Previously, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) announced it will defer employer premium installment payments for the months of March, April and May, making those payments due June 1, 2020. Now the BWC has announced it will further defer premium installment payments for the months of June, July and August as well. This means the deferred premium installment payments are now due Sept. 1, 2020.
Importantly, the BWC announced coverage will not lapse nor will penalties be applied for non-payment of premium installments. However, the BWC is encouraging employers to continue making payments if they are able. The BWC hopes the further deferral of premium installment payments will ease some stress on struggling employers during these difficult times.
The BWC is also taking steps to help resolve certain issues that have become backlogged during the pandemic. Such issues include injured worker C-92 and C-92A applications for permanent partial disability and permanent partial disability increases. Specifically, the BWC is working to expedite applications that have been delayed due to the lack of availability of Independent Medical Examinations (IME) resulting from the pandemic.
First, the BWC is working to resume scheduling of IMEs to address the C-92 and C-92A applications for both state-funded and self-insured claims. Second, the BWC is identifying state-fund claims with pending C-92 and C-92A applications that are either out of the employer’s experience or the employer is no longer operating, with the hope of reaching a settlement in these matters. The BWC indicated quick resolution of these state-funded claims is advantageous to all parties. It believes settlement will provide injured workers with faster financial relief and reduce claim costs for employers. These settlements will also reduce the backlog of hearings in front of the Industrial Commission.
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