Workers' compensation protects workers by providing financial help for medical bills and lost wages after a workplace injury, and it simultaneously protects employers from lawsuits. Worker’s compensation laws vary from state to state, but to ensure you understand your rights, you should stay abreast of what's happening in other areas.
Here's a look at some recent news stories and how they may intersect with your situation.
According to the Inquirer Daily News at Philly.com, Republican lawmakers in Philadelphia are working on a law that would restrict which drugs can be prescribed under the state's workers' compensation plan.
Proponents of the bill argue that this will deter doctors from overprescribing opioids and that it will save insurers from having to pay for expensive compound pain relief creams. Opponents of the bill say that it gets in between doctors and patients and makes it harder for injured workers to get the treatment they need.
In California, there is also a list of drugs which are approved for people using workers' compensation coverage. If you are in the midst of filing a claim and are worried about not having access to the medications you need, you should contact an attorney or advocate to help you.
In Ohio, lawmakers are trying to pass a bill to ban illegal immigrants from receiving workers' compensation.
Currently, according to Cincinnati.com, the state's workers' compensation board doesn't check the immigration status of injured workers who apply for help. However, lawmakers argue that these workers should be prevented from collecting workers' comp just as they are banned from collecting Medicaid, food stamps, and similar benefits.
However, the new law would allow injured workers to bring a suit against their employers. In order to be liable, the employer would need to know that the worker was not legally allowed to work in the country. Normally, when workers are covered by workers' compensation, they waive their right to sue their employers.
If you are an undocumented worker, you need to understand your rights, and you may want to consult with an attorney. If you are an employer, you should also understand your expectations and legal guidelines.
Based on a report published by ABC Action News, a Floridian man recently stole a child's social security number, used it to obtain a job, and eventually claimed $21,000 in workers' compensation. This kind of fraud can happen anywhere in the country.
If you get strange bills in your child's name or receive an indication that someone has filed a tax return using your child's social security number, that's a sign that someone may have stolen their information for fraudulent purposes. To safeguard your child's information, consider pulling their credit report and putting a credit watch on their number so you get an alert if someone tries to access their credit.
A drug rehabilitation center called Christian Alcoholics & Addicts in Recovery has admitted to keeping workers' compensation payments made to their clients, reports Tulsa World. Located in Oklahoma, the recovery center frequently receives drug addicts who are ordered there by a judge.
As part of their rehab, the patients are required to work for free in Arkansas and Missouri. Recently, when one patient was injured and unable to work, he became eligible for workers' compensation under Arkansas law, but he never saw his checks. The rehab facility had taken all the money. The issue is currently under investigation, but the rehab center has fully admitted to keeping the checks.
If you were entitled to workers' compensation but you believe that someone is taking your checks, you need to consult with a legal professional as soon as possible. You have a right to this coverage.
With all the new laws, fraud risks, and other issues surrounding workers' compensation, you should work with a professional when making your claim. If you have been injured at work, give us a call today. At the Law Offices of Goldberg & Ibarra, we have the experience you need.