Our Office matched a file of Workers’ Compensation Board (Board) cases approved for benefits as of August 5, 2011 with the Department of Correction and Community Supervision’s (DOCCS) file of inmates under custody as of April 30, 2011. We identified 268 claimants who were incarcerated for felony convictions. Of the 268 claimants, the State Insurance Fund insured 75 claimants and 112 private insurance carriers or self-insurers insured 193 claimants. We found that the State Insurance Fund paid $36,061 in wage compensation benefits on behalf of seven claimants incarcerated for felony convictions. We did not find any cases where the Board or the State Insurance Fund paid any medical benefits on behalf of the claimants. We could not determine if private insurance carriers or self-insurers made any payments on behalf of the 193 inmates because we did not have access to those payment records. We found the Board does not periodically conduct a match between its file of claimants and the DOCCS file of inmates and provide the results to the affected workers’ compensation insurance carriers and self-insurers. Doing so could facilitate efficiencies that may help drive down the cost of workers’ compensation insurance. We recommended the Board assess the feasibility of conducting periodic matches of approved claimants against the DOCCS file for reporting to insurance carriers, including the State Insurance Fund. We also found 12 claimants with incorrect social security numbers (SSNs) that matched those of an inmate, ten of which the Board incorrectly recorded in their records. The remaining two claimants used SSNs belonging to inmates, but were not the actual inmates. We recommended the Board record the correct SSNs in its files and that they determine the correct identity and SSNs of the two claimants who used inmates’ SSNs. Board officials indicated they are considering our recommendations. The State Insurance Fund managers have begun recovering the $36,061 from the inmates, including $12,674 of this amount that the managers identified before our examination.
For a complete copy of Report 2011-0030 WCB, click here.