FraudFriday, May 10, 2013
We’ve all heard those stereotypes about Worker’s Compensation Claims being a lot of bologna. People think of claimants wearing fake neck braces, getting hurt on purpose, hobbling into their hearing limping on one leg and walking out limping on another. It would be naive to say that this never happens, which is a real shame considering how many people legitimately deserve to receive benefits. In 2003, Lisa Cullen published an article about the extent to which people overestimate the prevalence of fraud in Worker’s Compensation. The full article can be viewed here on pbs.org. Once more, there are many instances where employers are actually the ones being shady. Businesses might pay employees off-the-books to reduce their insurance premiums. They might also misclassify workers in high-risk positions as being in low-risk positions. According to insurancefraud.org, the U.s Government Accountability Office estimated that “The number of employees misclassified by employers increased from 106,000 workers to more than 150,000 workers between 2000 and 2007. This is a conservative figure because states generally audit less then two percent of Employers a year”.
The Worker’s Compensation Board’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) was created in 1996 as a way to combat fraud. The office is charged with investigating any parties that may be involved in knowingly making false statements as a means of influencing a Worker’s Compensation Claim. These parties may include employees, employers and health care providers.
There are many ways you can report such dubious acts. There is a toll-free 24 hour hotline you can reach at 1-888-363-6001. Fraud complaint forms can also be found here.