Missouri: Referrals for workers' comp fraud, noncompliance nearly double in '10
The Missouri Department of Labor's Division of Workers' Compensation recently reported that it referred 184 cases of fraud and noncompliance to the attorney general for prosecution during the first six months of the year -- an increase of 80 cases during the same period in 2009. The department also noted that there have been 1,369 cases of work-related injuries that weren't reported by an employer or insurer to the DWC this year. This is slightly above pace to surpass 2009's overall total of 2,669 unreported injuries.
Officials said the increase in referrals is likely the result of a combination of the division's efforts enhance its ability to analyze more cases and the fact that more employers are likely to cut workers' comp coverage during hard economic times.
In an attempt to stamp out fraud, Larry Rebman, director of the department, said the department has begun new efforts to make the workers' comp system more transparent and accountable. The agency created an online tool available on its Web site that allows users to access the state's workers' comp databases and check whether employers carry coverage and the effective dates of their policies. In addition, the department has modified its Web site to give the public an enhanced ability to report workers' comp fraud and noncompliance. The new feature explains the various types of illegal conduct and allows users to report violators with the click of a mouse.
"Our fraud and noncompliance investigators are on the beat," Rebman said. "They will aggressively investigate complaints of employers failing to carry coverage which puts workers and their families at risk. Times are tough, but that is no excuse for breaking the law and putting employees at risk."
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
August 30, 2010
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