Workers Compensation Rules of Monopolistic State Funds: Ohio
In Ohio, the Bureau of Workers Compensation and the Industrial Commission administer the state insurance fund. Both agencies are governed by chapters 4121 and 4123 of the Ohio revised code. The Bureau of Workers Compensation is the administrative branch of the Ohio system of workers compensation. Its responsibility is to process all claims, keep account records, conduct audits, and collect premiums from employers, among other duties.
The Industrial Commission is the adjudicative branch of the Ohio system. It hears and decides all contested claims, determines total and permanent disability, approves premium rates calculated and recommended by the bureau of workers compensation, and determines manual classifications,
All employers of one or more full or part-time employees must either purchase insurance from the fund or qualify as self-insurers. Also subject to the law, on a compulsory basis, are employers of domestic workers who earn $160 or more in cash from a single household in any calendar quarter.
The act is also compulsory for state, county, city, township, and incorporated village officials, as well as school districts.
If an employer is a partnership or a sole proprietor, the employer may elect to include, as employees, any members of such partnership or the owner of the sole proprietorship. It is important to note, however, that the employer must provide written notice naming the persons to be covered. No partner or proprietor is considered an employee until such notice is made and acknowledged.
Nonresident employees who are covered by workers compensation insurance in their own state are exempt from the provisions of the Ohio act for a maximum period of ninety days. After that period, the employer must purchase insurance for its employees from the Ohio fund. However, any nonresident employer who hires employees from within the state of Ohio for work in that state must purchase coverage from the Ohio fund.
When an employer desires workers compensation insurance in the state of Ohio, it must request an application (form U-3) from the underwriting section of the bureau or from any one of its sixteen district offices.
To insure proper handling of its account, an employer must be sure its application adequately describes the operation for proper classification. The employer must also report its payroll according to the correct classification, The coverage is effective on the business day that the employer’s check is received by the bureau,
When coverage begins, the employer must make an estimate of payroll for eight months, The bureau will then apply the rate to the estimate and bill the employer for that amount. This advance deposit insures coverage during the six month period plus the two months grace period for reporting actual premiums. The state insurance fund manual, which contains a description of each classification, rates for each classification, and rules governing risks, is published annually by the bureau and is available to employers upon request.
The bureau operates on a fiscal year of July 1 to June 30 for premium purposes. In June and December of each year, the bureau sends out payroll reports to be completed by employers. Payroll reports are due on January31 and July 31. Coverage lapses if premiums are not paid by March 1 and September 1.
Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation
30 W. Spring St.
Columbus OH 43215
(614) 466-2950; FAX: (614) 466-1959