New York Man Charged With Workers’ Compensation Fraud
The workers’ compensation system works in strange ways. Sometimes those who truly need the benefits never receive them, while those who are attempting to defraud the system often receive benefits rather quickly with no issues. An investigation of a New York man’s workers’ compensation claim has led to fraud charges. The 49-year-old man now faces several felony charges.
The Sanborn man was arrested in early January after illegally receiving workers’ compensation benefits since May 2017. The man was employed as a maintenance worker for New York State Thruway Authority when he was allegedly injured while moving a guardrail. He reported the injury and stopped working. He collected $461.68 a week in workers’ compensation benefits.
The man claimed he was totally disabled and unable to return to his position at New York State Thruway Authority. However, during the summer of 2017, he was caught installing and servicing pools for a local contractor. His benefits totaled more than $5,000 during that time, even though he informed the State Insurance Fund that he did not work at all during that time frame.
Under New York law, employees are expected to provide insurance carriers and the Workers’ Compensation Board with factual information about their work activities while they are receiving workers’ compensation benefits. The man violated this law and is now facing charges for several felonies, including first degree offering a false instrument for filing, third degree grand larceny and the fraudulent practices in regards to workers’ compensation claims. The man was arraigned in the Town of Cambria Court and released. He is ordered to return to court on Feb. 6.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Fraud
Employees are not the only ones who can engage in workers’ compensation fraud. Employers and health care providers may engage in fraudulent practices as well. Employees commit fraud when they file a claim for a non-work-related injury or exaggerate the severity of the injury in order to receive benefits. Workers also commit fraud when they continue to work—at another employer, as the man did in this case—while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Benefits are payable only to those who cannot work. It is illegal to “double dip.”
Employers engage in fraud when they misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid paying premiums. They may also underreport employees, misrepresent company ownership or tell the employee that no workers’ compensation benefits are available. Health care providers commit fraud when they bill for procedures or tests that were never performed, duplicate billing, bundle unnecessary services and bill for patients who were never treated.
Contact Us for More Information About Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation benefits are available to those who truly cannot work due to a disability. Unfortunately, many people take advantage of the system, causing states to lose money. This affects those who truly need the benefits.
If you have become sick or injured in the workplace, make sure you receive the benefits you deserve. Contact the Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon in White Plains for legal help. Call his office at (914) 294-2145 to schedule a complimentary consultation.