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Conference Committee Chairman Brinkman Announces Ohio BWC Budget

June 25, 2021
Thomas E. Brinkman Jr. News

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COLUMBUS— State Rep. Tom Brinkman (R-27th District) announced state lawmakers have approved House Bill 75, the FY 22-23 Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) budget. The bill, including federal grants, contains $715 million over the biennium. 

BWC provides workers' compensation insurance to all public and private employers except for those who qualify for self-insurance. BWC covered over 249,000 Ohio employers in FY2020 and paid about $1.35 billion on about 71,500 claims.

Brinkman served as Chairman of the House Bill 75 Conference Committee and currently serves as the House Insurance Committee Chairman.

“Through this budget, we are renewing our commitment to the responsible funding or insurance for our public and private employees to properly cover claims in the workplace across Ohio,” said Brinkman. 

The BWC budget includes $35 million in each fiscal year for Safety Grants. Other key provisions include:

  • Wage continuation parity: Ensures claimants receiving wage continuation cannot simultaneously apply for permanent partial and cannot apply until 26 weeks after the continuation ends.
  • Permanent Total Disability: Codifies current practice of prohibiting claimants from filing a new application after a denied application unless there is new circumstances.
  • Statute of Limitations for Occupational Diseases: Moves the statute of limitations for occupational diseases from two years to one year from the date or injury or diagnosis
  • Grants power of attorney to counsel to sign checks on behalf of claimant: Streamlines process of power of attorney by allowing a claimant’s attorney to receive, sign, get the claimant sign it and disburse the funds accordingly, which will expedite the flow of compensation.

In addition, an amendment was adopted during conference committee that allows journalists to have access to claim recipient information, except in cases when the claimant is identified as a victim of sexual assault. 

The BWC budget now heads to Governor DeWine for his signature.