A report by the New York Grand Jury was released on March 25, 2014 relating to the High Costs of Worker’s Compensation Fraud. As reported, by Property Casualty 360 , “ the New York Grand Jury Report examined the vulnerability of New York’s workers’ compensation insurance system to fraud and misuse. It found that the largest component of the loss was unpaid workers’ compensation premiums, with personal income tax, withholding, unemployment insurance, and various other business taxes accounting for the remainder.”
New York County Prosecutor, Cyrus Vance, called the New York Grand Jury Report “deeply troubling” and notes that “employers can easily lie about what work a particular employee performs, for example, reporting a roofer as a clerical worker, and thus paying a significantly lower premium.”
When most people think of Workers’ Compensation fraud, they imagine people claiming to be injured and collecting benefits while out working in their yard, taking luxurious vacations and even doing other jobs on the side. Of course this type of fraud exists, but according to a new New York Grand Jury Report, it pales in comparison to the little-known issue of Workers’ Compensation fraud committed by employers in New York State.
As a Worker’s Compensation Attorney in New York representing injured workers, I am extremely sensitive to fraud of all nature, especially since there is an inordinate amount of time and energy spent trying to prove an injured worker may have committed a fraud.
The insurance industry is always seeking significant increases for premiums and decrying fraud and waste. Yet looking in their own backyard is literally tens of millions of dollars that the insurance companies have the right to charge but have failed to do so. $500 million in the NYC area for Construction alone – I am dumbfounded but not surprised.
Cleaning up this situation would greatly enhance the most important social aspect of the workers compensation law – to help the most vulnerable injured worker receive quick medical care and wage replacement and helping them get back to work, while at the same time protecting honest employers from additional costs and making it a system of success and not blame!
Our team of New York workers compensation attorneys are knowledgeable in all aspects of the law. If you need assistance, please feel free to call our office at 866-205-2415.