BWC encourages employers to hire and retain employees with a handicapped condition. To help offset the challenges handicapped persons often experience in the job market, we offer the Handicap Reimbursement Program as a way for employers to reduce claim costs.
Defining a handicap
For workers' compensation purposes, Ohio law defines a handicapped employee as one who is afflicted with (or subject to) a physical or mental impairment, whether congenital or due to an injury or disease, of such character that the impairment constitutes a handicap in obtaining employment or re-employment if the employee should become unemployed.
The impairment must be due to any of the 25 eligible diseases or conditions set forth in Ohio Revised Code 4123.343. These include arthritis, ankylosis (a stiffening of the joints), diabetes, cardiac disease and epilepsy.
Filing for handicap reimbursement
If a handicapped employee suffers a lost-time industrial injury/occupational disease or death and files an allowed workers' compensation claim, the employer may apply for reimbursement of claims costs by filing an Application for Handicap Reimbursement (CHP-4-A).
You must file the CHP-4-A while the claim is within your experience period. The rules for filing an application are listed in Ohio Administrative Code 4123-3-35.
For claims with a date of injury on or after Jan. 1, 2010:
- If the date of injury is between Jan. 1 and June 30, private employers must file the CHP-4-A by June 30 of the year no more than six years from the year of the date of injury or occupational disease.
- If the date of injury is between July 1 and Dec. 31, private employers must file the CHP-4-A by June 30 of the year no more than seven years from the year of the date of the injury or occupational disease.
For claims with a date of injury on or after Jan. 1, 2010, a public employer must file the CHP-4-A by Dec. 31 of the year no more than six years from the year of the date of the injury or occupational disease.
Effective Sept. 29, 2015, self-insuring employers are no longer eligible to participate in the handicap reimbursement program.
Handicap reimbursement eligibility
You must show the handicapped condition existed before the date of injury, and that it either caused the claim or contributed to increased costs or a delay in recovery.
In addition, we must have paid one of the following types of benefits in the claim.
The settlement of a workers' compensation claim does not affect your right to have a handicap reimbursement application considered.
Once granted, we apply the handicap reimbursement benefits to the following claim awards and reserves: temporary total, permanent total, permanent partial - scheduled loss, death claim, medical payments, claim reserves and lump sum settlements with dates specified in rule 4123-3-35.
Processing the application
- Hand-deliver to the BWC Customer Service Center located on the first floor of the William Green Building in Columbus, Ohio
- Mail to BWC, Attn: Handicap Reimbursement Unit, 30 W. Spring St., 26th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215-2256
We process the CHP-4-A and one of our attorneys conducts a conference to determine whether a percentage of the claim's costs should be charged to the statutory surplus fund instead of the employer's claims experience.
Once we initially approve or deny the application, you have the right to appeal to the Ohio Industrial Commission within 14 days of receipt.
If we approve the application, we then adjust your experience calculation.