In Colorado, recovering benefits after being injured at work can be a complicated process. Workers' compensation benefits can help an injured worker with things like medical bills and lost wages. But it can be confusing to try and navigate your way through workers' compensation laws.
Filing a fraudulent claim for workers' compensation benefits can lead to certain penalties. Penalties can result if it is discovered that a worker is not as injured as he or she claimed to be.
One man was recently the focus of a workers' compensation investigation. He had apparently filed a claim to receive Temporary Total Disability benefits after suffering an injury at work. He was receiving those benefits when evidence surfaced that showed him working on a roofing job.
The Workers' Compensation Bureau in Ohio, where the man resides, began to watch the man to see whether he was in fact working. Surveillance confirmed this suspicion, even showing the man leave the job site, go to a workers' compensation hearing and then return to work on the roof.
With this information, the man was charged with workers' compensation fraud. He ultimately pled no contest and was sentenced to several days in jail. Not only that, but he had to pay back the amount he received in disability benefits.
Though this incident occurred in another state, Colorado authorities will also investigate suspected workers' compensation fraud. Given the complicated claims process, it stands to reason that a person filing could make an honest mistake on one of the required forms without the intent of filing a false claim.
An injured worker already has a lot of deal with physically, financially and emotionally. Talking with someone who understands workers' compensation laws can help prevent future issues that can arise, such as accusations of workers' compensation fraud.
Source: Northwest Ohio Newsdesk: "Video: Investigators catch man roofing while on workers' comp," Oct. 18, 2011