Workers’ Compensation: Business Reforms Means Less Benefits

Steven Schwartzapfel Feb 10, 2016

Workers’ Compensation “Reforms” Favor Businesses

Did you know that business-led workers’ compensation “reforms” can make it more difficult for you to get properly compensated after a workplace injury?

For many years, reform of the Workers’ Compensation system has been necessary. Sadly, in many states, business groups have been working to erode – not support – workers’ protections under Workers’ Compensation laws. In the last decade especially, the original ideals of Workers’ Compensation have been undermined. Now, it is difficult to establish a case and it takes longer to receive payments owed.

Tactics Used Against Workers’ Rights

Here are examples of how some states have chipped away at workers’ rights:

  • Workers are assigned a doctor by their company when filing a WC case rather than being free to choose their own. In some cases, this doctor is called an “Independent Medical Examiner” even though his or her “independence” is paid for by the company or the WC insurer.
  • Benefits are cut off or reduced if the worker is capable of doing “any” work at all. In disability cases, some insurers will not pay WC benefits if the worker is at all able-bodied, regardless of whether or not the worker has the skills for other jobs, or even whether or not any jobs are available.
  • Benefits in some states end after five (5) years, even if the worker’s impairment doesn’t. In some cases, even dependent benefits for the families of workers killed on the job end after five (5) years.
  • Permanently disabled workers see their benefits end after age 65 — even workers who are not eligible for Social Security.
  • Heavier and heavier burdens of proof are placed on workers to show connections between their injury or sickness and their jobs. Some states are attempting to define entire classes of injuries or illness as “non-occupational.”

Business pressure groups fight for these WC “reforms” by claiming that many workers file fraudulent claims with the system. In reality, fraudulent claims are rare. On the other hand, if Workers’ Compensation laws are eroded, many injured or sick workers will be forced to seek public benefits. Without Workers’ Compensation, everyone pays.

Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. Today for Assistance with Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

Navigating the Workers’ Compensation system while simultaneously coping with the stress and upheaval caused by an injury or illness can be overwhelming. If you feel that you are not receiving fair treatment in the handling of your Workers’ Compensation case, contact one of our experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys to review your case today. We can help. Please call us at 1-877-737-4806 or fill out our online contact form for immediate attention to your case. We will fight for you!

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