Washington State Orders Wisconsin Woman To Pay $52,182

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries has ordered a 43-year-old Wisconsin woman to repay the state $52,182 after an investigation showed she continued to collect workers’ compensation widow’s benefits after she remarried.

Susan Marie Zander allegedly began collecting benefits in 1979 after her husband, David B. Zander, was fatally injured while working for Western Pacific Timber Co. in Enumclaw. She later relocated to Memphis, where in September 1986 she remarried. The couple divorced two-and-a-half years later.

L&I learned of Zander’s marriage through an anonymous tip. Further investigation by the agency’s fraud unit showed that Zander hid her marriage in Tennessee from the department by allegedly submitting false information about her marital status in order to continue collecting widow’s benefits.

The order against Zander reflects the amount of money she collected illegally in workers’ compensation benefits plus a 50 percent penalty.