A GAO inspection general report released on December 18th, 2014 revealed that an employee of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been receiving workers compensation for 30 years without coming under the radar or being noticed by the body. This is not even close to being as egregious as what the IRS or the EPA is doing but it is worth noting for sure.
File Requested but Undetectable
In order to conduct an investigation and delve deeper into the case, a copy of the workers compensation file for the employee was requested by the GAO IG. According to their knowledge, the employee in question had been receiving compensation since 1984. However, the report stated that the GAO Human Capital Office was unable to detect the file.
Due to the undetectable file, the IG had to adopt another method of investigation. They decided to review the case by using the employee’s file through the Labor Department’s Office of Worker’s Compensation Programs. Through this investigation, they concluded that the employee was in fact, erroneously receiving payments for 29 of the 30 years.
The report stated that despite giving up suitable employment, the claimant continued to receive wage-loss compensation benefits. According to the law, that if an employee receives workers compensation, they should return to work after they have made a full recovery from their injuries. If for some reason, the employee refuses to return to work, he is no longer liable to receive workers compensation unless he can medically prove that is cannot perform his work duties physically because of an injury that he might have sustained on the job.
Report States that Employee Stopped Working in July 1999
The report revealed that one year after his injury sustained in the workplace, the in 1985, the employee returned to par-time employment. He was reported to have reduced his working hours to 12 hours a week in March 1992, and finally stopped working altogether by July 1999.
The report also states that the employee was not notified by the GAO that his workers compensation benefits would be terminated in the event that he rejected suitable employment. As per the law, it is the agency’s responsibility to terminate payments once a compensation claim is approved, such as the one that the GAO approved for the employee in question in 1984.
Safeguarding Your Interests with an Experienced Workers Compensation Lawyer
The law is an intricate concept and defers from state to state. It is impossible for any lay person to be aware of every small nuance and sub-law that exists in the state in which they live. That is why it is important, especially in the event of any workers compensation case, to hire the services of a qualified and experienced workers compensation lawyer to advise you and provide you with legal counsel to safeguard your interests.
A workers compensation lawyer is aware of the laws of the state in which your case is being tried and will be able to suggest the best possible course of action so that you come out on top. A workers’ compensation lawyer is a valuable asset to any case.