It’s almost spring and time for starting cleaning up our Diary of a Workcover Victim website! So our IT team is cleaning out our current website and starting afresh, with a fresh design, improved functionality, usability and many other improvements.
In the quest to curb costs, the WorkCover system often engages in counterproductive actions or inactions such as delaying care, inadequate care, denial of responsibility and minimization/ downgrading of the injury. Way too often, the depressed injured worker learns that delayed or inappropriate medical care has resulted in a chronic condition, and they are told that this could have all been prevented had you seen a doctor/surgeon earlier, but the (Eg. nerve damage, whatever) is now permanent. The injured worker already felt a sense of frustration, fear, and helplessness, but with that information, they now feel angry and hopeless. In addition to that many WorkCover case managers will take the liberty to fabricate intricate mumbo-jumbo cover letters that are sent to a cherry-picked independent medical examiner, together with some irrelevant medical information. One of the more common cover letters we have seen states that “… it has been alleged that there may be a psychological overlay…“.
It has come to our attention that A Current Affair has posted a call out on their facebook page. They are looking for people who have suffered a serious injury at work. Now is the time to have your say, take the opportunity!
If you have been unfortunate enough to have suffered a psychological or psychiatric injury or illness at your workplace, once you start down the workcover claim path, you will soon realise that this is when your nightmare will truly begin. Once your workcover agent receives your claim, they will do just about anything to find ways to either deny or reduce your benefits. One of the unsavoury tactics used by the workcover insurer is to sent you to independent medical examinations.
You may remember that we have – over the years- posted quite a few articles about the Workcover Case Managers (aka Claims Assessors). They
often have the right to withhold treatment recommended by our own medical specialists or to over-rule evidence-based treatment based on thorough medical knowledge. Workcover Case Managers also change often, without notice. The problem becomes even more absurd in that the Workcover Case Managers do NOT have appropriate education nor qualifications, certainly not in the medical or allied medical field, yet they are given the power to deny your claim and to deny your medical and like services! Continue Reading…
We are delighted that Pat McGarth – the ABC Investigative Journalist – published the following story! A traumatised police officer who suffered physical and mental injuries follwowing a police car accident has launched a private criminal prosecution against workplace injury claims manager Employers Mutual Limited (EML) – an Agent for Workcover NSW, after having been forced to wait efor over a year for a rightful workcover payout. Under New South Wales workers’ compensation laws, failure to decide on a claim within two months is a criminal offence and attracts a fine of $5,500. We are in true admiration of the brave police officer, and so hope she will win the case, and in doing so, set a much needed precedent. Workcover insurers including those in Victoria are still manipulating claims data in order to attract higher financial rewards.
Unfortunately, and despite the fairly recent Ombudsman’s findings and recommendations about WorkCover VIC, we know first hand that people with longer-lasting injuries are still often forced to battle doctors hand-picked by insurance companies to get medical treatment. In other words: injured workers are still waiting in pain!
For any injured worker the prospect of having to undergo an Independent Medical Examination (IME) causes a lot of apprehension and fear. But for those workers who have suffered a psych injury at work ( in particular a primary psych injury) attending an IME can cause even more trepidation!
In the 2016 Ombudsman Investigation into WorkCover VIC practices, emails from for example, workcover agent (insurers) made public by the Victorian Ombudsman show management congratulating staff who had “achieved their termination target” and were “top terminator” or top deny/rejector” of insurance claims! Fully sick, considering they celebrate injured workers’ pain, suffering and misery!
Our workcover system is a true nightmare. Literally. Because the system and those who work within it trigger feelings of confusion, senselessness, helplessness and even alienation. It causes nothing short of a feeling of anxiety, sometimes shame or guilt and a feeling of unending difficulty hampering every step. Feelings that cannot be placated. It’s eerily a feeling like…“And why am I under arrest?” “That’s something we’re not allowed to tell you,” would be the bureaucratic answer. “Go to your room and wait there. Proceedings are underway and you’ll learn about everything all in good time…”