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Opponent critical of changes made to workers' compensation

One man, who is hoping to unseat a current governor, has expressed public criticism concerning some changes his opponent has made to critical systems within the state. The changes in question concern how the workers' compensation program is structured and controlled. Recently, a change was made that took the program from under a court-based system to one controlled by an administration system. While the changes do not have any impact on North Carolina workers, any such change may raise questions about each state's system.

The governor has stated that the changes were instituted in order to provide a more efficient and cost-effective manner of processing claims and getting workers back on their feet quicker. It has been alleged that the old way of processing claims led to fraud and the wasting of resources. The new organization is believed to also facilitate relations between employers and injured workers in order to reach an amicable settlement without protracted disagreements delaying payments and slowing recovery of employees.

However, there have been reports of delays in the processing of current claims as the system was switched over. Additionally, the challenger has claimed that the workers are being denied care, and that the new system is skewed in favor of employers over injured workers. As a result of the change-over, the gubernatorial candidate pointed out that more than a dozen employees lost their positions and are now unemployed.

The current governor stated that the state has already realized significant savings by the change and that, as a result, there may be more growth in the employment market. It remains to be seen whether the new workers' compensation system will be beneficial to those it is meant to protect. North Carolina workers will not be affected by this state's decisions; however, injured employees may still have questions concerning the filing of a qualified claim. They are ensured the right to seek information that may be useful in resolving any issues they may encounter in the process.

Source: insurancejournal.com, "Oklahoma Governor Challenged on Workers' Comp System Changes", Tim Talley, July 16, 2014

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