Citizenship Question Included in WC Proposed Budget

07 Jun, 2019 Nancy Grover


Columbus, OH ( – Ohio injured workers would need to indicate whether they are working legally or illegally in the U.S. before they would be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. An amendment to that effect is included in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation ‘s budget proposal for the next two fiscal years.

The provision approved this week would include on a form an injured fills out whether he is:

  • A citizen of the U.S.
  • An illegal alien or unauthorized alien

Those who do not fit those categories would need to provide “an alien registration number or other signifier that the claimant is authorized to work by the Department of Homeland Security or its successor” and the expiration date of the injured worker’s authorization to work. The penalty for filing false information would be ineligibility for benefits and prosecution for workers’ compensation fraud.

The amendment’s sponsor, State Rep. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, was not available for comment at press time. However, he was quoted as saying the provision would be a way to collect valuable information about who is making use of workers’ compensation benefits.

Opponents say the amendment will have unintended consequences, such as discouraging injured workers from filing claims, which could shift health care costs to taxpayers instead.

“This is unethical at best, and incentivizes employers to hire undocumented workers as they will be reluctant to file for workers’ comp claims,” said Joe Paduda, principal of Health Strategy Associates and author of the Managed Care Matters blog. “Legislators should stop wasting their time on ridiculous non-problems and focus on improving worker education and opportunities for all businesses.”

The entire bill has been passed by the House and introduced in the Senate.

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    About The Author

    • Nancy Grover

      Nancy Grover is a freelance writer having recently retired as the Director, Media Services for She comes to our company with more than 35 years as a broadcast journalist and communications consultant. Grover’s specialties include insurance, workers’ compensation, financial services, substance abuse, healthcare and disability. For 12 years she served as the Program Chair of the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo. A journalism/speech graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, Grover also holds an MBA from Palm Beach Atlantic University.

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