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Too Disabled for Police Work; Ok For Strongman Competitions?

Work restrictions: the patient is prohibited from any law enforcement activity.  However, he is able to participate in strongman competitions.

Crazy, right? Well, welcome to California, my friend!

Happy Monday, dear readers.  We’ve all heard of Bogdan, the world’s strongest man:

But in our corner of the world, California has its own “strong man” competitions and recently, charges have been filed against a Santa Barbara police officer for competing in strongman competitions while receiving disability benefits.

Presently, this is just an allegation, but we’ve seen similar instances on this blog such as (1) firefighters competing in MMA; and (2) professional dancers performing in car commercials as hamsters while on disability.  Accordingly, this wouldn’t be the first time allegations have flown of an injured worker displaying disability for the worksite and super-human ability away from the eyes of the employer.

Until details emerge, of course, the office charged is entitled to the benefit of the doubt.  Not all injuries preclude all physical activities, and if the strong-man competitions were made under physician supervision, there’s an argument against a finding of Fraud.

The takeaway, for us in the workers’ comp world is that it makes sense to check up on people.  The longer the claimant is on TD, the more it makes sense to check up on him or her.

Most investigator offices will offer you services in the form of a social media or online check, but there are a few basic tricks you can do yourself:

  1. Have you done a basic search on Facebook or Twitter?
  2. Have you set up a google alert for your claimant’s name?
  3. Have you checked any professional updates on LinkedIn?

Just some ideas, dear readers.

See you on Wednesday!

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