Fraud in the Workers Compensation System Exposed

Workers compensation attorney in Michigan shows how employer/insurer fraud is a major problem and why it’s not getting the attention that it deserves.

We have blogged in the past about workers compensation fraud and the costs associated with bad employers and insurance companies. Issues such as employee misclassification and premium fraud are major problems in the workers compensation system.

The Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group (WILG) has just released a new report on employer and insurer fraud.  WILG has presented some sobering statistics about workers compensation fraud that everyone should know about.

The general public is under the impression that workers compensation fraud is only perpetrated by injured employees. Nothing could be further from the truth. So the next time that someone tells you about an injured worker gaming the system, give them the facts.

Employer fraud found in the workers compensation system

WILG has identified three specific ways that employers attempt to defraud the workers compensation system.

(1) Premium Fraud: Employers can reduce their insurance premium costs by underreporting the number of workers they employ or misrepresenting the nature of the work performed.

(2) Failing to Provide Mandatory Workers Compensation Coverage:  Employers who fail to provide legally mandated workers compensation coverage do so to avoid paying insurance premiums and reduce their overall costs.

(3) Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors:  By deliberately misclassifying their employees as independent contractors, employers avoid having to pay workers compensation benefits.

How this affects the Michigan workers compensation system

The most obvious effect is when injured workers do not get the workers compensation benefits that they deserve. Workers compensation insurance is supposed to pay for medical care and wage loss benefits regardless of how an injury occurred. If there is no workers compensation insurance available, others must pay for the work injury.

Many injured workers are forced to use Medicare or Medicaid because they have no other option to pay for medical treatment. Some require cash assistance and food stamps because they cannot work. This shifts the financial burden from the responsible employer to the U.S. taxpayer.

Some injured workers must use private health insurance to pay for medical care increasing the overall costs for all of us.

In addition, Michigan has a Second Injury Fund that was established to encourage businesses to hire injured workers. It is financed by contributions from self-insured employers and insurance companies based upon a proportionate share of workers compensation premiums they write. When a self-insured employer or insurance company does not fairly report its workers compensation premiums, it pays less into the fund and jeopardizes the integrity of the entire system.

What you can do about employer and insurer workers compensation fraud

If your workers compensation benefits are denied, you should fight back. Your employer and its insurance company are betting that you just go away. Prove them wrong and get the workers compensation benefits that you deserve.

An experienced workers compensation attorney can hold your employer and its insurance company responsible for its obligations under the workers compensation law.

Call (855) 221-2667 to speak with one of our workers compensation attorneys in Michigan today. The call is free and there is no attorney fee unless you recover workers compensation benefits.

Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years.  Alex has helped countless people obtain workers comp benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.

Related information:

Video: Injured at work? Advice from a Michigan workers comp lawyer

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