When it comes to jobsite injuries, workers’ compensation can allow employees to heal without suffering financially. It can also give scammers the opportunity to make money by fraud rather than legitimate injury. The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud reports that there are several different ways for criminals to take advantage of the system.
Workers’ compensation fraud can be perpetrated by employees in a number of ways. For example, some employees claim back injuries or other issues that are hard to disprove, allowing them to collect workers’ compensation without actually being hurt. Another way they may take advantage of the system is by claiming that the injury is more disabling than it really is. This lie may allow the employee to take what is, in effect, paid time off, leaving him or her free to pursue hobbies or hold a secret job.
A third way that scammers abuse workers’ compensation is performed by medical and legal professionals. Some lawyers are willing to work with dishonest doctors to create claims together for employees who were never hurt or only had minor injuries. Often, these criminals also employ runners who attempt to lure unethical employees into participating. In some cases, a worker may not even realize that he or she has become an accomplice in a fraudulent activity.
The California State Compensation Insurance Fund has been fighting fraud for 25 years. By recognizing these types of illegal activity, millions of dollars have been returned to the workers’ compensation fund and scammers have been convicted of their crimes.