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Author: Michael Serres, ESQ.

NY Business Owner Charged with Workers Compensation Fraud

The owner and CEO of a New York business has been indicted in New York State Supreme Court in connection with an ongoing investigation. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced the indictment of Michael Cholowsky, chief executive officer of Sky Materials Corporation. The charges come after an investigation initiated last year in the connection a construction site fatality in New York City in April, 2015. According to court documents, Cholowsky was charged with first and second degree fraud, as well as Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. Prosecutors say that Cholowsky misrepresented or hid information about his payroll and intentionally understated the number of workers in his employ.

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New York State Employee Sentenced for Workers Compensation Fraud

A former employee of the New York Department of Transportation has been put on probation for three years for fraudulently collecting almost $10,000 in benefits over a period of eight months. State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the penalty imposed on Corey Cragnolin by Rochester City Court judge Caroline Morrison. Cragnolin was also ordered to repay $9,940.49 and prohibited from collecting any additional benefits related to the injury that led to his initial claim.

Under New York’s workers’ compensation system, anyone seeking or collecting benefits must disclose any other employment or income. According to documents filed with the court, Cragnolin received benefits from September, 2013 until May, 2014, based on injuries he allegedly sustained as while working for the Department of Transportation. Cragnolin had claimed that he was totally disabled because of that injury, and received benefits for a temporary total disability.

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Workers’ Compensation Issues to Watch in 2016

With the looming national elections in November, workers’ compensation industry insiders expect increased scrutiny on state programs, including revisions of employee health and claims models. A number of key issues were spotlighted at a webinar held on January 11 by Safety National, one of the leading providers of workers’ compensation insurance nationwide.

According to Mark Walls, the elections promise to have an impact on workers’ compensation insurance providers, as eleven states currently elect insurance commissioners, who can have a direct impact on how premiums are determined. Experts also say that, although tax provisions of the Affordable Care Act have been extended to 2020, there’s a significant likelihood that a new president, Republican or Democrat, will make changes in health care reform.

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What to Do When You Have Been Hurt at Work

Under the laws of New York, if you have been hurt on the job, you have a right to seek benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation system. The program is what has been commonly referred to as the “grand bargain.” Essentially, this means that workers and employers should both benefit from the system—workers can have quicker access to needed benefits, without the need to go to court; and employers can avoid the often exorbitant awards juries hand out.

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How to Avoid Winter Injuries at Work

Winter weather, with snow, ice, sleet and freezing rain, generally increases the risk of injury for workers, especially those who spend most or all of their time outside. There are steps you can take to minimize the risk of workplace injury in wintry weather.

Watch Your Step

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New York Horse Owners/Trainers Significant Increase in Workers Compensation Rates

In a last-minute deal, horse owners and trainers have avoided a substantial increase in workers’ compensation premiums for jockeys and exercise riders in 2016.

In New York, workers’ compensation insurance premiums to cover jockeys and exercise riders are paid into the Jockey Injury Compensation Fund, which then purchases workers’ compensation insurance through the New York State Insurance Fund. Premium payments are assessed to owners and trainers.

Under New York law, the Jockey Injury Compensation Fund is required to submit a funding plan for the next year by November 15 of the current year. The Fund failed to meet that deadline for the second year in a row, prompting the Gaming Commission to issue an emergency rule, substantially increasing rates.

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Niagara Falls Man Charged with Workers Compensation Fraud

A New York man has been charged with at least two criminal counts after authorities say he wrongfully collected workers’ compensation while self-employed. The defendant had repeatedly reported to workers’ compensation officials that he was not working at all. Documents filed with the court indicate that, during a 13-year-period, the man received more than $82,000 in workers’ compensation payments while earning in excess of $370,000.

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A triumphant Werner Schuler, a Queens MTA employee, receiving his long-awaited workers' compensation payment after a six-year battle for justice.
Workers Compensation Attorneys

Queens Subway Worker Finally Gets Work Compensation Payment

Six Year Battle Finally Brings Workers Compensation Payment

After six years of trying to collect on an approved workers’ compensation claim, a Queens employee of the MTA has finally seen a payment. Werner Schuler, a longtime employee of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, injured his knee back in 2008 and was unable to perform his job for more than a year. He sought workers’ compensation benefits and ultimately won his grievance, but until recently had not seen a dime of the money.

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Social Security Disability
Social Security Lawyers

Social Security Disability Benefits-An Overview

SS Disability Benefits

If you have been injured on the job, you can typically seek compensation by filing a workers’ compensation claim, but what if you have an illness or injury that makes it impossible for you to work, but that didn’t result from your employment? That’s where the programs administered by the Social Security Administration can help, Social Security Disability benefits.
Filing a Social Security Disability Claim

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