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Ohio plans $5 billion workers' comp payment to businesses

Written on Nov 6, 2020

The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation announced Oct. 28 that it will award a $5 billion dividend to 178,425 public and private employers. The amount each company receives will depend on a variety of factors such as number of employees, injury history and industry, but will average about $28,000 per company.

The city of Columbus stands to collect $64 million, bringing its total payments this year from the bureau to $100 million.

The payment represents more than three times what employers pay in premiums each year, and it's on top of the $1.5 billion dividend that the bureau just paid to employers this month and another $1.5 billion payment in April.

The dividend will be welcome news to restaurants, bars, hotels and other businesses that have been battered by the pandemic. 

The bureau said it wants the money in the hands of employers by year's end.

The payment would be the latest in a string of rate cuts and dividends that the bureau has awarded to businesses in the last several years. The bureau has credited lower injury rates, lower-than-expected medical inflation and sound investment policies for its ability to return money to employers. 

A 13% cut in workers' compensation rates for private employers went into effect July 1, saving employers $132 million this year.

A 10% cut for the state’s 3,700 counties, cities, public schools and other public employers will go into effect Jan. 1. The cut will save those agencies $14.8 million collectively.