. Cohen & Company is not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice. Any action taken based on information in this publication should be taken only after a detailed review of the specific facts and circumstances.