Compensation Claims Increasing
The Connecticut Post recently reported that in 2008-09 the workers’ compensation held 20% more hearings for contested new claims than in 2004-05. The biggest reason? It’s not more injuries. Instead, according to an interview with the Workers’ Compensation Commission Chairman, John A. Mastropietro-its the economy.
The Chairman recognized that injured workers may be reluctant to file a claim with an employer having financial troubles, but finally present their claims when they are laid off. Employers look to save wherever they can and are contesting claims they would have agreed to pay in the past. And compensation insurance companies have downsized, leaving their adjusters with heavier caseloads that make it easier to delay investigations and deny claims. Remarkably, the Commissioners have risen to the challenge and managed to schedule hearings on new claims within thirty days. Still, while the Commissioners and adjusters work harder, and the employers hang on, it’s the injured worker who isn’t getting paid.