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State agency issues workers' comp rebates, but why?

When a worker is injured in Franklin, Ohio, she or he has the option of reporting that injury and taking time off to recover. During this period, the individual is allowed to make a workers' compensation claim to help them cover the costs of recovery. This is part of the rights of the injured, allowing workers to have the ability to report an on-the-job injury without fear of retaliation. Yet, many employees are afraid of taking time off and using the benefits of worker's compensation. Could it be possible that this sort of fear contributed to the state's recent decision to send $1 billion in rebates to employers?

According to reports, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation has a financial cushion of more than $8 billion. This massive difference in assets versus expenses is higher than the agency's guidelines allow, so it decided to issue a rebate. There could be quite a lot of reasons for an increase in assets and a decrease in expenses. Apparently, the organization's assets were invested well and have performed better than expected over the past three years. But what about expenses?

The agency covers the expenses for companies when employees are hurt on the job. If intimidation -- subtle or overt -- has caused workers to neglect the reporting of personal injuries, there is definitely a problem with the system. But if the expenses are low because workplace safety regulations have been strengthened and followed, that is a different story. According to an official with the bureau, the rebates that have been issued vary in size from $5 to $7 million. The amount varies so widely due to the amount of employees as well as the work done by the company. Approximately 210,000 checks have been issued.

Some would like to see this money used to create better workplace conditions, allowing employees to continue their jobs with a decreased amount of stress and concern related to injury. But it is possible that this money will not be used for this. If you find that you have been injured at work, contact an attorney to discuss your issues and determine what your next steps should be.


Source: 
Cincinnati.com, "Ohio Workers' Comp: checks are in the mail" Dan Horn, Jul. 06, 2013

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