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Religious exemption
Ohio’s coverage exemption for religious sects

Employers and employees who, in following the tenets of their religion, object to the payment and acceptance of insurance benefits can apply to be exempt from workers' compensation coverage in Ohio.

The employer and employees must be members of a religious sect that has existed continuously since Dec. 31, 1950, e.g., Amish or Mennonite, or a division of that sect. In addition, the employer and employees must be conscientiously opposed to accepting insurance payments resulting from injury, death or disability, or payments toward medical care for injuries and illnesses. The religious exemption can be found in Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 4123.15. It also permits employees who belong to the religious sect to waive their right to workers' compensation benefits.

If an employer and employees qualify, the employer may choose the religious sect exemption by completing and submitting to BWC a two-part Application for Exemption from Ohio Workers' Coverage and Waiver of Benefits (U-3E). After we review the application and grant a religious exemption from workers' compensation coverage, we no longer require the employer to pay premiums or assessments on any employees covered by the exemption.

This exemption does not relieve the employer from the obligation to pay the applicable minimum administrative charge. The employer must also report the payroll of any employees who do not qualify for the exemption and pay the appropriate premium for these employees.

For additional information, see BWC’s Coverage Exemption for Religious Sects.