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GAO increasing efforts to combat federal work comp fraud

Previously, our blog discussed how a coalition of politicians - led by U.S. Representative John Kline (R-Minnesota) - were attempting to advance legislation on Capitol Hill designed to reform the federal work comp system. Now, it appears as if this call for work comp reform is continuing as the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently declared that it was taking an even stronger stance against federal work comp/employee fraud.

Last Thursday, the GAO - the self-proclaimed investigative arm of Congress - issued a statement that it was currently mounting a comprehensive investigation into potential fraud and abuse in the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) program.

Specifically, the GAO indicated that it was looking for any tips/information regarding the abuse of work comp benefits by federal employees.

The agency even went so far as to provide people with examples of common federal work comp/employee fraud, including:

  • A federal employee misrepresenting/exaggerating the extent of their injury
  • A federal employee claiming to be injured but working two jobs
  • A person wrongfully collecting work comp benefits on behalf of a deceased individual

The GAO's effort to secure information on potential federal work comp/employee fraud is part of its continuing FraudNet campaign, described on the agency's website as "an automated means that anyone may use to report allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement of federal funds."

The GAO statement also indicates that the identity of those who submit any tips on work comp fraud will be kept strictly confidential.

Under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) of 1916, all federal employees are entitled to work comp benefits and medical rehabilitation costs, while surviving dependents are entitled to benefits due to work-related fatalities. Currently, roughly 2.7 million federal workers and postal employees are covered under this legislation.

Stay tuned for further developments in the area of workers' compensation defense law ...

Workers compensation fraud/employee fraud is a very serious crime. If you suspect that such a crime has been perpetrated against your organization, you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced workers' comp defense attorney.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Related Resources:

Tips sought about fraud in federal workers' compensation (Bloomberg News)

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