When it comes to workers’ compensation, a lot of us take it for granted. We expected workers’ compensation to be there almost as if granted by invisible forces of nature. But what we don’t take into account is that workers’ compensation is indeed paid for, and in some states the entire system of workers’ compensation is becoming an expensive burden. That’s why there are a number of laws and regulations in place to keep the system accountable and fair.
Workers’ compensation law, contrary to what you might think, is taken very serious by the courts – defrauding a workers’ compensation system can mean years of jail time and heavy fines. That’s why it pays to know what the law says so that you can always stay within the bounds of workers’ compensation law.
Avoiding Fraud: Priority Number One
Defrauding workers’ compensation insurance is a serious crime, and many people don’t even know that they’re committing it. While they might know it’s not okay to fake an injury to get paid time off and workers’ compensation benefits, they might feel fine with exaggerating the extent of their injuries and essentially “taking a little off the top.” Of course, any exaggeration is also fraud – essentially, if you are well enough to work, then you are not injured enough to collect workers’ compensation benefits.
Whether or not you are defrauding the system is not based on how well you might deserve a break, but instead on whether or not you are receiving benefits as a result of being dishonest. Just because an injury exists does not mean it’s always enough to keep you at home. Fraud is fraud, no matter which way you look at it.
Your Limitations When Receiving Workers’ Compensation
If avoiding fraud is the top issue in dealing with workers’ compensation law from an employee’s perspective, it’s only fair that we elaborate on what you can and cannot do when receiving these benefits. Some people have defrauded the system by collecting workers’ compensation from one company and then working at another company. Is that fair?
Workers’ compensation, of course, is a benefit that is saved for those who truly cannot work – the truly needy. If someone is well enough to work at one job, it could be evidence of fraud taking place. It’s important that all people who receive workers’ compensation also make sure to comply with the requirements set for these benefits.
The Purpose of Workers’ Compensation Laws
Workers’ compensation is a benefit that’s there not so people will feel comfortable with taking unnecessary risks, but to provide relief for people with the legitimate inability to provide for themselves and their families. The laws are written to enforce this standard and to avoid fraud. Even if avoiding fraud is not always possible, it’s important for workers to remember why the laws are there in the first place.
With strict potential penalties incurred when workers’ compensation laws are broken, it’s also important to remember that these laws are typically harshly enforced, though on a state-by-state basis. Check more with your own state’s laws to learn more.