Howard Berkes Howard Berkes is a correspondent for the NPR Investigations Unit.

When Businesses Opt Out Of Workers' Comp, Employees May Struggle For Care

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Joe Becker at his home in Abilene, Texas. Nearly two years after hurting his back at work, his benefits have stopped even though he's still in pain and in need of another surgery. Dylan Hollingsworth for ProPublica hide caption

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Dylan Hollingsworth for ProPublica

Opt-Out Plans Let Companies Work Without Workers' Comp

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Doctor Who Crusaded For Coal Miners' Health Dies At 87

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Feds Probe Failure To Collect Mine Safety Penalties After NPR Report

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Businessman Jim Justice announces he's running for governor of West Virginia. Federal regulators say that as of March he hadn't paid more than $2 million in fines for safety violations in his coal mines. Chris Tilley/AP hide caption

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Chris Tilley/AP

John Coffell sits at his grandmother's table in Hulen, Okla. An injury at a tire plant last year left him unable to work. Brett Deering for ProPublica/AP hide caption

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Brett Deering for ProPublica/AP

Dennis Whedbee, of Homer City, Pa., lost half of his left arm in a drilling accident in North Dakota in September 2012. Jeff Swensen for ProPublica hide caption

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Jeff Swensen for ProPublica

'I Lost A Hand And This Is Workman's Comp. ... I Didn't Lose A Hook!'

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Frances Stevens uses a custom ramp leading to her van. An accident at work in 1997 left her unable to walk. She received full workers' compensation benefits until two years ago, when the insurer withdrew her medications and home health aide. Her lawsuit is a test of California's use of anonymous, independent medical reviewers. Glenna Gordon for ProPublica hide caption

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Glenna Gordon for ProPublica

Employers And Insurers Gain Control In Workers' Compensation Disputes

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Joel Ramirez climbs back into his wheelchair with the help of Francisco Guardado, a home health aide, at his home in Rialto, Calif. Patrick T. Fallon for ProPublica hide caption

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Patrick T. Fallon for ProPublica

Jeremy Lewis lost his left arm during a work-related incident while working at a poultry plant in Alabama. The state has the nation's lowest workers' compensation benefits for amputations and sent Lewis into just the kind of downward spiral workers' comp was intended to prevent. Dustin Chambers for ProPublica hide caption

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Dustin Chambers for ProPublica

As Workers' Comp Varies From State To State, Workers Pay The Price

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