Workers’ Comp Fraud: Is It a Big Deal?

Teenager in handcuffs

Workers’ compensation, when managed properly and honestly, is a vital form of insurance that protects employees who are injured on the job through no fault of their own. When the injury is especially grave and/or requires significant time away from the job, workers’ comp becomes all the more important.

But the main issue with workers’ comp is that some people who wind up collecting feel like they’ve won the lottery – they’re getting paid and they don’t have to go to work. It’s the American Dream, right? So why would they admit that they’re completely healed – or that they were never really particularly injured in the first place – when they can just go on receiving paychecks for doing nothing? That’s exactly why workers’ comp fraud is such an issue.

While fraudulent cases are the minority, they still exist and they’re still a real problem. For one thing, everyone ends up paying for fraud in one form or another. Second, it makes suspects out of those with legitimate claims – is he or she really hurt or just faking it?

You would think that those who are caught committing fraud would be punished harshly, but you’d be wrong. There are plenty of cases in which so-called victims have been caught performing activities that wouldn’t be possible if they were legitimately injured. Some geniuses even post themselves on social media, living it up when they’re supposed to be bedridden. And the punishment for these infractions amounts to the equivalent of a slap on the wrist.

Part of the reason for the light treatment is that insurance companies have long been viewed as the enemy – big, faceless corporations that only exist to take your money and deny your claims. So how can an insurance company be a victim? And even the claims themselves are viewed through a certain lens – the so-called injured party was able to beat the system, so good for them.

But the reality is that workers’ comp fraud is a crime. It’s making false claims and taking money you’re not entitled to. And until the perpetrators of this type of fraud are made examples of, change will never come.

-Steve Petty, Director of Risk Management

StevePettyPhotoCroppedWP Steve Petty joined the Insured Solutions team as Director of Risk Management in 2010. The lessons he has learned from thirty-five years in risk management formed a foundation for what is today a unique Workers’ Compensation program, generating exemplary results for employers.

Contact Steve at, (229) 207-0664.

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