Worker's compensation exists to help workers who are genuinely injured while conducting the duties of their job. It is a type of insurance that companies are required to carry to protect their employees. As with any other type of insurance program, there are a certain number of people who attempt to commit fraud in order to get money to which they are not entitled.
The six elements of fraud
There are six general elements that investigators look for to determine if worker's compensation fraud is taking place. These first three elements are: whether the person who reports the claim knows it is false, whether false information is reported by the employer, injured worker, witness or claims adjuster and whether the fraudulent information relates to the case. The last three elements are: the information is reported with intent to defraud, the falsehood is given to confirm or deny facts to obtain payment and the false information is spoken or in writing.
The penalties for filing a false claim
The penalty for filing a false worker's compensation claim can vary widely. A judge may impose fines, restitution and probation. If a misdemeanor conviction is given it can include up to one year in jail. Depending on the specifics of the case, a judge can impose a felony conviction and up to 30 years in prison.
Worker's compensation is in place to protect all people who have jobs, in case of injury or illness caused by that job. It is important to make sure that false claims are not bogging down the process and creating delays for honest claimants.