Most employees are honest, but even one dishonest employee can end up costing your business a lot of time and money. Workers’ compensation is provided to help protect honest employees as they recover from injuries sustained at work. However, some employees try to take advantage of this system by filing fraudulent claims. As an employer, you may benefit from knowing what some of the most common workers’ compensation scams are, as well as signs of suspicious claims.
Be wary of three common scams
One common scam involves the employee reporting an injury that never happened. Typically, people try to fake muscle problems with the back or neck because they can be difficult to disprove.
In another popular scam, an employee will file a claim for an injury that occurred while he or she was not at work. Sometimes the injury occurred recently while the employee was off work, but other times an employee will try to pass off an old, unhealed injury as a new one.
Exaggerating the severity of an injury is another way employees will commit workers’ compensation fraud. Sometimes an employee who has a minor symptom will make it seem like a major injury to collect more money. Other times an employee who has healed enough to go back to work may pretend to still be recovering to receive additional benefits.
Take steps to prevent workers’ compensation fraud
As an employer, you can help prevent workers’ compensation fraud by making sure your workplace is a safe and supportive. Show your employees that you care about their working conditions by implementing a safety program and correcting safety problems as they are reported or discovered. You can also make sure employees know that your business does not tolerate fraud.
Although there are steps you can take to prevent fraud from occurring, you might still be faced with an incident that you suspect could be workers’ compensation fraud. You may have reason to suspect fraud if:
- The injury happened on a Friday or a Monday
- No one witnessed the injury
- The employee’s story does not stay consistent
- The employee is unhappy with his or her job
- The employee will not consider light-duty work
- The employee refuses diagnostic tests
Honest employees who are injured on the job deserve the protection offered by workers’ compensation, but sometimes dishonest employees file fraudulent claims. If you think an employee’s claim is suspicious, inform your insurance company right away, so the situation can be properly investigated.