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Recent Workers' Comp Fraud Further Harms Injured Workers

A spring crackdown on fraudulent workers' compensation claims has resulted in the arrest of 13 New Yorkers. The arrests were made after joint investigations by the New York State Insurance Department's Frauds Bureau, the Workers' Compensation Board Office of the Fraud Inspector General, the New York State Insurance Fund, insurance companies and local law enforcement agencies.

In many cases investigators captured surveillance video showing the allegedly injured people working when they claimed they were unable to work in order to receive workers' compensation benefits. One fraudulent claimant was recorded operating a ceramics supply store while she earned $10,000 in workers' compensation benefits.

Workers' compensation is intended to compensate workers for lost wages and their reduced earning capacity if they are injured on the job. People who fake injury or falsely claim they are unemployed because of their injuries hurt New York's workers' compensation system; they steal resources and funds that would otherwise go to workers' compensation claimants who are truly injured and unable to work.

Fraudulent workers' compensation claims also negatively impact legitimate workers' compensation applicants because their claims may be wrongfully delayed or denied for suspected fraud, even when the applicant made a valid claim in good faith.

In 2010, the state Insurance Department's Fraud Bureau received 1,352 reports of suspected workers' compensation fraud that lead to the arrest of 119 people. Depending on the criminal charges, workers' compensation fraud can result in significant fines and years of jail time.

If you have a work-related injury, contact a knowledgeable workers' compensation attorney to discuss your entitlement to benefits. A lawyer with experience in workers' compensation claims can help you get all the benefits you deserve.

Sources: EveningTribune,com, "Workers' Comp Investigation Leads to 13 Arrests" Mar 30, 2011; NY State Insurance Department, "13 People From Eight Counties Arrested on Charges They Illegally Scammed Workers' Comp System" Mar 30, 2011.

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