The Internet is Where Comp Claim Investigation Starts
Perhaps your workers are among the last to realize that the net is public and world wide. Millions of others don’t. Judging from the stories emerging, investigation of comp claims starts on the net – and quickly ends there.
Many workers are posting pictures and stories about their active and exciting lives, complete with photos, locations and dates, while pursuing comp, negligence and Social Security Disability claims.
Facebook Posts Are Not Necessarily Reality
Most internet chatter is from younger workers who are just trying to build a persona that is more attractive than “Disabled. Waiting for settlement.”, and who can blame them? So the statements shouldn’t automatically be considered a game winning find for the employer or carrier.
Your correspondent discovered a young man on total for a back blogging with members of his surf club about conditions on each beach. Suspicious, but what else did he have to talk about? At least he was trying to maintain social connections, which is always good for morale. Since he identified where, and when, he and his friends could be found, this was a photo shoot made in heaven for an investigator. Or maybe not. (All our suspect did was talk. He never seemed to leave the house.)
In the 1980s, a NYS fire fighter on total disability actually WON the race up the Empire State Building. Videos, news stories and copies of TV interviews were quickly assembled to defeat his claim.
He won! Among other responsibilities, he had to be able to carry a 150 pound person, on his back, and down a ladder. If he could not, he met the particular definition for total. And being on the evening news is not exactly evidence of “concealment”.
Check the Web, Keep an Open Mind
That is not to say that the net shouldn’t be consulted. But keep an open mind. In checking the web for a consultant’s reputation and qualifications in insurance your author instead read a copy of his application for a reduction in his prison sentence, written while in a federal facility two years previously.
That search, at least, produced a very desirable result.
Author: Attorney Theodore Ronca is a practicing lawyer from Aquebogue, NY. He is a frequent writer and speaker, and has represented employers in the areas of workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, employee disability plans and subrogation for over 30 years. Attorney Ronca can be reached at 631-722-2100.
Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL: www.WCManual.com
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
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