In front of the Ohio Senate Insurance Committee on Wednesday, the Ohio Chamber shared our views on the pending workers’ compensation budget. In our proponent testimony to House Bill 75 (HB 75), we highlighted three pro-business amendments and urged the Ohio Senate to favorably consider the legislation.
The three pro-business amendments that were added during the Ohio House’s committee process include one of the Ohio Chamber’s workers’ compensation public policy priorities that our internal workers’ compensation committee approved last year. That amendment would clarify when a claimant who is receiving wage continuation can apply for a permanent partial disability (PPD) benefit.
Under the Ohio Chamber’s amendment, an employee receiving wage continuation rather than temporary total disability (TTD) would be prohibited from filing for PPD until twenty-six weeks following their last payment of wage continuation. Making this change will bring greater uniformity to Ohio’s workers’ compensation statute by treating two commonly used time off benefits in the same manner since employees receiving TTD cannot file for PPD until twenty-six weeks from their last TTD payment has passed.
The other pro-business amendments included in the BWC budget include shortening the statute of limitation for occupational diseases to one year from the date the disability began due to the disease; and requiring a claimant to show new and change circumstance when re-filing an application for permanent total disability that had previously been denied.
Another amendment included in the bill allows for claimant attorneys to enter into a Power of Attorney with their clients for the purposes of cashing and endorsing benefit payments.
In the coming weeks, the Ohio Chamber expects HB 75 to be finalized and reach the governor’s desk for his signature before the end of the current fiscal year.