BWC Budget Bill Amends Law
On June 30, 2017, the Governor signed Sub. H.B. 27, the workers’ compensation budget bill. In addition to funding the BWC, the bill made a number of substantive changes to the law, including amendments to the following provisions of the Ohio Revised Code:
- R.C. §4123.343(B): provides that settlement agreements are treated as awards for purposes of handicap reimbursement;
- R.C. §4123.512(A): permits filing of a “notice of intent to settle” within 30 days of receipt of the order being appealed (or the Industrial Commission’s refusal of an appeal) which extends the time for filing an appeal to court to 150 days, unless the other party objects within 14 days;
- R.C. §4123.512(F): raises the maximum attorney fee for a successful appeal to $5,000;
- R.C. §4123.53(B): permits the BWC to waive scheduling a required medical exam, unless the employer objects;
- R.C. §4123.56(E): provides that an injured worker who is awarded temporary total before their full weekly wage is determined is paid at the statewide average weekly wage, and also provides for how to adjust the amount paid when the full weekly wage is finally calculated;
- R.C. §4123.57: provides for dismissing a permanent partial application, without prejudice, if the employee misses or refuses to schedule a BWC medical exam without “notice or explanation”;
- R.C. §4123.68(X): amends the fire fighter cancer presumption to permit rebutting the presumption by demonstrating that exposure to the carcinogen could not have caused the type of cancer; limits the presumption to situations where the fire fighter has not worked in “hazardous duty” for over 15 years (reduced from 20); permits a fire fighter with a scheduled claim for “cancer contracted by a fire fighter” to receive working wage loss;
- R.C. §4123.84: reduces the time limit for filing a claim from two years to one year.
The Governor had previously signed H.B. 28, the Industrial Commission budget bill, on June 28, 2017. The Industrial Commission budget bill funded the agency, but did not make any substantive changes to the law.