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California counties receive millions to combat work comp fraud

There is no question that employees who suffer serious and incapacitating work injuries will need financial support to help make ends meet while they heal. Fortunately, these employees are legally entitled to such financial support via their employers' workers' compensation insurance.

As is always the case, however, there are some people who will go out of their way to exploit this otherwise equitable system. Fortunately, state officials have grown to appreciate the seriousness of the work comp fraud/employee fraud problem here in California and are now taking active steps to help solve it.

Last week, the California Department of Insurance announced the disbursement of $32 million in grant money to county district attorneys throughout the state for the express purpose of investigating and prosecuting workers' compensation fraud.

Here in the Los Angeles area and the San Fernando Valley, the disbursements broke down as follows:

  • Los Angeles County: $5.9 million
  • Orange County: $3.6 million
  • Riverside County: $1.5 million

The funding for the grant money is the direct result of annual assessments on California employers as determined by the Fraud Assessment Commission.

Counties seeking grant money must submit applications to the California Department of Insurance, where they are reviewed by the Workers' Compensation Grant Review Panel. Here, decisions on grant disbursements are made based upon consideration of a variety of factors and submitted to the Insurance Commissioner for review. The Insurance Commissioner, who either accepts or amends the recommendations, then submits them to the Fraud Assessment Commission.

"Without question, workers' compensation insurance fraud is a problem that brings a significant cost with it in California," said Commissioner Dave Jones. "During any time, but especially during these challenging economic times, this type of fraud places a significant added burden on the system."

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.

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

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

Sources:

The Central Valley Business Times, "Central Valley gets $4.4 million to fight workers comp fraud," June 21, 2012

The Contra Costa Times, "L.A. District Attorney's Office gets $5.9M to fight workers comp fraud," June 21, 2012

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