North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory gave his annual State of the State Address on February 4, and since then there has been a lot of talk about some controversial comments he made about workers’ compensation benefits in the state. In his speech, the governor stated that nearly half of all of the workers’ compensation claims paid out to North Carolina employees are a result of workers’ compensation fraud.
The governor followed up this statement by saying that North Carolina has lost about $896 million in workers’ compensation fraud over the past six years, which would come out to about $150 million per year. According to Governor McCrory, this would have been able to pay for a two percent annual pay raise to state employees each year.
However, experts and the State Employees Association (SEA) immediately challenged the claim that 40 percent of North Carolina workers’ compensation claims were related to fraud. Ardis Watkins, the director of government relations for the SEA, says that the statements by the governor come off as an attempt to blame state employees for North Carolina’s problems without any credible source for his statistics.
The North Carolina human resources director said in response to these criticisms that the 40 percent figure given by the governor was merely an “estimate,” not a solid figure with a source behind it. So far, no source has been provided for the governor’s figures, but his office has continued to state that the administration will focus on combating workers’ compensation fraud in 2015 and beyond.
If you have a legitimate work-related injury and require support through a workers’ compensation claim, you may need to consult an experienced North Carolina injury lawyer from the Lanier Law Group for the guidance you need.