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Video surveillance shows woman faking her injuries

A special needs instructional aide in California pleaded no contest to felony workers' compensation fraud.  Her boyfriend was also implicated in the scheme by what the district attorney described as helping her "perpetuate the fraud."  

The woman had apparently been out-of-work since 2009 when she claimed to have sprained her ankle.  While receiving workers' compensation benefits, she reported to having received medical treatment that provided little improvement.

This all changed when video surveillance showed the woman arriving at a doctor's office. Though she previously engaged in activities without the need of medical devices, she arrived at the office using a wheelchair, carrying a cane and wearing an ankle brace. Thirty minutes after the appointment was over, she walked into a restaurant without any of these items and while requiring no assistance.

The woman was sentenced to thirty days of jail time and 100 hours of community service.  Her boyfriend was sentenced to 15 days in jail.  Although the sentencing involved the punitive aspect of this matter, this does not make up for the financial costs. The district attorney stated that this type of fraud cost California $360 million during the past fiscal year.  He went on to mention how this kind of behavior costs everyone money.

Claims of workers' compensation fraud may not always be clear cut and that's why experienced attorneys are needed to assist employers and insurers.  Though the workers' compensation system has been set-up to help injured workers, sadly too many undeserving individuals are trying to take advantage of the benefits that were meant for others.

Source: Daily Press, "Couple sentenced for workers' comp fraud," April 10, 2014

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