U.S. Labor Department: States Are Failing Injured Workers by Michael Grabell ProPublica, SHARE SHARE SHARE

U.S. Labor Department: States Are Failing Injured Workers

by Michael Grabell ProPublica, Oct. 5, 2016, 6:01 a.m.

A U.S. Department of Labor report released today details the bleak fate facing the nation’s injured workers, noting that those hurt on the job are at “great risk of falling into poverty” because state workers’ compensation systems are failing to provide them with adequate benefits.

The report lays the groundwork for renewed federal oversight of state workers’ comp programs, providing a detailed history of the government’s past efforts to step in when states fell short. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said in a statement Tuesday night that he was drafting legislation “to address many of the troubling findings laid out in this report” and hoped to advance it in the next Congress.

The 43-page report was prompted by a letter last fall from 10 prominent lawmakers, including Brown, urging more action to protect injured workers following a ProPublica and NPR series on workers’ comp. The stories found that since 2003, more than 30 states had changed their laws, causing some workers to lose their homes, or be denied surgeries or prosthetic devices their doctors recommended.

The Labor Department’s conclusions echo ProPublica and NPR’s findings that states have decreased benefits, created hurdles to medical care, raised the burden of proof to qualify for help and shifted costs to public programs, such as Social Security Disability Insurance.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a division of the Labor Department, made similar findings last year. But Wednesday’s report underscores the prominence of the issue, as departmental investigations are typically reserved for White House priorities, such as increasing the minimum wage and guaranteeing paid family leave.

The report provides a roadmap of potential actions, but stops short of new policy recommendations in what appears to be a tacit nod to the fact that President Obama’s term is waning and substantial changes must wait for another administration. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, who was shortlisted as a potential vice presidential candidate, is expected to hold a top job if Hillary Clinton wins the election next month.

“With this report, we’re sounding an alarm bell,” Perez said in an interview Tuesday. “A critical part of the safety net is being both attacked and eroded in no small measure because there are no federal minimum standards for workers’ compensation.”

“I hope that Congress will step up,” he added. “We have to fix this system.”

Workers’ comp dates back more than century, with each state having its own system of benefits, insurance rules and courts. Typically, when a worker is injured, employers pay their medical bills, a portion of their lost wages and compensation for any permanent disabilities. In exchange for prompt and certain benefits, workers are barred from suing their employers.

But as ProPublica and NPR found, the benefits can vary drastically, with compensation for an amputated arm ranging from $45,000 to $740,000, even in neighboring states.

The Labor Department report details how states have changed their laws largely in an effort to reduce business costs as they compete for new corporate headquarters, factories and warehouses 2014 a trend the report calls a “race to the bottom.”

It calls for policymakers to explore how to prevent the costs of workplace injuries and illnesses from being transferred to public programs, how to increase the sharing of injury data between insurers and public health researchers, and how to develop programs that help disabled workers return to the job.

Most significantly, it floats the idea of increasing federal oversight of state workers’ comp programs, which could include the appointment of a national commission, federal tracking of state laws and the establishment of minimum standards and penalties if states fail to meet them.

A presidential commission in 1972 came up with 19 guidelines for states to improve their workers’ comp systems and recommended that Congress mandate them if states didn’t act. Many states did, but as political winds shifted in the early 1980s, the threat of federal intervention passed.

The suggestion of increased federal involvement has set off alarm bells in the insurance and employer communities.

“Federal requirements imposed on a national basis would be inconsistent with the state workers’ compensation system, which has been in place for more than 100 years without federal oversight,” wrote Douglas Holmes in a recent blog post. Holmes is president of UWC, a business lobby group focused on unemployment and workers’ comp.

But in its report, the Labor Department notes that as far back as 1939, the agency considered setting guiding principles for workers’ comp as part of its mission. President Harry Truman spoke of promoting standards for state programs while President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s labor secretary sponsored the drafting of model workers’ comp laws.

Such involvement continued through the Ford and Carter administrations but was curtailed during the Reagan era. The Labor Department continued to track states’ compliance with the 1972 commission guidelines until 2004, when budget cuts ended the program.

Courts and lawmakers in several states have moved to restore workers’ comp protections since the ProPublica and NPR series published in 2015. Top courts in Florida and Oklahoma have overturned a number of business-friendly reforms highlighted in the series, including a two-year cap on wage benefits and a provision that allowed Oklahoma businesses to opt out of workers’ comp and write their own plans to care for injured employees. This summer, New Mexico’s Supreme Court granted farmworkers the right to workers’ comp for the first time in 100 years.

In California, the governor last week signed a bill that will reduce the roadblocks for workers to get medical care. And the state’s workers’ comp bureau is in the final stages of writing a new regulation that would allow more severely injured workers to qualify for home health care.

Last year, ProPublica profiled workers who had their home health aides taken away after a new law allowed insurance companies to reevaluate cases based on a more restrictive regulation.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.

http://pixel.propublica.org/pixel.js




pro-public-update-to-congressional-letter-of-october-2015




REBLOG IT!   Remember remember:  “Without a blog and a growing database, Injured Workers are Unarmed and Unprotect in the War On Workers.”  Tell your friends and neighbors; Congress already knows!

Read the October 20, 2015 letter from federal lawmakers to dol here.

Eagle feathers and Psychopaths.jpg

WE ARE THE MEDIA NOW   #DodgeTheRads – Be ITK about Your Radiation This Week

 

 

What’s really going on in America’s Workers’ Compensation? It’s A Crises! PREPARE! SURVIVE!

Listen Up! My Work Comp Coach is contributing to The Huffington Post, too?

“Subscribe Me!” 

#OccupyVirtually  #OccupyWorkComp!  Blog Blog Blog!  WE ARE THE MEDIA NOW!huff-po-image-article-one-10-2-2016

 

Read it here:  Dear WorkComp Coach – What about Experience Modification Rate Calculations and How do the Insurance Carriers Work? 

 



huff-po-image-article-two-10-3-2016

Read it here:  Dear WorkComp Coach – Is GoFundMe the best Hope for American Injured Workers?



Private comments?  Interested in guest blogging?  eMail at WorkCompLinda@gmail.com



work comp guidelines diagramkeep posting

Be ITK About Your Radiation This Week!  Dodge The Rads and remember remember …

All Nuclear Reactors Leak All The Time

#OccupyVirtually #StayOuttaTheStreets #DodgeTheRads

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INDUSTRY BLOGS? WHO IS SAYING WHAT?

“WHY IS IT THAT NOBODY GIVES A DAMN IN THIS INDUSTRY ABOUT BIG MONEY FRAUD? – David DePaolo”

Are these the words of a “vociferous militant” or simply the words of an esteemed spokesman for all stakeholders in the Workers’ Compensation field?

Thank you, David DePaolo, for all you have done on behalf of America’s Injured Worker population. RIP. https://www.workcompcentral.com//columns/print/id/i321y06u1156781ij21g0v

See even more on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-workers-compensation-industry-blogs-who-saying-linda-ayres

Be sure to take the self-guided virtual fb tour of Injured Worker Ghettos, Groups and Kamps, and be sure to sign up for the blogs of all the ‘Industry Top Bloggers’ – you’ll find the links herein.

The 99% care! See more at LucyOccupy.com and share with your smart friends.

#DodgeTheRads and Remember Remember…
WE ARE THE MEDIA NOW

Ask About Workers Comp Gravy Trains

  • Remember Remember the Words of David DePaolo, RIP:
  • The brokerage community has been successful for many years in steering the fraud debate towards the most minuscule part of fraud: injured workers; a segment of the fraud population that is so small that insurance companies comically seek big attention for thwarting a criminal act that typically does not amount to more than $10,000 in damage.

  • Where is the outcry, however, when brokers suck $4 billion out of a system on clever reinsurance chicanery (see our various stories and articles on Unicover) so they can make a half-billion dollars in fees? Why isn’t the Employer’s Fraud Task Force and other self-appointed…

View original post 1,094 more words

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INDUSTRY BLOGS? WHO IS SAYING WHAT?

 

  • Remember Remember the Words of David DePaolo, RIP:
  • The brokerage community has been successful for many years in steering the fraud debate towards the most minuscule part of fraud: injured workers; a segment of the fraud population that is so small that insurance companies comically seek big attention for thwarting a criminal act that typically does not amount to more than $10,000 in damage.

  • Where is the outcry, however, when brokers suck $4 billion out of a system on clever reinsurance chicanery (see our various stories and articles on Unicover) so they can make a half-billion dollars in fees? Why isn’t the Employer’s Fraud Task Force and other self-appointed overseers of malicious intent and do-gooders directing their energies towards identification of the white collar criminals guilty of bid rigging? Where are our district attorneys, whose offices are flush with workers’ compensation fraud fighting money, when clear evidence of outright insurance company misreporting of work comp premium occurs? Is Eliot Spitzer, formerly New York’s Attorney General and now that state’s governor, the only politician who seems to be bothered by large scale white collar crime?

  • WHY IS IT THAT NOBODY GIVES A DAMN IN THIS INDUSTRY ABOUT BIG MONEY FRAUD?  – David DePaolo

  • Next Up?   Workers Compensation Industry blogs…. who is telling the truth and who is just serving the industry in a business model of PROFITS BEFORE LIVES

keep posting

 

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE INDUSTRY BLOGS?   WHO IS SAYING WHAT TODAY?

The Ignorant Aging

“It is also this particular demographic that is ill prepared to NOT work – the baby boomer generation still lives pay check to pay check; in other words they MUST work…”

“Yet, AARP (nor most other organizations) does absolutely no education to their constituents and members about work place injuries, about workers’ compensation or how the system works, leaving this demographic especially vulnerable to surprise, or worse, abuse.”

“I guess this isn’t really a surprise. Nearly no one educates the working population about workers’ compensation, or any work injury program, until it’s too late, after an injury occurs (or is claimed).”

David DePaolo | Ask About Workers Comp Gravy Trains

Posts about David DePaolo written by AskAboutWorkCompGravyTrains. … If you are an Injured Worker, tell your story to ProPublica, and blog on! ….. When I called AARP a few months ago, apparently for United Health Care, the first question …

David DePaolo – Google+

David DePaolo – Executive – WorkCompCentral – After practicing workers’ compensation law for nearly 18 years, I founded and grew … daviddepaolo.blogspot.com …. AARP has a big section on their website about working at age 50 and over.

DePaolo’s World: June 2016

daviddepaolo.blogspot.com/2016_06_01_archive.html

Jun 2, 2016 – AARP has a big section on their website about working at age 50 and …… My blog post on fraud and audits on June 7 attracted the attention of …

AARP and Workers Compensation and Social Security and YOU | Ask …

https://askaboutworkerscompgravytrains.com/…/aarp-and-workers-compensation-and…

Jun 29, 2016 – Posts about AARP and Workers Compensation and Social Security and YOU … http://daviddepaolo.blogspot.com/2015/09/how-dare-you.html.




Are YOU following these blogs, and commenting appropriately, without fear or caution?

19. #CommitteesOfBloggers — here are comments with links on the Top 25 WorkComp Industry blogs: https://askaboutworkerscompgravytrains.com/?s=TOP+25+BLOG

27.   Top 10 Highest-paid CEOs at U.S> commercial insurance companies

 

TOP BLOGS FOR
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION AND WORKPLACE ISSUES
2010-2104 HONOREES

LexisNexis Workers' Comp Law Newsroom Staff
LexisNexis Top 25 Blogs for Workers’ Compensation and Workplace Issues – 2010 Honorees
LexisNexis Workers' Comp Law Newsroom Staff
LexisNexis Top 25 Blogs for Workers’ Compensation and Workplace Issues – 2011 Honorees
LexisNexis Workers' Comp Law Newsroom Staff
LexisNexis Top 25 Blogs for Workers’ Compensation and Workplace Issues – 2012 Honorees
LexisNexis Workers' Comp Law Newsroom Staff
LexisNexis Top Blogs for Workers’ Compensation and Workplace Issues – 2013 Honorees
LexisNexis Workers' Comp Law Newsroom Staff
LexisNexis Top Blogs for Workers’ Compensation and Workplace Issues – 2014 Honorees
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2016 Industry Selection of Their Best Blogs via WorkersCompensation.com

Work Comp Roundup, Author Michael Stack – Category: Education

From Bob’s Cluttered Desk, Author Robert Wilson – Category: National Issues

Managed Care Matters, Author Joe Paduda – Category: Medical Management

DePaolo’s Work Comp World, Author David Depaolo – Category: National Issues

WorkersComp Insider, Authors Tom Lynch & Julie Ferguson – Category: National Issues

Workers’ Compensation by Gelman, Author Jon Gelman – Category: Legal

The Official Medicare Set Aside Blog, Author Jennifer Jordan – Category: MSA/Settlements

Conference Chronicles, Author Varied – Category: Education

Florida Workers’ Comp Adjudication, Author David Langham – Category: Legal

Work Safe, Texas, Author Varied – Category: Carrier

Franco Signor MSP Blog, Author Varied – Category: MSA/Settlements

Workers’ Comp Zone. Author Julius Young – Category: Legal

MedicareInsights Blog, Author Rafael Gonzalez – Category: MSA/Settlements

Alabama Workers’ Compensation Blawg, Author Varied – Category: Regional/State Specific

Evidence Based, Author Michael Gavin – Category: Medical Management

Mark Pew, Author Mark Pew – Category: Medical Management

Louisiana Comp Blog, Author Varied – Category: Regional/State Specific

Sedgwick Connection, Author Varied – Category: TPA

New Jersey Workers’ Comp Blog, Author John Geaney – Category: Regional/State Specific

The Return to Work Blog, Author Varied – Category: Carrier

Simply Work Comp, Author Varied – Category: Safety/Prevention

MEMIC Safety Net, Author Varied – Category: Safety/Prevention

it-seems-that-fraud-and-workers-compensation-just-belong-together-depaolo-2006
Thank you, David DePaolo, for all you have done on behalf of America’s Injured Worker population. RIP. https://www.workcompcentral.com//columns/print/id/i321y06u1156781ij21g0v

Who else is blogging about #WorkComp in America and Elsewhere?




political language (2)

Injured and Insulted? If you haven’t read these articles – you don’t know nuthin about WorkComp in America!

fb VIRTUAL TOURs – Work Comp Groups




Injured Worker Resources …… add to it! We Are The Media Now.

THIS PAGE IS UNDER RE-CONSTRUCTION —

SUBSCRIBE ME

SUBMIT YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS TO WorkCompLinda@gmail.com




crayons and puppets




IT’S TIME FOR THE TOP 50 INJURED WORKER BLOGS….

Submit your blog as a comment below and with email to #WorkCompLinda@gmail.com to be included in an upcoming directory, afterall, WE ARE THE MEDIA NOW…. BE CREATIVE… BE CONSISTENT …. BE RELENTLESS…

AskAboutWorkersCompGravytrains.com

 

BE POLITE;  WHEN POSSIBLE and remember the ol’ saying, “DO NOT HARM BUT TAKE NO SHIT”

HOW YOU LOOK

 

why mediate

Injured Workers Mediation for negotiations and structured settlements

#OccupyVirtually #StayOuttaTheStreets #DodgeTheRads
#OccupyVirtually #StayOuttaTheStreets #DodgeTheRads – Study Your Radiation This Week – Google It!

A Swath of Injured Workers on Facebook Are Seeking Help — Peeps on LinkedIn were asked: CAN YOU HELP?

More Talking Points for a GLOBAL SUMMIT on WorkComp Resolutions! WHAT ELSE?

Source: A Swath of Injured Workers on Facebook Are Seeking Help — Peeps on LinkedIn were asked: CAN YOU HELP?

 

About that Facebook Virtual Tour of the Injured Worker Kamps? Remember this blog from February? Yeah, right.

Here, the promised fb Virtual Tour… Check out and join some of the groups….lend a hand. #DodgeTheRads

Virtual FAST Tour of the Facebook Injured Worker Ghettos, Kamps, Pages, Groups and Events – OccupyVirtually – Dodge The Rads

https://askaboutworkerscompgravytrains.com/2016/09/05/virtual-fast-tour-of-the-facebook-injured-worker-ghettos-kamps-pages-groups-and-events-occupyvirtually-dodge-the-rads/

#DodgeTheRads #OccupyVirtually #StayOuttaTheStreets

Something is terribly wrong with workers’ compensation, isn’t it?