After eight years of continuous legislative wrangling to protect the Ohio workers’ compensation system and prevent its expansion to cover mental/mental claims, there is hope of victory on the horizon.
On Thursday, Dec. 17, the Ohio Senate — in conjunction with the OMA and other business allies — introduced and passed Substitute House Bill 308. As introduced, the bill would have provided post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment, funded by Ohio employers via the workers’ compensation system, for first responders without any accompanying physical injury or illness. The substitute bill would move PTSD coverage from the Ohio BWC and create a new fund outside of the BWC system to pay these types of claims. Moreover, the bill would require the Police and Fire Pension Fund to provide a study on how to administer the fund.
This is a major victory for manufacturers and protects one of the fundamental principles of workers’ compensation in Ohio – a physical injury or illness must occur to receive benefits. The House has yet to act on the Senate’s changes, but is expected to meet again next week before Christmas. 12/18/2020