New study shows social stigma that goes along with filing for workers compensation.
A survey conducted by Harris Poll found that 37% of Americans believe “most workers’ compensation claims are made by people who don’t want to work.” The survey of more than 2,000 adults (aged 18+) was conducted online from September 29- October 1 on behalf of Summit Pharmacy.
Individuals claiming workers compensation face many challenges. One of the hardest is the stigma that comes with not being able to work. We frequently hear our clients criticized for being lazy and trying to scam the system. This even comes from friends and relatives.
Most of these critics have never needed to file a workers’ compensation claim. Their opinions come from rumors and half-truths. It’s time for a reality check.
There is no magic test to show what a person is feeling. Everyone reacts to pain differently. It is also impossible to observe what physical limitations a doctor has imposed.
Just because you see a neighbor taking out the garbage, it does not mean their workers compensation claim is false. There is a big difference between doing some household chores and being able to work 40+ hours per week.
Insurance companies frequently disregard complaints of pain and send people back to work prematurely. Even against treating doctors orders. Don’t judge someone without knowing all the facts.
Michigan law requires a good-faith job search as a condition of receiving wage loss benefits. The insurance company can even reduce weekly checks if it simply believes a person can work somewhere else. Refusing a job within restrictions ends entitlement to lost wages.
Insurance companies can also require a claimant to be examined by a doctor of their choosing. Exaggerating or faking injury will be quickly exposed. Vocational experts are hired to perform surveys of the labor market to show what that jobs are available within restrictions. Gaming the system is extremely difficult and it is estimated that fraud occurs in less than 4% of claims.
If a person can jump through all of these hoops, he or she will only get about 60% of gross pay. Pain and suffering is not available. Nobody gets rich from workers compensation and the reduction of salary causes real hardship for families.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by KobraSoft.