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Worker loses disability benefits as video is used against him

A serious workplace injury can result in a worker's receiving total temporary disability benefits. However, readers of this blog should keep in mind that employers sometimes go to great lengths to deny those benefits. In a recent court ruling, surveillance video allegedly showed that a worker was able to move about freely and perform certain tasks. A Pennsylvania appellate court allowed the video to be used as evidence to discontinue the man's workplace injury disability benefits.

Reportedly, the decision was unanimous. At issue was a case that involved a man who was required to prove that his continuing disability was truthful. He had filed for reinstatement of his TTD benefits back in 2006 for a back injury that he said prevented him from working. The man's employer showed video of the man doing certain activities, such as crawling under vehicles to retrieve parts, walking without his cane (something the man said he had to have to walk), and tossing car parts into the back of a truck. The court ruled that such activity proved that the man did not have a case, and the court denied the man's request for reinstatement.

While this man's request for reinstatement of benefits was denied, that doesn't mean that every case in which video footage is used will result in denial of benefits. When a workplace injury leads to disability, workers have a right to seek workers' compensation. When injured workers are up against companies that will use every option available to deny compensation, it is important that employees also do everything legally in their power to ensure that lost wages and medical bills are covered to the fullest extent under the law.

Source: businessinsurance.com, "Video can be used as evidence to discontinue disability benefits," Sheena Harrison, Nov. 9, 2011

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