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CLIENT ALERT: BWC issuing $1.5 billion in premium refunds to Ohio employers

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has now reported that the Board of Directors approved a proposal to send $1.5 billion of the agency’s revenues to Ohio employers covered by the BWC system.

BWC will begin sending checks to private and public employers in late September, with payments expected to continue into October. These funds are available, according to BWC, due to strong investment returns, falling injury claims and other operational efficiencies.

This refund is expected to be 88 percent of the 2017 policy year premium. While the bulk would go to private companies, an estimated $114 million would go to counties, cities, townships and other local government entities. Nearly $50 million would go to public school districts.

In order to be eligible to receive this refund, an Ohio employer must complete their True Up in a timely fashion.  Other eligibility criteria, employer-specific, may apply as well.

The BWC is also pushing their PAR Program, which eligible employers can apply for and, if successful, the employer can recover 50% of their premium, up to a rebate maximum of $2,000.00

Private employers should have already received their True Up notices.  Please feel free to call us if you need or want advice or assistance with any Workers’ Compensation-related matter.

For more information, contact Richard L. Williger via email at rlwilliger@bmdllc.com or call (330) 253.3770.

IRS Responds - Economic Impact Payments Do Not Belong to Nursing Homes or Care Facilities

In response to the concerns that some nursing homes and care facilities have been taking patients economic impact payments (“EIP”) and claiming the EIP belongs to the facility, the IRS issued a reminder that the EIP does not belong to a nursing home or care facility even if that facility receives the individual’s payments, either directly or indirectly. The EIP does not count as income or a resource in determining an individual’s eligibility for Medicaid or other federal programs for a period of 12 months from when the EIP is received. What this means: an individual’s EIP does not have to be turned over by the benefit recipient.

Title VII to Protect LGBTQ Community

It is not every day that the United States Supreme Court issues a decision that dramatically changes the workplace, but it happened this week. In a landmark decision captioned as Bostock v. Clayton County, issued by the Court on June 15th, the Court ruled that federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of “sex” will now include protections for individuals on the basis of sexual orientation, transgender, and gender identity.

Update: President Trump Signs Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020

On June 3, 2020, Congress updated the CARES Act by passing the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (“FA”). The legislation, which has not yet been signed into law by President Trump, would provide more flexibility to small businesses who received loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”).

Workers’ Compensation Claims and COVID-19

Can one of my employees file a workers’ compensation claim if they claim that they contracted coronavirus at work? We get that question a lot. Yes, they can, but you should oppose any application for coverage if you receive one. Generally, the claim will not be granted unless the employee has a job that poses a special hazard or risk of exposure to the virus and the employee can prove that he or she contracted the virus at work.

Ohio State Dental Board Implements Teledentistry Rules

Ohio law defines “teledentistry” as the delivery of dental services through the use of synchronous, real-time communication and the delivery of services of a dental hygienist or expanded function dental auxiliary pursuant to a dentist’s authorization.[1] The law requires a dentist who desires to provide dental services through teledentistry to apply for a teledentistry permit from the Ohio State Dental Board (“OSDB”).[2] Pursuant to the mandate under Ohio Revised Code 4715.436, the OSDB is implementing the following teledentistry permit rules and requirements (to be set forth under Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 4715-23). These regulations, which were subject of a public hearing on February 19, 2020, are effective on May 30, 2020.