Gov. DeWine, BWC sending $1.6 billion dividend to Ohio employers

Date: April 09, 2020

Move made to ease COVID-19 financial impact

On April 8, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud proposed giving up to $1.6 billion to Ohio employers this spring to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Ohio’s economy and the business community.

“This is great news for Ohio’s businesses, and will assist in relieving some of the financial pressures many are experiencing,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Administrator McCloud and I both encourage businesses to reinvest this money in the health and safety of their employees.” 

On April 10, the Ohio BWC’s Board of Directors approved to send up to $1.6 billion to Ohio employers this spring to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Ohio’s economy and the business community.

The Board met in a virtual emergency session this morning in response to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s call for state agencies to do all they can to help the state’s business community withstand COVID-19’s challenges, which include temporary business closings, stay-at-home orders, and a record number of Ohioans applying for unemployment assistance.

“We are all in this together, and I’m just grateful we can contribute in this way,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud. “We wouldn’t be in this position without the employers who work hard to increase workplace safety, reduce injury claims, and pay their premiums on time.”

Thanks also to strong investment returns, the dividend equals approximately 100% of the premiums employers paid in policy year 2018. Of the $1.6 billion dividend, approximately $1.4 billion would go to private employers and approximately $200 million would go to local government taxing districts, such as counties, cities, townships, and schools.

Checks will be mailed in batches to employers later this month.

BWC provides workers’ compensation insurance to more than 248,000 private and public employers in Ohio. Should the proposed dividend total $1.6 billion:

  • An estimated $1.4 billion would go to private employers.
  • Approximately $200 million would go to local government taxing districts (counties, cities, schools, etc.).

“Today’s news that the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors has approved returning $1.4 billion back to Ohio private employers is welcomed by Ohio’s small business owners. With the state fund comprised almost entirely of small businesses, this will definitely provide a much-needed cash infusion to many entrepreneurs,” said Roger Geiger, Executive Director for NFIB in Ohio.

 

“NFIB ranked this rebate of funds, which are all employer money, as a high priority in early on discussions with the DeWine administration as an important component in helping businesses navigate their way through the coronavirus crisis,” he continued.

 

“We appreciate Governor DeWine and Administrator McCloud for recognizing the importance of putting dollars back in the hands of small business owners during these uncertain times. Every penny counts as they weather this storm and prepare to return to full operations when the battle with COVID-19 ends,” Geiger concluded. 

The proposal follows other recent moves by BWC to ease the strain on employers this year. In late March, BWC told employers they could defer their monthly premium installment payments for March, April, and May until June 1. BWC also waived or postponed some requirements and deadlines for several programs that reduce employer premiums and applied the discounts automatically.

If approved by the board, the dividend would be BWC’s sixth of $1 billion or more since 2013 and seventh overall in that time. It also continues the 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.

In total, BWC has saved employers approximately $10 billion in workers’ comp costs through dividends, credits, rate reductions, and greater efficiencies since 2011.

For more on COVID-19 as it relates to BWC, visit this Frequently Asked Questions page. For other questions about COVID-19 related to BWC, email [email protected].

For the latest on COVID-19, visit the Ohio Department of Health website coronavirus.ohio.gov, or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

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