Ohio Workers’ Compensation

ohio worker's compensation text overlaying image of columbus If you run a business and have employees, you’ll need to purchase Ohio workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, this type of insurance, which helps pay your employee’s medical bills if they sustain an injury on the job. And limits your liability for workplace accidents, is a requirement in most states, including Ohio, with some exceptions.

In Ohio, business owners can expect to pay, on average, $0.67 for every $100 of covered payroll. That means, for example, a business with a total annual payroll of $100,000 will pay approximately $670 per year for workers’ compensation insurance, or around $55 a month. This is only a rough estimate, since factors such as your location, the different rates for staffing types (laborers vs office workers), and your claims history can all have a significant impact on your rates.

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One of the biggest factors in determining your rates for workers’ compensation insurance is your employees’ risk, or the likelihood of a workplace injury occurring at your business. To assist insurers in determining risk exposure, and to get the best rates for your business, you can use a variety of workers’ compensation class codes. This is important because it costs more to insure certain employees. For example, office employees may have lower workers’ compensation costs than those who work outside of your office and face more risks.


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What’s Covered

If an employee sustains an injury on the job or becomes ill due to workplace conditions, workers’ compensation in Ohio will help them with their medical bills. The average weekly wage of the employee determines the workers’ compensation benefits. The amount depends on the type of claim.

In general, workers’ compensation in Ohio covers:

  • Accidents and injuries – If your employee needs medical attention, workers’ compensation will cover any medical expenses from a workplace injury.
  • Illness – If an employee becomes sick from exposure to allergens or other hazardous materials at work, they can also receive workers’ comp benefits to help pay for treatment.
  • Repetitive injury – It’s not just accidents that are covered: treatment for repetitive injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome, are also covered by workers’ compensation. 
  • Ongoing care – If your employee still has medical needs as a direct result of their accident or illness, even after they return to work, they can get benefits for ongoing care. This includes additional doctor’s appointments or additional surgeries.

In addition, if their accident or illness results in permanent or temporary disability, your employee will receive weekly or lump sum payments. If they have a temporary disability, their injury prevents your employee from performing their job. But they can return to work as normal once they recover. If a doctor diagnoses them with an injury from which they will not fully recover, they have a permanent disability. 

These categories fall into the following classifications:

  1. Temporary total disability (TTD) – These payments will be made if your employee is not able to work at all while recuperating.
  2. Temporary partial disability (TPD) – TPD payments will be made if your employee can still work, but only with certain limitations, such as needing to perform lighter duties or work fewer hours. If your company does not provide work that meets these requirements, the employee may still be eligible for these payments.
  3. Permanent total disability (PTD) – Employees who are unable to work due to an accident or illness, even after they have recovered as much as they are likely to, will be eligible for PTD payments.
  4. Permanent partial disability (PPD) – Employees who have permanent difficulties but can work with them will be eligible for PPD.


Ohio’s Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits

Dependents of a worker who passes away from a work injury or illness qualify for workers’ compensation death benefits in Ohio. Dependents can include:

  • A spouse
  • Children under the age of 18
  • Children under the age of 25 who are full-time students 
  • Disabled children of any age who are unable to work

Other family members may qualify as wholly or partially dependent, but this will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Death benefits will be 66.67% of the worker’s average weekly wage, subject to the annual state maximum and minimum. The Bureau of Worker’s Compensation (BWC) will decide how benefits will be distributed among dependents. In most cases, the spouse will receive benefits until death or remarriage, and two years’ worth of benefits in a single lump sum upon remarriage.

Workers’ compensation death benefits also include a burial allowance of up to $5,500.


Ohio’s Workers’ Compensation Laws

Any business in Ohio that employs more than one person must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Unless they are volunteering for a nonprofit organization, corporate officers count as employees. But there are exceptions to Ohio’s employee definition:

  • Domestic workers earning less than $160 per quarter, such as cooks or gardeners
  • Most volunteers 

Your workers’ compensation insurance must also cover part-time employees in Ohio. In the event of an injury, though, the part-time employee’s benefits would be calculated using a specific formula that takes into account how many hours the person typically works.


How to Buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance

The workers’ compensation system in Ohio differs from that of most other states. Ohio has a monopolistic state fund. Which means that workers’ compensation insurance can only be obtained through a government-run fund, not a private insurer.

Obtaining workers’ compensation insurance through a state fund generally means that your policy will not cover employer liability. That means an employee can file a lawsuit against you for workplace injuries or illnesses.

To protect yourself from such lawsuits, you can buy a separate general liability policy or a business owner’s policy, which will combine commercial property and general liability into one policy.

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How to Get the Most Savings

The majority of the cost of workers’ compensation comes from factors beyond your control. However, there are still ways to save. Implementing a safety program is a great way to reduce workplace injuries and claims, which will lower your premiums. So regardless of your industry, it is important to have safety and standard operating procedures in place. Employees who have safety training are less vulnerable to injuries, lowering your workers’ compensation costs.

It is also a good idea to regularly review your claims history. Evaluating your claims history on a regular basis can help you identify and correct patterns. You might discover that certain aspects of your business operations are frequently causing claims. This allows you to adjust the operation to make it safer. You can save money by keeping an eye on potentially dangerous operations.

Correctly classifying your employees is one of the most effective ways to save money. When you apply for your workers’ compensation policy, you will classify each of your employees depending on their job’s risk. And this risk classification influences the cost of your workers’ compensation. For example, you might pay less to insure an office worker than you would a manual laborer. It’s also important to correctly classify your employees because you may receive a fine if you fail to do so.

Begin a free online application today to compare workers’ compensation insurance quotes for your small business from leading U.S. insurers. EZ’s agents specialize in insurance for a wide range of small businesses. Working with our agents can save you hundreds of dollars a year on coverage.


Ohio Workers’ Compensation FAQs

  • Are you required to have workers’ compensation insurance in Ohio?

Almost all employers working in the state must have workers’ comp insurance. If you allow coverage to lapse, you may face the following penalties will be imposed:

    • The penalty for failing to submit a payroll report on time is 1% of the premium due ($3 minimum to $15 maximum). 
    • Failure to pay a premium on time would result in a $30 flat fee, as well as a charge of up to 15% of the premium due, depending on how late the payment is. 
    • If there is a lapse in coverage, the BWC will file assessment liens for nonpayment of premiums and claim costs. If an accident occurs and your policy has expired, the injured worker can sue you for all damages and expenses, or file a workers’ compensation claim. The Ohio BWC would then demand that you pay the full amount of the claim.
  • How do workers’ compensation settlements work in Ohio?

Ohio, like other states, accepts settlements as the end of a claim, and prohibits employees from requesting additional benefits once the cases closes. A settlement is typically paid in the form of a lump sum or a structured settlement, with the total amount paid out over time in increments.

For a claim to result in a settlement, four requirements must be met:

    • You and your employee must agree that they were not working as an independent contractor and qualify for benefits.
    • The injury has to have been “accidental in character and result,”. Which means that the employee was following workplace protocol and procedure and was not breaking rules, lacking common sense, or being inattentive at the time of the injury.
    • The injury has to have occurred in the course of employment, which means it occurred on the job.
    • The injury has to have occurred as a result of employment, which means it was caused by a risk or hazard directly related to employment. When the issue is something like toxic exposure, repetitive motion injuries, or something similar, there can often be disagreements about whether the job and work environment directly caused the injury.

Your employee may also receive a partial settlement, meaning they accept disability and wage loss benefits but retain the right to payments for future medical treatment.

  • What is the statute of limitations in Ohio?

The statute of limitations in Ohio for both workers’ compensation death benefits and regular benefits claims is one year from the date of injury or death.


Why Use EZ

If you’re looking for workers’ compensation insurance, come to EZ. We pride ourselves on doing everything we can to give you an easy and stress-free shopping experience. We give our customers our full attention and offer fully personalized service and fast results. As soon as you fill out our form, you will receive free quotes from one of our agents. Who will understand your needs right from the start. We want to ensure that you make the best decision and get the best coverage for the best price. All of our services are completely free so check your quotes today!

If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 877-670-3538. You will speak with a local insurance agent who can answer all of your questions. And help you find the workers’ compensation policy that works best for your business.

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About The Author:
Cassandra Love

With over a decade of helpful content experience Cassandra has dedicated her career to making sure people have access to relevant, easy to understand, and valuable information. After realizing a huge knowledge gap Cassandra spent years researching and working with health insurance companies to create accessible guides and articles to walk anyone through every aspect of the insurance process.