Ohio Might Add Citizenship Question on Workers’ Comp Claims

In June of 2019, the Ohio House voted in favor of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) budget bill that includes an amendment about having injured employees state their citizenship status when filing claims. The bill, which was approved in a 57-36 vote, would require applicants to indicate whether they are citizens, illegal workers, or legal workers.

The Ohio Senate must now review the bill.

The measure was touted as a way to keep documentation regarding who was filing claims. However, if an illegal employee attempts to recover compensation for a job-related injury, they would be deemed ineligible. On top of that, they could face criminal prosecution for workers’ compensation fraud.

Those opposed to the bill say such a requirement could lead to poor business practices. Employers may hire illegal workers and fail to adhere to safety regulations because they would not be subject to a workers’ compensation claim. It could also create financial burdens for taxpayers, as undocumented employees, unable to receive benefits for medical care, may turn to emergency rooms to get treatment.

Currently, any injured worker can file a claim. The process begins by filling out the First Report of Injury form, either manually or online, and sending it to a local BWC office. The agency will review the documents to decide whether or not to approve the request for benefits. If it denies a claim, the filer has 14 days to appeal.

Contact Bridges, Jillisky, Streng, Weller & Gullifer, LLC for Legal Representation

Going through the workers’ compensation process could be difficult. Our attorneys are here to provide the skilled legal guidance you need to apply for benefits or appeal a decision. We have extensive experience in this area of the law, and we will answer any questions you have and ensure you timely file your claim.

To discuss your case with our attorneys, call us at (937) 403-9033 or contact us online.