Injured Workers Forced into Poverty While Corporate Profits Boom
Workers Compensation assures that when an employee is injured on the job, their employer is responsible for paying medical bills and enough wages to the injured worker to help them get by financially through their recovery. In exchange, the injured worker can not sue their employer for injuries.
Worker’s Compensation has been under fire; corporations and insurance companies have been pushing for “reform.” Reform is in quotes because what they are after is saving money and making more profit. NPR and Propublica conducted an investigation, the findings left me speechless.
The investigation, in part, found that workers today are paying the lowest rates since the 1970s for Workers Compensation insurance and in 2013, “insurers had their most profitable year in over a decade.” How does that equate a situation in need of a reform? The insurance companies are spreading falsehood and crying that insurance costs are out of control and thus reform is needed. This is not true.
When Worker’s Compensation gets cut or reduced, tax payers suffer, in addition to the injured worker and their families. Rather than the insurance companies footing the bills (as they are paid and bought into to do) injured workers are forced to apply for and receive SSD Insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid. These programs have their place, but I would argue that their place is not to pick up the slack where Worker’s Compensation should be paying the benefits.
Worker’s Compensation is calculated state by state, the investigation cited that a lost eye is work approximately $27k in Alabama, but that same injury is worth $261k in Pennsylvania. It is clear politics are at play and this hurts injured worker and is plain insulting.
Cutting Worker’s Compensation benefits may save corporations money, but doing so forces injured workers into poverty.
Workers deserve better. We deserve better. Advocates and workers a like have reason to be outraged.