Workers compensation fraud is an extremely controversial topic. Recently, there has been a national initiative to reform the workers compensation claims process. Unfortunately, cost-cutting insurance companies are focusing on a miniscule number of fraudulent claims and making it difficult for injured workers to recover much-needed funds. According to studies, only one to two percent of all Worker compensation claims are fraudulent. This small portion casts doubt on 99 percent of legitimate claimants.
Insurance carrier fraud
Most statistics on workers compensation fraud are false. Insurance companies that fear shrinking profits are behind the majority of these claims. In many campaigns, insurance companies allege that the cost of fraudulent claims comes directly out of consumers’ pockets, but that is simply not true. Workers Compensation claims are paid by insurance premiums. If these funds are not enough, premiums may increase, but there is a hidden side of workers comp fraud that involves employers.
Between 1995 and 1996, the Supreme Court of Florida authorized a compliance audit in which of the more than 22,000 employers in Florida, 13 percent of employers did not carry any workers compensation insurance. Plus, many employers falsify payroll records to cheat the system and to pay less for coverage. There are many forms of workers compensation fraud, and it is not always the workers who are perpetrating it. In 1998, workers compensation costs represented 1.35 percent of the total payroll, yet employers were quick to slash employee benefits.
Workers Compensation experts and members of the AFL-CIO contend that workers compensation fraud is between .3 percent and .1 percent in most states. However, injured workers are being penalized daily for this small number of fraudulent claims. Don’t try to recover workers comp benefits on your own. Contact a Florida workers compensation attorney who can be your advocate and can help you recover the funds you need to support your family.