Warning about fraud in the workers’ compensation system and why it is not always what you might expect.
Attorney Leonard T. Jernigan, Jr. has published his 2016 Top Ten Workers’ Compensation Fraud Cases. He found non-employee fraud added up to a whopping 412,000,000 million while employee fraud was 0.
Some of these non-employee fraud cases include employee misclassification, over/improper billing, and under-reporting of payroll.
Many wrongly assume that employees are committing the greatest amount of workers’ compensation fraud. It does not help that high profile employee fraud cases make sensational news. We saw this first hand several years ago when the dancing hamster from the popular Kia commercials was caught red-handed.
Special interest groups use employee fraud to slash benefits under the guise of “reform.” Accident Fund, one of the nation’s leading workers’ compensation insurers, says actual fraud occurs in less than 4% of claims. Not exactly the crisis that some would believe.
Issues such as employee misclassification and premium fraud do not get much attention in the media. Some employers intentionally misclassify employees as independent contractors and pay them with a Form 1099. This is to avoid having to purchase mandatory insurance and paying benefits. Employers commit premium fraud by under-reporting the number of workers they employ or misrepresenting the nature of work performed.
Workers’ compensation insurance is supposed to pay for medical treatment and lost wages. Disabled workers do not simply disappear when no coverage exists. Government programs like Medicaid and Medicare end up footing the bill. Private health insurance also pays. This results in higher taxes and costlier insurance premiums.
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 psd.