There are countless incidents of workers' compensation fraud which are committed each day. Many individuals are under the false impression that a certain "type" of person commits this type of fraud. In reality, it is impossible to stereotype individuals who commit workers' compensation fraud. Those who take advantage of the system can range from single moms to families living in upscale neighborhoods.
Workers' compensation fraud is responsible for the loss of billions of dollars each year. Money paid out to fraudsters represents benefits lost to injured workers with a legitimate claim. In addition, fraudsters eventually place a burden on taxpayers who foot the bill for tax funded programs which are often used to recover from workers' compensation fraud.
In two separate news reports this week, incidents of workers' compensation fraud prove that any type of person may be committing this act. In the first incident published on the New York State Insurance Fund website, a former corrections officer is facing felony charges after allegedly receiving workers' compensation benefits to which he was not entitled. The amount allegedly received: $107,000. In a separate incident covered by TimesUnion.com, a mother of five living in an upscale neighborhood faces charges of welfare fraud and grand larceny after allegedly bilking the state of New York out of just under $100,000 in disability benefits, food stamps and Medicaid.
When individuals commit workers' compensation and other types of fraud, it affects all of us. If you know of an individual who is taking advantage of the system, do not convince yourself that they are "stealing" from someone else. The truth of the matter is fraudsters steal from everyone when they commit their crimes. The ripple effect of fraud is far reaching and impacts every person directly or indirectly at some point in the future.