My mother in-law was injured on the job a number of years ago, she has gone for multiple surgeries on her neck, back, and knee the most recent of which was her neck a month ago. She had been receiving workmens compensation without any troubles up until about a year ago. At that point she was contacted and informed that there was an investigation taking place and that she was suspected of working illegally while receiving this money. She told them immediately that she had most certainly been volunteering at her local legion, that both of her sons were in the military and she had always done volunteer work with them. The "work" that she was doing was hardly close to anything labor intensive, she did some basic paper work and showed the party room they have rented out on occasion. She also sat behind the bar on a stool, did no lifting of any sort or standing for any period of time. She was never on call, never had a shift, never required to stay for any amount of time. Generally she would be there for about an hour before she had to go home and rest. At no point was she paid for this by the legion. She was given tips a few times when working at the bar and she donated it all back to the legion. When this investigation began, the legion sent in everything they had showing she was not on any type of pay roll, had never been paid by them and was not employed with them. They also sent a copy of the check she had donated with the tip money as well as many written statements that she had never been working there. This is the point where I no longer understand how this is legal, or why it is taking place so hopefully someone can explain. Workmens comp had a trial in Portsmouth Ohio to determine if she was guilty or not. The person who made the final ruling worked for workmens comp and the person who questioned everyone and took statements also worked for them. My mother in-law hired a lawyer because she didn't know what else to do and they had told her she would need one if she was going to defend her case. More than 20 people came forward and made statements in her favor, that she was legitimately injured, had not been earning an income and was being honest and upfront about everything. She had countless statements and records from her doctors as well showing her injuries and surgeries. She was found guilty even with all of this. They said that she had shown the party room to an undercover agent, and that was pretty much their supporting statements. This is not something she had denied, but she was not being paid for it as they were claiming or working there for the type of hours they were claiming. It went back to trial again performed by the workmens comp board, and this time in Columbus Ohio, where she was found not guilty. A deposit was made into her bank account for the back pay money due, but it was immediately withdrawn by workmens comp. Workmens comp appealed the not guilty judgement (I don't know how, nor does my mother in-law) and it went back to trial again where she was once again found guilty. Her lawyer attended this last trial, but advised her that she did not need to be there because she had just had surgery a few weeks prior and felt it would be too stressful on her body. The lawyer that she has obtained informed her today that the case would now have to be taken to a criminal court if they wanted to appeal this. Up until this point, her lawyer has been telling her that they will be suing workmens comp for the return of legal fees etc once this is concluded. Today though, she advised that my mother in-law give up now and instead of paying her an addition 3 to 5 thousand in legal fees (on top of the 8 thousand she has already paid) that instead she pay back the amount of 17,000 that workmens comp feels she has been over compensated. She is feeling abandoned at this point by her lawyer who no longer seems to have any confidence in the case and is at a loss of what to do. She is broke, scared and far past frustrated. She was not aware that volunteering would cause her to be in this position and although ignorance is hardly an excuse, it is the reality of the situation. She has been put on anti depressants by her doctor because of this situation and had to borrow an excessive amount of money from family and friends that now she fears she will never be able to return. I apologize if this is all really basic cut and dry, but I have no idea how this is legal for workmens comp to perform the trial and find her guilt and back and forth like this. I also can't believe her lawyer has flip flopped like this after she has given her every last dime she has and advising her not to come to the last trial. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated, even if it seems obvious to you I'd still like to hear it. Thank you.