Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. A construction worker can fall from scaffolding and break his leg. An office manager might pick up a heavy box and throw out her back. Any number of unfortunate events can occur, preventing a person from working temporarily or causing permanent disability. Most states require businesses to have workers’ compensation insurance, which provides employees with medical and rehabilitation compensation in addition to lost wages if injured while performing on-the-job responsibilities. To receive the benefits, however, there are a few requirements that need to be met – and generally one of those is not working another job. The Web site, WorkersCompensation.com, reports that a Wyoming woman falsified information on her claim stating that she did not have another job while receiving income from the state. In reality, she was double dipping.
The Pinedale woman improperly filed disability claims while employed by another business located in her small hometown. Ordered to pay restitution of $11,072, she will serve four to six years for committing fraud at the Wyoming Women’s Center. (She should have plenty of time to recover from her disability.)
According to the article, this particular case originated as a tip from the local sheriff’s office to the Wyoming Department of Workforce. Someone saw or heard something about this woman that was suspect and reported it. (Kudos to the whistleblower for holding the fraudster accountable.) Workers’ compensation is meant for people who are injured while working, not for scammers who are trying to make an extra buck at the expense of others.
If you suspect someone of committing workers’ compensation fraud there are several things you can do to stop the activity: 1) Find a link to your state’s department of labor on your state’s official government Web site. 2) Look for information related to workers’ compensation fraud. 3) Call the number listed on the Web site or write a letter to the address provided. Many states also offer a toll-free number to call to report workers’ compensation fraud or a form you will need to download, fill out and fax or mail. 4) Be prepared to answer any questions the department has about your complaint.