The vast majority of Ohio employers are required by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) to carry workers’ compensation insurance. They can choose between State-funded or Self-insurance. Since workers’ compensation provides for lost wages, medical compensation and certain other benefits, you’ll want to make sure that your workplace is insured. Does it matter whether they’ve chosen state-funded insurance or if they’re self-insured?
State-funded workers’ compensation insurance is through the BWC. Employers pay their premiums directly to the BWC’s insurance pool. In turn, the BWC pays out lost wages and medical bills, among other benefits, when a claim is approved.
You may already know that the BWC is also in charge of reviewing, approving or denying claims. This does not affect whether or when an employee will get paid.
Self-insurance is available to certain Ohio employers. This means that they will directly pay lost income and medical costs to their own employees—which obviously incentivizes them to keep the number of workplace injuries as low as possible. While the BWC oversees the claim, they do not pay the employee from the State-funded pool.
To be eligible for Self-insurance, a company must have a “minimum of two years operating in Ohio; active participation in the State Insurance Fund; five years of financial statements, and be certified in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles that provide full financial disclosure of the employer; [and] an appropriate organizational plan for the administration of workers’ compensation claims.”
If you’re working for a small, Self-insured employer, this could sound alarming. What happens if the company goes under or simply can’t afford to pay your bills? You’re still allowed to file a claim with the BWC. If your employer can’t or won’t pay for whatever reason, your approved benefits should be paid out through the State Surplus Fund.
If you’re having difficulty getting a small, Self-insured employer to pay, it is prudent to hire a lawyer. In fact, hiring a lawyer at the outset of any workers’ compensation claim is the best way to advocate for your rights. When you need the assistance of experienced Ohio workers’ compensation attorneys, call Nager, Romaine, & Schneiberg Co. L.P.A. today.