March 12, 2015
“The Demolition of Workers’ Comp,” written by Michael Grabell of ProPublica and Howard Berkes of NPR, explores the widespread diminution of workers’ compensation systems in the United States. According to the authors, many of the changes to workers’ compensation are steered by big business, aided by the recent Republican takeovers of state legislatures.
Historically, a presumption that employees committing fraud or otherwise abusing the system has driven up the cost of workers’ compensation insurance. The ProPublica/NPR report reveals, however, that most of the money lost to fraud is actually the result of employers misclassifying workers and underreporting payroll to get cheaper insurance rates. Premium fraud occurs when an employer attempts to manipulate accident records, the number of employees, and/or job classifications to lower premium costs.
Grabell and Berkes note in their report that workers’ compensation reform was driven mostly by the recessions of 2001 and 2007-2009, rather than public concern related to fraud. Cutting and/or limiting workers’ compensation are just some of the “low-cost” measures implemented by states looking attract business in financially hard-hit areas.
Whatever the reason, it is clear that injured workers attempting to secure workers’ compensation benefits are in for an uphill battle. If you or a loved one are suffering from work-related injuries, call the attorneys at ReidGoodwin to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation representative today.