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Everyday choices could imperil your workers' compensation claim

When you are injured on the job or become debilitated by occupational illness, you will likely become eligible for a beneficial form of financial assistance until you can get back on your feet. However, the workers’ compensation benefits you may become eligible for come with certain conditions. For example, if you insist that you cannot walk because of your condition and then someone discovers you walking down the street, you could be accused of workers’ compensation fraud.

The catch here is that injured workers heal at various rates. That stroll you were taking down the street could have been taken on doctor’s orders in an effort to prevent blood clots. That walk could have been excruciatingly painful and a part of your healing process. However, to the untrained eye it may seem like you are no longer in need of your benefits or that you were never injured in the first place.

It is therefore important to maintain medical documentation of any advances you make in your healthcare journey in case workers’ compensation officials should ever call your integrity into question.

In one recent fraud case, a woman actually pled guilty to fraud after she was televised spinning the big wheel on the popular game show “The Price is Right.” In spinning the wheel, she had effectively proven that she had not sustained the shoulder injury she alleged prevented her from reaching or grasping. She was also photographed ziplining on recent cruise.

In this case, the woman in question had lied on her workers’ compensation application. However, even honest people can be accused of fraud if they are “caught” performing everyday activities that others believe that they should not be capable of performing. If your condition is improving, make sure to document your progress accurately with the help of your physician and your workers’ compensation attorney so that you remain free of judgment and your qualifying benefits remain rightfully intact as long as you are entitled to them.

Source: WRAL.com, “’Price is Right’ run foils postal carrier’s worker’s comp claim,” June 3, 2013

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