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U.S. Postal employee commits workers' compensation fraud

When employees commit workers' compensation fraud, employers and their insurance carriers are the ones who pay the price. When an employee of the United States government submits fraudulent workers' compensation claims, it is the taxpayers who ultimately pay for it.

A recent case of such employee fraud involves a former U.S. Postal Service employee. The 36-year-old employee filed a claim for workers' compensation benefits from April to June 2010. She claimed that she had sprained her ankle during the course of her employment. She alleged that this prevented her from performing her duties. During the two-month period, she received more than $17,000 in workers' compensation benefits.

The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General investigated her claims. Upon investigation, the federal agents discovered that she was, in fact, able to walk. They videotaped her using her ankle while she was driving, shopping and climbing stairs. As a result, she was indicted on March 9, 2011 on federal workers' compensation charges for the false claims she submitted. If convicted she will be expected to pay restitution of the underserved benefits she received.

Of course, employers are responsible to pay for legitimate work-related injuries. When an employee, however, submits false documents knowing they are able to work, employers should not have to pay the price. Unfortunately, there are many instances of employees committing workers' compensation fraud. As a result it is extremely important to investigate workers' compensation claims in order to ensure that they are not fraudulent.

Source: The Observer, Former postal worker indicted for workers' comp fraud," 9 Mar 2011

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