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Ohio woman collects $15K in fraudulent workers' compensation

The purpose of workers’ compensation benefits is to pay an injured worker’s medical bills and make for a portion of his or her lost wages while he or she is recovering. If a person is able to work after a workplace accident, he or she generally does not qualify for benefits.

Unfortunately, some people defraud the system in Ohio. They either falsify claims, or return to work while still collecting workers’ comp. This activity is costly to businesses and Ohio’s workers’ compensation system as a whole.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) investigates cases of possible fraud. When it finds someone cheating the system, criminal charges are the result.

A recent case where someone was convicted of workers’ compensation fraud, or pleaded guilty to related charges, present a useful example of this type of crime. In one case, a woman was approved for temporary total benefits. By mid-2012, she was apparently well enough to return to work as a nurse, so she took a job at an assisted living community and opened her own home health care business.

However, she did not report returning to work as she should have. Instead, she continued to receive benefits as she earned an income. Eventually, BWC caught up with her. As part of her sentence, she must repay nearly $15,000 to the agency.

This case shows why a workers’ compensation claim needs to be carefully investigated before it is approved. Though most people are honest, some workers try to cheat the system.

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