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Ohio workers' compensation still covers undocumented workers

Ohio workplaces will continue to become safer, and injured workers will be helped to recover and return to work. This was what a Columbus lawmaker said when the new budget was recently finalized for the Bureau of Workers' Compensation. He stated that although the BWC budget showed no increase or decrease for the specific two-year period, additional provisions would be available.

More than 244,000 Ohio employers pay premiums and assessments to the bureau for coverage of their employees. However, the budget was passed without the controversial provision in the House version of the legislation that would have seen some employees excluded from the benefits offered by the workers' compensation insurance system. The final bill was then sent for the Governor's signature.

The state's Legislative Service Commission says the House version of the budget contained language that would prohibit unauthorized and illegal workers from receiving benefits and compensation from the program. Furthermore, it would not have allowed an employer to elect to provide coverage for alien employees. That language was removed by the Senate.

However, concerns were raised about one amendment that would change the current two-year statute of limitation on the submission of workers' compensation claims to 12 months, but that portion of the legislation was included in the bill sent to Gov. Kasich. Victims of workplace accidents in Colorado -- even those who are undocumented -- may want to consult with an experienced workers' comp attorney to navigate benefits claims for them. A lawyer will know the latest regulations and be aware of any changes that have taken place. He or she can also make sure the claims are filed within the statute of limitations and that every available source of recovery is pursued.

Source: timesreporter.com, "Ohio passes workers' comp budget bill; undocumented workers covered", Marc Kovac, June 28, 2017

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