When workers are injured on the job, the injuries can have serious implications for the worker. There are costs associated with medical bills and treatment. There’s also the wages that the worker loses while recovering from the injury.
For workers who are injured in a work accident, workers’ compensation benefits can help the worker financially until he or she is ready to return to work. These benefits are intended to make sure that the worker is compensated and can get the medical treatment he or she may need.
But when a worker intentionally continues to receive those benefits after full recovery, the consequences can be severe. In fact, just recently a couple from Colorado is facing federal charges of theft in regards to the workers’ compensation benefits the husband received.
The accident occurred almost three years ago when the husband fell from a ladder in his course of his employment. In the spring of the next year, his doctors gave him a clean bill of health but he continued accepting the benefits. He was terminated from his position later in the fall.
He then told doctors that he was suffering worsened health conditions and his wife went with him to the appointments where he was thought to be in a catatonic state. However, he was seen out and about, leading it to appear that he was faking the catatonic state in front of the doctors.
Now, he and his wife have both been accused of trying to obtain these benefits fraudulently. If they are convicted, they could be spending the next 12 years in prison, not to mention paying thousands of dollars in fines.
Generally, workers who are injured on-the-job should make sure to get proper documentation from their physician as well as from their employer. This can help prevent allegations of fraud and ensure that an injured worker obtains the benefits he or she deserves.
Source: Denver Post online, “Indictment alleges Aurora man faked injuries to get workers’ comp,” 10 June 2011