Arrests Ruin The Charade Of Workers’ Comp Fraud
Every year millions of people are injured, some severely, in workplace accidents and entitled to file for workers compensation. The system is set up so that employees can collect money to help pay bills for medical costs and lost wages.
While most workers compensation claims are legitimate, there are some people who try to cheat the system. When they get caught the consequences can be severe.
In New York, seven people were arrested and charged with workers’ compensation fraud following investigations by several state agencies, including the state Insurance Department and state Worker’s Compensation Board.
A man who had received $2,900 in benefits was captured on video walking without the aid of a walker until he got to a hearing room, leading to his arrest. Three others were accused of working while collecting worker’s compensation payments. One man collected more than $60,000 while driving for a senior center.
Other arrests included a person accused of cashing nine workers’ compensation checks for more than $5,000 made out to her dead father-in-law. Those arrested were charged with felonies and each face from four to seven years in prison.
Authorities are especially bullish on fraudulent worker’s compensation claims because the money is intended to help injured people and businesses must pay into the fund. Continued fraud serves only to increase workers’ compensation payments from businesses, unnecessarily draining their resources and leaving less for legitimate claimants.
Sometimes it is difficult for investigators to distinguish legitimate claims from fraudulent ones, please be wary of your actions. Experts say those with legitimate claims who collect worker’s compensation should refrain from heavy lifting. Even something innocent, such as picking up a child, could lead investigators to believe that perhaps your injuries are not as serious as stated. Always assume investigators are watching you.
If you are hurt on the job but denied compensation, consider contacting an experienced worker’s compensation attorney.