You may know that your employer pays your premiums for workers’ compensation insurance, so that when you are injured on the job you don’t have to worry about your next paycheck. But that doesn’t mean that every fund set up for workers’ compensation makes sense.
In fact, a New York State audit of several BOCES budgets and financial statements found that they had set up a number of funds in a gray area outside of the letter of the law. For Erie 1 BOCES, that includes a workers’ compensation reserve of more than $840,000. We’re still scratching our heads.
It’s not that teachers and grounds staff can’t get injured. It’s that the fund was part of more than $ 1 million in accounts they weren’t authorized to have. And, like workers’ compensation mismanagement, it affects thousands of people.
In all, the six BOCES audited by the New York Comptroller had $79 million put into unauthorized or overfunded accounts. In addition, $26 million wasn’t authorized.
If you’ve looked at your local property tax bill, you’ll know what that money could have gone towards instead, reducing the tax rate. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said as much in an announcement.
He didn’t say anything untoward had been happening, just not according to the rules of the BOCES. But as we’ve written about previously, there are many opportunities for fraud to occur when a worker needs to make a claim. Even when it sounds like it’s helpful, like a separate fund, it may not be.
Check our steps to reduce workers’ compensation fraud to see what we mean. And if you need a second pair of expert eyes to help you navigate your own process, call us or use our contact form for a consultation today.