7 Disincentives for Employees to Return to Work and How You Can Avoid Them

The following is a list of 7 possible ways that an employee can make just as much (or more) money while they are injured than they would make if they were not injured.

1) Double Dipping – Employees may receive funds from both workers’ compensation and disability insurance if their injury is one that puts them out of work for a long period of time.

2) Unemployment – In some states, employees who are receiving workers’ compensation may also qualify for unemployment under certain circumstances. Companies should offer all injured employees a transitional job which they can perform while they are injured. If the employee turns down the transitional job, they will most likely not be granted unemployment status.


Workers Compensation Costs Driven By Inappropriate Claims!

Inappropriate claims are one the biggest driving costs of workers compensation increases. Up to 25 percent of all filings may have some form of fraud. There are many possible causes, including misunderstandings, miscommunication, cost shifting from a non-occupational health care plan, employee resentment, non-efficient service providers, and outright fraud. The National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates that workers’ compensation fraud costs alone are in the billions. So in return, this cost is billed back to the employers in the form of billion dollar premiums.

Workers’ compensation laws are working against the employers. The laws are creating insensible incentives. The longer an injured employee is out of work, the more likely they will ride it out for a cash settlement. Even the small injuries that should only have the worker out for two or three days can be stretched into two or three weeks, or even more! Every workers’ compensation guideline has a waiting period. Typically, it runs about three to seven days before an injured employee becomes entitled to indemnification for lost wages. It can often be done on a retroactive basis to day one of the claim. For many low paid workers the “tax free” wage alternative is an acceptable lifestyle.


Is Football Contributing to Work Comp Fraud?

What better thing to do on a Sunday than have a BBQ at home, watch some football, and then maybe go and toss the ball around. Going in for that interception! Tackle!

Did you know that work comp fraud is rising, and faking that football injury as a Monday work related injury could cause your employee to go to jail and/or be fined?

California employers in the insurance industry, District Attorneys, and an anti-fraud campaign are all playing a very important role in protecting your premiums and trying to keep these crimes down. As an employer, it is so important to keep both eyes peeled when employee injuries come about immediately after a weekend.

Unfortunately, there are people out there looking for free ride and we encourage you, the employer, to pay special attention after a claim has been filed.

Did the employee report the injury right away? Can they remember all the details of the accident? Were there any  witnesses? Also watch for changes in their story, or if you find they are doing activities that are not consistent with their injury. Finding out that your “injured employee” finally finished that kitchen remodel is very suspicious. If your employees hurt themselves at work and want to get better, they will attend all the necessary appointments.  Missing appointments can sometimes be reason to suspect fraudulent activity.

All these activities do not mean they are being fraudulent, but as an employer you always need to be on your toes and protect yourself, and your business, against workers trying to make an extra buck on at your expense.

Be Proactive When It Comes to Workers Compensation Fraud

It is much easier to prevent workers compensation fraud than it is to prove it. As an employer it is important to make sure to hire people who have the skills and the character that best fit with your company. Having a sound hiring policy is a good place to start.

Here are a few suggestions on how to be proactive:

  • Hire wisely. Conduct background checks on all applicants, and verify their references.
  • Focus on safety. Making the workplace safer reduces the chance of accidents and the opportunity to fake an injury.
  • Develop a return-to-work policy. Tell job candidates that if they get hurt on the job, the company will work with the doctor to help them return to work as soon as medically possible.
  • Educate, don’t threaten. Explain that workers compensation fraud hurts everyone, not just the insurance carrier. Let employees know that fraudulent claims can force employers to decrease benefits, lay off employees, or go out of business.
  • Adopt a zero-tolerance policy. Make it clear that fraud can carry serious consequences, including termination and prosecution.
  • Stay in touch. Keep regular contact with employees who are off work due to injury or illness. Document each contact or attempted contact. Injured workers who are difficult to contact or who are belligerent may be committing fraud.

This may all sound like a lot to do to keep your company safe. Proof:Positive can help. Let one of our representatives show you how you can protect your business.