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SURVEY FINDS CONSIDERABLE PUBLIC ACCEPTANCE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION AND DISABILITY INSURANCE FRAUD

 OAK BROOK, Ill., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- About 1 in 12 U.S. adults say it is acceptable for someone injured at home to claim their injury is work related in order to collect workers' compensation benefits.
 In a countrywide survey sponsored by the Insurance Research Council, 4 percent to 17 percent of 1,976 persons interviewed also said it is acceptable to engage in a variety of other behaviors ranging from participating in fraud rings to staying out of work longer than medically necessary following an injury or illness.
 When asked if it is acceptable for someone to knowingly cooperate with lawyers, doctors or chiropractors that file false or exaggerated claims to get money from workers' compensation insurance companies, about one in 20 said it is "usually" or "almost always" acceptable. The same share approved of filing workers' compensation claims when they are laid off or about to be laid off from work. Six percent said it is okay to file a workers' compensation claim if they were injured at home and their employer doesn't offer health insurance. And 5 percent approved of staying home from work and receiving workers' compensation benefits, even when they know they are fully recovered and have a job to return to.
 The highest approval rating (17 percent of respondents) came on a question about the acceptability of staying home from work and receiving workers' compensation benefits when someone still feels some pain, even though their doctor says they are able to return to work.
 Similar responses were given when the same or similar questions were asked about making disability insurance claims. Six percent said it is okay to stay home from work and collect disability benefits even after an employer has made special accommodations so the employee can return to the job. And 10 percent said it is acceptable to claim disability benefits and stay home from work for a month because they are feeling "stressed out."
 All of these findings came from in-home interviews conducted for the Insurance Research Council by the Roper Organization. The interviews took place in June 1992 and the findings are considered accurate to plus or minus 3 percentage points.
 In most instances, respondents age 18 to 34 were significantly more likely to approve making false workers' compensation and disability insurance claims than older age groups. Others most likely to approve such behavior included single persons and residents of the Eastern Seaboard, particularly those living in the Middle Atlantic and South Atlantic states.
 About 25 percent of respondents countrywide said they knew someone who had stayed home and continued receiving insurance benefits after being injured or ill, even though they were able to work and had a job to return to. Those who knew such a person were themselves somewhat more likely to condone that behavior.
 Copies of the full report, PUBLIC ATTITUDE MONITOR 1992, are available from the Insurance Research Council, 1200 Harger Rd., Suite 310, Oak Brook, IL 60521, telephone (708) 572-1177. The cost is $5 per copy in the U.S. and $10 elsewhere, postpaid.
 -0- 2/9/93
 /CONTACT: Elizabeth Sprinkel or Donald Segraves, 708-572-1177, for Insurance Research Council/


CO: Insurance Research Council ST: Illinois IN: INS SU:

SM -- NYFNS1 -- 4416 02/09/93 07:30 EST
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Date:Feb 9, 1993
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