Scioto County has come into a windfall. According to documents from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), the county will receive a rebate in the amount of $322,465.62.
The rebate comes from the Public Work-Relief Employees’ Fund (PWRE), which provides counties with workers’ compensation coverage for work-relief employees — individuals who must work for a government entity in exchange for public assistance payments. The PWRE provides compensation and medical benefits to individuals injured in the course of their public works employment.
The BWC has determined how much money individual counties will receive from a statewide $15 million rebate the BWC Board of Directors approved May 26.
The rebates, due to strong investment returns over the last decade, include a high of nearly $1.5 million for Hamilton County to a low of $133 for Fulton County, the only county receiving less than $4,100. Nearly half of all counties will receive at least $90,000.
The amount of each rebate is based on the premiums the counties paid into the fund for policy years 2005 through 2014. Each of Ohio’s 88 county governments can expect a rebate by the end of June.
“Thanks to prudent fiscal management and excellent investment returns, we’re pleased to send this money back to county governments,” BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison said. “While it’s up to the counties how to spend these funds, we encourage them to invest in workplace safety programs to help keep employees safe and contain future costs.”
How will the money be distributed in Scioto County?
“A portion of it (Scioto County rebate) goes into the General Fund,” Jane Kitts of the Scioto County Commissioners office said. “And then it has to be divided among the other funds that pay out Workers’ Comp.”
The PWRE fund has grown by more than $10 million over the past 10 years, with more than 80 percent of that growth coming from investment earnings.
Ohio’s public and private employers pay their workers’ compensation premiums into the State Insurance Fund. The PWRE is one of several specialty funds also managed by BWC. Such funds include the Marine Industry Fund, Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis Fund and the Disabled Workers’ Relief Fund.