Monday, September 25, 2006

Workers' Compensation System a 'Colossal Failure'

Workers' Compensation has become a workers' nightmare ...

"Workers across the country often have to contend with "adversarial bureaucracy and inadequate benefits" when they file a workers' compensation claim, according to a report issued by the Center for Justice & Democracy (CJ&D).

The report – "Workers' Compensation: A Cautionary Tale" – describes the nation's workers' compensation system as a "colossal failure" and contends that while workers' benefits continue to shrink, insurance companies reap the benefits.

"Workers' compensation is an unfortunate example of how a seemingly fair program can be manipulated by political forces into a nightmare for those it was originally meant to help," said CJ&D attorney and policy analyst Amy Widman, the report's author.

The report contends that the workers' compensation system has deteriorated since its inception in the late 1940s. The report examines several states' legislative battles that, the report asserts, illustrate how workers nationwide are being stripped of benefits that would have been available to them 50 years ago.

A combination of factors such as the slashing of benefits, unprecedented eligibility requirements and continuous industry lobbying of politicians and agency administrators have prompted workers' compensation programs in many states to be essentially gutted, leaving injured workers without adequate help to care for their families, according to the report."    (Continued via Occupational Hazards)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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