Ohio Governor and BWC Propose $1.6 Billion Dividend to Business Owners
To help relieve the financial stress caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, On April 8, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud proposed allocating up to $1.6 billion to Ohio employers in the coming months to relieve the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Ohio’s business community and economy.
The BWC’s Board of Directors will hold an emergency virtual meeting on Friday, April 10 to vote on the proposed dividend, which equals 100% of the premium employers paid in policy year 2018.
The BWC provides workers’ compensation insurance to more than 248,000 private and public employers in Ohio. Assuming that the full $1.6 billion of the proposed dividend be distributed:
- An estimated $1.4 billion would go to private employers.
- Approximately $200 million would go to local government taxing districts (counties, cities, schools, etc.).
This proposal follows other recent moves by BWC to help relieve the strain on employers this year, following the major disruption to the typical business cycle and massive uptick in unemployment claims as small businesses struggle to operate amidst the global pandemic. Towards the end of March, the BWC informed employers that they could defer their monthly premium installment payments for the months of March, April, and May up until June 1. The BWC has also waived or postponed some obligations and deadlines for several programs that lower employer premiums and has applied the discounts automatically.
If this proposal approved by the board, the dividend would be the BWC’s sixth dividend of $1 billion or more since 2013, and the seventh overall. It also maintains the BWC’S trend of reducing workers’ comp costs for Ohio’s private and public employers. The BWC has frequently lowered premium rates in recent years, most recently enacting a 10% cut for public employers that took effect in January of 2020 and a 13% cut for private employers that will begin July 1, 2020.
In total, the BWC has saved employers approximately $10 billion in workers’ comp costs through dividends, credits, rate reductions and greater efficiencies since 2011.
For more information on the proposed dividend, please visit the Ohio Governor’s website for the full press release. Additionally, The BWC has prepared a Frequently Asked Questions document to provide information about the COVID-19’s impact on BWC operations.
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