(A) As used in this section:
(1) "Customer model enterprise" means an enterprise conducted under a federal prison industries enhancement certification program in which a private party participates in the enterprise only as a purchaser of goods and services.
(2) "Employer model enterprise" means an enterprise conducted under a federal prison industries enhancement certification program in which a private party participates in the enterprise as an operator of the enterprise.
(3) "Injury" means a diagnosable injury to an inmate supported by medical findings that it was sustained in the course of and arose out of authorized work activity that was an integral part of the inmate's participation in the Ohio penal industries program.
(4) "Inmate" means any person who is committed to the custody of the department of rehabilitation and correction and who is participating in an Ohio penal industries program that is under the federal prison industries enhancement certification program.
(5) "Federal prison industries enhancement certification program" means the program authorized pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 1761 .
(6) "Loss of earning capacity" means an impairment of the body of an inmate to a degree that makes the inmate unable to return to work activity under the Ohio penal industries program and results in a reduction of compensation earned by the inmate at the time the injury occurred.
(B) Every inmate shall be covered by a policy of disability insurance to provide benefits for loss of earning capacity due to an injury and for medical treatment of the injury following the inmate's release from prison. If the enterprise for which the inmate works is a customer model enterprise, Ohio penal industries shall purchase the policy. If the enterprise for which the inmate works is an employer model enterprise, the private participant shall purchase the policy. The person required to purchase the policy shall submit proof of coverage to the prison labor advisory board before the enterprise begins operation.
(C) Within ninety days after an inmate sustains an injury, the inmate may file a disability claim with the person required to purchase the policy of disability insurance. Upon the request of the insurer, the inmate shall be medically examined, and the insurer shall determine the inmate's entitlement to disability benefits based on the medical examination. The inmate shall accept or reject an award within thirty days after a determination of the inmate's entitlement to the award. If the inmate accepts the award, the benefits shall be paid upon the inmate's release from prison . The amount of disability benefits payable to the inmate shall be reduced by sick leave benefits or other compensation for lost pay made by Ohio penal industries to the inmate due to an injury that rendered the inmate unable to work. An inmate shall not receive disability benefits for injuries occurring as the result of a fight, assault, horseplay, purposely self-inflicted injury, use of alcohol or controlled substances, misuse of prescription drugs, or other activity that is prohibited by the department's or institution's inmate conduct rules or the work rules of the private participant in the enterprise.
(D) Inmates are not employees of the department of rehabilitation and correction or the private participant in an enterprise.
(E) An inmate is ineligible to receive compensation or benefits under Chapter 4121., 4123., 4127., or 4131. of the Revised Code for any injury, death, or occupational disease received in the course of, and arising out of, participation in the Ohio penal industries program. Any claim for an injury arising from an inmate's participation in the program is specifically excluded from the jurisdiction of the Ohio bureau of workers' compensation and the industrial commission of Ohio.
(F) Any disability benefit award accepted by an inmate under this section shall be the inmate's exclusive remedy against the insurer, the private participant in an enterprise, and the state. If an inmate rejects an award or a disability claim is denied, the inmate may bring an action in the court of claims within the appropriate period of limitations.
(G) If any inmate who is paid disability benefits under this section is reincarcerated, the benefits shall immediately cease but shall resume upon the inmate's subsequent release from incarceration.
Effective Date: 03-31-2003; 2008 HB130 04-07-2009