Workers Compensation Fraud a Growing National Trend
People who claim to be too injured or sick to work might want to learn a lesson from Cathy Cashwell, and stay away from public situations. Cashwell was receiving $3,000 per month in workers’ compensation, because of an injury she allegedly received at work, according to a CBS News report.
Cashwell claimed that she was too injured to stand, run, reach or grab. However, she was spotted on the popular game show, The Price is Right, doing pretty much everything she said she couldn’t. Hopefully, Cashwell won a lot of money and prizes on the show, because she is now one of the many being investigated for workers’ compensation fraud.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, questionable and sketchy workers’ compensation claims are up 24 percent from a year ago, meaning that the government and taxpayers are footing the bill.
Currently, there are more than 100 New York firefighters and police officers being indicted for falsely claiming post-traumatic stress syndrome and anxiety, stemming from the Sept. 11 2011 terrorist attacks.
Unfortunately, it isn’t only employees who try and defraud the system, employers do as well. There are many workers’ compensation schemes being perpetrated against the government. This leads to millions and billions in false claims and unpaid premiums.
- Bogus claims: This is the most common and simplest form of workers’ comp fraud. Employees either fake an injury, claim an offsite injury happened at the job or exaggerate the severity of the injury.
- Stolen premiums: Dishonest employers will often do whatever they can to avoid paying higher premiums. Some of these tactics include misrepresenting the safety or danger of a job, misreporting the amount of employees working at a business, paying employees off of the books so they aren’t accounted for, or simply not buying state-required insurance.
- Unethical doctors & lawyers: In the interest of chasing money, some crooked legal and medical professionals may work together to produce a claim. This involves inflation of injuries, phantom treatments, illegal kickbacks and fake clinics, which serve as staging grounds for fraudulent claims.
You may not think that this affects you, but if you’re a tax-paying citizen and a consumer, you are footing the bill for the shady behaviors of others who are trying to take advantage of the system. Higher taxes, higher health care costs and higher insurance premiums are just a few of the consequences passed onto consumers.
At the Law Offices of Craig A. Altman, our attorneys are highly experienced and knowledgeable about Pennsylvania and New Jersey workers’ compensation law. If you or a loved one has sustained a legitimate injury on the job, we can make sure you are getting the full extent of workers’ comp you are entitled to receive. Contact us today for a free consultation.