The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has been asked by Gov. Mike DeWine to send up to $5 billion in BWC dividends to Ohio employers to ease the continued financial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This pandemic is unprecedented, and continues to financially impact Ohio employers and businesses,” said DeWine. “Issuing these dividends is important. This is about keeping businesses open and people employed.”
If approved by BWC’s Board of Directors, it would bring the total dividend dollars for employers this year to nearly $8 billion. The $5 billion dividend would be BWC’s third dividend of more than $1 billion this year, and the largest one-time dividend ever issued by the BWC.
The BWC distributed $1.54 billion in April and $1.34 billion in October. At $5 billion, this dividend is approximately four times the total premiums BWC collected from its employer members in policy year 2019.
“We’ve never issued three dividends in the same year, let alone any for this much, but unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud. “Even so, the State Insurance Fund is well positioned to cover our injured workers for years to come.”
Private and public employers in Franklin County would receive approximately $559 million, followed by Cuyahoga County at $528 million. The employer in line for the single largest dividend check in the state is Columbus, at nearly $64 million. Funded by employer premiums, BWC provides workers’ compensation insurance to approximately 245,000 private employers, and 4,000 public employers, such as cities, counties, and schools.