Countless small businesses, churches and charities in Ohio have learned how sweet justice can be. After a seven-year court battle, an Ohio judge ruled in their favor last week, ordering the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) to pay out $420 million to those hurt by the state agency’s practice of overcharging for workers’ compensation premiums between the years of 2001 and 2008. It was discovered that thousands of businesses, churches and charities across the state were affected and countless business owners and their families found themselves in facing unforeseen debt or battling bankruptcy.
To fulfill its obligation under the settlement agreement, the BWC will create a fund that will be specifically used to pay: claims made by employers found to be participants in the class action lawsuit, attorney fees, court costs, and costs associated with administering the fund. According to the settlement agreement, any unclaimed money will be returned to the bureau.
Can You Make A Claim?
In order to make a claim, you must have been a private, non-group rated employer at some point during 2001-2008 who:
- Subscribed to the state workers’ compensation fund
- Was not group-rated
- Reported payroll and paid premiums in a manual classification for which the non-group effective base rate was “inflated” due to application of the group experience rating plan
Employers who were non-group rated for at least one policy year between 2001 and 2008 are eligible to claim a portion of the settlement. Eligible employers should have received a notice that indicated their status as class members. Class members are required to submit their claims to Judge Robert McGonagle of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. Claims must be postmarked no later than Sept. 22, 2014. More information on this ruling can be found here.
Ohio BWC Claim Help
Need some assistance in determining how this ruling may impact you? Contact Rea & Associates. Our dedicated Ohio business consultants and CPAs can help you make sense of this BWC ruling and help you determine if you are eligible.
Author: Darlene Finzer, CPA, QKA, CSA (New Philadelphia office)
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