Workers’ Comp Insurance Ohio

Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Ohio: The Ultimate Guide

In Ohio, more than 100,000 workers are injured every year. While it would be best if injured workers could focus their time and energy on recovery, many spend hours looking for reliable information that will help them understand workers’ comp insurance in Ohio.

The law in Ohio requires every business with employees to have workers’ compensation insurance. The insurance policy covers their medical bills and partial lost wages for the injuries that occurred while working.

Workplace-related injuries often occur in the construction and manufacturing industries, and they usually include:

  • Falls
  • Falling objects
  • Equipment-related injuries
  • Fire and explosion
  • Vehicle collision
  • Building collapses
  • Heat strokes

To avoid spending a lot of time trying to understand what Ohio workers’ compensation insurance covers and how much it is (and other valuable benefits), we created a coherent guide with all the information you need.

Workers at the construction site wearing yellow safety vests helmets

Is Workers’ Comp Mandatory in Ohio?

In Ohio, workers’ comp insurance works differently than most other states. First, it can only be purchased through a government-operated state fund. 

The Ohio Workers’ Compensation Law says employers are required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for all employees, which means Ohio employers are either self-insured or funded by the state.

Here are the exceptions to the insurance for workers’ compensation in Ohio:

  • Workers such as cooks, housekeepers, babysitters, and gardeners who earn less than $160 per calendar quarter
  • Most volunteer workers
  • Sole proprietors
  • Partners in partnerships
  • Members of limited liability companies 

How Much is Workers’ Comp in Ohio?

If you’re wondering, how much does workers’ comp cost in Ohio? Ohio workers’ comp rates are $0.74 per $100 in covered payroll. The Ohio workers’ compensation rate depends on many different factors, including:

  • Payroll
  • Business location
  • Number of employees
  • Coverage limits
  • Industry
  • Risk factors
  • Claims history

Who Needs Workers’ Comp Insurance in Ohio?

Any business owner who employs one or more people is required to carry workers’ comp insurance. Employees need to classify individuals as employees or independent contractors. 

Here’s how an employee is defined: if the employer manages working hours, materials, and performance quality, then the worker is an employee. In this correlation, the employer must provide workers’ comp insurance in Ohio. 

According to Ohio workers’ compensation laws, employees who work in other states may need additional coverage. Out-of-state workers are subject to workers’ comp laws in their states. 

How Does Workers’ Comp Insurance Work in Ohio?

Workers’ comp insurance in Ohio can only be purchased through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). In some cases, businesses can also qualify for self-insurance. Also, it’s good to know that any workers’ compensation claim in Ohio goes through the BWC or the Industrial Commission. 

Ohio Workers’ Comp Insurance Benefits

The BWC covers medical care and lost wages if an employee suffers a workplace injury. 

Employees may see any doctor when they first visit the hospital or the doctor’s office, but then they must choose a medical provider certified by the BWC. Workers’ comp insurance benefits in Ohio include:

  • Medical benefits
  • Scheduled loss awards
  • Temporary total disability benefits
  • Death benefits
  • Change of occupation awards

Employees in Ohio are eligible for benefits regardless of who is responsible for the injury because Ohio is a no-fault system. 

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Ohio

If you suffer a work-related injury in Ohio and need medical attention, you might be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. 

A workers’ comp claim in Ohio can be filed by the injured worker, his employers, the treating physician, or another designee. The filing party completes a First Report of Injury (FROI) and mails it or delivers it in person to any BWC service office. You can also complete the FROI on the BWC website. 

Once the BWC receives the claim, you will get a notification letter with the claim number and the name of the BWC Customer Service Specialist assigned to the claim. The BWC has up to 28 days to decide whether to allow or deny a claim. 

How Long Can You Get Workers’ Comp in Ohio?

The sooner you file a claim after the injury, the better. Generally, it’s never recommended to wait several weeks or months to submit your FROI. 

However, the BWC allows you some time. For injuries after September 2017, you have one year to file a claim. And if you are suffering from an illness caused by exposure in the workplace, you have two years from:

  • The date you were first diagnosed with the disease
  • The date you first received medical treatment for the disease
  • The date you first stopped working because of the disease

Even though you have a year or two to file a claim, you should file it immediately as soon as you know of the injury. 

What Are the Penalties for Not Having Workers’ Comp Insurance in Ohio?

Ohio has strict penalties for businesses that don’t have workers’ comp insurance. The BWC enforces workers’ compensation law and annually sets premiums for each employer. The premiums are based on the company’s estimated payroll and then re-evaluated each July and adjusted if needed. 

If a company doesn’t pay premiums, it could face the following penalties:

  • Failure to file a payroll report on time is 1% of the premium due.
  • Failure to pay a premium on time results in a $30 flat fee and a charge of up to 15% of the premium due.
  • The BWC files assessment liens for nonpayment of premiums and claims costs when there is a coverage gap. 
  • When an accident happens and your policy lapses, the injured worker could file a lawsuit against an employer for damages and expenses.

How Much Can You Get Paid in Ohio on Workers’ Comp?

For injuries that occurred in 2021, the maximum weekly benefit is $1,029. You can find a list of the maximums for other years on the BWC website.

For 2021, the maximum benefit is $679.33 if you also receive Social Security retirement benefits.

How Do You Get Workers’ Comp in Ohio?

In Ohio, workers’ comp insurance is not provided by private companies, but by the state. You can apply for workers’ comp insurance in Ohio by completing the BWC’s Form U-3, Application for Ohio Workers’ Compensation Coverage online. 

Who Pays Workers’ Comp in Ohio?

According to state laws, employers must obtain Ohio state workers’ comp insurance for all employees. BWC covers medical benefits and lost wages to employees who are injured on the job. 

Can I Choose My Own Doctor For Workers’ Comp in Ohio?

You can choose your own doctor as long as they are certified with the BWC. You are not required to go with the physician your employer chooses for you.

Are you still confused about workers’ comp insurance in Ohio, or do you need some help getting a quote for your business? Contact us today and get all the information you need fast and for free!