Rise in Denied North Dakota Worker’s Comp Claims Misleading

August 16, 2010

A review of North Dakota’s workers compensation agency says its number of denied benefit claims has risen steadily since 2005.

Workforce Safety and Insurance director Bryan Klipfel says the numbers are inflated because they include incidents when a worker didn’t lose job time or need medical treatment. Klipfel says some denials were reversed later when new information became known.

Klipfel spoke Friday to state legislators about a new performance audit of the workers’ compensation agency. He says WSI accepts 92 percent of injury claims.

Dickinson Rep. Frank Wald says it doesn’t make sense to say a claim was denied when a worker doesn’t lose job time or need treatment. He says employers sometimes file claims quickly because there’s a financial incentive to do so, even if there’s no injury.

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