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Workers' compensation claim led to criminal charges

When people are hurt on the job in Ohio, they have a lot of options to help them recover from it. Minor injuries may require a trip to the doctor, and many employers offer a health insurance option that may pay or defray the cost for medical care. But serious injuries that are related to work may be covered by workers' compensation claims.

There are also options for covering time lost during recovery, during which a person may not be able to work. This is similar to disability payments and, like them, claims rely on physicians or related professionals certifying the fact that a worker cannot do what they usually do because of an injury.

A truck driver from the Cleveland area faced criminal charges over collecting benefits related to a decade-old work injury when he was still able to work. The 28-year-old man must pay restitution as well as serve probation in lieu of a suspended jail sentence. An investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) showed he received benefits periodically over seven years after his injury.

"If you can climb in and out of a truck and drive for hours, then you shouldn't be collecting workers' compensation benefits," said the person in charge of the BWC. "Thanks to a tip and our investigation, [the suspect] had to learn this lesson the hard way."

Workers who need help dealing with workers' compensation claims, especially to appeal if a claim has been denied, can retain the services of an attorney. A lawyer can also help determine when a claim should not be filed.

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