On April 10, 2020, the Administrator for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Stephanie B. McCloud, announced that the governing board for the Bureau had unanimously approved a new 1.6 billion dollar rebate for Ohio employers. The Bureau hopes to have the checks out within the next thirty days. The Administrator indicated that the rebate should equal 100% of the 2018 policy year premium paid by each employer.
One big question remains regarding the rebate, however; will this really make a difference? The rebate is limited to an employer’s premium paid for the prior policy year. Therefore, it offers absolutely no relief or assistance to many small or medium sized employers. An employer in the service industry or restaurant business who pays a very limited amount of premium because of the work their employees perform may see a check of less than $1,000 while a larger employer with a bigger payroll and higher risk activities could see a significantly larger rebate.
The amount of the rebate is not based on the company’s business concerns, number of employees or their specific financial needs. As a result, there was no strategy for targeting the funds to businesses with the most needs and no review of where the need truly exists. It is unfortunate that the state allowed the uncontrolled release of this much money when there are so many businesses at risk and in need.