Washington State’s Labor & Industries (L&I) Department recently reported charges levied against a woman for alleged workers compensation fraud, along with the awarding of a grant to return injured construction workers to their jobs sooner.
Woman Faces Five Counts of Theft For Fraudulent Work Comp Benefits
In the first incident, the 39-year-old Tacoma woman faces charges on five counts of theft for fraudulently collecting more than $50,000 in workers comp benefits from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).
According to the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, Deana S. Cook filed workers comp claims for injuries that occurred in 2007 and 2009. The claims were allowed and Cook was able to receive the benefits based on her contention that she was unable to work due to the injuries.
Meantime, a routine check of social security numbers between L&I and the Washington State Employment Security Department allegedly showed that Cook worked for a pair of different employers during the time her work comp benefits were paid.
Cook faces three counts of first degree theft and a pair of counts of second degree theft. She has entered not guilty pleas to all five charges.
Grant Awarded For Construction Return to Work
In other news, (L&I) recently awarded the SMART Association and the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties an $85,000 grant to partner in creating a program to place injured construction workers back on the job sooner rather than later.
The Return-to-Work grant, which is part of the Safety & Health Investment Projects (SHIP) Program, will fund the creation of an Internet-based Return-to-Work Toolbox — a database of job tasks and documentation that can be shared with employers across the state.
Grant Project Solves Problem Many Companies Face
This grant project will solve a problem faced by many companies that find they have to create or recreate documentation for return-to-work job tasks for injured workers because there is no simple method for companies to share this information.
The SMART Association is a non-profit business association providing companies with resources necessary to manage and control risk in Washington state. The Master Builders Association serves Seattle, King County and Snohomish County as the nation’s largest local homebuilders association.
Author 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.
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