PTSD Coverage, Immigration Question Stymie WC Budget Talks

01 Jul, 2019 Nancy Grover


Columbus, OH ( - PTSD benefits for first responders and a requirement for injured workers to declare their immigration status remain sticking points in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation budget battle. The June 30 expiration of the existing budget passed yesterday with no resolution. Instead, Gov. Mike DeWine signed legislation to keep the BWC operating for another 30 days.

The debate over the issues coincided with a larger battle over the state’s budget. DeWine signed another bill to keep the state running for 17 days as lawmakers consider various options.

Included in the House-passed version of the BWC budget will was a requirement for injured workers to check one of three boxes on claims forms to indicate whether they are

  • U.S. Citizen
  • Not a citizen but legally authorized to work in the U.S., along with the alien registration number of other signifier showing legal authorization to work in the U.S.
  • Illegally working in the U.S.

Benefits would be provided — even to those who said they were working illegally in the U.S. — as long as they answered truthfully. The sponsor of the provision, Rep. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati said it would be an effort to collect data on the number of people working illegally in the state.

Also included in the House-passed version was a provision to provide coverage for first responders who develop work-related post-traumatic stress disorder with no associated physical injury.

The state Senate deleted both those provisions before unanimously approving the BWC budget bill last week. At the time, House members said they would not agree to those changes.

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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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