Your Stories

IWSN

This is spot for injured workers to tell us thier stories and ask for help on issues that may be encountered within the NSW workers compensation system.

If you need assistance please contact us on: (02) 9749 7566 or email: help@injuredworkerssuport.org.au

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  1. Jasminka Sinanovic

    Dr. c******* is widely used by insurances. His reports are usually written before he sees you, and it is usually against the injured workers.
    His reports are never the honest opinion of medical professional.
    If there is a proof of a corrupted IME ,thats Dr. C*******.

    1. Rowan

      Moderators note:
      As part of our comments policy the name of the Doctor has been removed. I apologise for this but we need to ensure we comply with our policy (in this case legal).
      If you have a concern about a IME please fill out our IME feedback form found in the IME section. Here you can use their names because we aren’t releasing this publicly.
      If you wish to complain about a Dr you could also go to the Health Care Complaints Commission (http://www.hccc.nsw.gov.au/ Phone: 1800 043 159)

  2. council worker

    hi everyone, another update on the latest progress on my injuries, I recently had a ct and mri scan with die injected into my shoulder, its called an arthrogram, as per usual the dr couldn’t do it from the front and must have been jabbed 4-5 times before he said he would have to go in from the back, had the tests done and the films were given to me, I asked for a copy of the report to be sent to my email address,which did turn up, now due to the ongoing dispute and delay in my cervical surgery which I had in oct and had to borrow to fund it,which is now 22 months since the re tear , the rotator cuff had retracted nearly 5 cms, I have early stages of osteoporosis in the shoulder joint,loss of cartlidge in 2 areas over the shoulder ,tendonitis in 2 other areas of tendons and a spur, if this had of been done when it was first re torn by a physiotherapist, with my cspine surgery done straight away then the shoulder it would not have been this bad, but they disputed it and has put me in a position now where it may not be able to be re attatched, these insurance co s are so negligent in not giving us the appropriate treatments asap that are recommended to us by specialists, my life now is just full of pain, I cannot work, or sleep or even try to do anything,as it create,s so much pain, the employer and qbe have destroyed my life, all I can hope for now is I see the orthopaedic surgeon again in dec, and if there is nothing he can do, as any surgery may make my neck pain worse again, the rest of my life will be a living hell.

  3. Charles

    Hi Rowan

    Thanks for the assistance and advice you have provided over the phone.
    It is greatly appreciated.
    Your support was welcomed.

    All the best

    Charles

  4. Roy Farmer,

    To all who is interested in justice !
    I have just been speaking to work cover & all i got was the issue was placed back on me to sort out the problem period ! I don’t know what these people do all day to justify their position but one thing is certain they don’t help the worker period ! I finished up hanging up on this guy !

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Did you speak with someone at claims assistance, after ringing 131050? WorkCover now have a proper complaints system. Go on the website and make a direct complaint re the lack of support. WorkCover are attempting to improve customer service. Hope you got the name of the person you spoke with. Make your complaint and ring again and ask for the manager of claims assistance. Tell them you require the correct information and supportive assistance and that you will be going to WIRO if they will not help you.
      Remember WorkCover is a government organization paid by tax payer money so they work for you. They are there to serve the public and must meet customer service standards. Nothing like a reminder such as “I would like to speak to your supervisor about your lack of assistance! Please provide me with their details or please put them on the phone.”
      Also remember to maintain your own composure so they have no excuse to deny you access to the help you require.

      1. Isobell A

        I tried sending this as an email to IWSN but failed each time I tried. Decided to copy and paste here so as to receive some tips and adivice etc. Thanks. God Bless and all open a way for all of us I pray.

        Any advice is most welcome.

        No fair go for Injured Workers….so many stories of pain and sufferring and yet Human Right violation in all of these is disregarded.

        I NO LONGER AM SEEKING A SETTLEMENT OF MONITORY NATURE. I AM AFTER MY HUMAN RIGHT AND JUSTICE AND THUS HOPE IT WILL BECOME A VICTORY PATH FOR OTHER INJURED WORKERS. I had my day at the WC Court. Was put on the Stand. Won the case. Was pleased with the outcome etc. But what bcame a shock to my system is what followed in the form of discrimination, bullying, intimidation etc by my ex-Employer’s self-insured WC Insurer. All of these continues until this day. Did not know where to start but speaking to Rowan Kernebone sometime ago on phone. He suggested I try calling WIRO first. I did. They emailed me a List of Solicitors I could call to see if I had a case. Since my phone gets directed or routed to where WC Insurer chooses, those who seem to clain to be Solictor, even before I can share my story, advised they are not interested. The Law Firm who had taken my case twice, earlier, advised, I contact, WorkCover NSW. I have already done that in the past, and was advised upon their investigation, my ex-Employer ANZ Bank has assured them, that they no longer are involved in my Medical Treatment and all other areas they use to be involved before Court Settlement. Until this day, I still wonder, did WorkCover NSW write that letter, or did WC Insurer/Associates etc WC Ins has interfered with my mail/intercepted my mail. I had received responses from Fed Mem Office, and other Ministers, and the responses tell me what I always suspected regarding my Official Confidential mails.

        Rowan suggested, secondly, I see a Psychologist, and that I have plans to do so early next year. Can someone tell me, how much of these that I have written here, can I share with my Psychologist. I have proof for all the allegation I make here..There is lot more that be a shock to them who have patience to hear me out.

        I went through my initial court settlement in 2002, after it was established in 1998 that I was injured at workplace. When justice was handed out in the Court. I considered it a fair settlement. But what followed led me to believe, the WC Insurers wheel power that seem to over ride all other authorities, including Government Authorities. For nothing much changed after I received all the benefits awarded by the Court of Law. Intimidation, bullying continued. Making claims for expenses incurred for travel to doctors, weekly wages etc that were part of the benefits awarded. Each time I put in for my claims, for benefits awarded in the Court, like taxi travel to doctors, wages, approval for medical treatment related to work injury, became an opportunity to be used by my my ex-Employer’s self-insured WC Insurer to ‘Psychologically Rape” (I coined this terminology, not sure if someone else already done it) me repeatedly. Then one day, letter in the mail from WC Insurer arrived advising appointment to visit one of their (many description for such doctors on your Website and Forum and in the shared stories of the Injured Workers) doctors. I had no hesitation to do it. It so happened that at this stage my medical condition had deteriorated to a degree, carrying air filled, back and neck support and my Jackets CONTINUOUSLY etc., became an issue, as they weighed me down with pain. Due to lack of appropriate medical trSeatment, in a timely maner had led to wasting and disability already. At this stage I had not been diagnosed by any doctors for Chronic Neuropathic and Musculoskeletal Pain and thus was not on medication to cope with this type of pain. Red Tape on medical treatment almost caused me my marriage and already affected my relationship with some. Fatigue Syndrome became an issue in 2003 onwards. It never was diagnosed and thus no medication to cope. It was in 2004, I privately saw a doctor who diagnosed the condition. Through recommendation of a friend/who happens to be a Catholic Priest, I got to know a doctor in Brisbane. With referral from my GP, I flew to Brisbane. Made couple of visits. Here was a doctor who was so wanting and willing to help me. He prescribed medication and trusted me and allowed me to work at my pace, until I was cured off Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Coming back to WC Insurer’s Doctor’s Report…it resulted in all of the benefits awarded in the WC Court cancelled. This happened in 2003. . Allowing the medical deterioration for another couple of years before this very good Law Company PK SImpson, that initially won the case for me, took on the case the second time round in 2005. This time to WorkCover NSW for settlement through arbitration. That went well. BUT again continued the Human Right violation, intimidation and bullying (when I call upon services I pay for, for instance Trades People, Subsidised Taxi etc. The Deed I signed at WorkCover NSW advised that there will be no interference from WC Insurer effective, date Deed of ARelease was signed by both parties. BUT again, all tell-tail signs are there, WC Insure or their associates are continuing with interference in almost in every espect of my life. EVERSINCE MY HUSBAND PASSED AWAY IN 2011, THERE ARE VERY CLEAR INDICATIONS, WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURER OR THEIR ASSOCIATES HAVE SELF-APPOINTED THEMSELVES AS MY POWER OF ATTORNEY. I FEEL REAL FEAR AND AM DEEPLY CONCERNED THEY WILL BE GOING FOR MY PROPERTY. They have already made attempts to recoup some of their money paid out to me as settlement. I approached Administrative Appeals Tribunal to win one of such case against Centrelink (whom WC Ins had used this time to do their job for them). I am too old, exhausted to take them on on my own. Cyber Crime committed against Injured Workers, robbing them of their privacy and thereatening their efforts to seek justice etc? How is such crimes being permitted. Being housebound many Injured Workers like me find some solace being able to speak to friends etc on the phone. Like my phone, I am sure many have their phones tapped like that of mine.They know my likes and dislikes, my friends and family and relationship levels. They know what is going on…all that is suppose to be private and confidential, My life is an open book to them. They know what I am typing right now.

        I am punished by Community Services. They would cancel service or take me off their System if I queried or questioned about any wrongdoing. One such example I will share with you. I have been accessing Community Transport for many years now. It has become the norm for WC Insurer and their Associates/Case Managers etc to send in their representatives/workers contracted etc and create trouble for Injured Workers. One such incident happened, when a Community Transport Driver, yelled and me (very intimidating and embarrassing because there were others in the backseat who witnessed. When I reported it to the Manager over the phone, I got yelled at. I wrote in in detail all that had happened and requested an investication. I just exercised my rights as Member of the society. Punishment was harsh. When I next called to book transport, I got told I have been taken off their System. After I chased for a response, I had a very harsh letter stating number of conditions if I need to access their Transport Service. There was no result of investigation on Complaint. None what so ever. Another call I made, got me response, where I was yelled at and threatened that I would be referred to the Mental Health Dept of Canterbury Hospital. I contacted the Office of the NSW Ombudsman. Finally, a green light for me to attend a meeting at the premises of Community Transport Office, with condition, I am not allowed to question them on the investigation to my complaint. The two questions I was permitted to ask were, 1/ Who authorised my name to be taken off their System?. Policy dictates, that when clients write in a complaint, they had no right to take us off the system. 2/ Who referred me to the Mental Health Dept of the Local Hospital? I had an Indipendent Advocate accompany me to this Meeting. For the hours we were at the Meeting, one claiming to be the Manager, refused to provide answers to both questions. I pointed out to here, I had to forgo my right to investigation on my original written complaint. I had sought permission from the Office of NSW Ombudsman[s Dept to ask these two questions and that if she chose not to answer we had wasted all our time (I had all the time in the world, it would be waste of her time as a Manager of such a large organisation). The meeting consisted of lot of yelling both ways. I was shocked that normal protocall for a meeting was not followed. I was in alot of pain and it did not take much to turn me on. Towards the very end of the meeting, upon me reminding constantly that I deserve to know answers to these question, as a member of the community, the Manager responded to the first question, saying, that my Name was not taken off the system at all. I then pointed out to her that it is very cruel to lie so as to hurt and cause emotional pain, which is not very helpful for Chronic Pain Sufferers and for the all other clients who utilise this service the NSW Government so kindly provides. 2/ As for the second question as to who it was that referred me to the Mental Health Dept of Canterbury Hospital (I received a call advising me they had received a referral), the Manager refused to answer, and I continued to push for an answer. She refused to verbalise the name, She took out a letter from my file, and pointed to a name of a signatory in the letter. I decided to wait for my copy of the Minutes of the Meeting and then to follow-up on that matter. The letter carried a name from the Office of the Local Memebr of the Parliament. I never received a copy of the Minutes of the Meeting. I have made numerous calls requesting for a copy but in vain. The Indipendent Advocate advised me she hasn’t received a copy either. I find that hard to believe. I AM WAITING??? Sounds good for an intermission of a movie!!

        Any advise, tips etc is most welcome. There is no vengeance, no grudge, no hatred, no negative feeling, but frustration, healthy anger at times as I am only human. During pain, all sort of emotions come into play. I want this nightmare to stop. I believe the door will open in God’s time. And His time is perfect. I am waiting for such a time.

  5. Carl

    Still after some advice if anyone has been sent to a IME Internal Medical Examination by there insurer? What can i expect and anything I need to know? Im pretty sure that the medical examiner will be on the insurers side. But any info will be great I have heard that they can be rude which I will not handle to good as I dont take easy to rude people I tend to tell them what i think of them if they are. So any advice would be great.
    Cheers

    1. Hector

      Hi Carl,
      First of all make sure the doctor is on the Workcover approve list of IMEs, secondly what reasons were you given by the insurance company for them to send you for an IME, next is the question of have they send you to an IME for the same reason before because if you have seen an IME before they cannot send you to a different one, there are other questions like how much notice they given you, how far from you is the IME located etc etc.
      You are also entitle to take a support person with you to the appointment, also in theory the IME is technically not allowed to touch you during the assesment.
      My recommendation is not to pump yourself with pain killers or medication prior to attending, try to make it to the appointment in your worst state and not in your best condition , always be polite but don’t do anything he ask you to do if you feel uncomfortable or intimidated.
      I would also suggest that if he asks you or is recording the assesment for his own use you tell him you wish to do the same and audio recorded it on your phone.
      In the Workcover site there is a publication on Guidelines for IME, I would suggest you downloaded it and have a read of it.
      Cheers
      Hector

      1. Carl

        Thanks Hector
        Yeh it is in Newcastle which is about 1 hour or so travel. The insurance company when i rang last week is supposed to getting me a hire car as I cant drive that far or use public transport. But i have not heard back from the insurance company since I rang last week. I wrote down who I spoke to and what was said as well during phone call also I followed up with email to my case manager as well as he was away for 2days last week. I am NOT chasing with them they said they are getting me a hire car if they dont get back to me that is there problem as far as im concerned. But yes thanks will record the session if the Dr records it.
        Thanks for your advice mate.

      2. Carl

        Also to Hector I just got off phone to Workcover NSW apparently for a IME in regards to fitness for work, Physical Capabilities etc they do not have to be approved under workcover they only have to be a certified Doctor/Surgeon..

        1. Complainers of the world make a difference

          If you are being sent to an Independent Medical Examiner for an assessment of permanent impairment they are approved by WorkCover as they must be trained for this particular purpose in line with the WorkCover Guides for the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. An IME should be qualified and have expertise in the area of your injury. The other type medical examiner employed by the insurer is called an Injury Management Consultant (IMC).
          You may be sent to an IMC if it is in regard to work capacity for return to work options. The roles of an IME and an IMC are very different and they are covered under different guidelines. Get onto your insurer and ask if you are being sent to an IME or an IMC. This is important so you can establish which guidelines apply.

          Injury management consultant guides are on the WorkCover website as follows-
          http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/formspublications/publications/Documents/guidelines-on-injury-management-consultants-WC03896.pdf

          If it is an IME you need to ask your insurer why the information from your treating doctor/specilist is inadequate, inconsistent or unavailable as they can only send you to an IME if they can’t get this information from your treating doctors.This is a pre-condition to an IME and should be written by the insurer on the Notification to Worker they are required to send to you. If this information is not on your notification under the IME Guidelines you can object to going to the IME as there must be a reasonable attempt to get such information directly from your treating practitioners and only when the treating practitioners fail to give this information is there a requirement for an IME. Like Hector said, you need to read the IME guidelines that state as follows-

          “Part 1 sets out the mandatory obligations (pursuant to section 119 (4) of the 1998 Act for employers/insurers when they require a worker to attend an independent medical examination.
          Referral for an independent medical examination is appropriate when information from the treating medical practitioner(s) is inadequate, unavailable or inconsistent and where the referrer has been unable to resolve the issues related to the problem directly with the practitioners…”
          “Definition of Independent Medical Examination
          Independent medical examination means an impartial assessment based on the best available evidence that is requested by a worker, a worker’s solicitor or employer/insurer and undertaken by an appropriately qualified and experienced medical practitioner (who is not in a treating relationship with the worker) for the purposes of providing information to assist with workers compensation injury and claims management. ”

          IME reports can comment on the type and need for treatment as well as fitness and suitability for work but as this is not considered injury management information IME reports cannot be provided to the employer directly, only to the insurer. IMC reports are for the management of workplace return to work issues and the IMC cannot comment on the type or need for treatment.
          It sounds like they are doing this for work capacity so read the IME guides and you can make an objection (as per the guidelines) if they are sending you half way across the country to see one of their “preferred” IMEs. Find a specialist close to your home and ask the insurer to refer you to them also stating, as the examination is meant to be an independent one then it won’t matter who examines you. Refuse to go on the grounds they are using someone who is ‘preferred” if they won’t let you change to a nearby specialist. Tell them you expect the report to be biased if they are using the same IME repeatedly. Ask your case manage via email how often they are using the IME and how were they chosen. It is all set out in the IME guides- http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/formspublications/publications/Documents/independent-medical-examinations-reports-guidelines-3740.pdf
          Good luck.

          1. Carl

            Thank you very much for this info will be following this up you have been very helpful. In the insurance company letter it just states im being sent to an independent medical specialist for further opinion on the diagnosis, treatment and or prognosis of my injury. And the letter went on wiith questions they wanted answered by the reviewing doctor/surgeon and they included a workcover broucher about IME.

  6. Paul

    I need advice – In Febuary 2013 i went off sick from work with a slipped disc (L5/S1), With this i was off work 3 months. To comply with my sickness procedure i was provided 5 sick notes to cover this and was reffered to my occupational health dept for a chat !! after this it was decided once my sick note was finished i would return to work on part time hours for two weeks.

    Two weeks ago i had a relapse and spent the whole of the following week laid up, i attended my GP and i was given some new tablets etc !!

    I have since returned to work and had a desk assesment, it has been decided that i need a more sutable chair with a back pump etc !! I have just found out that this has been refused and i need to provide proof that i have a back problem although i have had occupational health reports and sick notes to prove this.

    Where do i stand ??

    1. Merlo

      Hi Paul,
      Find yourself a good lawyer. Don’t let whoever overpower you. It will be hard mentally but stick with it. Know your rights. The lawyer will tell you one thing and work or whoever will try and tell you another. This is a recurrence injury from your injury in 2013. If work want pay for the chair, the insurance company should at least. Good luck, keep strong.

    2. Janice

      Excuse me butting in.Paul you hurt your back at work so should have filled in a incident/accident form.By rights you should have a case worker and she or he should be able to get a ergo-chair.You have certificates from your Dr stating you have a back injury so you should be on workers comp .With a back injury you should have been sent for scans as soon as you felt that first twinge. If its a recuurrence injury you will need a good lawyer Work will say its your old injury playing up.Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

  7. Pete

    Hi late last year l had an accident at work in which l broke both of my legs, in this time my insurance company has made my life a living hell as they are always putting my pay in late or not at all which has caused me to fall behind in my rent and also my 4 children are suffering too as l cant put food on the table, l have spoken to workcover about it, but they had no answers for me, any help would be much appriciated..

    1. Rowan

      Deaer Pete,

      Have a chat to WIRO 139476. they may be able to intercede on your behalf with your insurance company.

    2. Carl

      Pete it is the insurance companies job to make your life a living hell and try to piss you off as much as they can. Some reasons behind this as I have found out by an insider is to when it comes to settlement you will take whatever they offer to you cause you will be so pissed off with them and don’t want to fight them any longer. Also they automatically reject about 60-70% off claims with that 20-40% don’t fight them again through the courts. It is ok for the insurance companies to not pay you miss etc but if you forget to submit paper work etc you will be issued with a breach notice but if they forget etc they get away with it there is only one side and that is the insurance companies side they dont issued breach notices etc saying your payment being suspended etc. DONT let them win mate fight them all the way.

    3. Hector

      Peter, first up I would highly recommend that you get a solicitor as early as possibly for your claim, secondly Rowan advice is very good re going to WIRO but I would add that if you got access to the net I would lodge the complaint with WIRO in writing via email so you got a record because I am willing to bet the harrasment and denial of things on your claim won’t stop and by having things in writting you will establish a record over time of the way you are being treated by the insurance company and it might benefit you to have such history in the future.
      Take care , all the best and remember others have suffered what you are going through before and always use their experience by asking questions here so you don’t have to put up with things by using everyone else experience and solutions.

    4. Roy Farmer,

      Hello my friend ,
      I spoke to work cover today & got the same Response ! At the end of the day no one gives a s*** in these departments period ! The doctors the lawyers the commission the Insurers ! All the Bloody lot all creaming of the system & riding on the backs of the poor injured workers misfortune period ! “Shame on this society ” And all for the sake of the almighty Dollar !

  8. mark

    hi guys, want to ask a question about work cover I’ve had my operation approved but today my Case manager,
    rang me today said I now have to go see another docter again this 3rd one there sending me to 2 before it got approved and now have to do the same shit I cant see any reason on this they approved this and seems to me tht there just wasting my time can they keep doing this or can they stop my operation for happening nw even if its been approved?

    1. sharon

      Hi Mark if the insurance company agreed to your operation they cannot send you too another doctor. Get a lawyer to get conciliation going ASAP, if this ends up going to court the courts will fine the company and you will get your much needed op. Ask the insurance company what the hell they think they are doing and threaten them with legal action if not contact your local member of parliament and get them involved it will help you. GOOD LUCK

  9. Carl

    Hi, What are the pros and cons in being sent to an IME by insurer. What things should I know? Also what are the laws of being followed by insurance Private investigators and constantly driving past your house and filming you etc?

  10. john

    i worked for 31 year for the same company, i was making 100k year two years ago, i went to ER wit a major anxiety and mental disorder, i also suffer from back pain, my dr, put me off work since sept. 25 2012, the employer kept paying me full salary until october 20 2012 until i ask them what is going on / They told me that they were thinking it was going to be a short term, i ask them why is not a workers comp? it happen at work and you took me to the hospital, than they start to ask me questions, well i was in bad shape with my mental illness and my family was very worried about me , all alone i was seeing my dr which he refer a pshychiatrist to work with me , meanwhile company open a sdi and std claims so i could get paid, after twelve months i was aprove for LTD benefits,may of 2013 i file for a workers claim , on feb 2014 mr dr told me that he could not give me more time off note due to health carrier policy, i told my company and they ask me in order for me to go back to work i need a note from my dr, well my dr. give restrictions for 4 hours of work , from home, company refuse it and terminate me , they offer me a severance package, which after spending time and frustrations i signed, .

    I already had first deposition and an offer from w/c but I denied, i also have a second deposition schedule for end of the month for mental.

    i have two questions ;

    1– can an employee be legal terminated while he/se is on disability.
    2– since ltd stop paying benefits after 24 months ( for mental) now my physical injury is for a review. who can i ask to help paying benefits.
    any help will be appreciated.

    1. Merlo

      Hi John and M1ke
      Its amazing just what we don’t know or get told going through work comp. I’m not sure why an employer feels like they do when we hurt ourself. Its like we have done something wrong. If the injury was at home people would take an interest and go out of there way to do anything for you. At work…. forget it. It was the last thing that I wanted to do go on work compensation. Its been years on and off and it hasn’t got any better. If anything its gotten worse. I must say hopefully i can see a light, but its been a long and hard road.
      The employers ( and all the others) try hard to get you back to full time work, they forget to help you and say to you if you can only work a few days don’t worry, there is such a thing as make up pay.
      Keep your head up high, be strong, say what you want ( I know all these things are hard when feeling stressed and want it all to end) and find a good solicitor. Just for some advise it will amaze you what you get told. If you have a good case which I’m sure you both do WIRO pays the solicitors fees

  11. M1ke

    My workplace case manager is insisting to tranfer me to another area for suitable duties that will take me almost 2 hours driving in peak hour. When I told my case manager that I cannot drive that far due to back problems which is nothing to do with my accepted psychological claim, the case manager started to ask me medical questions about my back problems during a RTW meeting infront of my line manager asking detailed questions about my back injury like an investigations type also asking me to sign a medical release form which I refused so they can get information about my back that is not related to my comp claim. Then she sends me a letter to forward to my back Dr. About 10 questions about my back. Can they do that?

    1. Hector Viapiana

      M1ke, is neither your case manager to organise or tell you where and what job you are to do, your employer and not your case manager is responsible to supply you with suitable duties , which must represent as close as possible your duties, they cannot force you to do meaning less or demeaning duties, also they cannot supply you with suitables duties 100 or 70 or 50 km away from your normal place of employment.
      My suggestion to you is to discuss your driving issues with your own doctor and ask him to place a driving ristriction in the next capacity certificate he issues, that will put an end to them trying to shift your employment location.
      Regarding the letter your claim manager mailed to you for you to forward to your doctor I would in a very polite way be telling the case manager that it is the job and duty of a case manager to liaise with the injured person treating doctor and they are failing in their duties by subcontracting you as their personal courier.
      You should never get involved in discussing medical issues with your case manager or line manager or anyone else, you are not qualified to express and opinion or supply a running commentary on any medical issue, that’s the reason why it is the job of the case manager and/or the RTW person to liaise with your treating doctor or any other health care worker involved in your case to supply a comment or report on any issue to do with your injury or treatment or prognosis.
      Also nobody has a right to access any medical files not related to your injury, if anyone wishes to access those files they should apply to a court for a summons to your doctor to present those files.
      Please remember always be polite when your deal with your case or RTW manager, if they still insist in making an issue of their demands do not argue with them simple lodge a complaint in writing with WIRO and let them deal with the insurance company.
      Whilst insurance companies do not really care about complaints lodge with Workcover they do care about complaints lodge with WIRO as they get a financial penalty if due to a complaint their decision or request gets overturned by WIRO.
      Please note that whilst the advice I am giving is only born out of long and hard experience in dealing with insurance companies for a while, best advice I can give you is have a solicitor and check with them on any dealings you have with the insurance company.
      Hope I was helpfull in a small way, never give up the fight and stay safe.

      1. john

        A Case Manager can ask the injured worker permission to ask their NTD for medical case notes, whether it relates to the current work injury or not. Sometimes an underlying health issue could cause the injured workers current issue. Eg. soft tissue injury to the lower back, an underlying issue could be causing back pain.

  12. shaun

    I really need advice on my workers compensation claim…I have sustained a spinal injury to my neck and destroyed three discs..i have full support of my gp and neuro surgeon saying I need an operation or things will never improve..The risks are to high for me to have the surgery as I have small children and paralasis is a factor of the operation.. workers comp have been paying me for the last 27 months and my doctors are still saying im not fit for work..But the workers comp doctor has said he thinks I can work in some degree so the compensation are saying I can work..Im a carpenter by trade and have been told even with a sucsessful operation I would be unlikely to be able to return to my trade
    . So does that give the workers comp a right to over rule my treating specialist and gp and force me to retrain in a mundain job….Any help would be great thankyou..

    1. Hector Viapiana

      Shaun,
      Your insurance company most likely will do a Work Capacity assesment ( that will also depend on what percentage Whole Person Impearment you have been deem to have) , the whole process of the WCA has rules and guidelines that must be followed.Your doctor , your rehab provider and yourself also have an input into the assesment as well as you have to right to appeal their decision during all the steps.
      First right to appeal is to ask for an internal review by the insurance company with any aspect of the decision that you think or it is unfair. If you fail that appeal then you can ask for a Merit Review of the assesment by WorkCover and present your objections to them, if you fail that appeal then you have the right to appeal to WIRO ( Workcover independent review office) and one final appeal if you fail the WIRO appeal is to the Supreme Court ( so far no one has appeal to the Supreme Court cause of the cost involved)
      Keep mind you are not allowed to use a lawyer to help you unless the lawyer does it for free but you are allowed to have someone that’s savvy with the WorkCover laws assist you in your applications.
      Whilst it is a bit tricky is not impossible, I have done objections for 5 injured workers and all of them had the WCA decision overturned.
      If you have further questions I am more than happy to point you in the right direction.
      Don’t stress about and good luck with it.
      Cheers
      Hector

      1. john

        A first response with a Rehabilitation Provider should have been organized by the Insurer. The Rehab Provider will conduct a workplace assessment AND a medical case conference with your NTD, specialist and yourself.

    2. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Who was the doctor who said someone with three cervical discs should be out working as a carpenter? Show the report to your your NTD and surgeon and ask for their opinion on how that might place you at risk. You will need that medical opinion because it won’t be long before they say you are not working at capacity and you will be off workers comp. If they make a work capacity decision you can only fight it with medical treatment evidence from your surgeon and NTD pointing out the risk of further injury or spinal cord damage and get them to point out how your medications effect your ability to be safe in your workplace.
      Make a complaint to WorkCover if the report from the IME indicates any opinions that may result in placing you at risk. You can also make a complaint to the insurer if the report is not accurate. Write to your case manager and ask if they will be taking responsibility for any further injury that may occur due to their recommendations.

  13. Dee

    Hi, I received an Notice of Commencement of Weekly Compensation Provisional Liability Payments from the worplace insurer today. My Pre Injury Average Weekly Earnings (PIAWE) has been determined at $164.35 per week. This will be paid for 12 weeks. My ACTUAL average weekly earnings are $758.25 before tax. This is just another example of the workplace bullying tactics, whatever they can do to frustrate workers, then they do it.
    I am target no. 5 this year as the others have had to resign due to similar things. I will need to notify the Insurer but it looks like statement time is going to be a massive lie fest if its starting out like this.
    Who and how do I make anyone accountable, in the event anyone does care? Thanks

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Get onto WorkCover 13 10 50 to ask them to contact your insurer to see what is going on. There are plenty of lies to be told yet!! Make sure you have all your payslips to provide the insurer. Good luck!!

      1. Hector Viapiana

        Without trying to step on your toes Workcover has virtually no power, I would recommend to lodge a complaint with WIRO, not everyone is awear that there are no penalties when a complaint is lodge with Workcover but there is a fine to the insurance company when a complaint is lodge with WIRO.
        I am affraid that I find not enough injured workers lodge a complaint for every thing illegal insurance companies do, they are not accountable or financially penalised like injured workers are.
        We have a higher chance of having Santa fix Workcover than any politician of whatever political persuasion.
        An old technician told meany years ago when I started my apprentinship ” the squeeky door get the oil” , we should all be heard more the only way we can, don’t accept injustance from the insurance companies.

        1. Complainers of the world make a difference

          Hi Hector,
          Thanks for your good work in helping people through this system. We have also been able to get through the system by making complaints to WorkCover as well as the insurer. WorkCover do have the power to prosecute fraud in the workers comp system and that is what we are trying to focus on regarding the actions of insurers and preferred IMEs. WorkCover were very helpful to both me and my husband and asked us to continue with any complaints to them. They can refuse to support re-approval of IMEs, IMCs and IPCs if there enough complaints. People don’t understand these assessors can only continue to do crook assessments if they maintain their WorkCover approval. Without complaints to WorkCover about the behaviour of these people there is no evidence to stop their approval to do the work. If every single worker sent a complaint about any assessor who did the wrong thing then WorkCover have the evidence of what we are all saying.

          WIRO is reviewing WorkCover and as far as I can see has no power to prosecute or to fine anyone. If you sent a complaint it first must go to WorkCover and the insurer. If you get no action then make the complaint to WIRO that WorkCover or the insurer have not done their job. WIRO is required to make a report to the Parliament on how WorkCover is managing the system.
          There have been no complaints to WIRO reported regarding the misbehavior of IMEs and WIRO has no power to do anything about them only to make recommendations about how WorkCover can do a better job in managing them.
          You are right in regard to Work Capacity as it is WIRO’s job to review how WorkCover and the insurer have handled the procedures rather than to review the merits of the case. A case can only go to the Supreme Court if there are procedural failures by those involved. WIRO has the role of ensuring the insurer follows the correct procedures so if the insurer continues breaching the procedures it is not inconceivable that the WIRO takes the insurer to the Supreme Court. The only thing is I don’t think WIRO has the funding to do so.
          All very difficult when no injured worker has the funding to pursue court action. The trouble really lies in the fact the Legislation itself which was intended as “beneficial legislation” that in reality has stripped legal rights of workers to challenge Work Capacity decisions based on evidence that may be be false and misleading.

          Thank goodness for people like Hector who are willing to help out other injured workers trying to find their way in a very dark system. The work capacity legislation is like putting out an injured workers eyes and asking them to find their way through a maze on the edge of a cliff!! All injured workers need a helping hand to find their way.

    2. john

      The Employer completes the PIAWE form ask the Insurer for a copy for the PIAWE form the employer completed as your gross earnings, hourly rate and hours worked per week,
      The PIAWE is calculated at 95% of you gross earning per week, if you are doing any suitable duties ( reduced hours) this will also play a part in the amount of Workers comp you will receive. or maybe the employer completed the PIAWE form incorrectly

  14. Complainers of the world make a difference

    Hi Jason,
    They usually don’t have any access to medical records from before your claim but you will have told them on your claim form if you had any existing injuries and they will also ask you in any assessment.

    The insurer can subpoena your medical records if it is a WID court case but as far as I know will not go that far normally as Workers Compensation is provisional liabilty which means they have to pay your claim unless they find information that is contrary to the conclusion your employment was the main contribution to your injury.

    The assessor is able to make a determination if there is a pre-existing injury that has to be deducted but that is all down the track. Just make sure your injuries are all linked as the causal chain shows-ie same body part injured and exacerbated by different incidents.
    If say your arm was affected because of the way you have to sit or do your work due to your back injury that can also be accepted as a result of the original injury or if say you hurt your neck along with the original back injury but have not notified of it because it was not that bad but it has now deteriorated causing pain into the arm you might also have that as part of the same claim.
    It gets very complex which is the reason workplace injuries need to be recorded very accurately and reported when they happen and each time you have any symptoms you need to go to the doctor to have it recorded.
    Try to remember the whole history of your injuries and report the whole of this to your NTD and make sure you get an opinion from a spinal specialist particularly if the NTD thinks any arm pain is coming from your neck. He can throw that in as part of the referral as well.
    Good luck with it all.

    1. Jason

      I just received an email from my Case Manager advising that my MRI has been approved. I also received and “amended letter.”

      The first letter stated “Further to the notification of injury sustained by you whilst employed,” however, the amended letter now states “Further to the notification of a lower back strain sustained by you whilst employed.”

      So it appears as though my Case Manager has changed their wording from “injury” to “lower back strain.”

      How can they make such a diagnosis prior to the MRI? And is this change of wording cause of major concern?

      1. Complainers of the world make a difference

        This can be used against you later. I had my employer write something on my claim that was not accurate. I had not even notified the injury to her and had been sent home by another officer who told me he would tell her he had sent me home. I didn’t even know what was in the employer form till I went for WID and found the insurer’s solicitors had sent it to the crooked IME hired gun giving it as my notification when it was not.

        What is the wording your NTD put on your work capacity certificate? If your NTD has not put that then email your case manager and ask her how she diagnosed you when your NTD put what ever is on the certificate. Tell them you want that letter amended to be consistent with the NTD diagnosis as she has no right to alter medical information.

        What did you notify on your report of injury?

        1. Jason

          I also received another email from my Case Manager yesterday afternoon advising the following:
          “A decision on liability must be made by 31.10.2014. Section 274 of the Workplace Injury Management and Workers compensation Act 1998 requires a decision on liability for payment of weekly payments no later than 21 days from when the claim is duly made.”

          I’m having the MRI on Wednesday 15.10.14 and will be seeing my Doctor again on Tuesday 21.10.14. What factors are likely to be considered in regard to determining liability by 31.10.14? And what should I expect, in practical terms, between now and then?

  15. mich

    hi im needing help I injured my arm on 10/09 was receiving weekly payments went to conciliation 2 yrs ago and won had conciliation on 05/03/2014 132 weeks my work cover assist person was not helpful at all and made me feel to take what I can on the way to conciliation he rang and said they have offered u 12 weeks pay I was not in the right frame of mind and over it all as my injury is 100 times worse my mental status is the just as bad and I now have liver and kidney problems due to medication I am sucicidal I have letters and reports from drs and speaclists to state I am signifatly worse since agreeing to the 12 weeks pay and was not in the right frame of mind I knew I made a mistake and when I got home tried to contact my work assist helper who was to ring me back he didn’t the next day I rang again he was on leave so I told another worker the situation I wanted it stopped I made a mistake since then I have written rang sent dr reports as my work capcity has gone from moderate to nothing as well so from the day 05/03/2014 I have done this I just want my wages paid every week or another chance at conciliation I have contacted myn insurer accs and work assit have copys of every thing I received a letter to say I could have conciliation on 18/09/2014 then a week later a letter from ACCS to say no one knew about all these other things until my 12 week pay was up lies lies I have all copys of letters and because a cert. of completion was made on 05/03/2014 I coulkd do nothing I did go for pain and suffering 3yrs ago but only got 4 % but was no where as bad as I am now I have now written to the obsumnman what can I do all I want is another chance at conciliation or my weekly payments restored

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      What state are you in Mich? If you are in NSW ring WorkCover 131050 or WIRO 139476 and ask if you can put in a further claim for weekly benefits due to deterioration and additional issues such as your liver damage, You will not be able to claim for any psychological injury lump sum but the psychological matters are impacting on you and if your injury is much worse you may be able to get back on weekly payments due to that because you had work capacity when the 12 weeks was agreed on but now you do not.
      Hope this helps.

  16. Trishac

    Hi Jason , refused any visits to IME, they will ruin you, they are there to laugh you off and mess you up. Just don’t agree to any appointment with them , been there done that.They are there working to get your money and to stop you with any entitlements from insurers.

    1. Rowan

      Unfortunately the law warns us that the insurer can cut off benefits if we refuse.

    2. john

      IME’s are used if the Insurer has no success getting information from the NTD in regards to assisting the injured worker. to understand the extent of the injury and what treatment can be used. Not all NTD’s are above board.

  17. Jason

    I first sustained a back injury at work in 1997 then again in 1999 and 2011.
    Two weeks ago I again suffered a back injury with similar symptoms (tightness, soreness, pain, loss of mobility and pain radiating down my leg).

    At my first consultation I asked my Doctor for an MRI but he refused. Yesterday, however, after much arguing my Doctor reluctantly issued a referral. After issuing the referral my Doctor said: “this will now complicate things for you and me.” I asked my Doctor what he meant but he refused to elaborate.

    In view of the above I have the following questions:
    • What may my Doctor have been referring to when he said: “this will now complicate things for you and me”?
    • Is contacting a Solicitor a good idea?

    And if anyone has any other general advice/suggestions in regard to how I may successfully navigate through my situation please feel free to reply.

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      You really need a referral to a spinal specialist who can send you for an MRI him/herself. If this is your GP ie NTD you are talking about he is probably fearful that the insurer will refuse approval for the MRI and before you know it they will have one of their “preferred” IMEs assess you and say there is nothing wrong with you.

      if you were examined by an IME for the insurer now without seeing a specialist you would most likely be assessed at 5% WPI and off the system you will go. You really need a specialist’s opinion of the MRIs and you may require further testing such as diagnostic spinal nerve blocks and cortisone injections to determine which of you discs is giving you problems. Once you have that you will know the extent of your injuries and whether you may need surgery in the future.
      There is also a good chance no solicitor will want to know you until you get all your treatment evidence and future options. They now have to put a case to ILARS (through WIRO office) to get approval for funding and at the moment they might not get it. You usually need the solicitor at the point the insurer denies liability for some aspect of your claim. You could start asking around to see who is a reliable solicitor in WC cases.
      The other thing is that if you have the MRI and you are assessed correctly by the insurer (a scary thing) you might end up with only 10% WPI in any case which means you could also be mucked around and find yourself off the system.
      Just get to the specialist at least to have someone else as well as your NTD providing diagnosis.
      I am not a solicitor but have had a lot of experience in the system but I know you need as much treatment evidence as possible before you face what is to come. Your doctor might just be fearful of the insurance process itself that causes stress for both the injured worker and the doctor.
      If the insurer does send you to an IME for assessment tell them you are going to see a specialist and you don’t want any final assessment till you decide on future treatment options.
      Hope this helps. Provide more information so I can see how far down the track you are. It is also more complex when you have multiple injuries of the same body part.
      Hope this helps.

      1. Jason

        Thanks for the replies-much appreciated. I will be having the MRI this week. So you are saying I must insist that my Doctor issues a referral to a specialist (one of my own choosing) rather than simply rely on my Doctor’s interpretation of the MRI results?

        Can my Doctor refuse to issue a referral for a specialist of my own choosing? Or can the Insurer refuse to approve the referral if my Doctor issues it?

        1. Complainers of the world make a difference

          Yes. You are much better off having a spinal specialist view your MRI as you may need further treatment if there is permanent disc damage. Your NTD should be referring you to a specialist if your back has not improved over a significant time. You can choose your own treating specialist and it would be not reasonable for the insurer not to approve that. As soon as you get the referral to the specialist you can let your case manger know you are going but you do not require pre-approval to see a specialist as long as they have accepted your claim, so if the case manager tells you otherwise, quote the following from the WorkCover Guides page 28, WorkCover Guidelines for
          Claiming Compensation Benefits – under sections section 376 (1) and 260 of the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 and section 60 (2A) of the Workers Compensation Act 1987, dated 27 th September 2012 –
          3.2 Exemptions
          The following treatments are exempt from the requirement for prior insurer
          approval.
          Note: These exemptions only apply where provisional liability for medical
          expenses or liability for a claim has been accepted.
          3.2.1 Nominated treating doctor
          Any consultation with the nominated treating doctor in relation to the
          injury claimed except for consultations for mental health treatment items
          AA905 and AA910 in current Australian Medical Association List of
          Medical Services and Fees.
          3.2.2 Specialist medical practitioner
          The first consultation for the injury with a specialist medical practitioner,
          on referral by the worker’s nominated treating doctor.

          Once you see the specialist you will know more about your injury. Make sure you tell the specilalist about the initiating injury and how each injury since has exacerbated the first injury ie if you have had symptoms on and off since the firsst injury and now the last has made it much worse. There needs to be a clear line of reasoning to show each subsequent injury is linked to the first one. This is called the chain of causation. If there is no connection to the first injury then they say the chain has been broken so when you finally are sent to an IME they can deduct your first injury from the last injury for compensation purposes. This is why it is really important to show the final impairment has resulted as the injuries are all connected. Be very clear to let your specialist know the full history so there is medical evidence to show this.
          If you are sent to an IME there are grounds for objection and one reason for objection can be that the insurer has not attempted to get the medical information they need from your treating practitioners. You should always recieve a “Notification to Worker” explaining what information wasn’t available from your treating practitioners but the insurers hardly ever send this to the worker as required by the WorkCover Guides for IMEs. If you don’t get this ask your case manager to send it explaining why you are going to an IME and what information do they need from your treating doctor. If you can get this from them it gives you the opportunity to object while you see your treating doctor to get them to send the information to the insurer thus preventing your attendance.
          If you are sent ask if it is an Independent Medical Examiner or and Injury Management Consultant.
          Get on this website if the insurer does anything contrary to the above so you can get further info.
          FYI the IME Guides are found as follows-http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/formspublications/publications/Documents/independent-medical-examinations-reports-guidelines-3740.pdf
          It is good to read these.

          1. Jason

            Thanks so much again for your reply. I’m having the MRI on Wednesday and will be seeing my Doctor the following Tuesday-at which point I’ll insist that he issues a referral for a back specialist. My first injuries to my lower back occurred in 1997 and 1999…will the records relating to my prior injuries be able to be accessed?

            I also have another problem that has developed from the strenuous physical nature of my work. Around 8 weeks ago, I noticed that the muscles from my elbow to my wrist in my left arm are becoming sore. I wanted to start the ball rolling with my back issues first, before mentioning my left arm to my Doctor. But when I see my Doctor next week re the MRI results I will also mention my arm. I’m guessing that I’ll have to submit a new claim form for my arm?

    2. Michael

      Hi Jason
      To look @ it on a different prospective Your Doctor seams not to have your health as a first issue.
      My suggestions Get MRI or even CT SCAN ASAP! It may not be work related & need urgent surgery.
      If symptoms subside look into what @ work could cause pain & look into ways of reducing stain on spine i.e stretching exercises, body core strengthening exercises, reduced work load or even finding new career with less toll on health. better than having a long term injury with constant pain.

  18. Bashed and bullied

    Found this on Facebook- Check out David Keegan, Labor for MYALL LAKES Facebook page

    David Keegan, Labor for MYALL LAKES Gail,the changes to WorkCover have caused untold damage to injured workers,I will continue to lobby for reform of the present system..the changes forced upon workers was based on a false premise ie the “massive deficit in reserves”which turned to be in fact a surplus
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · September 18 at 11:48pm

    David Keegan, Labor for MYALL LAKES The changes to Workcover forced on injured workers by LNP/Fred Nile/Shoters Party alliance have been disastoorous for the victims and emploers nd have enriched the Insurers and the expert givers of opinions…
    Like · Reply · September 14 at 10:28pm

    David Keegan, Labor for MYALL LAKES The LNP Governmentrobbed workers retrospectively of their Workcovr enitlments.It wasbased on a deliberate statement of facts .The Reserve funds were vaued at a date in 2007at the depths of the GFC ,at deficit of 44 Billion, with return to a normal setting after the GFC the Reserve fund is overt $1 Billion in surplus.Tell the LNP Government t the llot box in March 2015,what youthingk of their rip off of injured workers

  19. Complainers of the world make a difference

    Say NO to Recommendation 8!
    We have all been shocked and upset by the loss of legal representation for injured workers with the new laws and Recommendation 8 will go further toward eroding a workers right to legal assistance on this legal matter.
    The government has already watered this down from an injured worker previously being required to get legal assistance before accepting a Section 66 based on the Whole Person Impairment (WPI) percentage, down to, an injured worker being able to accept a lump sum based on WPI without legal advice and if Recommendation 8 goes through the injured worker will be negotiated down without even realizing the full ramifications of what they are doing. The insurer already attempts to do this in Complying Agreements but at least you can have this overseen by an arbitrator and you have a solicitor advising you. You don’t usually sit face to face with your employer to negotiate, they have their insurer who gets legal advice and uses a legal representatives to negotiate in any matters but an injured worker can be reduced to relying on themselves if this recommendation goes through. The point of beneficial legislation is undermined by this recommendation.

    When I looked into this a bit more I realized just how disturbing Recommendation 8 is.

    If this is put in place there will be a lot of injured workers who will wake up one day and say “Hey, I just lost my treatment and hey, I just lost my weeklies” and they will think back to the day they were convinced to “spilt the difference” with their percentage of injury and that decision has resulted in all their other rights being on the scrap heap because someone decided they could negotiate how sick or injured the worker was.

    At the moment you cannot “split the difference” because doing so does not accurately represent how injured you are, so when there is a difference between IMEs the matter proceeds to the WCC where you are examined by an Approved Medical Specialist (AMS) whose WPI percentage is legally accepted as “conclusively presumed to be correct”. If your solicitor sees something wrong with the AMS findings then they will advise you of this and you can appeal the AMS findings on certain grounds, as can the insurer.
    The matter can then go to upper courts if need be. If it is a matter of legal interpretation it can get as high as the High Court. The whole matter of the AMS and appeal processes is to ensure everyone has equal access to the law and that there is correct interpretation of the law. Legal precedents are set in this manner.

    It is far too easy for the insurer to find an IME who will give you a lower percentage of injury than your statutory right allocates under the WorkCover Guides. If there is a dispute between two IMEs it can either be a medical or legal dispute so this is not a right you what to throw away in through uninformed negotiation.

    In my case and my partner’s case there have been times the insurer withheld reports favorable to us under legal privilege. How many times does an injured worker go to an IME for the insurer only to find the report never reaches the light of day? This is the time your insurer has hidden away the higher percentage of injury. So what happens when your insurer does this to be in a better position to “split the difference”. Do you think they are going to reveal the highest or lowest WPI percentage they hold on you?

    I am not speaking out of my hat! I would not risk saying this without evidence to back it up. Between me and my partner we have had around 38 assessments combined. We have been providing proof to WorkCover, WCC and both our insurers of at least 9 of these assessors who provided reports showing they were either incompetent or fraudulent. There are way too many stories like this from injured workers on this, and other websites, that indicate all IMEs are NOT equal!!
    We have had a number of these reports set aside by the actual insurers themselves as well as through WorkCover intervention and intervention at the WCC.
    My husband’s WPI percentage varied between 7%WPI and 31% WPI so splitting the difference would have given him 19% WPI. The 7% WPI was from an IME who left out the parts of the MRI report that did not support his opinion and he left out the report from the treating surgeon where the surgeon described exactly what was wrong and this was all confirmed in a five hour operation. In my opinion this IME would have to be guilty of medical negligence if he did this to one of his own patients. He didn’t complete the tests according to the WorkCover Guides for permanent impairment, just picked a random WPI percentage. Every other assessor was between 18% to 31% but the insurer decided to use his report to say my partner didn’t reach the 15% threshold and so the matter went on for another year. Basically some assessors did not comply with the methodology in the WorkCover Guides as well as misrepresenting the facts and leaving out evidence from treating practitioners.
    Negotiating would have put my partner in the category where he would have lost all his rights when the right category for him would actually be “seriously injured” under the new legislation.

    The WPI assessment is not an arbitrary medical diagnosis, it is objective testing, not subjective opinion, so there should be little difference between two assessors who comply with the WorkCover Guides and AMA 5
    The review states “Mr Garling questioned the validity of WorkCover’s statement that it does not permit the two
    parties to negotiate an outcome because the notional level of assessment has not been made
    by a trained assessor, on the basis that the competing assessments have already been made by
    trained assessors. 227 ” If there are “competing assessments” the question should be raised about why there are such differences when two trained IMEs should be applying the same guides in the same manner based on the same medical evidence, not the question of how such differences can be negotiated away.
    WIRO’s use of the term “competing assessments” demonstrates his “disconnect” with the “reality” of injured workers who are subjected to examination by certain IMEs or the “reality”of the manner IMEs IMCs and IPCs are being used by insurers.

    The committee has also overlooked the fact the present legislation is what provides for an Approved Medical Specialist to determine differences in medical opinions not WorkCover or WIRO. The whole basis of assessments is based on the legislative framework that controls the powers of WorkCover. WorkCover, along with a range of medical and legal advisors determined the best manner of assessment of impairment when the guidelines were constructed, so any attempt to undermine a person’s legal right to a fair and independent assessment or to challenge a finding or application of the guides or even factual basis to an IME’s opinion, can be undermined if Recommendation 8 is accepted.

    It is important to remember this is not just about lump sums, it is about the one and only whole person percentage of injury you have to live with when you accept that lump sum which effects all your other workers compensation rights for your future.

    WIRO’s opinion is fundamentally flawed in regard to this matter. He has not personally experienced being assessed by an IME who is biased or who fails to follow the guidelines or one where limited information is provided by the insurer or one where the insurer’s solicitor has told the IME what to find.

    WIRO is not a doctor so he should not be negotiating how injured someone is nor should he be interpreting IME reports without specialist medical knowledge or training in the application of the guides.

    WIRO is not an arbitrator or an AMS or a WCC Appeal Panel so why is he negotiating between injured workers and their insurers on such matters that are not within the scope of his role as per the legislation. This is the domain of the WCC where inconsistencies can be determined with the assistance of the legislated processes.
    Complying agreements occur at a time Injured workers are at their most vulnerable and they can be in a place where they will accept almost anything. By the time the injured worker is getting a WPI percentage it is really important that they have legal assistance as this is also the time it is decided the injury is permanent which is also a matter for the IME to determine before the WPI percentage is accepted.

    WIRO is also the decision maker regarding legal funding. He states “I am presently receiving requests for funding for injured workers to proceed with an application in the Workers Compensation Commission to determine a dispute which often involves less than $15,000 because of a disagreement between the opinions of
    properly qualified independent medical examiners. Some of these disputes involve as little as $1,650. 223″
    The question is if the WIRO knocking back funding for people to go to the WCC because of his own view that WPI disputes should be negotiated, and he is involving himself in such negotiations, has he not provided himself a conflict of interest? The committee states “In evidence before the committee, Mr Garling advised that his office had taken a proactive approach to the resolution of such disputes and, with the cooperation of insurers, had been
    able to resolve a number of matters without resorting to dispute resolution processes. 230″ This evidence seems to indicate the WIRO is complying with the views he has expressed on this matter rather than the legislation and regulations he is in place to follow and evaluate. It seems it is not only the regulator who may need to separate their functions more clearly..
    How can the decision maker for funding be impartial if they are negotiating with the insurer and in doing so precluding the injured worker from funding to enable them to obtain legal advice they need to be informed before they accept any offer negotiated. If this is the case WIRO has put himself in a very rocky place.

    At the moment arbitrators and Approved Medical Specialists are approved by the WCC and IMEs are approved by WorkCover. They are protected from personal prosecution for errors in their decisions if they have carried out their role in “good faith”, but the WIRO does not have this protection within his legal role.
    What will he do when he finds he has assisted your insurer to do you out of just the percentage of injury that means the difference in when your weeklies and treatment ends? Will people have the right to sue him for making medical decisions and giving legal advice when this is not his role?
    When he stated, “In my view removing that barrier would enable the majority of these disputes to be resolved without the emotional distress for the injured worker; without the delays which are inherent in the present adversarial process in the Workers Compensation Commission and without the cost. In my opinion, this policy cannot be justified on any basis. 229″, he misses the point the fundamental aim of beneficial legislation is to provide fair and just support for the worker to obtain their legal rights at the cost to the system, not at the cost of the injured worker.
    Mr Paul Macken, Honorary Lawyer, New South Wales Workers Compensation Self Insurers Association, also questioned the inability to negotiate an agreed outcome, especially considering the costs associated with attempting to resolve a dispute over such matters: … the inevitable cost is that somebody fails on application and goes to an improved medical specialist, at a price of $1,400, for them to examine and try to find an
    impairment assessment that everybody likes.” This comes from an insurer and many disputes are caused because the insurer doesn’t “like” the IME report provided by the injured worker. This overlooks the fact this is not about what any party “likes” it is about the legal responsibility of the IME to provide an accurate WPI percentage in accordance with the WorkCover Guidelines and for parties to be able to challenge any evidence they feel is fundamentally in error.

    Now that they have removed lump sums for 10% and under there is more money allocated for each percentage of injury as there is a type of sliding scale so a difference of percentage at a lower percentage is worth less than at a higher percentage so this too had not been accounted for in this argument.

    If this spokesman is really concerned about this waste of money let the self insurers association audit how many solicitors employed by their insurers conceal IME reports behind legal privilege, that are more favorable to the injured worker or that support the injured workers percentage of injury. Let them audit how many times they use a report they know to be less accurate to create a dispute that needs to proceed to the WCC. Let them audit how many reports they obtain from the same IMEs and how many times these are disputed at the WCC because they are found to be totally contrary to the facts. Let’s not forget when the insurer uses an IME report that is not supported by the treatment evidence to dispute treatment or to dispute WPI or to deny liability they ensure the case moves to the WCC and regardless, win or lose they get paid more for a dispute than they do otherwise. It all sounds good in theory but in practice when you reduce the ability for an injured worker to proceed through a transparent process the waters soon become very merky!! The review states, “Mr Macken described this scenario as ‘…a disconnection between the regulator and reality’. 226″ but the reality is there is a disconnect between the legislator and reality of how this system is being used and for whose benefit.

    There is already some ability to negotiate if the percentage difference is very minimal through Complying agreements where the matter can be resolved between parties through a teleconference. In my own case the insurer concealed the most recent higher percentage through legal privilege but agreed to a lower percentage from another of their IMEs and I agreed in a complying agreement as I had no ability to obtain the other report.(They gave it to me after I signed the agreement!!!) This would have made around $4000 to my lump sum and while that may not seem much to others it meant a lot to my ability to pay my bills.
    Anyone who makes the claim the sum is too low to worry about is obviously not on the stat rate and when such opinions come from people paid over $300 000 it seems a bit elitist and discriminatory to be saying what amount is of value to injured workers.

    What WIRO should be doing is looking into why there is such disparity between IMEs and he needs to look into why certain IMEs appear to have become “preferred” assessors for either one side or the other and then he might begin to understand why the injured worker becomes so distressed by the whole process.
    Why does he think parties use legal privilege to conceal IME reports that don’t favour what they want to achieve?

    Remember the fundamental reason for dispute of WPI percentage is not to stop you getting a fair lump sum, it is to prevent further liability for your claim in the future in regard to weeklies, treatment, commutation, Work Injury Damages, work capacity so don’t be fooled into accepting any thing that erodes these rights.

    If the WIRO is interfering with legal processes and denying funding to injured workers in the process, he is denying procedural fairness and legislated rights of injured workers to the benefit of insurers so this needs to be looked into by the committee who has supported this.

    WIRO has been supportive, helpful and needed, but he does need to look into this himself as it is not as straightforward as it all seems and he is putting himself at risk as well as putting the rights of injured workers at risk and if Recommendation 8 is put in place there will be more to this than it seems.

    In the experienced injured workers’ opinion of my partner and I we think Recommendation 8 can only serve to encourage corrupt or unethical behaviours so please think again about what you are supporting before supporting this.

    1. Rowan

      You make a valid point Complainers of the world make a difference. I will not try to defend the recommendation in any way. As far as I am concerned most (including this one) are only a few steps in the right direction. I would say that the recommendation could circumvent the current problem faced by many where the lower rate is taken as gospel and no consideration is given to the higher one, until the matter comes to the Workers Compensation Commission. My preference would always be to take the Injured Workers medical teams verdict as the correct one, testing this through the WCC if need be to ensure impartiality. As always the devil will be in the detail. In the meantime we will keep fighting for a fairer system.

  20. council worker

    hi everyone , tried to post an update yesterday but nothing came up, so ill re post, its been quite a while since my last message,and a lot has happened , I have seen my barristers since the insurance co paid for all treatments for my cspine problem and the barristers don’t want to go to the wcc as they don’t want an adverse finding,as there are assesors there that if you get one of 3 names told to me ,my claim may be in jepardy. so I found a funding co that helped fund my surgery, I had the acdf of my cspine and am now 6 weeks post op. feeling a bit better and has removed some pain but has not solved all my neck and shoulder problems. prior to my surgery I was sent back to the insurance co s orthopaedic surgeon and during the assessment he made me lie down on the bed ,face down and then told me to get up, I had done this once before and the pain was so awfull I began to weep as my neck felt like It had just been stuck with a long knife and turned, he had done this once before during an assessment, as I was unable to get up off the bed by myself he helped me off ,he then panicked as I said I may need an ambulance,he then sat me down and started to sweat, this is not what drs are supposed to do to patients, I got outside and took pain killers and waited for about 20 mins before I could go home, so I had the operation on my cspine and im walking and doing physio,the sleep factor at nite is nearly non existant as the aches in my neck and headaches keep me awake most nites, I have bought a memory pillow which helps but its only a slight help with my condition, I asked the insurance co for his report a month later and I again had to go above the case managers head to get it,as ive had to go to workcover on at least 4 other occasions ,and this time his report actually supports my specialists and my condition, I guess he actually saw I was in terrible pain,and did not deny or write other crap on the report as he did on the first one., so now In 2 months am having the arthrogram with die to see if the tendon in my shoulder hasn’t shrunk to where he cannot retrieve it, this is where I am at the moment and will update again after I have this arthrogram done and see the ortho , just a piece of information from me, and I know complainers of the world has also stated, make sure you tell your drs and specialists all that is going on and if you feel you are not getting what is required to get you back on your feet,complain to workcover as much as you need to,do not let these case managers push you around and deny what you need ,keep a diary of everything that is going on and what is said in conversations as this can be sent to workcover as proof of any deniability for what you may need, this is such an awfull system and it needs to be changed to actually HELP injured workers, not DENY surgeries and treatments. bye all

  21. council worker

    hi everyone, sorry I havnt posted for a while, so much has happened since my last post. well firstly I saw my barristers prior to looking at going to the wcc, they advised me that If I got an assessor that was sympathetic to the insurance co my case may fall apart. they did not want an adverse finding so he advised I pay for it and claim it through court later down the track.it was not cheap and I had to borrow this large amount to have it done, so I followed his advice and had my acdf syrgery and am 6 weeks post op today. there is a slight improvement with pain but has not fixed the problem with my neck or shoulder, but walking and turning my head is done now with little or no pain. I was also assessed by the insurance co orthopaedic specialist,and after fighting to get this report from my case manager again {this is at least 3 times now ive had to complain to her manager to get these reports} it is very supportive of what my surgeons have said and he agrees with both the acdf and arthrogram I am having shortly. I am sure he has finally seen the pain I am going through,when he asked me to lie down on his bed face down while being assessed ,and when he told me to get up I was in tears and in such pain he had to help me off it. he has done this twice to me now. the surgery itself wasn’t too bad ,as I was only in hospital for 2 nites and home on the 3rd day. I am numb still under the neck,my voice is still crackly,i still hear cracking and fluid noises when my head is turned,but am better than I was. my arthrogram with die is in nov and I will then see my orthopaedic surgeon with the results, as he told me because it has been 19 months since the physio retore the rotator cuff,the tendon shrinks and may not be able to operate to repair it . im sure we are all in the same boat being badly treated and being denied surgeries,but keep vigilant and note everything down,keep a diary and complain to workcover every time you feel they are not helping you get through this awfull maze. make sure you tell your drs and specialists what they are doing to you, as mine cannot believe how I have and am being treated. ill update again in late nov, stay strong injured friends ,

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Keep up the fight council worker. This shows when people make complaints directly to the case manager as well as their supervisor you are more likely to get action as well as lots of evidence for WorkCover complaints to show exactly what is happening to injured workers. You should also ask for the name of your insurer’s Operations Manager and General Manager so you can show them how badly you have been managed by their staff. As well as this your solicitor now has the evidence of harassment and poor claims management so if the insurer does do anything else to you, you have evidence to fight them if they deny your claim further. You can now also say the IME they employed supported the fact your treatment was reasonably necessary so ask them when and how they are going to reimburse you for the poor claims management that has now resulted in your condition being made worse.

      Contact WorkCover, WIRO and David Shoebridge just to outline how the insurer’s behaviour has impacted on your health particularly as they would not approve your treatment that the IME report now confirms was reasonably necessary. Please highlight to them what we all know- case managers are making their own medical decisions about what treatment is reasonably necessary rather than making the decision based on the medical evidence available and according to the WorkCover definition of what treatment is reasonably necessary. This is something also occurring with work capacity and it is really important that the politicians know this so we can all apply pressure to make insurers comply with the legislation.

      1. Merlo

        Just how true you are “Complainers of the world make a difference”.
        I was sent to the insurers IME in May and it took 3 months and a phone call almost every week at the end to them to be paid my expenses. I was told it was being processed at this minute and should be in my account in a few days. After another two weeks I made contact to be told I would be sent a cheque as they did not have any bank details. No contact had been made with me in this regard in those two weeks. Mind you I had been paid into my bank account many times in the past but I agreed to a cheque just to get my expenses paid.

        I was sent again to be assessed at a different place and it was 6 weeks without being paid my expenses and I made contact again and ended up being told………….get this, as my current work certificate is out of date we can’t pay you. I asked what date was on this and I was told……..get this 2006.
        It was laughable but I asked could I speak to the department that deals with costings and expenses. I was told no as that department is…………wait for this, is overseas and I can’t put you through.
        What is this country coming to.
        Finally after another few phone calls and going higher than the case manager I was paid and it was by a bank transaction.
        My advise to anyone now is if you are required to go anywhere to be assessed or for treatment, get them to book you a taxi and have all accommodation and expenses paid for prior to going. It will cost them far more than they think when a person is hundreds of kms away from the appointment.

        Injured workers don’t just come from a capital city like case workers think.
        It was a 6 hours drive one way with no breaks, two nights accommodation, not knowing the city and where to go. Parking was a nightmare. My stress level was high and than to see the IME for just 5 minutes. Was it all worth it.
        And I was told as my appointment was mid morning I should be able to drive there that morning and return that afternoon. So only one nights accommodation will be paid and only meals for one day.

        1. Complainers of the world make a difference

          That is disgusting Merlo. They are kicking you around like a can in the gutter!! There is six months minimum between IMEs according to the WorkCover IME guidelines. It seems you are saying they sent you with only a few months in between. Was that the case?
          Send in your claim for the two nights regardless and tell them you were not medically fit enough able to be in the car for six six hours after the appointment or before it without breaks so you just could not attend and go home in one day. Ask them why they did not send you to an IME located closer to your home as the WorkCover guides require.
          Also make a complaint that because the IME only saw you for five minutes and they were prepared to send you so far it indicates they may be using a “preferred” assessor and you want to let them know now as you will be making a complaint if his report turns out to be biased or inaccurate.
          Always prepare the case manager for the complaint and keep asking if they have received anything as soon as the ten days are up for the examiner to provide the report. Once the case manager receives it ask if it is biased and for a copy. Tell your case manager if the report is biased or inaccurate you want them to contact WorkCover for you.
          If you get the report and there is a problem make your complaint straight to the case manager and tell them you had warned them and you want to know if the IME is used regularly by them as if they are paying good money to him for five minutes of inaccuracy.
          Sorry for going on but it seems if they sent you that far for five minutes the IME will give them what they have asked for so be prepared. Was it a psychiatrist or physical specialist?
          I would also be accusing your case manager of harassing you if they cause you any more problems and I would ask to speak with the supervisor.
          It is hard to believe they treat people so badly. Keep your chin up!!

  22. Norman Gale

    I am a 63 year old and earlier this year, through keeping up with the boys, I was engaged in a lot of manual handling which I was not accustomed to and I noticed that my humerous nerve was moving across my elbow and I attended a doctor who said that it was tendonitis and I informed my boss who said that it was my age and that is all. After a period of time my elbow started to tingle and the joint felt very sore. I again attended a doctor and he told me he believed it was work related and that I would need remedial treatment. I conveyed this to my employer and he was unwilling to do any thing about the situation because he believes that it is age related and has nothing to do with a work related injury. What are my rights regarding his action.

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Hi Norman,
      If your doctor thinks it is work related then he should write out a Work Capacity Medical Certificate for you stating the diagnosis and the restrictions/capacity for you to work under to prevent further injury.
      It is not up to your employer to make the decision it is because of age. Lots of workplace injuries occur over a long period and the determination of what caused the injury is part of a legal process.
      If you notified your employer they have 48 hours to notify their insurer of your injury. The insurer should then contact you.
      I don’t know if the insurer denied this was work related or if it was just your employer who has also failed to notify of your workplace injury. If your employer failed to notify the insurer they are breaking the law.
      For advice on this contact WorkCover, 131050. Tell them your situation and ask for advice.
      Good luck!!

    2. Kim smith

      Hi Norman I have had a very similar situation to yours and would be interested to hear any replies regarding this . ? Regards

    3. john

      An Employer has 5 days to advise the Insurer of a workplace injury, if it goes beyond the 5 days the Employer will be hit with an excess on their premium.

  23. Alexander Oliver

    Hi,
    2014 has not been my year.
    at the begining of the year i broke my elbow at a work place that i was leaving the next week as i had started another job. The original employer had filed the claim on my behalf and had everything was going ok with medical bills payments but the insurence company has been less then usefull in getting my pay for the new job. The new job had not turned out well as they company was dodgy and paying me under minimum wage and had i eventually had to leave as they were paying me for the time i was having off for physio for my injury at my first job (after i told them not to do it) and then demanding it back despite the insurer not doing anything about getting me my pay.

    I have recently helped out a friend and dislocated my knee and that has put me in a knee brace and required me to go to physio.
    I need to know what is the best way to apply for jobs (as i need the money ) but disclose that i am injured and i will need to leave some times to go to physio therapy.

    if anyone knows what i should do or who i should talk to that would be great
    Thank you

  24. john pedavoli

    Hi all ,Can here u all 7 years on comp and the bull**** is still flowing .good website too best off luck people

  25. Heidi

    My son was injured at work because he wasn’t supplied with the necessary safety equipment. Sent to the work Dr when initially injured who wrote a cert. for a week or more, dropped the cert. back to work and was told by boss that the Dr was trying to contact him because he made a mistake and would need to return to work earlier, This happened more than once and my son even overheard the conversation between the Dr and his boss, with the boss telling the Dr how long my son would be off. He is a long term casual working full time hours and does not want to loose his job. He has returned to work on light duties. There have been lots of things happen to him that don’t sound right to me and my son has diarised everything, The latest is his been to his specialist who estimated it would be another 6months before he returns to full duties but his WIM-CGU said that if this isn’t reduced they would find someone else who would reduce this time. Yesterday he went to a so called independent specialist who manipulated him so much so that my son said he could actually see stars from the pain whilst the specialist told him he was alright and my son left the surgery only to vomit in the street. He is also being told that he has to book Dr’s/specialist visits in his own time. This is all to much for me and I’m not the one who is injured. My sister went through the same thing she was crushed by an ambulance trolley & a patient lifter chair when the ambo dropped the trolley and spooked the elderly patient and got crushed between the two . I found a so called good solicitor for her and now she has to live off $60 a week from the insurance co. and they have cut all treatments that helped her. She has to pay rent. How does someone pay $300 p/w from that and buy food etc. She had to go Centrelink who assessed her injury greater than the insurance co. I don’t want this for my son he has a young family but I don’t know enough about the rights of injured workers to help him. And I don’t want him on the really strong pain killers for the rest of his life. Help please. Very Grateful

    1. Rowan

      Dear Heidi. It seems a terrible situation to be in. Call the office on friday morning and we’ll see what we can do.

      1. Trisha

        Hi Rowan , what about us in Victoria can we still use your website to get some support

        1. Rowan

          A thousand times yes

          The Injured Workers Group of Victoria is available to you for direct peer support if you want to get involved below our boarder. Though we concentrate on NSW we are aware that work place injury doesn’t reside only in NSW and the need is great. We wholeheartedly support our brothers and sisters in Victoria and give a big shout out to our sister organisation in Victoria.

    2. Complainers of the world make a difference

      I’m pretty sure the employer is not allowed to contact the NTD directly and in any case the employer should not be pressuring the NTD to change his opinion becasue the employer is not a doctor!!
      It sounds as though the doctor is allowing this so I would be contacting WorkCover 131050 to report what has happened. Your son will have to do this as they won’t talk to you unless he gives permission in writing. You can ask WorkCover about what your son needs to do to allow you to talk to them. Sounds as though the insurer is interfering with your son’s specialist advice and that is why they sent him to the IME. Your son needs to make a report/complaint about the IME and how he hurt him, immediately, to the case manager and to WorkCover. It sounds as though they will be using the report from this IME to deny your son’s claim or to make a Work Capacity decision that you will need further evidence to dispute.
      I would suggest your son get back to the specialist ASAP to see if the IME caused any further injury and ask the insurer for approval for this. If they won’t give it go anyway through Medicare.
      Check with WorkCover to see if the employer can directly contact the NTD. It sounds like a breach of the Privacy Act if the NTD has been discussing the case directly with the employer so your son could also ask WorkCover about this as well as ring the Privacy Commissioner.
      When the insurer tells your son things such as they will find someone who will reduce the time frame, your son should email back to the case manager stating he was not happy about them threatening the described action and that he would like the contact details of their supervisor. Then write a complaint to the supervisor outlining all that has been going on that is how upsetting to the point he needs approval to see a psychologist. Get the NTD to make a referral to a psychologist in any case as it sounds as though he needs to see someone due to the harassment from the employer and the insurer and make sure the NTD writes that in the referral.
      Make sure your son also advises his NTD and the insurer the IME has exacerbated his injury. It might be prudent to change the NTD to someone who will not breach his privacy. Ask around to see if their is someone who is prepared to stand up to the insurer/employer.
      If you don’t get some support from the insurer it will be all outlined for WorkCover if it is in emails. If WorkCover don’t sort it out you can contact WorkCover Independent Review Officer (WIRO). Your son will soon need a solicitor as from what it sounds the insurer will deny his claim pretty soon.

      Your sister can use any medical report from Centrelink to fight the insurer. Tell her to show her NTD the Centrelink assessment and ask the NTD to change her Work Capacity particularly if she is now totally unfit and needs further specialist intervention. Get her to get a new referal to the specialist and ask the insurer for approval but if they won’t approve go through Medicare. You can use this as evidence anyway. Ask the specialist for a copy of the report he sends back to your NTD. Send a new WCMC to the insurer and ask the case manager how to deal with deterioration because they have withdrawn the treatment and she can’t afford it. Make sure it is all in emails so there is evidence of the responses.

      I am not a solicitor just someone with a lot of experience fighting this system so it seems to me the insurer is doing what they have done in many other cases. Both my husband and I have done most of our fighting through complaints and this seems to make the insurer more accountable and more likely to manage the injured worker better. You can complain to the Operations Manager of the insurer as well as they are accountable for ensuring staff follow the legislation. I would ask on the end of the email “Who is your Operations Manager?” This seems to get action.
      Hope this helps. Good luck!

  26. merlo

    We all are going through the same thing here. Yes we have to unite but it doesn’t seem to be working for us whom will loose our homes, our bank nest egg and even our husbands, wifes or partners. Even our weekly wages have gone. The insurance companies are happy to take our work places money and I do really think that its not us that should have to be going to appointment after appointment for just 5-10 minutes to be told we don’t meet the required percentage to get any compensation. Its the mental trauma we all go through.

    The insurance companies do need to stop trying to save money on us the injured, and look into why so many workers are getting hurt. Get them to go to all work places and see for them self why work places are not safe.
    Put the work place through what they are doing to us.

    I worked for a large govt company and was required to do annual mandatory training which had nothing to do with the department I worked in. Yet our name would be crossed off each year claiming we had attended our mandatory training. I’m guessing if anything ever happened (which it did) they can say well all staff are trained. Hence its not there fault. We can complain as much as we want but nothing would happen.
    My employer had a requirement, staff were to do lots and lots of on line mandatory training also. Most were, just click a button and hope it was correct, if not just click the next and so on until you get 100%. Staff would have other people answer the questions. Lets have all staff in our department get 100% first go. Computers have a lot to answer for in our life’s today. Whats happened to the hands on approach in life.
    No wonder why there’s injury in a work place. This company is a very large NSW govt company. I feel Govt companies are one of the main employers of injured workers.
    Small companies are more alert to issues that are happening around them.

    I was on the OH@S committee for some time and decided to resign as it was a joke. I guess like other companies they were happy to hear the problems that were happening but would not act on them. Some excuses believe it or not were…………..we have no money to fix it. If this is the case then why be in business.

    I feel we should rally together and do something about getting the insurance companies to attack the work places that have caused us all to be writing our say on the site. We are the injured party who are being attacked, and we are the ones who are suffering in this.
    Its all about making and saving money……work places pay large amounts to have insurance, and the insurance companies send us to not just one medical appointments but many until one decides to give you a percentage under 10% and thats it…….. delined claim.

    1. Trisha c

      So right Merlo , total rubbish same here and lost everything at the end , I really believe that the insurers are working alongside with the specialists all corrupt and they do get away with it, while we are left with nothing not even a job , who is going to employ us now when you tell the truth ??

    2. Trisha c

      So right Merlo , total rubbish same here and lost everything at the end , I really believe that the insurers are working alongside with the specialists all corrupt and they do get away with it, while we are left with nothing not even a job , who is going to employ us now when you tell the truth ??

  27. Carl

    To all this is a letter & the reply a member received from Minister Perrottet as you can see the minister did not reply he had his secretary do it. If you don’t agree with any or all of this reply then I urge you to contact the minister to voice your concerns!
    I know that there is a lot of issues but the response is just BAD I think.

    Doug
    PEARL BEACH NSW 2256

    Minister for Finance
    The Honourable Dominic Perrottet
    Level 36 Governor Macquarie Tower
    No 1 Farrer Place
    SYDNEY NSW 2000

    5 June 2014

    Dear Sir
    I am writing to you after speaking to your aide, who advised me to put down in a letter the problems that are affecting people on workers compensation.
    I’ve written letters to Mr Barry O’Farrell on 12th January 2013, Mr. Constance on the 9th December 2013, to date I still have not received any response. I have subsequently got in touch with other people that are new to the worker’s compensation scheme, through doctors and various support groups.
    We have currently got a very large number of people in support of this letter, who have interacted by both email and phone concerning the problems that they have with the worker’s compensation scheme. Due to my medical requirements I have met a large number of people in the same position. A lot of them have lost their homes due to the minimal weekly benefit that they are paid.
    For example, I am a 57 year old male, my injury was in 2008 I went from a normal weekly wage to $400 dollars per week. This did not even get close to covering my mortgage, let alone leave enough for food and other bills. It wasn’t until 2014 that my money went up to $670 per week, but now I have nothing left of my savings or superannuation.
    For people who have worked hard all of their lives, the money we get doesn’t cover our mortgages, let alone pay for any other living expenses. A good number of us have had to draw on our superannuation, under hardship, to try and save our homes or just to survive. This money only lasts a short time. When there is nothing left it puts a great deal of pressure on the family which leads to marriage breakdowns. Others people that I have spoken to, have tried to commit suicide. When you speak to these people, they tell you that they have nothing left to live for and that they just want to give up.
    One of the men that I know, had tried suicide earlier in the year, this led him to be locked up over Christmas. Due to his injuries he had lost his house, his marriage, everything. So the doctors thought it would be safer for him over Christmas to be locked up, for fear of him trying suicide again.
    If anyone dies because of the changes to workers compensation, we will do everything in our powers to see that the government, minister or department head is held responsible for that person’s death. If you read some of the emails on the Injured Workers Support Network website you will see that a lot of people now say that they have nothing left and are about to give up.
    YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THAT THIS INCIDENT DOES NOT ONLY AFFECT THE INDIVIDUAL PERSON, IT AFFECTS THE FAMILIES, THE CHILDREN, MOTHERS, FATHERS, BROTHERS, SISTERS, THE UNCLES & AUNTIES, AND DOWN TO FRIENDS. EVEN I HAVE HAD TO STAY WITH OTHER PEOPLE, AND RENT MY HOME, DUE TO INABILITY TO MEET MY MORTGAGE PAYMENTS.
    THESE CIRCUMSTANCES EQUATE TO THE LOSS OF MANY, MANY VOTES FOR THE NEW SOUTH WALES LIBERAL PARTY.
    We have spoken to the leader of the NSW opposition who has given a guarantee to rescind the O’Farrell changes to the workers compensation scheme. As you would have seen on many current affair programs, YES we do understand that changes have to be made, but, within reason, but when medical evidence cannot be refuted why is it that these people with serious injuries suffer the same as people with minor injuries. Serious injuries are lifelong. All that is needed to start with is to have the word RETROSPECTIVE removed from the changes of June 2012.
    Most of the injured people have x-rays to prove the severity of their problems. As my neuro surgeon and other doctors have said “x-rays do not lie”. Both my surgeon & GP have told me that when their current worker’s compensation patient cases are completed, they will no longer attend to patients under Worker’s Compensation. Because of the problems they have had with WorkCover & the insurance company’s employees. These are people who have no medical training and over-rule doctor’s requests and certificates. They disallow scans or procedures that are requested by the medical professionals. My surgeon has told me that his colleagues are no longer seeing patients who are on worker’s compensation because of this.
    We now have the support and backing of Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge & the Injured Workers Support Network of NSW and the Unions. The New South Wales government has an election coming up soon, in which we will give our support to whoever will help us the most. This will lead to a vast number of votes to whoever helps. We know the government has handed all the assessments over to the insurance companies. These are the people who are making the money, whilst the victims of workplace accidents are suffering hardship. The insurance companies do everything that they can to make out that there is nothing wrong with the injured worker.
    They send the worker to their preferred doctors’; these doctors get paid by the insurance companies. How can an impartial outcome be reached, when you are already seeing the best surgeons in their field. By seeing the insurance company doctor you end up with a lower assessment than that of your treating surgeon, who knows the ins & outs of your condition.
    The insurance companies have workers followed & photographed. I was even followed to my mother’s funeral; which led to a phone call to my doctor to have my medical certificate changed to the benefit of the insurance company, by stating that the injury isn’t what the neuro surgeon said. I was in the doctor’s office when the call was received and this change was requested.
    I am still in need of another two operations. But I have had complications from the first one. But like a lot of other injured workers I have been told that my medical cover would cease at the beginning of 2017. If the changes are not rescinded where does this leave us?
    Could you please explain?
    1. How after being injured & having to use up our superannuation, what do we do now for our retirement?
    2. Who, now, are going to replace our homes that we worked so hard for and lost due to no fault of our own?
    3. Who is going to rebuild our shattered families?
    4. Who is going to help us with ongoing medical costs, after the new law cuts our benefits?
    5. There are a large number of people that are close to retirement that will not be able to return to work, regardless of retraining, because their pain is relentless & the amount of pain killers that they are on, make them a danger in the workplace. Can you explain what they are to do?
    6. If you are previously injured, what insurance company would cover you for workers compensation? I have been told by potential employers (when made to seek employment by WorkCover) that they did not want & will not take on people with previous injuries.
    The answers to these questions will be passed on to everybody concerned as we are now setting up a website for all to view & reply.
    We await your response to this very urgent matter.
    From an injured worker of NSW

    REPLY

    Mark Speakman SC MP
    Parliamentary Secretary for Treasury

    Mr Doug
    PEARL BEACH NSW 2256

    Dear Mr
    Thank you for your correspondence to the Hon Dominic Perrottet MP, Minister for Finance and Services about the New South Wales Workers Compensation Scheme. The Minister has asked that I respond on his behalf.
    I understand that you did not receive a response to your letter to the former Minister for Finance and Services in December 2013. I enclose a copy of the response dated 23 January 2014 for your information.
    Better support for injured workers
    The Liberal Government inherited an unsustainable Workers Compensation Scheme with a rising $4 billion deficit. The changes introduced in 2012 were about putting the Scheme back on a sustainable footing and better supporting the State’s most seriously injured workers.
    The Scheme is now fully funded and structured to focus on its core objectives of maintaining a financially viable and sustainable workers compensation system that is fair and affordable for employers, while improving outcomes for injured workers.
    The changes to the weekly payment structure mean that payments are now more closely aligned with a worker’s pre-injury average weekly earnings, which has increased payments for most incapacitated workers who are not able to return to work in the first 13 weeks after an injury. Since September 2012, the most seriously injured workers being supported by the Scheme have been receiving a rate which is around 70 per cent more than the previous statutory rate. These workers will receive weekly payments until they reach Commonwealth retiring age.
    The changes to statutory benefits were designed to address the failings of ongoing payments within the former structure which adversely affected so many workers. I note your comments regarding the number of workers you have met who have experienced problems with the old Scheme. I would encourage these workers to contact WorkCover directly for assistance with their claim or to discuss their circumstances.
    Medical treatment
    Time limits on medical payments under the Scheme were established to ensure its future viability, while also providing appropriate support for injured workers.
    Injured workers are eligible for reasonably necessary medical and related treatment for a period of 12 months after a claim is made or 12 months after their entitlement to weekly payments ceases. Seriously injured workers, those with greater than 30 per cent whole person impairment, are exempt from the time limit and will continue to receive medical coverage for their lifetime.
    Further, the Minister recently announced several enhancements to the 2012 reforms that will soon be made by regulation and assist thousands of workers who had claims before 1 October 2012. These include:
     ensuring continued access to hearing aids, prostheses and home and vehicle modifications and related treatment until retirement age;
     extending medical benefits for workers with ‘whole person impairment’ assessed between 21 per cent to 30 per cent, until retirement age.
    Workers whose medical benefits have ceased can make a subsequent claim if there is a further deterioration in their condition related to their original injury. Alternatively, they are encouraged to contact Medicare Australia, on 13 20 11 or at http://www.humanservices.gov.au to enquire about benefits that may be available.
    Supporting a return to work
    On the issue you raised about returning to work following an injury and work capacity assessments, the Government is committed to focusing the Scheme on rehabilitation and returning workers to suitable, safe and durable employment.
    For this reason, the new Certificate of Capacity issued by the nominated treating doctor, focuses on what the worker can do, rather than what the worker cannot do. The Scheme reforms and the development of the Certificate of Capacity in particular, involved extensive consultation with the medical community, including the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, GPNSW, the Australian Medical Association and the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    The Certificate of Capacity forms only one element of the insurer’s holistic assessment of a worker’s capacity to return to work. Work Capacity assessments consider all available information, such as, a worker’s self-report, injury management plans, information from the employer, reports from treating providers and independent medical reports.
    The role of an independent medical examiner is to conduct a medical assessment of an injured worker and provide independent, impartial advice about causes of the medical condition, reasonably necessary treatment and the worker’s capacity for work.
    In some workers compensation cases where there may be an issue regarding liability for a claim, the insurer can undertake factual investigations, including employing the services of a private investigator. This may only be for the purpose of interviewing witnesses, work colleagues or relatives of the worker, and in some cases discreet surveillance of the worker’s daily activities. Investigators are regulated by legislation administered by the NSW Police. Any concerns about the activities or methods of a private investigator should be raised with the insurer or the Security, Licensing and Enforcement Directorate of the NSW Police, which can be contacted on 1300 362 001 or at sled@police.nsw.gov.au.
    Injured workers have a number of avenues for review if they believe their work capacity decision has not been applied fairly. Initially they can request the insurer internally review the decision. If they are not satisfied with the outcome of the internal review, they can apply to WorkCover for a merit review of the decision. Following the internal and merit reviews, injured workers have the option to apply to the WorkCover Independent Review Office (WIRO) for a procedural review. The WIRO can be contacted on 13 94 76 or at http://www.wiro.nsw.gov.au.
    I am very concerned that potential employers have refused to offer you employment on the basis of your injury. These employers may be in breach of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW). I encourage you to contact the Anti-Discrimination Board of New South Wales, on 9268 5544 or at complaintsadb@agd.nsw.go.au, for guidance on making a formal complaint.
    Before changes were made to the Scheme, employers had existing obligations to assist their injured workers to return to work. However, the legislation has been strengthened and WorkCover can now formally request employers to provide suitable employment to their injured workers with capacity to return to work. WorkCover inspectors are authorised to issue legally binding Improvement Notices to employers. Penalties of up to $11,000 apply for businesses that fail to meet their injury management and return to work obligations.
    In addition, rehabilitation providers can access a range of vocational services to help injured workers return to work, such as, the JobCover Placement Program, work trials, retraining option, the Transition to Work Program and, where required, equipment and workplace modifications. Workers should contact their insurers for further information about rehabilitation and job seeking assistance.
    Please be assured that the government understands the impact an injury can have and that long-term work loss has an impact on a person’s health and wellbeing, their financial independence and social inclusion. I would strongly encourage anyone who is distressed or contemplating suicide to discuss their situation with their nominated treating doctor. In addition to the support offered under the Scheme, there are counselling services available, such as: Lifeline, available on 13 11 14; the Salvo Care Line, available on 1300 363 622; and the Suicide Call Back Service, available on 1300 659 467.
    I note your comments that you will require further surgery in the future. I wish you all the best for your operation and in your recovery and rehabilitation. For information about your particular medical entitlements or any assistance with your claim, I encourage you to continue to liaise with your insurer directly, or WorkCover on 13 10 50.
    I trust this information is of assistance.
    Yours sincerely
    Mark Speakman SC MP
    Parliamentary Secretary for Treasury
    Encl.

    1. An

      Hi,

      I am new to this site, as I found it during my frantic online search in trying to find others experiencing the same problems as I am in this whole workcover nightmare.

      I would like to start by saying it was very uplifting to read your letter to Parliament as the comments you made about seriously injured workers being put at major detriment thanks to their unfair changes in 2013 are so valid, which I have fallen victim of.

      It looks like I too am about to be ordered back to work regardless of the fact that I am awaiting another round of invasive surgery for CRPS, Fibromyalgia & Raynaud’s. For these conditions as well as PTSD, bulging discs, Central Sensitisation of the spine & bursitis I am on Anticonvulsant meds for the chronic pain and struggle to drive yet they tell me if I can’t drive the hour distance to work that I need to find another job. I suffer episode’s of Paralysis down a whole side of my body and struggle to get out of bed most days. My symptoms, pain and conditions are very real but all they are interested in is their deficit. How they fail to realise that us injured workers have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes in our careers and there is nothing just about having your life and that of your family destroyed due to no fault of your own. You don’t go to work to have your life destroyed yet going to work on the day I got injured has destroyed not only my life but put such immense pressure on my family that I can not begin to explain.

      There are so many things wrong with this scenario and without writing an essay all I can say is that I agree wholeheartedly that it’s the innocent victims like us that are suffering. My whole family has suffered with me and I have worked my butt off all my life but now with these changed laws, my family is at risk of losing our home and I am on the verge of losing everything I have worked my whole life for. None of this was my fault yet my life has turned into hell and the government is handing out shovels to dig our own graves.

      I would like to join your fight for fairness and to reclaim justice for injured workers. Please add me to that long list of supporters. United we can stand strong.

      1. An

        From one An to another,

        You have been through a lot. Yes, workers compensation is very complex.

        Have you tried the health systems to support you through the process? You say you have been frantic in looking for types of support. The staff that work in these systems in areas of both state and federal government roles of health, admin, management and at NDIS are wonderful people, have true compassion and empathy. Rowan, from this site, also has a “people” first outlook and could point you in the right direction, perhaps with a support group meeting within your local area. He said he would do this for me. He has many connections. They all do.

        I don’t know why these things happen. I hope you will be OK.

        An

        1. AN

          Hi An,

          Thanks for your message.

          I have been in contact with Rowan who has steered me in the right direction and to go and see my local member.. my only concern is that I am only one voice to them and unsure if they will take notice!

          None the less, I think these new laws only help the insurance companies and too bad for those who are genuinely injured. It is so unfair.

          Take care.

        2. Jaz

          Hi there, I also suffer from CRPS, the most painful medical condition. Mine has actually spread through my whole left side. I was supposed to get a very important surgery approved, but t did not happen. I am at risk now to get my foot amputated , due to further complications and possible fractures.
          8 months + waiting for it to be approved is way too long for my condition. Needless to say , spreading of the CRPS happened in the last 6 months, it is unstoppable.
          Sensitivity, stress, unbearable pain and depression is something that I deal with every day.
          The worst is frustration and acceptance that from a healthy person I became a disabled person.
          It is unbelievablewhat we injured workers have to go through , with the insurances not taking our condition seriously.
          I do not really care about greedy insurances loosing 4 billion dollars through wrong investments, being in surplus now , only proves to all of us another big lie and it only shows how much in benefits injured workers lost since the changes have been made.
          of course, we are just numbers in the system.
          We are heavily mortgaged, with the husband about to loose his weekly benefits , due to the return to work capacity decision being made,that actually says that he is able to do the office receptionist work only,due to his back and hernia injury, but the insurance wants him back to work doing heavy lifting, twisting, bending …
          Needless to say I am on 80 % of my pay, so we will basically either starve or loose our home.
          Our credit rating is destroyed, our lives are destroyed. Our family is the only value that we still have.
          cheers to all of you out there, do not stop fighting for our rights.

      2. Trishac

        An , this is how my life is as well because of those monsters , the only difference I was actually intimidated, almost bullied and put down by them thats why I am so weak and do not trust anyone and cannot fight anymore fear of doing myself in . The government has no time for us , its all rubbish that they cannot see what is happening, I had have enough, so I gave up and lost all

  28. Ebony

    In early 2011, whilst working in a very busy drive-through bottle shop I started experiencing acute pain and impingement in my left shoulder. With physiotherapy the pain and restriction of movement lessened but I continued to feel some level of pain. I had numerous scans which never really showed anything definitive.
    Over time the pain started to wear me down and I developed anxiety and depression.
    After almost 2 years it was decided that surgery was the next step.
    I had surgery in January 2013 and seemed to recover from that quite well. Gradually my work hours and capacity to work increased, but if it stalled for a few weeks I’d get questioned by GIO and had them increased. Eventually they pretty much pushed me out of the system and closed my case off in November, by this stage I was only experiencing a mild, manageable amount of pain so I felt that I was in fact on the mend and requested from my case officer to continue to get physio every few week. He approved only 4 which I used to get me through the busy Christmas/New Year period at work. I had a couple of weeks holiday in February which helped my pain level also. However I gradually got worse over the next couple of months so got in contact with GIO, initially all I wanted was some physio treatment to loosen up my shoulder and allow me to continue working my full duties, but they denied that. I gradually got worse and got treatment on my own, but by this stage it was too late, I ended up having to take more time off work when the pain became so bad and spread up my neck that I couldn’t even drive to work. I’m now only working 25 of my usual 38 hour week as the pain gets too severe when I work full hours, I’m also on restricted duties again and cannot perform my job which is frustrating. I used all of my personal and annual leave and am now taking unpaid leave for the hours I don’t work so I am not only earning far less every week, I don’t have any leave for my upcoming leave next month which is meant to be my honeymoon.
    I have started having trouble sleeping and depression again.
    I tried to have my case re-opened, GIO sent me to an “independent” specialist in Sydney (that they pay) who spent 10 minutes with me and claimed that I did not have a shoulder injury, just ‘run of the mill’ neck pain.
    They denied liability and will not re-open my case as they say that it is not the same injury.

    I put in an application for review where I told them:

    “I never fully recovered from the injury and always experienced some level of pain or discomfort, the pain has worsened to the point where I can no longer perform full duties. It is not a different injury. Dr Hitchins suggested that I have everyday, run of the mill neck stiffness (how he came to such conclusion after a mere 10 minute consultation I’ll never know), but the pain that I have been experiencing in my neck was much worse and was only on the left hand side in the muscles running up from my shoulder. The pain in my neck has subsided and is no longer extreme and seems to be more a referral from the shoulder, however the pain in my shoulder has not improved much, with physiotherapy I feel better for a few weeks but over time it worsens again. Dr Sabu Arunakumaran who has taken over my case for Dr Chandra Jinabhai (whilst he takes extended leave) feels there may have been a misdiagnosis from the beginning and that there is the slight possibility that the pain does originate in the neck and would like an MRI to confirm or rule out this theory. He also has referred me to Dr Tim Grice as Pain Specialist who I have an appointment with on 24th September. I feel that the problem is in the shoulder (as I get a pinching feeling and clicking sounds in the shoulder joint) but I am willing to investigate all avenues in hopes that I may finally get to the bottom of the issue and have it fully resolved and actually be completely pain free.
    Contrary to Dr Philip Allen’s report, the injury is exactly the same as it was in 2011 where there was no definitive diagnosis or explantation as to why I’ve experienced such intense pain with mostly full range of movement and no resolution, nothing has changed. I was back on full duties, in hindsight too soon as I am now back to square one and experiencing levels of pain similar to how I was in the beginning.
    My way of life has been greatly impaired by this injury and I cannot perform my job to the standard I could before, I struggle to work a full 38 hour week without experiencing increased pain.
    As well as reduced lifting capacity and only performing very limited ‘suitable duties’ I am now working a reduced working week of 25 hours which has impacted my pay a great deal and I have used all of my leave, therefore I would very much appreciate a hasty response to this application.”

    They phoned me today to say that they’re sticking by their original decision. I phoned a lawyer but get the impression that this will be a long, drawn-out process and even if I am successful I won’t have my leave and any money back by the time I need it.

    1. Rowan

      Ebony,

      Thanks for sharing your story. It can be a long process but we are hoping soon that this govt will put in place some financial assistance while you go through the process. We will keep you informed.

    2. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Hi Ebony,
      You may have both cervical and shoulder injury. Put in a new claim stating the present work has exacerbated your shoulder pain. Get you NTD write a work capacity certificate stating ongoing shoulder symptoms due exacerbation of existing shoulder injury. Make sure he states what you can and can’t do eg can lift up to 2kgs for short periods etc, requires rest breaks every half hour from repetitive work etc. Get him to write that he is referring you to a shoulder surgeon. Dr David Sonnabend, St Leonards, Sydney, is known as the guru but I don’t think he is doing WC cases anymore. He referred my husband to his colleague, Dr Ben Cass, who is a top surgeon who will ask the insurer for approval for an MRI of your shoulder. Your symptoms seem very much like a shoulder injury particularly the clicking and pinching which sounds like some sort of impingement or something in the acromion. Have you had an MRI on your shoulder or did they diagnose you without one?
      Go ahead with all of this ASAP and if the insurer denies this go through Medicare and once you have evidence from proper shoulder specialist who can ask for an MRI you can use this as evidence if the insurer denies your claim.
      Did the IME have an MRI of your shoulder or cervical spine? If he did what did he write in the report? If the insurer did not give you a copy then ask for it to take to the specialist. The insurer is not meant to sent anyone for an IME unless the information from your treating doctor is lacking but they usually ignore this and send you anyway. Check out the NSW WorkCover Guides for Independent Medical Examinations- http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/formspublications/publications/Documents/independent-medical-examinations-reports-guidelines-3740.pdf
      If the insurer has not followed these make a complaint to the Operations Manager of GIO (contact your case manager who denied the claim and ask for the name of the Operations Manager and email details. If they have denied your claim without following the IME Guidelines tell them you want due process which means you want approval to access to a treating specialist before they use an IME to deny your claim.
      You are seeing a GP and they can’t usually order MRIs unless it costs you. You don’t need a pain specialist yet because they are meant to be used when there is nothing more to be done ie surgery. I am not a doctor but after years of fighting the WC system and after my husband has had five shoulder surgeries and two cervical disc injuries as well as having been to the pain clinic I feel confident in saying you need a proper diagnosis from a shoulder surgeon. Perhaps the pain specialist can refer you to the shoulder surgeon. Are you in NSW or QLD?
      Good luck!!

  29. Don

    No One Gives A Dam
    I was injured in January 2010 and since then it has been a down hill spiral, I ended up having major back surgery in the L3,L4 and L5 area with a spacer device,further after my 1st injury had a neck injury funny how they do not link it in Whole Impairment I have faced suicide,depression,anxiety,loss of self worth. Fast forward 4 years with so much rehab I have no income now and due to me working full time the past 30 years I have investments so I do not qualify for anything,I have no job I have applied for so many jobs,my marriage is over after 35 years I have everything up for sale and I take care of my Autistic son.IMy life is shit atm and trying to keep positive but only so much I can take my health now is quite good as I have come back from my surgery to feel very good and fit and only want to be part of society again and back to work,it is so unfair that all I did was go to work I did not ask for this all of the laws are wrong for injured workers we should be entitled to fair and decent compensation the Government sits on it high horse and dictates peoples lives with no care factor on what happens.I am a fighter and will continue on but it is becoming so difficult these days without any help financial or otherwise.

    1. Rowan

      Don,

      You are in a tough spot but we are all there for you. Get in touch with the IWSN team and we can assist.

  30. Complainers of the world make a difference

    Contact WorkCover 131050 to ask if there is a time frame for work capacity assessments to see how often they can do this to your wife.
    They are just trying to get her off their books by finding she can do more than 15 hours a week work and if they can do that they will say she is not doing what she can and then they will deny her claim.
    Horrible changes to the system have left genuine injured workers defenseless!!!

  31. Stan

    Hmmm,

    AFter successfully going thru all the steps for a review of a work capacity assesment and finally having WIRO dismiss the original assement and ordering Coles to back pay my wife and to continue paying her make up pay and medical expenses, round 2 has commenced.

    Received a letter from Coles yesterday stating that they will be conducting a new Work Capacity Assesment.

    Am concerned they are trying to sneakily transition her to the new ‘plan’.

    Have contacted David Shoebridge and Injured workers – lets see what happens.

    Stan

    1. Stan

      Well the letters have come.

      1. Give us your payslips, last years tax return and employment contract.
      2. You must attend a company called Earning Capacity Assements for assement by Vocational Consultant and Occupational Physicians.

      She will have to take a day off work (without pay for this).
      I will take a days leave (cause I have plenty) to go with her.

      ANy advice anyone. Anyone know anything about this company?

      Stan

      1. Merlo

        Hi Stan,
        Have just been through all this.
        I received a letter asking for all my employment details, it read all before 2012. I started working in 1975…….. I’m sure they didn’t want all of them. Contacted my solicitor and all that is required was my last tax return. To show how much you are earning.

        As for the Earning capacity. If its for the insurer, it will be paid for. Not sure how long it will take to be refunded. My advise is tell them to book you a taxi and let them pay for it prior to going. Like wise for accommodation if needed. Even if you live 100’s of kms away.
        I presented to my assessment and was told that they had no paper work on any history about me. They are just there to do there job. I found this very interesting, more so now that I have been told that I’m capable of pre injury duties. You are required to fill in pages and pages of info prior to going, and then you get asked the same questions at the appointment. You then will be assessed on what you can do and can’t do.
        You are required to do little tasks for up to 3 minutes such as walk up and down stairs, work to the end of the office and back carrying a small box, put things in a box and then take them out. Stupid things that have nothing to do with my pre injury work. I knew when I walked out of that office what the outcome would be and I was right. To add to this I’ve not seen a copy of the report. Good luck and may the luck be on your side.

      2. Michael

        Hi Stan
        To keep it fast & simple These businesses are paid by insurance companies So for frequent business they will find other causes for injury or even twist your own words to reduce or stop the cost your partner is getting on insurance benefits.
        My suggestions are
        Think about solicitor advice before hand.
        when @ appointment Before starting get names of doctors or Consultants with there qualifications certificate / business card This way you know whom your talking too and that your not going to be a quick push over & turn around.
        Think about Recording appointment You just have to let them know your doing so.
        Have notes ready of your injury & conditions.
        make sure you explain injury & symptoms with full details & don’t let them cut you off mid sentence.
        All the best

    2. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Have you been able to ask WorkCover or WIRO how often you have to have these assessments. It seems unfair to have another one straight after the last.
      Ask the case manager via email whether the Occupational Physician is in his/her capacity as an Independent Medical Examiner (IME) where there is a minimum six months between assessments according to the WorkCover Guides for IMEs. If it is as an Injury Management Consultant (IMC) they are used when there is a problem with the return to work plan or injury management plan ie a difference between the treating doctor’s view of suitable duties and the workplace’s requirements. IMCs cannot make comment on diagnosis or the need for treatment but IMEs can comment on treatment and diagnosis.
      Find out which one you are going to because it would be interesting to see if the case manager even knows the difference and that they are used for different purposes. Sometimes they say Independent Treatment Consultant but there is no such person only IMEs, IMCs and Independent Physiotherapist Consultant (IPC) or Independent Psychological Consultant (IPC).

      1. Stan

        My last post may not have been clear (sorry about that).

        Essentially about a yearish ago, Coles had their first go at transitioning her to the new scheme.

        We lodged our request for an internal review and they said all was fine.

        Loged a workcover review and funilly enough they also said all was fine.

        Lodged a wiro request for review and they overturned it – numerious reasons.

        This was back in Feb 2014.

        Eventually Coles back paider her (they had stopped her make up pay after three months) and there we stood until a few weeks ago where Coles decided to have another go at it.

        In regard to the case manager issue, she has no case manager at Coles. All her expenses are dealt with the manager of internal workcover at Coles – who flat out refuses to return our calls.

        Stan

        1. Complainers of the world make a difference

          Hi Stan,
          Coles is a self-insurer and as such has to follow the same legislation for work capacity decisions as everyone else.
          WorkCover is the Regulator and as such has the right to investigate or ask the self insurer what they are doing.
          Make a complaint to WorkCover stating there has been no change to your wife’s condition and there is no basis for her to have to undergo another work capacity assessment. I am pretty sure these can be undertaken at any time in the claim but there would need to be new evidence to say how her condition has changed since the last assessment. Email the person who won’t return your calls requesting them to advise you what medical information they have on file that shows the need for another assessment. Make note of the times you attempted phone contact and that your calls have not been responded to. Also use the question”Who is your supervisor?” Ask for details of the person above and advise you want to make a complaint about the unprofessional nature of the lack of communication.
          If WorkCover can’t help because the insurer lies to WorkCover to cover their butts as they did in my case, then write the formal complaint to Coles self insurer division.
          You should get the union to back your wife if possible.
          Ring WorkCover 131050 today to ask about how often your wife is able to be put through this when there is no medical evidence to state she has improved and ring WIRO to advise them Coles is going against WIRO determinations/orders in trying to repeat the process etc and ask what they can do if anything to help.
          Good luck!

  32. Nicole

    Hi Mel
    Just read your post,I myself was injured at work in January 2012 tryed to return back to work but was unable to due to my job and also mulitple surgeries.Have recently been cut off due to the new law in SA .
    I dont see why your claim will be finalised unless you are fit to return to pre injury duties and also quitting might not be a good idea.You should look into getting work cover advocate and also contact the work cover ombudsmen they will give you some information on what to do.

    hope that helps

  33. Mel

    Hi
    I am at wits end!!!! I was away for work for 5 days. On the second last day were travelling on a bus for 5.5hrs with only “pit stops” t o get out and stretch the legs.That night I felt stiff, but when I woke up the next morning, I could hardly walk. Pain was unbelievable and was not looking forward to the flight/s home.
    I saw my GP and she sent me for a CT scan which showed “slight bulge” of the L4/L5 area. Maybe borderline contact of the traversing left nerve root. Shows also mild degenerative changes – age related.

    Been on Workers Comp since 24 June 14, – also on strong pain killers (Panadeine Forte, Tramadol – so not cleared to drive) sent to physio 2 x a week (which did not help) and the IMD ( which was in Sydney) and what a !@#$ he was. Said I would be there an hour – was in with the IMD for 10 min!!!!!
    What the hell can you diagnose in 10 min!!!!! Then had to wait over 5 hours at Sydney airport for the flight home. Needless to say – was not impressed at all and was in complete agony by the time I arrived home.

    Had a review with GP last week – RTW case manager also attended. Agreed on 2 hours a day for 3 days a week for the next month. GP also prescribed Lyrica for nerve pain. Gave me a referral to Orthapedic surgeon – appt 19 Aug. Gave the updated certificate to work and they said “what a waste of time – yours and mine”
    I started the Lyrica the next day – 1 morning & 1 night. Geez they knock me about – I’m off with the fairies for the majority of the day. (typing this prior to taking Lyrica) So tried to do the right thing and sent work bus schedule for my area, so they could see I’m willing to go back to work. Of course emailed everything through and typing was a “bit off” The next thing you know, I receive and email from work – “Since you can’t even type a simple email it will be a waste of our time and yours to come in next week”

    I also was notified by Workers Comp yesterday that my claim will be finalised as of 12/8/14. So now no cover for physio or my specialist next week all because of the IMD in Sydney. Will still receive payments till 28/8/14
    I really want to know if I can resign from my position if I give 2 weeks notice from today.
    This crap not just affects me but my family too and my fiance does not want me to go back
    Any help would be much appreciated :)

    1. Mel

      I will be contacting Workcover Assistance Scheme today. I have given 2 weeks notice as from last Friday.

      I received an email from work saying I will not get paid unless I’m at work. Yet there is nothing on the paperwork from Allianz stating this.
      The paperwork from Allianz states:
      Please note that this means:
      your weekly payments at your current rate will cease on 29/8/2014 under Section 54 of the
      Workers Compensation Act 1987 provided medical certificates cover you until that date;
      I have a current Workcover NSW certificate that states – 2 hours a day 3 days a week. – dated to 7 Sept.
      And as I mentioned in above post – boss stated waste of time!!!!

      Work are saying I have to use my holiday pay to cover this week and next week!!!!!!!

      This is total crap – should I be contacting a solicitor?????

      1. Rowan

        Dear Mel,
        I think you should ring WIRO in the first instance. They might be able to have a chat with the insurer first and figure out what has been going on for you. There is not a lot of information on your post to figure out from my end what is going on for you so if you want to discuss it then please give us a call here on 02 9749 7566.
        I would have emailed this to you directly but unfortunatly your email didn’t work for me.

        Rowan Kernebone
        IWSN Coordinator.

  34. Carl

    Jake & to anyone else
    The other tip I have for you is to keep a daily diary, do notes every day on what you do, how much pain it causes & how much medication you take & when. Also write down any contact (time) you have from the insurers / employer if they call you & what it was about.
    Carl

  35. Carl

    Jake
    The only words of wisdom is don’t fake pain, don’t lie & most of all STOP TAKING ANY PAIN MEDS 1 to 2 DAYS PRIOR so they see what pain you really are in not the limited pain from medications.
    I know what back is like I have had it since 2002, & worse since failed surgery in 2010. Stay strong
    Carl

  36. Jake

    Im 18 year old male. I have 3 bulging discs, and now recently depression from working at woolworths. and going to doctor for total impairment next month, anyone have any suggestions, or things they wish they knew at the start. Ur words of wisdom are greatly appreciated, its been 3 years since the injury but only going for common law now. The whole justice system is a joke, whether it be compensation, police, laws, white collar crime frustrates me. We need a big revolution, protesting, nothing gets done without action.

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      You need lots of treatment evidence to take to the IME for the permanent impairment assessment. If you go for this now without having seen a treating spinal surgeon you will cut off future options. If you have not seen a spinal surgeon you need to get your NTD to refer you now. If your three bulging discs are in the one area ie say lumbar, then the levels cannot be added together for the assessment. If you have no pain or impairment in the limbs such as numbness or nerve pain, loss of reflexes, muscle loss you will be lucky to get 5-10% WPI meaning there will be no section 66 lump sum and no common law. Common law only comes in over 15%WPI and in most cases that comes in after you have had spinal surgery. You only get one chance under this legislation so think strongly about this before jumping in at the moment. You can’t go for common law until you have a section 66 payment so if you take one for less than 15% you can not go for common law. Who is sending you for the permanent impairment? If it is the insurer then I would object to going until after you have seen a treating surgeon who may suggest spinal fusion. If you are sent by either your solicitor or the insurer and you have not seen a treating surgeon then tell them you might be having spinal surgery and that you would like to hold off the permanent impairment assessment until you have seen a specialist about the option of surgery. If your depression is secondary to the physical injury you will not get a percentage for that either under these laws. Who is sending you to the IME?

  37. Carl

    Trish
    I agree with you in regards to bringing this very important issue into the public domain, we all have to contact our local members of parliament, local & national news papers also the tv outlets. If these organisations get large numbers of mail they will realise that there is a story there, we as a collective have to keep this issue on their radars (repeated emails etc) otherwise they will just not look at it.
    I regularly send emails to all the above I also send them to the State Minister Mr Dominic Perrottet Minister for Finance & Services.
    All we need to do is make a template letter save it then each week copy & paste it to a list of all of the above, it does not take much to get all the required email addresses.
    This is my idea.
    Take care
    Carl – Northern Director IWSN

  38. russ

    Hi all im not even sure If this is the right spot to post im touched by all the post on hear and its a dam shame what the vic work cover is doin to injured workers so any way hear is a little bit of my story as it would take a lot to write it all down hear so hears the basics
    I met my employer in april 2014 was receiving a carers pension he offered me a job I went of pension started work
    as a commercial wood cutter cutting domestic fire wood so first he scammed me by getting me to register an abn saying it will be sub contract work but as all work was of employer/employee nature e.g all work duties were directed by him so I said ok and done so now he has breached several ohs regulations has not provided safty equipment at all poor plant equip unsafe work practices be had us cutting wood on top of piles of cut wood out in the rain hail and 30klm an hour winds he has no injury register book is making employees use heavy mech mainly jcb telehandlers with no safety caging and no training or tickets I sustained injury due to a fall in the rain while cutting wood landed flat on my back with a foot block piece of fire wood smashing into my lower spine resulting in l5-l4 minor disc bulge and a soft tissue injury to my right hand mainly a piece of tendon sticking up almost breaking the skin I reported him to worksafe and she told me to apply for work cover went for numourus ct x-rays and also the independent medical review he said I had back injury but that will heal and then tried to tell me the soft tissue injury to my hand I made up in my mind wtf you can see it sticking out it almost made a physiotherapist fiscally sick as they tried to send me to physio but even he said I could not do it and because im a rough looking bloke big holes in my ears and never done well at school they keep trying to belittle me in ways im due for my answear this week on weather I get my workcover but I dont think im going to go well every one I told about this and showed photos was disappointed and appalled at my employer but yet I can see him getting away with it unfortunately he has been reported for breaching his due care to employees being a sham contractor unsafe work practices unsafe plant equip and many other things so yea im lost as what to do next I have to see a laywer this weeks I was advised to any way thanks all just want to share my most recent experience and say how it is a shame that the employers can cut corners and cause harm but when we the workers try to do the right thing its like they want to persecute us for it I say shame on workcover and our so called government thanks all russ

    1. Rowan

      Dear Russ,

      Thanks for sharing your story. I agree with you totaly. I’m presuming you live in Victoria. We have a sister organisation in Victoria: Injured Workers Group of Victoria http://www.iwgvic.org phone:(03) 9460 7592. They provide a similar service to us in NSW. there is also Union Assist http://www.unionassist.org.au phone: (03) 9639 6144 who may be able to steer you in a helpful direction.

      With Regards,

      Rowan Kernebone
      IWSN Coordinator.

  39. Trisha

    I have mentioned before on this website and wish to again bring to your attention that there is something all of us can do. We have repeatedly spoken about what seems impossible. e.g fighting the system, or making those who can do something act towards bringing about policies that can be more just and humane. Why don’t we, collectively come together, and bring our plight to the attention of Change.org? We just need someone like Mako and others, who have the ability to put forth the reality of the suffering of Injured Workers Plight in words. We have many brilliant mind who can be found among those who write their sad stories of injustice on this website. Why can’t we rise-up and do something so simple as bringing this to the attention of the public, who have the power, by their sheer number to help changes policies that can accommodate the need of the injured workers and call for more humane treatment? Do please consider this suggestion for the sake of all of us. You can check out their website and will be amazed as to how much they have achieved. When we confess with our mouths, ‘we are done’, then we ARE done. Let us live with hope always. where there is no hope, let us create hope for each other.

    I was put off work in 1998. My final settlement was reached between me and my employer’s self-insure Insurer in 2003. Five years of hell as it were. I could have been written off and send to Nursing Home and finally written off. It became a case of personal vendetta of the Insurance Manager (who was a friend of my Dept Mgr). I refuse to sit back and take it. The Insurer used a Cyst in my shoulder of which I was not advised of, and began to cause enough damage to the extend, where I needed personal care. They had hoped it will take me down. It almost did. My family, took me overseas and had me assessed independently. That is where I learned of the cyst in my right shoulder. Though my case has been settled, Deed of Release signed, WC Insurer seem to possess the power to abuse, threaten, bully etc mostly using the access to my phone and computer (Cyber Crime). I have reported this for investigation to Federal Minister, WorkCover NSW, etc. only to be advise I report it to the Police. Police refer me to the Mental Health Dept. So what other way is there for us, other than bringing our plight to the attention of the public? SO LET US Change.org

  40. Rhiannon

    Hi I’m new to this page I have been on workers compensation for about 7 months now.. i am off on a mental trauma.. 4 yrs of sexual assault combined with bullying, victimisation, intimidated and constantly harassed as it was my superiors doing it I felt helpless to report it and was threatened if I report there’s the door.. i was living by myself had no other source of income I felt helpless 1 year went by my attacker left my job site.. i was ecstatic I was free again… to my horror I found out he was coming back as my team leader the person employing him back was once involved as well… i was mortified… The abuse continued and was a bit worse being in a superior role… i had to go off work I couldn’t handle the thought of going into work anymore I finally conjured up all my yrs of evidence and took it higher then ever before I finally found someone who would listen to my report a female how ironic?… The attacker was stood down and managers were quitting left right and Centre… I’m still no better 7 months on I still can’t sleep horrible nightmares most nights the culprit was stalking and harassing me at my house address for a while but I got the police involved and that stopped.. i never asked for this all I wanted was to do my best at work everyday to 110% of my capabilities then there is always one dick head in a workforce isn’t there?
    Any other women in the same vote?

  41. Marko

    Att: Moderators, it appears that some posts on here are not coming through on time as I just replied today to a post I hadn’t seen before the 5 days ago in which it came through as if t had been on hold or something and most of my replies have come through on time. why the delay on some people’s stuff but not the rest? It only adds to the conspiracy theories a lot of us are worried about, where we can’t even contact one another through sites like this because it seems the WC is watching our every move. I don’t say this lightly, as I am sure they are watching sites like this in particular, with all their lawyers on their back just waiting for someone to slip out something to help them in their case. If we aren’t already isolated enough as it is, we now have to watch what we say on the only real help we have. Do you actually screen people here to see if they are real or can anybody just join? I have a feeling the insurance companies are already onto us undercover and are continuing to isolate us into a state of loneliness and despair. Tell me I’m wrong, please, as I honestly think they are becoming like the FBI and pretty much have us targeted.

    1. Trisha

      I agree they are watching. they know every online report I do and try to stop. Cyber Crime against me for some reason does not get investigated. My WC Ins case has been over since 2005. Deeds of Release was signed through arbitration of WorkCover NSW. But their crime continues to this date. Communication Minister, WorkCover NSW advise I go to the Police. Police is quick to refer me to mental Health Dept at Local Hospital. Now, How do we battle for justice and Human Right?

  42. Marko

    Unfortunately venting on the internet only riles me up even more. I closed my Facebook account years ago and even tried to unsubscribe from forums because I felt even more stressed after having my piece said. Talking to strangers in the hope that someone can offer advice to help you out is okay in the first couple of months, but after a year of going from crisis to crisis you just get repeats of the same advice that either didn’t work, wasn’t applicable, was just totally irrelevant or has already been done. Good intentions out there, but unfortunately there just aren’t any solutions. It is easier to get financial and emotional support if you are on Centerlink payments, worker’s comp puts you into a dead zone where everything just stalls, your entire life is on hold waiting for a miraculous cure or something to break, like your will to keep fighting. Jumping on the bike and going for a good ride to get the blood circulating is far more stress relieving, but unfortunately, just like the internet it offers no answers. I wouldn’t even know how Twitter works and really don’t want that headache. It won’t do me any good because my internet & phone are going to be disconnected after this weekend because i can’t pay the bill. Sucks to be out of work, stuck on practically minimum wage for 6 months and not get access to government welfare support.

  43. Michael

    Marko the only other thing I do for stress relief or venting is I have setup a Twitter account I recommend it & I think you like it too if you haven’t done this yet. Also @johnMcphilbin & @Adam_Grumley & whom ever you want to speak or vent to you can send to there account e.g. politicians

  44. Jamie

    Holy crap. I’ve just spent 2 hrs reading all the stories. I’m still a little confused and scared on how to make something change before they cut my payments which they’ve said they’d do if I didn’t return to my rehab work.

    Im 26, I’ve torn one of my discs in my lower back which gives me the neurological leg pain. The pain is not excruciating, but my pain tolerance is great. I mean, I’m covered in tattoos so I can handle a little pain. But I’m so sick of being asked “on a scale of 1/10 how bads the pain” surely they can’t be serious?! Did they even write the book of pain tolerance? I just say 4-5 every time. Sore, but I’m coping. I’m sure I’d go to work with a broken leg before I knew I shouldn’t be working. But this is my back. And it’s scaring the crap out of me.

    My professional doctors visits:
    First doctor said that the only way to fix this is by surgery.
    Had two weeks of paid by boss, not workcover
    Went back to see Doctor but was on holiday so I saw another doctor
    Gave me another week off
    Went back to this doctor
    I said I will return to work cause I feel back in shape (lied, because I was worried about bosses money. He was always saying this is losing him money)
    Back to work for 4 months
    Got bad again
    Went back to doctor
    Wrote workers claim form and said I needed 4-6 months rest
    Didn’t work for 3 weeks
    Boss rings me to see how I’m going
    Boss didn’t like the fact I was doing nothing and said he’d ring work cover to change that
    Work cover rings doctor to change the comp form so i can work while seeing physio
    Rehab officer meeting
    Working small hours at some other company
    Back pain intensified after a month there
    Didn’t return for 3 weeks
    Work cover made me see a specialist at a place called medilaw
    Walked out not knowing who he was and didn’t recommend any treatment plans
    Call from work cover threatening to cancel pay if I don’t return to rehab work

    None of this rehab crap is working. I feel better doing my physio at home and resting in my own festivities.
    The words they constantly scream are obligated and statistics.

    I rely on this crappy weekly wage I get because my partner makes next to nothing working part time at aldi. I guess I have no choice. If anyone is able to send me info on what I should do next but not putting my pay in jeopardy that would be great. I’m so lost with this.

    1. Marko

      I am so sorry to hear how the system has treated you. It sounds typical to me, they treat you like dirt.
      Unfortunately there is little you can do, whether you can do a bit of work or none at all, the system is set up to take your only means to survive away so that you are forced to go back to work to survive. I would comply, as if you don’t they will sure enough cut you off altogether, but if the pain is intolerable you simply go back to the doc and tell them. Unless the doctor says otherwise, Workcover will presume you are capable of anything. Reading your history here it looks like you are going on about 7 months or more with this and they still haven’t sent you for surgery as first recommended? I would be telling the doc to send you to see a surgeon or at least a qualified specialist in that field before you end up doing more damage. If it ends up getting worse and irreversible, you will be much worse off than having no income at all. It’s the long term picture that really needs to be addressed with back injuries, even if short term pain is required.
      BTW, the Workcover organised doctor isn’t there to give any medical treatment or advise, they are only there to give Workcover a reason not to pay you any more. I got screwed by a specialist who wrote a report to my GP saying something that changed his mind to clear me fit for normal duties, even though this “specialist” wasn’t even in the right field of medicine [a neurologist overriding what an orthopedic surgeon has recommended for a tendon and muscle problem, go figure].
      All the best and don’t be too brave, let the pain figures tell the truth as you won’t get any sympathy from anyone in the system.

  45. Marko

    Thanks Michael, unfortunately my Doc hasn’t got a clue, he’d just refer me to physio. Unfortunately I don’t have access to one now seeing that the insurer has bailed on me. The state of our local electrical trades means that even the wholesalers have been laying off staff. In the A.C.T, volunteer work means the employer needs to pay for your worker’s compensation insurance, so it actually costs the employer to hire you. That means unless you are really good at something or are willing to pay, even volunteering to get experience is very difficult here. Talk about a sucky system where it costs you to work!!! I’ve written to local MPs and the Feds. All you get is the usual feedback and no real help at all. Call me pesemistic, but that is the reality of things.

  46. Marko

    OK! I’ve just been hit with the sledge hammer that is the the WC system. This time it is REAL. I thought today it was just a normal doctor’s visit to update my med cert. How wrong I was. For the second time, the rehab co brought along a “specialist physio” to bring their recommendations for treatment. How wrong I was. Last visit the rehab people recommended physio to help me get back to a pain free work ready state. A second opinion from a different orthopedic surgeon was requested along with pain management, it all sounded good and the Dr agreed to lift my “non-repetitive use” bit from the certificate. Now, less than a month later we went through the same procedure, with different “physio specialist”. This time they delivered a report from the nerve specialist which I hadn’t seen nor had the doctor. It looked as though the insurer had organized this instead of getting a second opinion because they declined to pay for one. Apparently whatever was in this report, plus what the rehab folks were asking, was enough for my GP to clear me fit for normal pre-injury duties. Whilst the GP was filling out the clearance he was telling me that it was up to me to make sure I didn’t apply for jobs that would aggravate my injury. Does anyone here understand that? “You’re right to go and get a job, but if it is too hard, avoid it”?
    To me it smells of total “wiping their hands of me”. The rehab specialist when questioned about my lack of strength training just quoted the nerve specialist in saying that I didn’t have any muscle atrophy, so I should be right to heavy work and wouldn’t injure myself, and if I did get hurt they [insurer] would still look after me. Yeah Right!
    Everything came out in the wash later, after I’d sent through a request for that nerve specialist report. Apparently, instead of getting the physio, pain management and added psychiatric help I and my doctor requested, they just gave me a list of “free” or bulk billed services I can access, like I had just become a welfare leech. They aren’t going to pay for any more treatments even after being requested by my GP. What the #u*!…… I just got dumped in the trash pile. BUT, they still want me to fill out weekly job seeking reports!
    LOL. I think I’ve just been had. What’s the bet they’ll be telling me in the next few weeks I have to go onto Centrelink payments. That thought is so sad I’m not even going to go into it.

    1. Michael

      Hi Marko,
      In my case my rehab provider organized a work trial in a suitable position for me
      Starting with reduced hours per day and then increasing until full hours or pain increased. Also record process in a dairy for your reference.This way YOU know what YOU can do & Then YOU can adjust your WC certificate with YOUR DOCTOR according to your condition.
      however it’s along road/ goat track ahead of you/us.

      1. Marko

        There was no work trial, they didn’t do stuff all to get me a job. The rehab physios were the ones pushing this agenda and they have pretty much forced the doctor to say I am fit and healthy, meaning I can go straight back to full time work in any job, regardless of how strenuous it is. Although they were promising physio for the last month to help me with strength training and pain management, that is all out the window as they confirmed I am now not going to be receiving any medical benefits whatsoever because I have the clearance from the doctor.
        So, now I am going to be looking for work in my full capacity, even though I haven’t lifted a ladder or drum of cable in nearly a year. How long will I last on my first day with unconditioned muscles? Like I said, they got me off their books now…I am on my own.

        1. Michael

          You can do your own exercises at home. Ask your doctor for exercise examples. And ask your local shop even a nearby electrical wholesalers for a work trial even part time work.or even reduced hours helping a nearby electrician. Bottom line is YOU/we need to look after ourselves until laws/policies are changed. It might be better off writing too local , state. & federal governments instead As I’ve told you before it’s about adjusting & using what you have around you. Alot of people are in the same boat I,m getting along with my life to the best of my abilities.

        2. john

          A worker can still be covered for medical whilst they are back on pre-injury duties. This also cover Physio. i’s classed as a medical only case.

          1. Marko

            Hi John, thanks for that. I don’t know if it is going to help much now. I have been back at work, full time for four months. Every day I am reminded of my injury due to the pain, aching, tingling, pins and needles and whatever else I end up with. I just have to keep putting up with it because it is the only thing keeping a roof over our heads and food on the table.
            Things have taken a serious twist recently though. I was putting up with back pain for about two months, not seeing a doctor mainly due to the need for money to pay bills. When I finally ended up going two weeks ago I have since been diagnosed with 2 x disc herniation in my lower back, meaning plenty of pain and a trip to a neurosurgeon. All I wanted was to be able to work for another 6 months until my wife could finish studying and get a full time job. Now those plans are out the window as I haven’t been able to even drive to work without pain and eventually going back to doc today for stronger pain meds to keep me going till the specialist appointment. I haven’t any sick leave, holiday leave or anything at all to fall back on as I used it all up in the last 18 months of hell. Worse yet, this isn’t worker’s comp and there aren’t any alternatives to just quitting work altogether if the pain killers can’t keep me going till I find out if there is a magical miracle cure, which doesn’t sound like happening in the next century or so. I am the sole income earner, I want to work, but age is against me and it just isn’t fair.

  47. Marko

    I cannot believe how few visit this website there are,or at least contribute to it. I just checked and for the last 3 months there has been no replies to any of my grievances or answers to my questions. This is supposed to be a support network but it seems there is nobody here to support the people who need it. Perhaps it is the fact that none of us has any real power or capacity to support each other considering the issues we all have.
    Sorry for sounding negative here, but none of us really feel positive with what we are faced with. At least some of us could be a little pro-active?

    1. injured workers support

      Hi Marko,
      Currently IWSN is being manned by volunteers so responses have been slow.Working on some info for your replies for posting!
      Thanks for your contribution.cheers,IWSN

  48. Marko

    Regarding Consumer Credit Insurance – Has anybody ended up on WC and tried to get consumer credit insurance to take care of loans? I was advised of this option through my automotive finance lender and soon sent all the required paperwork to the insurer to claim under disablement. Apparently, it has now after three months, been reviewed and they are refusing the claim because I am allowed to work full time, even though it is on restricted duties.
    Here’s the bit that has got me infuriated – I can also claim under my policy for involuntary unemployment. As I was pretty much sacked because there was no suitable work for me, I am by definition qualified to claim for this. Unfortunately, even though I am unemployed, I cannot claim without someone from Centerlink signing the paperwork and showing that I am unemployed and actively looking for work. I can’t register with Centerlink because I am under WC payments which exceed the cutoff, even though I am only getting 65% of normal earnings.
    Basically, if I wasn’t in the WC system, I’d be right, but due to the complex situation I am stuck in, I can’t get help from anyone, anywhere and things are getting worse by the day, both financially and psychologically.
    It’s enough to make a grown man cry.

    1. Marko

      EDIT – At the start I meant claiming on existing CCI policy, not taking out a new one after the fact. They originally accepted the request and paid my repayments, now after review it’s all over.

  49. Linda

    I worked for the state of Mo. I had received a serious back injury and was placed on disability. Initially when I injured my back I went to my doctor ( my supervisor knew) because I was hoping this was something very simple. I was a supervisor with the Dept. for 20+ years and also known as one of the safest ones out there. Upon going to my Dr. he ordered MRI of my back and told me that there was no question about it that it was work related and that I needed to file the paper work which I did and was denied WC. At the same visit my dr noticed that something else was wrong. He had me take a test and said that I was severely depressed. He started treating me for this and after months of being treated by him with out results he sent me to a psychatrist and he began treating me. After approx. 1 year of being treat for depression with no results I was sent to a psychologist, After many appointments with him he determined that I had work related PTSD. I informed my lawyer but did not file a claim with the Dept. because I thought that since I was on disability turning this over to my lawyer was the right thing to do. Not to get to graphic by at my job to see a decapitated head and or mangled body at least once a week was not unusual. After so many years of coping with this I didn’t realize there was anything wrong. I have been fighting with the Mo Dept ever since. I have not received ANY WC payments. I had my “trial” on march 25 and the final briefs had to be in by April 22. Should I have reported the PTSD to the Dept or did I do the right thing handing it over to my lawyer. I still have heard nothing from the court on any thing in my case. My Lawyer said it could take 30-60 days before we heard anything.

  50. jason

    Hi was wondering if anyone knows a sydney based senior council that practises northern territory law. I was attacked by a crocodile & shot through the elbow by my rescuer wwhile working for the darwin crocodile farm january 22nd 2008. As a result i have a prosthetic right elbow and have been assesed with a 34 percent imparement. My legal team were telling me i should get a payout of 1 million for damages and future elbow replacements ( im 36 ) and now they are telling me if i dont take less than $500,000 the insurance company will drip feed me. My lawyer and barrister keep lying to me. Please help.

  51. David

    Help
    I am working in Warehouse Company NSW about 7 years. I had injury for my L4/L5 Disc in December 2013. I claimed my injury in Jan 2014. It is pre-injury case for QBE. Now I return to light duty work 4 hours, 4 day a week (WorkCover NSW certificate capacity). But my employer said they only have 3 hours a day for the light duty job for me. I lost pays 4 hours money each week.
    My question is:

    Dose employer legal right?
    If not, what should I tell my rehabilitation provider ?

    1. injured workers support

      Thanks for email – will contact you directly with a reply

  52. Marko

    I’d like to hear from someone with a bit of insight or experience with vocational retraining/job seeking under worker’s comp. I had some possible job opportunities that fell through recently, but had they been offered there could have been serious implications I have been dreading.
    Say I got a job, full time, that was 8AM – 5:30PM six days a week. Yeah, it is only paying $18/hour for argument’s sake. Now, seeing that it is my obligation to get work due to the insurance companies policy and WC etc., if I couldn’t get to work on time because public transport doesn’t run that early, or if I couldn’t get child care for my kids after school, would I be correct in saying that the insurer could cut me off from receiving benefits altogether because I didn’t take the job? I was alerted that this may be the case today and it scares me s#!^less because if I was offered a ridiculous job that I couldn’t attend due to above reasons, I’d lose all my benefits just because it was physically impossible to attend the work no matter what I did [leave a 6 and 9 year old to fend for themselves and be charged with negligence, or steal a car so I can get to work on time]. What a load of rubbish that is. They expect me to look for jobs within my medical limits but not within my financial limits or care responsibilities? Talk about lowlifes. Where is all this written, where are the rules because they aren’t in the Worker’s Comp legislation so who makes these rules up?
    It makes one think twice about actually trying their best to get out of the WC system when the rules are used against you to your disadvantage at every turn.

  53. Marko

    Another medical certificate update and another useless event in my future. I found it surprising that my rehabilitation coordinator wanted to have all my medical restrictions lifted, even though nothing has changed in my condition except that there were more test results that proved and disproved some of the causes of my discomfort. I would say there has been some pressure from the insurer to get something done to get me off their books. Oddly, even though they requested pretty much a full clearance of fitness, they also wanted further physio treatment and a second opinion from another specialist. Something smells rotten there. Anyway, the Dr. was on my side and said no to clearing me fit for normal work, fearful I’ll injure the same arm again, but was convinced I can now return to repetitive tasks. That won’t be easy. Not that it helps with job seeking which has been totally fruitless to date anyway..

  54. BRANDI

    HELLO MY NAME IS BRANDI
    I LIVE IN MORENCI, MICHIGAN.
    IN MARCH OF 2012 I STARTED A NEW FACTORY JOB IN OHIO. I THOUGH I NEEDED A CHARGE IN WORK BECAUSE FOR THE LAST 12 YEAR I WORK IN HEALTH CARE. WELL ANY WAY I FELT BURNED OUT WORK IN HEALTH CARE. SO I WANTED SOMETHING NEW, DIFFERENT.
    THERE WAS A COMPANY IN OHIO THAT WAS HIRING FOR OHIO FACTORYS SO MY HUSBAND AND MY SELF APPLIED AND (NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD GO THUR WHAT I HAD TO) WE GOT HIRED AT PLACE IN THE NORTH OF OHIO (SORRY CANT GAVE NAMES) THAT WAS A VERY SMALL FACTORY WITH NO MORE THEN 30 PEOPLE EMPLOYED THERE.
    THIS COMPANY NEVER GAVE US ANY SAFE GEAR OR RULE OR IN THING. THEY JUST TREATED US LIKE WE BEEN THERE FOR YEARS. AS HE DID THAT I WAS LEANED OVER TO PICK UP A PART TO TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHAT I NEED TO DO.
    AS I GOT UP ONE MORNING AT 5:00AM TO START OUR 3RD DAY ON THE JOB.
    THEY PLACED ME ON A TAPPER PRESS THAT WAS PLACED AT THE VERY FIRST FRONT OF THE SHOP WHERE I WAS WORKING BY MYSELF EVERY ONE ELSE WAS AT THE BACK OF THE SHOP. LET ME REMINDED YOU I HAVE NEVER RAN ONE BEFORE IN MY LIFE. HE TOOK ME OVER TO IT AND THE SUPPERVIOR PLACE A PART IN THE PRESS LIKE HE DONE IT A MILLION TIME BEFORE, HE DID IT SO FAST I DIDN’T EVEN SEE WHERE HE PUT IT OR HOW HE EVEN RAN THE PART, AND WORK AWAY.
    NEVER ONCE DID THEY EVER TELL ME TO PULL/TIE MY HAIR UP OR ANY THING. MY HAIR WAS VERY LONG PASSED MY BUTT AND I WAS WEARING IT DOWN THAT AT WORK NEED THINK OF WHAT WOULD/COULD HAPPEN.(THE NIGHTMARE FROM HELL)DID HAPPEN TO ME AS SOME ONE WALKED UP BEHIND ME AND FLIP THE FAN TO ON. THE FAN BLOW MY HAIR RIGHT IN TO THE PRESS AND THE PRESS GRABED MY HAIR SLAMIMG MY HEAD RIGHT IN THE PRESS.AS IT WAS GRABING/RIPPING MORE OF MY HAIR IT WAS SLAMMING MY HEAD EVERYWHERE IT COULD.
    IT HAD NO E-STOP SO I HAD NO WAY TO TURN THE MACHINE OFF OR ANYTHING, AND NO ONE AROUND ME TO HELP ME. I THOUGHT I WAS A GONE THAT WAS THE WAY I WAS GOING TO DIE. I TRIED EVERYTHING POSSIBLE THAT I COULD TO GET FREE BUT IT JUST KEPT SCALPING ME MORE AND MORE ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT WAS MY KIDS AND MY HUSBAND I WAS I SCREAM AND BAGGED GOD TO LET ME HOLD/KISS MY CHILDREN ONE MORE TIME FOR 7-10 MIN BEFORE ANY ONE EVEN HEARD ME FINALLY THIS 19YEAR KID CAME AND UNPLUG THE PRESS FROM THE WALL 10FT BEHIND THE PRESS.
    FINALLY AFTER ABOUT 12 MIN THE SUPERVISOR AND TEAMLEADER CAME TO HELP ME. AFTER THEY GOT ME FREE FROM THE PRESS THE MADE ME GO IN THE OFFICE AND FILL OUT REPORT LET ME REMINDED YOU I WAS SCALP 80% OF MY HEAD BLEED POURING OUT MY HEAD ALL OVER, I COULDNT SEE THE BLOOD WAS IN MY EYES. I WAS IN VERY BAD SHOCK DIDN’T KNOW WHAT I WAS DOING I PROBBLY COULDN’T EVEN TELL YOU MY NAME. ALL I COULD DO WAS BEG THEM TO GET MY HUSBAND BUT THEY TOLD ME I HAD TO GET THE REPORT DONE FIRST. I TOLD THEM I CANT I NEED MY HUSBAND AND A DOCTOR FAST. SO THEY WENT AND GOT MY HUSBAND AND ALL I COULD SAY TO HIM PLEASE HELP ME THEY ARE HERE TO TAKE ME HOME (HEAVEN) THAT I NEED TO GO WITH THEM NOW (I DON’T REMINBER ANY OF IT) SO HE TOLD THE SUPERVISOR HE NEED TO GET ME TO THE HOSPITAL THEY TOLD HIM NO THAT HE NEED TO GET BACK TO WORK. WE NEED TO MONEY WE HAVE 3 KIDS AND COULD LOSE THE JOB WE NEED IT TO FEED OUR CHILDREN. HE THOUGHT THEY WOULD CALL 911 AND HE’LL MEET ME THAT AFTER HE GOT HIS PART RAN, BUT THEY DIDN’T THEY MADE ME DRIVE MYSELF TO A HOSPITAL THAT I NEVER EVEN BEEN TO BEFORE IN MY LIFE AND THEY SAID I REFUSED TO HAVE THEM CALL 911 TO TAKE ME TO THE LOCAL HOSPITAL THAT I WOULD DRIVE MY SELF THERE (REALLY) I COULD EVEN TELL U WHO I WAS, LET LONE I HAD SO MUCH BRAIN INJURY I COULDN’T EVEN SAY MORE THEM 2WORDS AT A TIME.
    BUT I DROVE MY SELF TO A HOSPITAL THAT I HAD NO CLUE WHERE IT WAS OR HOW I EVEN GOT THERE BUT I HAD SOME ANGLES THAT SHOW ME THE WAY I GUESS (IT THE ONLY WAY I COULD THINK HOW I GOT TO THE HOSPITAL THAT MORNING) AS I AM DRIVING MYSELF THERE THEY GO BACK AND TELL MY HUSBAND I REFUSED AND TOOK OFF FOR THE HOSPITAL MYSELF. THEN HE LIKE DON’T WORRY I HAD THE TEAM LEADER FOLLOW HER THERE. MY HUSBAND LIKE UR JOKE RIGHT AND HE LIKE NO WHY WOULD I EVEN JOKE ABOUT THAT. MY HUSBAND BLOW UP TELLING HIM YOU LET HER DRIVE HER SELF THERE HE LIKE SHE REFUSED. NEEDLESS TO SAY MY HUSBAND TOOK OFF WALKING TO THE HOSPITAL BECAUSE I HAD THE CAR.
    ANYWAY LONG STORY SHORT I SUFFERED WITH
    SCALP LACERATION, 80% HAIR AVULSION, CLOSED HEAD INJURY, POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DIS, MAYOR DEPRESSION, MAJORS HEADACHES ( I DON’T THINK A MAJOR HEADACH EXPLAINS OR EVEN COMES ANY WHERE CLOSE TO WHAT I GO THUR ON A DAILY BASIC AS I LIKE TO CALL THEM MAJOR BRAIN PAIN) THAT I FEEL ON A DAILY BASIC,NECK PAIN THE JUST ACHES. I CANT GET OUT BED FOR DAYS, ALL I DO IS CRY, YELL,THROW THING. I CANT HELP IT I PRAY TO GOD EVER DAY TO TAKE ME HOME EVER MORNING THAT I OPEN MY EYE, I DON’T WANT TO LIVE ANYMORE I CANT TAKE THE FLASHBACK,PAIN,NIGHTMARE I COULD GO ON AND ON BUT I WONT.
    I NEED HELP!!!!!!!!. I FEEL LIKE NOONE WILL HELP ME, I HAVE NO WHERE TO TURN ANYMORE. NOONE UNDERSTAND I FEEL LIKE EVERY THINKS I AM A NUT JOB I HAVE LOST IT. ALL MY FAMILY TURNED THERE BACKS ON ME WHEN I NEED THEM THE MOST I ALL WAY THOUGHT WE HAD THE CLOSE FAMILY EVER. (NOT NO MORE THEY HAVE TALK TO ME SEEN THE INJURY) THEY THINK I HAVE LOST IT. MY HUSBAND CANT WORK BECAUSE I AM ALL TRY TO FIND WAY TO HURT/KILL MYSELF OR SCARED I BURN THE HOUSE DOWN BECAUSE I TRY TO COOK BUT WALK WAY AND WITH ME FORGETTING WHAT I AM DOING I FORGET ABOUT THE FOOD THAT I COOKING (I CAUGHT KITCHEN ON FIRE 3 TIME NOW) IT HAS ENDED US HOMELESS 3 TIME NOW SINCE THE INJURY I GET A WORKER COMP BUT I SEEM LIKE THEY SEND ME MY CHECK WHEN THEY WANT SO I CANT COUNT A DAY THAT ILL GET ON. I AM IN REALLY IN NEED OF HELP IS THERE ANYONE THAT CAN TELL ME HOW I CAN GET SOME SUPPORT,HELP,ASSISTANCE, IF THERE IS ANY THING OUT THERE LIKE THAT

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Hi Brandi,
      This is an Australian website so our laws are different. I looked up your state and you might be able to get some advice from the government website for workers compensation. If you worked in Ohio go to https://www.bwc.ohio.gov. There are government contact details for advice for you. Get you husband to help you if you don’t feel confident.
      In Australia we can contact the government department to ask them for some advice or help when the insurance company does the wrong thing. We also have solicitors/lawyers who have don’t charge if they don’t win. I don’t know what you have there but it seems to me you do need some legal advice.
      You have not lost it, you are suffering from your injuries as well as the psycholgical/psychiatric aspects of PTSD.
      In Australia, workers compensation will cover treatment and can provide a carer support for so many hours per day. If you can contact the Ohio gov website you can ask whether you might be able to get a carer as part of your workers compensation. That would allow you husband to work and to get out of the house without worrying about you.
      My workers compensation covered my psychiatrist and my medications and I went into a private mental health ward till they got all my medications right. I am not sure what your insurer covers but your doctor should know and should be able to refer you to a mental health specialist so you can get treatment under workers compensation.
      Please look after yourself as you are important to your family and it was not your fault your employer was negligent. You have done your best to get through a very terrible time in your life and not many people could do that so you must have real courage in your heart.
      Hope this helps.
      Good luck Brandi!

  55. Paul

    Hi Guys,

    Alot of stuff to get through in the above, (concentration cant handle that much reading)
    Im in QLD, a CRPS sufferer from an accident in 2011 and workcover will soon close up.
    My condition has not improved but got worse the pain as im sure alot of you are going through is ridiculous.

    I saw something above about a NSW workcover class action. Is there one taking place in QLD ??
    we really need a QLD class action set up too, these sharks without remorse need to know this lack of treatment and covering their asses instead of helping the injured isnt acceptable.

  56. Marko

    With the [hopeful] prospect of getting a job now that I’ve had an interview finally [still no reply of acceptance though], I spent an hour on the Centrelink website calculating how it all washes up if I got part time work. The result is, if I got up to 20 hours a week of work, I’d be $11 a week better off, but that doesn’t include costs of travel to and from work or before and after care for our two youngest, if required.So, I’d actually be financially worse off by a lot. If I got 30 hours a week it is less than a hundred in my pocket, before transport and childcare. So, in reality with this situation, I’d be working for just over $3/hour and have to fork out half that in transport and childcare. WOW! Where is the incentive to find work when the whole system is set up to take away half your family benefits as soon as you put a child into care?? They talk about dependance on welfare, but this is beyond a joke when I’m better off not getting a job!

  57. Kris

    My best mate Dave injured himself four years ago.
    I decided to make a short documentary film.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v43P787cvc8

    Thanks for watching
    Kris

    1. council worker

      hi .i have watched your utube video and have and am still feeling exactly what you are going through. I am awaiting surgery in which the insurance co have been disputing this for months now. it is criminal for these people to leave us in an awfull situation after an injury. I also have a son and grandson in which we are a very close family.but I too cannot do things with them and the pain I’m in restricts me to lying down and taking heavy meds just for relief. thank u for putting your awfull situation out there. I do hope you get some relief in the future.

    2. Marko

      Great but sad video and it hit my heart as we are the same age too. Enjoying your kid’s life by participating in their activities is one thing that gets destroyed by this kind of thing. Where is the compensation for the suffering that not only the injured worker goes through, but the rest of their family as well? I can say I am fortunate in that I am not in that kind of constant pain, but the psychological injuries nobody sees are just as crippling. Again, very eye-opening film and I wish Dave the very best in his hopeful recovery.

  58. Kristen

    I injured myself in 2012 and still suffer with workcover and workcover corruption to the point even my lawyers went corrupt forcing me to disengage them..I injured myself in agedcare I twisted to my right my colleague failed to assist in a 2 person transfer I felt my right side of my body burning .i have 3 hernias in my spine hip impingement and bursitis in right shoulder I have pain related depression now as well…my life a misery and to top it all off I too have not been paid for 2 years…and my work tried to pin a conversion disorder on me and pay me no section 43 but I adjourned court and said to the judge where has my injuries gone …my treating psychiatrist says I do not have this disorder..I now tool out my superannuation to fund my own doctors to try and prove my injury which my lawyer failed to do ..am I alone in this ..and workcover says they accept all my injuries sooooo where is my money

    1. Paul

      Hi Kristen,
      Im sorry to hear about your troubles. Your psychiatrist wouldnt happen to be a Dr. XXXX would it ?
      us in QLD need to find others alike an set up a serious class action against the corruption.
      They have accepted my inability to work at all, yet claim im only 7% physically impaired and 10% psychologically impaired – go figure, in actual fact im in pain from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep, if we keep allowing them to walk over us then they will continue to do so.

  59. Carl

    After reading the transcript of the
    Inquiry into review of the exercise of the functions of the Workcover Authority,
    I have read the document & I would like to comment on the section regarding the answers the heads of workcover gave regarding the review into the work capacity guidelines.
    Workcover has had a group of stakeholders (insurers & self & specialised insurers only) formulate a draft an amendment “as per the agenda 1st May of the Safe Work Australia Workers Compensation Significant Issues Group meeting regarding the guidelines of work capacity decisions.
    This draft review has been done by only the “stakeholders” & this will determine how if & any changes will be made, this draft will then be broadened to other stakeholder groups (the AMA,workers representatives or unions) which will be at the end of this month.
    The fact that workcover has had a review into the guidelines of the work capacity decisions tells you that the guidelines are flawed & in my opinion are unfair to the workers they effect. The fact that workcover has had this review without the main stakeholders (us) is unfair as these guidelines effect workers not the insurers. Once the draft has had it’s review by the other stakeholder groups there is no commitment by workcover to adopt any changes that the other stakeholder groups may think required?
    If workcover is serious about fixing the work capacity decision making process then they need to adopt a full consultation approach with every stakeholder group at the initial stage of the review. BUT AS PER USUAL WE DO NOT COUNT & WE HAVE TO LIVE WITH THEIR DECISIONS WITHOUT ANY INPUT.
    Have a read of the review & see if you agree, there are many other points to be commented on for later posts.
    Carl

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      I must read this as I have read the work capacity guidelines and they are almost exactly as stated in the actual legislation so we do need some input if there is to be a draft amendment as this will need to be put to Parliament before it can become law. I wonder if they took any notice of the WIRO report as he found it unfair that the insurers are using in house lawyers for work capacity decisions.
      .

      1. john

        Your wrong. Lawyers are not used at all for making capacity decisions. I don’t know where you got that fact from.

        1. Rowan

          The legal department of insurance firms do have a role in the capacity decisions. In an advisory role if not a stronger one. They are also used by the insurers in the review of the work capacity decisions and in the replys to Workcover NSW and WIRO when submissions are made. where do these facts come from? Mine come from the signatures and a brief look at the NSW law councils online solicitor registrations.

          1. John McPhilbin

            Agree, WIRO even confirmed that lawyers were being used to advise on work capacity decisions. Hence the outrage that injured workers were at a distinct disadvantage because they cannot get legal advise in challenging work capacity decisions. Unless they pay for the advise, which few injured workers have the financial resources todo. The system is weighted heavily & unfairly on the side of insurers. This, in my opinion, has led to unethical behaviour of insurers in readily denying benefits & treatment without proper consideration of medical facts

  60. Kevin Parker

    Hello. I am an injured worker so the stories people are telling are not a surprise to me. My solicitor said that if I had received my back injuries in a car accident he could have easily got me $3-$400,000 no problem. Basically if you are injured at work you are seen as a lying bludging piece of scum that wants a free ride and a nice little package to ease your way through life. I was injured in February, 2007 whilst working at a Christian School.
    The sheer “White Hot Hostility” toward me for being injured was something worthy of poetry.
    Along with other complications the discs have bled out and are “desiccated”; in other words they have no cushioning and will not improve no matter what. This has been 8 years now of continual 24/7 pain with no let up.
    On occasion I have been hospitalised on morphine drip.
    The insurance companies doctor said that I needed psychiatric help and that there was nothing wrong with me at all. This is despite a contrary review from 10 other specialists including independent legal/medical reviewers.
    The fee to see a reviewer is about $1700 a visit. My payments were cut and I had no income for 2 years whilst we waited for further independent reviews and a Work Cover Tribunal. We won. I was sent to an independent legal/medical reviewer in another state and was ordered $300 pw ongoing payments. The new legislation has meant that if I am not doing 15 hours a week I get nothing. Thank fully I got a job via the Work Placement assist which is finished now I think??? The company has been very good to me and I am managing 20 hours a week.
    Four half days; by the end of the day my back is screaming, so most of the time I am on pain killers of the serious sort. God knows what these will do to me over time. This has impacted every area of my life.
    I am happy to work as I have always done and it is good to get out and about, but it took 2 years to get this position in which the company got me free for 18 months and trained me in a new field of work. I do not know if this scheme is still going, but I think it was a wonderful opportunity.
    I agree with others that businesses just do not want to know about a bludging injured worker. The stigma is quite unreasonable. I know there are many whose stories are far worse than mine and I feel for you.
    This country is heading down a very dangerous track on having no compassion or fair decency the cost to individuals and their families is a little frightening. I can only say hold on a stick in there.
    Cheers to all.

    1. Marko

      I can not believe some of the stories on this site, especially when I read about years of having no income, then being dignified with a ruling that supports you but no monetary compensation for the losses both financial and psychological. Years of waiting will destroy me, it’s only been 12 months since injury now and financially we are about to hit rock-bottom with no more safety nets. Insurance, solicitors and the rest all take such a long time to process anything, whilst the injured suffer with nothing else to do but wait and wait, hoping each day for good news but coming up empty. The only place injured workers get support apart from their family and friends seems to be right here on this site. Nobody else cares. Good luck to us all in the future.

  61. Marko

    Anybody have job seeking advice? Just in case there is somebody out there in a similar situation, which I am sure there is, I thought I’d raise this issue again.
    Having being made redundant due to my incapacity for manual labor as a sparky back in December last year, I have been job seeking for pretty much anything for the last 4 months. With now over 70 job applications under my belt [considering I can’t apply for manual labor jobs], I am struggling to come to terms with the whole concept. I am bound by the insurer to apply for so many per week, but even the rehabilitation coordinator has come up at a dead end as to where to look next. I may not even be suitable for a job where computers are used as that activity makes my injury symptoms worse. This, the rehab coordinator has just realised after three months, even though I’ve been telling her and the doctor about it since forever. So, what jobs are there where you don’t have to use your dominant hand to lift or do repetitive tasks such as typing? I have come up a blank as even sales jobs generally rely on stock replenishment and I struggle to do the grocery shopping sometimes, because lifting goods from shelves is painful. Why have someone who can’t perform simple manual labor tasks go and find full time work, especially when there is still the possibility of further surgery in a few months with more time off for recovery? This is where the whole WC system fails us, when they make us jump through hoops we simply cannot reach. If we don’t comply, they cut off our entitlements, but they make it impossible to comply and blame it on us.
    Anyway, if someone has an idea of what I could do, it might help me figure out who to start cold calling, because there is practically nothing in the job market I am allowed or qualified to apply for. So far I’ve applied for reception, admin, sales,pharmacy assistant, computer drafting, supervising, project management, vocational training, small appliance repairs, escort agency driver and numerous other jobs, with not a SINGLE interview in 4 months, but plenty of rejections. I’ve called up over half the electrical contractors in Canberra [all of whom are struggling to find enough work to keep their existing employees on board], most engineering firms and drafting businesses, all the switchboard manufacturers and fire companies. These are all the industries I have experience working in. Who next? I haven’t a clue, considering I have no experience in anything else and am competing with people over 20 years younger who are cheaper to employ. Makes one feel like throwing in the towel and just giving up, if only the bills didn’t have to be paid.

    To sum it all up simply, find a job for somebody who can’t lift over 10kg, can’t perform repetitive tasks with right arm, has no car and no experience in anything except electrical wiring. Anybody?

  62. council worker

    hi everyone, just an update on my situation, I have now 4 reports which are very supportive on my condition and need for surgery. I guess now its off to court we go, hopefully the court will see through all the misguided reports from their ortho and neurosurgeon, I cannot believe they let these 2 so called ime s still practice.i can now feel like there may be some justice and relief of all the pain im going through and have done for 2 yrs now,where I worked and got injured they are still using the faulty trucks and more injuries are occurring frequently,i will stand up just not for me but for all the other men on the council by taking this all the way if I have to, the management have known and were told for years these trucks were faulty and injuring people, they should be ashamed of the way they have treated these good men , I hope in the near future I can give an update of further good news,

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      You will hopefully get your treatment as the arbitrators usually do find in favour of the worker if there is good treatment evidence and they also know which IMEs are crook and give their reports little or no weight.
      Good luck!

      1. council worker

        its such a blessing to know there are drs and specialists out there who are very caring and are here in the community to help injured people with their needs and to help them get better, thanx for your wishes

  63. in the same boat

    http://www.brockovich.com/ has a contact page

    Hello Josephine, 15 years in wc is about average , you are doing well to survive psychologically

    There is no one to complain to In Australia as this country has a defacto government

    If you are worried that wc is ghosting your every move

    Don,t use a mobile phone as all phones are easily compromised

    At home do not use a wireless telephone ( same as above)

    Use tor as your internet browser

    Never tell work cover any details that will give them a reason to deny via plausible deniability

    I realise that becoming paranoid can be viewed by some as tin foil hat stuff but it is also a measure of self protection in a world with almost zero privacy so keep your paranoia levels in check

    and paranoia is normal when on wc you are not going mad

    regularly check your computer for spyware/viruses

    try and get on with your life in the mean time and occupy your self with a good distracting hobby as a means to negate bad thoughts etc

    you will eventually be ok

  64. Josephine

    How can I contact Erin Brokovich to help me. Fifteen years NSW WC System has been psychologically raping me. Can you help me with writing my story. I have got all the proof needed to proof the Insurance and their Associates are Criminal in the World Court.

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Contact your service provider via a friend’s phone to ask them if they can find out about what is happening to your computer. You could also get a cheap pre-paid phone with a new number. There are privacy laws and your service provider may be able to help you in some way.
      Also get someone to check your computer for viruses or Trojans that can detect each movement of your keyboard.
      Change all your passwords as well.
      Collect your evidence and send to the WIRO, NSW Ombudsman and ICAC. Make a complaint each time via the WorkCover complaint section as well as directly to the insurer.

  65. Josephine

    My past four effort to post a message has failed. Trying out what happens if I don’t state my story. If this gets through than I will post my story….how my Insurer knows every lette I type on my computer and every time I complaint about their Human Right violation, bullying tactics, intereference with all service providers….just to ‘psychologically rape’. I was just relating what I discovered about their influence even Airline Staff to make every plane trip a nightmare. I was typing all my findings today and the post got cancelled. Will put in writing and post.

    Don’t feel safe. No privacy..phone listened to, routed accordingly to suite their aim, computer having two Administrator..one Phantom on and the other ME!!

    All avenue for reporting close. Worse than living in a third world country.

  66. kerrie

    How can I contact Erin Brokovich to help me? 11 years nsw system, need neck operation and need to ensure I get it without flack from wc, they are liable and all their doctor shopping ruined my settlement, need help desperately dont want my arms to lose any more function cant stand the pain nor the nervous breakdowns.

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Get a referral to your spinal specialist as well as to a psychiatrist and psychologist. They can request further treatment from your insurer. If you have taken a settlement under the old legislation you can still have treatment if you are worse.

  67. Marko

    Amazing, how corruption goes from the heights of our elite politicians to the volunteer services, where there is really nothing to gain from trying to get higher in the pecking order. I do not understand the problems this particular person has, needless to say they have some serious issues they need to resolve with themselves. The fact that nobody in the industry has done anything about it is even worse and I have no words to say on how to proceed beyond what you have already done. It seems that everyone else has made their decision on what is appropriate action to take and hopefully that will make the hierarchy take note. Media such as certain current affairs programs seem to be able to expose these kinds of people with the necessary humiliation required. I would recommend this, because they can hide with their buddies while only a few care, but once the world knows about it there is nowhere to bury your head in the sand safely.

  68. Ryan S

    THE NSW STATE EMERGENCY SERVICE – ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING!

    “All evil needs to flourish is for good people to stand by and do nothing!”

    Do volunteers have rights when it comes to harassment, bullying and so on? I was a volunteer officer at my local SES unit however thanks to jealousy from others who were stood down from the ranks and my persistence to do the right thing I resigned about 12 months ago.

    There was (and still is) one particular “gentleman” at the unit who is a volunteer. He is a former Unit Controller so you would expect he would have some degree of decorum and conduct himself in a professional manner in front of other volunteer members. Anyway, once I became an officer with the unit I learnt that this particular person had bullied another female member to the point where she was too scared to make an official complaint against him for fear of physical retribution (she told me “he knows where she lives). The volunteer member told me she contacted a NSWSES Chaplain from our region and reported the incidents to him. He advised he would take it further for her however she has not heard anything more about the issue during the last 3 or 4 years. The NSWSES has not contacted her to follow up her complaint and she has since stopped attending the local unit as she is too scared of this person.

    I reported this person to my Local Controller however he never made any attempt to follow up, nor did he show any interest in investigating the allegations whatsoever. About 8 months before I resigned, a young volunteer member made a complaint to me in writing contains a letter, along withscreenshots of his Facebook chat window of the same “offender” bullying him and making violent and sexually explicit threats against him that were absolutely disgusting and appalling. The two of them were not friends, and only knew of each through the weekly SES meetings. What started out as an apparently benign random chat about a car turned into the 47 year old former Unit Controller threatening to have the younger 18 year old volunteer member jailed for some unknown reason, then referring to him being raped in jail in horrible ways and so on. The younger member took screenshots of the entire conversation before the older member deleted his comments then told the younger member that no one would believe him.

    I took the screenshots, made a report with my recommendation of standing down the older member immediately until the incident could be investigated and forwarded it to my Local Controller and Region Controller. I don’t recall ever getting a written response however both the Local Controller and Region Controller expressed their concerns verbally during various meetings and functions over a period of time however once again, nothing was actually done about it. A new Unit Controller took over the reigns of my unit about 6 months later so I brought up the incident again with him hoping he might do something about this individual. He did reply to my email expressing his concerns however guess what, nothing was done! Now, 18 months or so later I have had friends still in the SES tell me the former Unit Controller that was bullying not one, but at least 2 members (whom both reported the incidents to the SES) is continuing to do similar to other members of the unit. He has also allegedly become involved with trying to separate a younger male and female member (both around17 years old) and stop them from being boyfriend/girlfriend and making unwelcome comments in passing and so on (what business is this of his?”).

    Now, to top it all off, I believe I was bullied out of my senior volunteer position with my local SES unit for apparently trying to push for disciplinary action to be taken against this person. The old saying is definitely true, “it’s not what you know but who you know!”. I believe that as this person had been a member of the local unit for some 10 to 15 years and knew a lot of other older members in senior positions, along with paid SES staff at the Region Office, he (and his cronies) banded together to create problems for me and stop me trying to do the right thing. This ultimately led me to making a private post on my Facebook page expressing my frustration with the people I was dealing with at the time. I made no mention of their names, or the SES whatsoever. I didn’t even imply was talking about the SES and only one person (an SES member and friend) knew what I was talking about and replied to me. “Someone” reported my “breach” of the SES Social Network Policy to the Region Controller (full time paid staff) and the next thing I knew I get an email stating I was being stood down from my senior position as a result of my non-attendance at a scheduled meeting regarding this issue, and for breaching the Social Network Policy.

    I provided the Region Controller with hard evidence that I had been “set up” by being given a totally different time for the meeting along with a screenshot of my Facebook post clearly showing I had not breached the Social Media Policy however she refused to accept my factual documents and continued to stand me down from the position anyway. In my absolute disgust, I replied (in a professional manner) making mention of my total disappointment and disrespect I now had for the NSWSES and submitted my immediate and total resignation from the volunteer service. It’s ironic that other members can make Facebook comments using the full name of the Unit Controller and referring to him in a completely derogative sexual manner, or use Facebook to clearly identify the SES and submit a new, younger member to threats of sexual violence in the public arena without taking any action yet they use my one comment, made anonymously (in reference to the SES) and posted out of sheer frustration as an excuse to get rid of me! The man who is bullying, harassing, yelling and screaming at other volunteer members is still attending training every Monday night and because of what happened to me, I believe these other members are too scared to do anything about it as I’ve proven the NSWSES isn’t willing to do anything about instances like this and protect their valuable members (well most of the are valuable).

    As a result of my departure from the SES approximately 20 or so other members now refuse to attend the unit for regular training or callouts. How can a public volunteer service go so wrong??? I have copies of emails, witnesses etc and although I would never return to the NSWSES, I think I would like to take it further to expose particular people within the service for what they really are. Maybe I should take to the newspapers?

    I guess because they are volunteers they have no rights!!!!!

  69. Marko

    IME’s, what good are they? I got the report from my visit with the IME. On page 1 it says that “I indicated I was not a treating doctor and that I was not able to provide any advice.” Yet, my rehab coordinator and my GP both wanted to wait for this report before taking any further steps in my treatment. It looks like the insurer just wanted to double check that I wasn’t faking it I guess. I don’t know why they wouldn’t trust the evidence and my own specialist on this. It did have in the report a whole lot of advice on things that could be done to treat me, as well as a suggestion I could go back to the same work I was attempting on my trial return to work in December, the one that made my situation a whole lot worse. It also looked like he was implying that I was “putting on” some of my symptoms subconsciously and also misquoted the surgical report from my specialist. I’m sure Radial nerve and Posterior Interosseous nerve are two different things and the operation report never mentioned the latter, yet this IME saw fit to write up several paragraphs on the subject.
    So, if this IME report is not for the purposes of providing any specialist advice in treating my injury, what happens next? I guess my GP will have to send me back to my own specialist for analysis of the MRI and any further treatment options. Had I known this, I would have booked that in a month ago. The system is so designed to get you totally fed up with waiting until you finally crack and do something stupid, then they will pounce upon you like a ton of bricks for not complying with their red tape. I hope my solicitors do something soon, I am getting totally fed up with it all.

  70. Marko

    Don’t you just hate it after spending ages typing a whole paragraph and finding it just disappears when you press “submit”? Been there, done that. Chores are the hardest things to do eh! I cleaned the toilets yesterday and just doing that felt like my pain had gone back to what it was in November last year. Cooking food, laundry, yes, it’s the day to day stuff like tightening my belt and even shaving my face that aggravate the injury. How do they expect you to recover when the simplest tasks put you out of action for a while? I guess you went to physio/rehab and they eventually gave up on you [or the insurer did after the 6 weekly report came through]? It’s madness that they give up on your physical rehabilitation but still expect you to get well enough on your own to return to a normal life. To this day, after seeing physio and two return to work rehab providers [all in all a 3-4 month process], I still haven’t been given any exercises to strengthen my elbow. It wasn’t until the very last day of my treatment before being sent out on my own that I was given stretches to do, probably because strength exercises were still too painful. That lack of progress was dismissed by them as “over-sensitive” nerve pain and the injury had actually healed. They kept on insisting “It was all in my head”, whilst at the same time telling me that was not what they were saying. They told me that my pain was real [really Einstein?] but I could overcome it. Well, three months later I got proof that it hadn’t healed after pestering the doctor to have a follow up ultrasound. Now, I am just waiting again for the insurer to decide what treatment to get, if any.
    300+ jobs!!! That’s well and truly doing your best to find work and you should get better treatment from the insurer for putting in such an effort. I can’t believe that after all that time they are still holding onto you and not cutting you off and letting you free to fend for yourself. Isn’t it costing them more to keep you hanging, knowing that you aren’t being successful in returning to work? It’s almost like they have pleasure in torturing you, watching you slowly lose hope. I am currently trying to get an idea of what IT job to go for, but haven’t got a clue what the jobs are actually like. Apparently they are willing to retrain me and pay for the course/s, but until I have an eyes on view of what the jobs are, I don’t even know what training to register for. Even when/if I do get trained, I still need doctor’s permission to do that type of work, so it all seems to be a bit ludicrous to look for a job I don’t even know I am allowed to perform medically.
    Like you, I am not going to settle to just go on disability or newstart, that won’t pay the mortgage. Neither does 65% and I pulled a rabbit out of my superannuation to get us through till May, but after that if I’m not back at work on my previous salary, we will lose the house. It was very nearly the case at the start of this year. They don’t understand that they’ve taken our main and only income away and it is needed to survive. Waiting for a payout that won’t be substantial anyway, doesn’t keep a roof over your head and put food on the table.
    I’m with you, keep fighting and pushing for treatment. Just because one of their specialists said no surgery, I wouldn’t stop there. Tell your GP how much pain you are in and say you need to have something done. I am sure you have your own specialist, get them and your GP on your side. The insurer’s IME shouldn’t have all the power, knowing that they practically work for the insurer and not for you.
    Our partners are the best support we have. Unfortunately, we can’t lump everything on them either as they have their days full already. I know that guilty feeling, it just pushes you to do as much as you can all day to make it easier for them [apart from the fact that home chores are about the only thing you can do to keep from getting bored silly] yet, it is actually us who needs the help. Ironic eh?
    Cheers.

    1. Josephine

      Dear Marko, Saddened to read your story. I empathise with you. Injured workers cannot be treated like second class citizens. I was pushed into Workers Comp case by the management. Allowed to waste away on purpose. All four surgeries were delayed as long as possible ( for years, causing maximum damage and waste). Doctors don’t seem to have the freedom to treat us even if they wish to. It was pointed out to me, the delay for surgery was due to RED TAPE. I had no way of knowing, what was wrong with my shoulder and neck as the who area became right nd extremely painful until I became disabled. I was not honestly advised of the diagnosis. All of us, meaning myself, family and friends were in the dark as to my quick deterioration. I became became depended for personal care. Being in the dark about the cause for the deterioration (as doctors kept mum about it), made it very difficult, effecting my husband’s and my state of mind..as we lost our peace and privacy and our marriage. My employer’s self-insured Insurer, used this most difficult moment in our lives (which was master minded by them), to exploit and hoping push me over the edge….I felt they had my days numbered…Knowing who the e emy was, knowing God, was my saving grace!! 1/ They delayed Medical Treatments..2/Went to court four years after I was put on WC leave…3/ Court awarded benefits like wages, medical treatments connected to the injury… 4/ My company Ins Mgr whose office was just a stone throw away from my office, made hell for me, each time I put in a claim….5/ A yr after ongoing discrimination and bullying by the Ins Mgr. my employers’ self-insured SC Insurance Mgr advised, all benefits awarded to me in the court of law was going to be stopped ( this, while my medical condition had deteriorated very badly and continued to do so)….6/It took another two yrs (during which time I came under the power of the Insurer for approval for medical treatments), before my lawyer arranged for settlement through arbitration of WorkCover NSW. I was pleased, cause I thought, from now on, without the interference, bullying and ‘psychological raping” etc of the Insurer, I should be able to get independent medical treatment, Community Services, Taxi Service etc I was so wrong…nothing changed. The Insurer and their associates set out a plan to systematically write me off. the extend to which they went will shock our nation, If I revealed the truth which is a shame. I will continue another time. Hope this does not disappear when I press the SUBMIT BUTTON.

    2. Josephine

      Dear Marko, Saddened to read your story. I empathise with you. Injured workers cannot be treated like second class citizens. I was pushed into Workers Comp case by the management. Allowed to waste away on purpose. All four surgeries were delayed as long as possible ( for years, causing maximum damage and waste). Doctors don’t seem to have the freedom to treat us even if they wish to. It was pointed out to me, the delay for surgery was due to RED TAPE. I had no way of knowing, what was wrong with my shoulder and neck as the who area became right nd extremely painful until I became disabled. I was not honestly advised of the diagnosis. All of us, meaning myself, family and friends were in the dark as to my quick deterioration. I became became depended for personal care. Being in the dark about the cause for the deterioration (as doctors kept mum about it), made it very difficult, effecting my husband’s and my state of mind..as we lost our peace and privacy and our marriage. My employer’s self-insured Insurer, used this most difficult moment in our lives (which was master minded by them), to exploit and hoping push me over the edge….I felt they had my days numbered…Knowing who the e emy was, knowing God, was my saving grace!! 1/ They delayed Medical Treatments..2/Went to court four years after I was put on WC leave…3/ Court awarded benefits like wages, medical treatments connected to the injury… 4/ My company Ins Mgr whose office was just a stone throw away from my office, made hell for me, each time I put in a claim….5/ A yr after ongoing discrimination and bullying by the Ins Mgr. my employers’ self-insured SC Insurance Mgr advised, all benefits awarded to me in the court of law was going to be stopped ( this, while my medical condition had deteriorated very badly and continued to do so)….6/It took another two yrs (during which time I came under the power of the Insurer for approval for medical treatments), before my lawyer arranged for settlement through arbitration of WorkCover NSW. I was pleased, cause I thought, from now on, without the interference, bullying and ‘psychological raping” etc of the Insurer, I should be able to get independent medical treatment, Community Services, Taxi Service etc I was so wrong…nothing changed. The Insurer and their associates set out a plan to systematically write me off. the extend to which they went will shock our nation, If I revealed the truth which is a shame. I will continue another time. Hope this does not disappear when I press the SUBMIT BUTTON.

  71. Injured Canberra worker

    @marko I can completely understand your situation in the lack of support groups or support whatsoever in Canberra for people who have sustained an injury at work.
    I have a wrist injury from doing support work for people with disabilities (ironic isn’t it) and my workplace decided that they no longer have suitable duties available for me, so I am in the same situation as you on 65% wages!
    On top of that, I have been told by specialists that my wrist is irreparable but need surgery for a part that they can try to fix but insurance won’t pay. I have also had reports done from multiple IME’s that I need pain management and other rehabilitation but they won’t do that either. It is an “accepted claim” but they refuse to help me. I go to a rehab provider to find suitable work because I am only 23 and they see me as able to work because of my age, they don’t care that many jobs I cannot do without going against dr orders. Companies in Canberra also refuse to take you in because of an injury even though you can do the job, because they won’t take on the liability while you are still on workers compensation. Im even struggling to be accepted to do volunteering because of the insurance issue. Do you think my insurance will help with that? No because it’s not paid work.
    I can’t sit at home all the time, I go crazy. On so much medication that doesn’t seem to help. Am stuck and feel like I’m going nowhere in a system that holds you back all the time.
    I even tried retraining myself and paid for it myself, but thy stopped me doing that because it was getting in the way of paid employment. I would have finished the course by now, still not working.
    I’m glad i found this support page, and someone from Canberra cos you get so tired of putting your problems of family friends and my husband, it’s so demeaning and I hate the lack of independence and control over my life. Constantly having to run through their hoops and being told what to do and not what to do.
    Hope I can be of assistance to you as well, even just as a listening ear.

    Thanks.

    1. Marko

      I am so happy to hear from a fellow Capitalite [if that is a word]. I agree that you feel isolated in Canberra, let alone in other states, when on WC. It seems our system is totally different, probably more oriented to the public service. It totally sucks that they wouldn’t even let you re-train yourself because it inhibited your job-seeking? How crazy is that? It feels like you have been put into a box and every time the red light blinks you have to perform some erroneous functions and then sit still for another seven days until the light blinks again. In the meantime, while you try and function as a human, in pain and worried about the future, finances and your crazy obligations, the “system” just takes forever to make any decisions about what to do with you. I wouldn’t mind if they had a limit of say 12 months, before they decided on whether to pay you out or get serious about re-training for another career. This waiting game is just ridiculous. Yet, on the other hand, forcing you to go back to work early before the injury has time to heal is just as bad.
      I can’t believe they won’t pay for surgery for treatment [probably on the basis that it won’t help with your return to work], even after accepting the claim liability! I would be insisting on it, for pain relief at least.
      It might be too personal a question, but are they paying for your meds? If so, it’d be in their interest to pay for the surgery to get rid of that ongoing cost.
      I have also just gone down the path of trying to gain “work experience”, but alerted by rehab that it’d be difficult because in A.C.T the employer has to pay for your insurance, even in a voluntary position. N.S.W folks don’t have to worry about it. Job seeking when you have medical restrictions is ridiculous. I’ve been looking for work “officially” for 2 months, but prior to that decision I was already out there for another two after being made “redundant” because there weren’t any tasks I was fit for. So far, i have had 1 job interview from around fifty applications, unsuccessful anyway as I wasn’t qualified.
      I am guessing you have injured the dominant hand? Sucks big time if you have. I can’t believe they want me to pursue an IT career [requiring minimum degree or diploma qualifications I don’t have], yet I can’t sit here and type for more than an hour without feeling like my arm is dead.
      Best of luck mate, hope you get the medical help you need and I highly recommend getting a “no win, no fee” lawyer on your side ASAP. They don’t seem to do a great deal in the first six motnhs, but nI am still hopeful they will come up with something worthwhiole in the end. [I didn’t spell check the last senetence, just to prove how bad I am at typing. I woudl be so great at a reception/admin job with this kind of skill – NOT]
      Cheers and stay in touch. I find this site even more helpful thahn other support groups, becasue we have something in common.

      1. Injured Canberra Worker (R)

        Hey Marko,
        So I tried to reply to your message, which took a long time then somehow i deleted everything i wrote before sending it. So I’m not going to go into much detail in this one lol.
        No it isn’t my dominant hand, thankfully, but it doesn’t really make things much easier. Still can’t do most household things let alone take care of myself very well. Just annoying things like opening jars, picking up pots and pans, washing etc. and then trying to get dressed is a feat in itself. And then they expect me to get a fulltime job? Without treatment? Yep.
        I was happy as well to read through this support page and see a fellow canberra person (being you).
        I already have a solicitor but not much they can do because its an accepted claim. so its up to the insurance company to decide what is “reasonable treatment”. So, all because one of their “specialist advisors” said surgery might make my condition worse they refuse treatment. Very annoying.
        All my solictor can do is push for settlement. But as usual the insurance company push push pushes me to breaking point to try and get me to throw my hands up and chuck the towl in. well they have another thing coming, because im too stubborn and in too much pain to do that.
        Yeah I have been told the same thing by rehab. It sucks being a canberra injured worker, especially privately, not in the public service. I asked them how am i meant to get a job when this is all over, because it doesnt matter how much i settle for, it will never be enough if i cant earn a living. So their idea was to go on newstart, because i am not disabled enough for a disability support pension, but disabled enough not to be employed. WHY do people just not get that we DO NOT want to be in this situation, we DO NOT want to be on government payments and WE DO genuinely WANT to work. I cannot sit at home forever, I go crazy!!!!!
        How do they expect you to get an IT position if you are not qualified and no experience? Have they offered you vocational rehabilitation?. They havent offered me that because I have experience in a few areas, just not capable of doing those positions cos of the injury.
        I have been applying for jobs for over a year, with over 300+ jobs applied for. And like I said, Im even struggling to get a volunteering position. So, Im abit over it. Wish I could take it all back, work through the pain as much as I could and just find a new position. I would never ever go through this hell again. I feel that they treat us (the victim) like we are doing something wrong and constantly having to prove ourselves. We didn’t do anything wrong so why are we treated like shit!. Like you said, its abit like an experiement. Turn the light on then off and wait. See how far we can push people.

        I really hope you have a good support network of family and friends because thats the only thing that enables me to continue on without giving up totally.
        I look forward to talking with you further.
        And I am not always so negative, Ive just had a very shit few weeks with them and in ridiculous pain this week. So tired of my partner getting home and having to put on that strong face like everything is okay. Only so he doesnt have to do so much after work. Makes me feel very guilty and lazy.

        Talk soon.
        R

  72. Richard

    Hi to all of you fellow injured workers.
    I am in NSW and it has been 4 years since my injury but I was only “transitionned” last August.
    I have 3 damaged discs and been classified by several specialists as unfit for any kind of work yet every 4/6 months, they send me to a new rehab team to try to get me fit for work?????
    anyway my employer was in addition to the workcover entitlements my sick leaves to top up my pay to pre-injury. Now the employer stop paying me the top up ( $125/fortnight)…..5 months after the “transition” . but when I asked why I was told by HR over the phone that with the transition I was no longer entitled to get the top up …so I contacted the insurer who denies such thing and confirm the employer is responsible to pay the top up …I contacted workcover who confirmed via email that there hasn’t been any changes in the legislation that will see my top up benefits stop. When I contacted my HR I was replied to via email that the HR manager “thought “that because I was transitioned I was no longer entitled to the top up benefits……yes because she thought that she decided without any memo, change of legislation etc to stop paying me!!!!!?? I requested to be escalated o area HR which they didn’t so I emailed all the culprits as well as the CEO and was then told they will look into it …that was 3 weeks ago ….now they are allegedly,asking their solicitor about it ….what a crap …HR manager taking on herself to stop paying entitlements….and not kin in re-starting them even though she cannot justify why she stopped them.
    WTF is going on …?! I need help …any suggestions

    1. Council worker

      you are entitled to have your own rehab provider . The insurance co s and employers use specific rehab co s because they will push u and your treating dr back to work even if u are stil injured and cannot do anything. if u hear of imac rehab get rid of them straight away. they misled and lied to my dr threatening him there would be an investigation if I wasn’t sent back to work. he did send me for duties under duress but this only lasted 4 weeks of 2 hrs per day 3 days pw. I went back to my neurosurgeon and he took me straight back off.i then contacted workcover and told what had happened and I got a new rehab provider .i suggest workers health centre. as with your make up pay ! maybe u should see a solicitor .or complain to workcover and tell them about what they have stopped in money you are entitled to. Good luck

  73. Council worker

    hi bashed and bullied, many thanx for the info you have given to me. I have seen 4 of their specialists now. The first two I’m not sure what qualifications they have but the next two were an orthopedic specialist and a neurosurgeon. Both were around 70 years of age and the neuro had to wear glasses to write and assess me. Which was a farce as he didn’t ask me to move my shoulder or neck at all. As soon as I get my Orthos report I’ll certainly go further and complain to your suggested people of Qbe. Not sure what Qbe tfm stands for but I’m sure with my reports and the way they have delayed my surgeries my story will go to the highest level. I have made complaints already to govnmt depts and will complain again after I recieve the report. hope your husband is doing better now.

    1. Marko

      I have just jumped on board with the HMAS “IME”. I am so not surprised to see a fellow in his twilight years, perhaps seventy at a guess? Seemed to be pretty upfront about things at first and “by the book”. Yet, about half way through he sort of lost me, when going on about what “could” be done, instead of getting to the point about what should be done. Apparently the ultrasound that I had taken several weeks ago didn’t get sent to him, nor did the report attached, so he was pretty much going on the MRI I had just taken. It appeared that he pretty much concluded the same as what my other specialist had, that I had “tennis elbow”, but without reading into the surgical report from last year, sent me on my way with advice to wear an elbow brace. This will apparently help me with healing and pain, when doing activities that aggravate my condition, like hammering and using power tools. Like I have been doing any of that lately!!! I wonder if it helps with sleeping on my right side???
      I wonder if we did a poll on the average age of IMEs, would we be pushing over the sixty age group as a majority? Seems like the insurers know who to target as their spokespersons, those most vulnerable at losing their licenses to practice and looking to top up their superannuation? I know this particular fellow has faced the WCC already and looked a little “red-faced” in light of the other treating practitioners, but time will tell if this have impact on my family’s future. Cheerio folks.

      1. Bashed and Bullied

        TMF stands for Treasury Managed Fund and is the Treasury’s Workers Compensation Scheme for any NSW Government Department. This includes Department of Health, Education and Communities, WorkCover employees and all other government departments. You would have TMF written on your documentation if you are under QBE TMF. TMF is answerable to the treasurer and they are under the Self Insurance Corporation. They still have to follow all the WorkCover Guidelines but the money is not managed by insurers under WorkCover. When you make complaints though you can still make them to WorkCover if they are about breaches of the guidelines.
        All IMEs who are corrupt ie they misrepresent the facts or what you advised them or who are not provided all your medical evidence should be reported to WorkCover as they are the ones who appoint and train them in the Permanent Impairment Guides.
        All injured workers need to stand up and complain about bad treatment so they get the point. We have made lots of complaints to the insurers as well as WorkCover and we have got our treatment back before having to go to the WCC.
        One thing to make clear is the cost of going to the WCC is usually way more than just giving you your treatment, so when you remind those higher up the chain they seem to understand their solicitors and these IMEs, IMCs and IPCs who don’t give an accurate assessment are going to cost them money when the arbitrator sees through them and finds in your favour. We worked out It will cost up to $20 000 for the insurer to go to the WCC and most of the time the worker will get their rights back so who is the real winner.
        The case managers are only aiding and abetting basically fraudulent behaviour if the assessor is dishonest. Don’t they realise denying some small payment for medications or physio will cost them more in the end and if it is an operation you really need and you go to the WCC with good evidence from treating doctors you will get your operation, again costing more for the insurer in the end. This is where all the money is wasted, not by paying to help injured workers get some help and support.

  74. Dave

    All I can say is the alleged system put into place to protect the worker does more damage to the worker than the injuries ever will. I know I was stung by this “fair and equitable system” and believe me it has cost me everything I had. Please people beware of the Lawyers the Doctors and especially WorkCover, they are all a bunch of Snakes with no regard for anyone or anything except their bottom line…..

    1. Trisha

      Hi Dave, this is exactly how I feel and got done by all of them, they work together side by side of each other ,my
      Solicitor from Sunbury vic took all the money, and I am still in excuriating pain to this day I know I will soon die from all the heavy medications that I am on but I have no one to turn to , this is the great system we live under, by the way I am not old. We are not safe the victims are always suffering , the rich gets richer because they are protected always, we all wonder why ???? no answers

  75. council worker

    Hi Marko . Yes it’s just beyond belief how these so called ime s and other so called specialists the insurance co s use to deny and discredit us with our injuries. I am so gratefull to the specialists and my dr for standing by me .

    1. Bashed and Bullied

      Hi Council Worker,
      Would you please write a complaint to QBE and WorkCover advising them of the IME reports where they are saying you should move your shoulder against the advice of your treating surgeon. Ask your treating surgeon if they would write in his report how you are being further injured and what would happen to your shoulder if you do move it in the manner the IMEs have suggested. Send all copies of the reports and the report from your treating surgeon to demonstrate to WorkCover how QBE is using preferred IMEs to provide medical reports that if they were treating you would be medical negligence.

      Remind the insurer and WorkCover of the increased costs involved in having to attend the WCC particularly as the arbitrator will rely more on your treatment evidence. Get a second opinion from another treating shoulder surgeon so you will have evidence to back up your own surgeon. Ask your NTD for a referral for a second opinion under Medicare so the insurer is not involved.

      My husband went to an IME for QBE and the IME recommended his shoulder surgery be denied. My husband had a big hole in the humeral head that needed a bone graft but the IME left this part off his report. If he had not have had the surgery he would have needed a shoulder replacement. The IME was a treating orthopaedic in knee and hip surgery not shoulder surgery. My husband abused his case manager and told him he could not use the iME report from someone not even a specialist in the area of his injury. The case manager then agreed and approved his treatment.

      Then they sent him to an IPC who recommended his physiotherapy treatment be denied after his surgery!!
      My husband made a lot of complaints and just kept going up the ladder at QBE till the operations manager got involved and the problems were all solved. The Operations Manager has to ensure all operations are complying with the Operations manuals or they can lose their contract with WorkCover so it is really important for them to be made aware if their case managers are not complying with all the WorkCover Guidelines or if the case managers or their solicitors are relying on biased, false or misleading information from “preferred” IMEs.

      Find out if the iMEs you have seen are shoulder specialists as the WorkCover Guides for IMEs say they should be a specialist in the area of your injury ie a spinal surgeon for a spinal injury, a hand surgeon for a hand injury etc so you can push the point if QBE are using IMEs who are not specialists in your injury.

      Are you covered by QBE or QBE TMF? The Operations Manager at QBE is Sam Bashford and the Operations Manager at QBE TMF is David Bacon. These are the people ultimately responsible and who need to be reminded how much money is being wasted when genuine claims are being denied or genuine treatment is not approved.
      Their emails are sam.bashford@qbe.com and david.bacon@qbe.com.
      WorkCover now have a complaint section and you can ring 131050.
      If all injured workers make complaints when it is clear the iME has provided a report that is false, misleading or biased or when it is clear their report is negligent or the IME is not a specialist in the area of injury then they will have the evidence to do something. At the moment they are needing such evidence as the basis of review.
      It is unfortunate most injured workers do not feel confident enough or well enough to make complaints about such things as you have stated so WorkCover don’t have the statistics to back what we as injured workers are all saying.This is hearsay till we all start proving what we are saying so please help out by taking the steps to provide the proof to WorkCover. This is particularly relevant if the arbitrator finds you need the treatment as it shows the insurer denied your treatment on misleading/biased evidence.

  76. Marko

    I am so glad at least someone is standing up for you in this ridiculous system. It perplexes me in the medical realms how different opinions from different people can be so totally contradictory. It almost seems like the person/corporation with the most “specialists” wins, regardless of the accuracy of the diagnosis. Corruption? Probably, seeing the rest of the plights shown on these pages. Hope you get the surgery soon so you don’t have to wait longer and things can be repaired before it is too late to make good the damage.Cheers!

  77. Council worker

    Hi everyone. Just an update on my situation. I will be sent for assesment and recomendations for surgery with my solicitors ime in April ,then it will be going to the wcc. I also saw my orthopedic surgeon today who is of great concern of being kept in pain for we’ll over a year now waiting for surgery on my Cspine. I’m sure his report will help in some way. also after seeing 4 specialists from Qbe that they use to deny my requests for surgery by stating I must force my arm to move and break through the pain barrier to get my shoulder moving,my ortho today has told me today and will also note this in his report.in no way should this man be told to move his shoulder to get it moving.the pain increases and may cause further damage. Also with my rotator cuff he says now it would have shrunken so much that it will be difficult to re attatch it and due to the delay may even need further surgery again. so much for these unscrupulous insurance co s and their so called specialists. I’m lucky I have my specialists helping me. Will update again I’m sure.

  78. Daph

    Thanks for the info, I will do as you say, my friend is right until the 25 Th May. The case manager asked him not to get another certificate until they all met with the NTD. But, he forgot that and sent in a three monthly (unfit for work) medical certificate, one week before the arranged appointment , because it was due then. Now they want medical certificates every month. And a few psychiatric appointments made. The NTD has told the case manager he is there to support the injured worker. The Dr won’t be doing anything illegal. In ten years he have had many case managers but none like the one he has now.

    1. Bashed and Bullied

      Never take notice of a case manager saying you don’t have to send in a medical certificate as this is a legal requirement and as soon as he fails to send in a certificate the insurer won’t pay him and may deny his claim.
      Thank goodness your friend has a good NTD who is willing to stand up to the case manager who is illegally harassing your friend.
      There is provision in the WorkCover Guides to send certificates three monthly if the NTD provides a reason for this on the Work Capacity Certifcate.
      It is quite unbelievable that case mangers are attending doctor’s appointments. What insurer is this?
      If they are now suggesting your friend be assessed by a psychiatrist IME for them be wary as there are some that will say he either has nothing wrong or that it was pre-existing. Make sure he sees his own treating psychiatrist so he will have genuine evidence because it looks like they are trying anything to get him off their books.
      Shame on the case manager!!!

      1. Bashed and Bullied

        By the way I have had friends who have had their claims denied so they discontinued their medical certificates then paid for their own treatment. Then the insurer reused to pay for the treatment when they got their claim back because they didn’t send in their certificates or request approval!!

        All injured workers should continue to send in Work Capacity certificates even if your claim is denied as they will use it against you if you don’t.

      2. Daph

        Did you know they have awards for getting people back to work it will be held in Melbourne next month I think. And sponsored be Suncorp Bank. Everything goes back to the bankers.
        My friend puts In medical certificates every 3 months. He only had to do it every 6 months but he wasn’t aware of that and so just put them in every three months. We never had a problem everything was good until a few months ago when we got QBE Case manager from hell. We have had many Case Managers ( most were easy to deal with) some for a week others for a few months. We thought, well, we will just wait for the next one. It can’t come soon enough. The psychiatrist was hand picked because he was also brain injury specialist. He is not one of theirs. The Neuropsychologist was one of theirs and extended the 5 hour appointment to 9.5 hour appointment She had 2 assistants and saw nobody else to see that day. When her credentials were queried, we got dumb answer, that she went to university. We have asked for nothing we were happy just for his medication to be paid for because we couldn’t pay for it. I remember early on they wouldn’t pay for me to say $15 a night for me to be close by when he was in intensive care. We struggled getting to medical appointments in the early days. I get mad when I hear they pay 300 an hour to Drs and $ 300 an hour for them to just read the reports. I have asked for a medical alert device I case of an emergency when he is on his own. Something useful that could save his life. We will see if he gets one.

        1. Daph

          A QBE Case Manager describes an Occupational Therapist, Xxx that she promotes independent living and social engagement. ( I think that sounds good just what he needs.). This person sends out Vocational guidance papers something like they would give a kid that hadn’t decided on a career path & was about to leave school. She asks that these be filled in before the appointment . (He is not capable of doing that). And please provide copy of latest medical certificate. Neuropsychologist have deemed there is scope for potential return to work. But, QBE in no way are they initiating that. They remind me that Worker’s Compensation is not a scheme where you don’t have obligations to abide by, it is about promoting return to health and work . They say psychopathy is on the increase. & employed in human resources, human commodities & human capital.

          1. Bashed and Bullied

            They do have obligations to abide by and you need to ring WorkCover to tell them what is going on. If your friend can’t fill in the form then take it blank as state he can’t fill it in so it is good evidence how low his functioning is.
            WorkCover 131050.
            You need to explain what is going on and ask for help to stop them bullying your friend.
            Send an email to the case manger asking them to confirm your friend is a seriously injured worker. Tell the case manager what they are doing to your friend is harassment of someone with a disability and that it is really stressing him to the point he is getting worse. You really need to start making them responsible for exacerbating his psychological ill health and welfare.
            Look up the neuropsychologist on the internet to find their qualifications.

            An OT has far less qualifications than a doctor so ask the doctor what they think of the OT’s recommendations and ask if the doctor will put it in writing.
            Get the nominated treating doctor to write to the insurer asking for the medical alert for his safety as well.

          2. Daph

            Thanks for your reply. My friend was in the catastrophic basket for a while he is 62% WPI. I have contacted WIRO and QBE have responded but WIRO want more information. I am hoping to hear back in the next few days.

        2. Marko

          Daph, I had no idea they had award nights for “returning people to work”. It sounds ridiculous. Why should they be given even more incentive to get someone back to work as soon as possible, when they are already no doubt working on a reward or commission basis? Yes, they should be achieving results, but not on the premise that the figures are a guide by which to measure those results, not at the risk of not giving an injured worker the required time to heal or taking the correct course of medical treatment for somebody’s complete recovery. There appears to be rewards programs in almost every state. It sickens me to think they actually have prizes to give these people and companies. No wonder there is such a push to get you back into the workforce at whatever cost, so the rehab consultant or case manager can put another trophy on their shelf. This just proves that we are only numbers to them and not real people. Sure they have a token category for a worker who gets back to work after a serious injury too, but I am sure that the puny cash prize and plastic memento would mean little after the pain they’d gone through by suffering at the hands of the “system”.
          I can see the small business category winner making his speech “Thanks for awarding this trophy to our business, as acknowledgement of our feeble efforts at protecting our workers from being injured.”. Perhaps the case manager “I am so honored to have this prize and dedicate it to the thousands of people I helped get into mundane, low paid work for which they aren’t suitable. I hope their ongoing pain and suffering makes this medal worth while.”
          Sickens me…..

          1. john

            There are no award nights for getting injured workers back to work.

          2. Rowan

            John is right (though I think Marko was being figurtive rather than literal). They do get bonuses along with their companies and rehab providers. I know which one I would prefer to be striving for.

  79. bashed and bullied

    Tell the NTD they cannot change the work capacity certificate if they don’t believe the person can work because they will be committing fraud if they write something they don’t believe.

    Send and email to the WIRO immediately because this is harassment of a seriously injured worker!!!! The link for WIRO is above on this website. Also make an objection to the case manager accusing them of harassment and send to their supervisor and WorkCover.

    The percentages don’t always add up because there is a formula they have to follow that discounts some scores as they add together but the above shows the total would certainly be over 30%.

    Get a referral from the NTD to a good psychologist as this bullying would be causing psychological ill health. Tell the insurer you need approval for the psychologist then the psychologist can then request further treatment.
    The more bullying the higher the cost because they are causing psychological issues on top of the other injuries so tell the insurer they are causing further injury with the bullying.

    Get a solicitor if you don’t already have one and make sure you attend the Injured Workers Support meetings where you can talk to other injured workers.
    The rehab people should not be turning up in the same car as the rehab should be impartial not a lackey of the insurer. More bullying!!! Complain to the insurer but go to the top!

  80. Daph

    Reading from % Whole Person Impairment table for a severely injured worker.
    Central Nervous system % WPI 22 + another 7 %,
    Olfaction & Taste 4%, Face 6% + another 8%, Endocrine System 20% & Visual system 19% . Total % of WPI 62% You can add that up. But. A Neurosurgeon can’t .
    Nominated treating Dr is being asked to change wording on the Medical Certificate to allow the return to work Case Manager and the occupational rehab workers to do there jobs. The Occ rehab mentioned to the the injured worker that she had done plenty of these Dr appointments with the Case Manager before. They turned up together in the same car.

    1. bashed and bullied

      The Fair Work Ombudsman thinks employers and I would imagine their representatives have no right trying to pressure doctors into providing fraudulent medical certificates. This is from an old article on this website but equally applies to injured workers-

      “The Fair Work Ombudsman has great respect for the medical profession and there are well established processes within the profession for dealing with practitioners who issue a fraudulent or unjustified certificate; and against an employee if they provide the wrong information that led to the issuing of a certificate. It is not the role of the employer to attend the appointment in order to determine a certificate’s validity.

      When considering a request for personal/carer’s leave, an employer must only request evidence that ‘would satisfy a reasonable person’ that the leave was taken because of an employee’s illness or injury. If an employee provides this evidence, the employer must grant the request.”

      Send a copy of this to the case manager and to their supervisor to remind the insurer they are pressuring the NTD to commit fraud!!!

  81. Marn

    Hi Everyone. I would like to tell you my Workcover Experience which is currently ongoing for now. I had been working for almost 5 years Casual at a Medical Centre when the Chemist was held up by a male wielding a gun then pulling out a knife demanding a bottle of Methadone which I was unaware the Chemist had that substance and later told after the incident, the Chemist was dosing people on the methadone program. So he escaped and I went into Survival mode you could say. I followed procedure, pulling the Duress buttons, phoned Police and while on the phone, the Police were asking me how to spell the street name while I’m telling them the man is escaping in a taxi and who didn’t show up for approximately 15-20 minutes after the call, taxi company (as the assailant escaped in a Taxi) and the Manager who was rude to me, unhelpful and obviously unaware of procedure as it was a crime scene, I was trying to get Patients, Drs and Staff out safely, the manager is arguing with me on the phone to bring the patients back inside the building and I had a Policeman standing beside me shaking his head no and saying to me in front of frozen staff and Dr’s behind the counter, “no as this is a crime scene, Everyone had to leave, when I was fully aware of Procedure and common sense. So the Manager turns up and proceeded to not even care, as according to her, we had interrupted her washing up and ironing in her coming down to the centre. So it was a very traumatic and horrible experience. The next day the manager had phoned me and proceeded questioning me very abruptly about not completing the batching the night before and how there would now be extra work to do that day as I wouldn’t be in till the next day which I was dreading as it clearly shook me up and didn’t care how I felt and was very condescending and rude to me! I walked back in two days later, broke down crying and shaking non stop and the manager was so cold and unsympathetic to me. I went in and saw a Dr, he called the manager in, told her it was clearly a Workcover matter and she stormed out, furious, in front of patients, Drs and staff to see her throwing things around, shaking her head and talking to herself in rage and was clearly angry. I walked out a short time after, gathered my belongings and the manager stormed past me and said, “You don’t know what bloody stress is (my name)” and proceeded to assault me with my cardigan throwing it at me, then she sat down and started booking Patients in. This happened at front reception where there are camera’s everywhere and the company had seen the whole ordeal with the manager and myself on camera. I have been off from work since that day back last year which has ruined and changed my life forever. The company had sent me to see a Dr XXXXXXXX in Sydney who when I saw didn’t want to talk about the robbery and bullying and harassment from the manager, he started my appointment with, “Were going to start this with going back to when I was born till now”!! I’m like, what sort of Dr are you?? I get the report and he’s tried to say the injury was pre-existing as I’d suffered depression in the past! So I’m the Victim and am now being treated like I’m the one in the wrong! There’s just no justice in this world when the Manager of the entire centre bullies and harasses you to the stage where it’s illegal and is still working there, with the company not taking any actions against her and I’m the victim who has suffered deeply over this. What do I do?? I was a very hard working, caring, understanding, efficient and professional person and now I feel like I’m this person who has lost my identity and fighting for justice in an injustice system. So unfair and wrong!

    1. Bashed and Bullied

      Keep sending your work capacity certificates to the insurer and get your NTD to refer you to a treating psychiatrist and psychologist if they haven’t already done so. Make sure the psychologist is WorkCover approved so they can request further treatment for you. You will need all the treatment evidence you can get to fight the insurer. Get a copy of the police report on the matter. Write a statement much as you have done above but put in the names of all witnesses to each part of the event including the reactions and treatment from the manager. This is very important as she has a duty of care to treat you in a manner that will not exacerbate the psychological injury caused by the trauma you experienced as a result of the robbery. She knew you were traumatized and acted to bully you because you were the victim of a crime which is a pretty good indicator she breached her statutory duty of care for your psychological health which is against the WH&S Laws.
      Ring WorkCover on 131050 to report the manner you have been treated by your manager to the WH&S division so they can investigate the matter.
      You need to document your trauma reactions so you can get a proper diagnosis form a proper psychiatrist as if the IME has determined it is pre-existing you can bet they will soon deny your claim so act now before they do and when you see a psychiatrist you will have evidence to fight the IME report.
      If the IME report is false or misleading you can make a complaint to WorkCover about the IME. If you had a support person get them to write a stat dec if you were misrepresented by the IME.

      I am not a solicitor but my experiences have provided me knowledge that I am sharing with you. You might think about making an appointment with a Workers Compensation solicitor . You can google them to find one who sounds like they know what they are doing.
      Good luck!!

  82. mm

    Workcover is a government company that works together with insurance companies and in the end they get you no matter what, solicitors or anyone who try to help you do not help they are working for themselves, do not hurt yourself at work not worth it being realiable and hard working , you are not going to get any help they make like they are on your side they aren’t, I found out the hard way , they ruined ppl lives everyday and they do not care its all corrupt . This country is as bad as communist countries no better

  83. Marko

    Just an update and release of frustration to anyone who will listen – Isn’t it great when the insurer rebounds your email for reimbursement of travel expenses saying that the email address is no longer active? Then almost a week later, without any correspondence from them, you make a call to find out what is going on and get told your case manager has left the company. Okay, I understand people leave and move on, but their clients should be informed of the changes, yes? Then you get put onto your previous case manager, who is temporarily looking after you, to find out about approval for further treatment. This is treatment that was recommended by the MD almost a week and half ago, supposedly conveyed by the rehab company to the insurer but yet, the insurer still didn’t know about it ten days later, until I told them today. Then, after informing them that the imaging clinic needed an official letter saying they [the insurer] would pay for the diagnostics in order for it to go ahead, I got a call from the imaging center. Apparently the insurer sent a hand written fax, requesting a quote for the test, without a contact name or number and no official letterhead or anything! I mean, my God, this is supposed to be a professional company. I got the phone call from the clinic and had to convey the message to the insurer, because I was the only link they had to the origin of the fax.
    Right now I am worried that I will not get paid my benefits this week, because the insurer probably needs a report from the rehab company saying that I actually did look for work in the last week, and made five applications. I have not been informed of this requirement from the insurer, but have from the rehab provider. Unfortunately my rehab provider is on leave today and I am guessing this will be yet another spanner in the works, designed to break my will and crush me into oblivion. They are SO mistaken if they think these tactics will work. :} <- that is a smiley face if you didn't guess [well sort of smiley, I am not so computer literate with this modern usage of symbols]. See yous next time……

    1. At a Loss

      Marko

      contact WIRO and inform them of the tactics being used by the insurer

      13 9476 or email complaints@wiro.nsw.gov.au.

      I have found them useful the several times I have contacted them.

    2. Marko

      Hi again. The wheels keep turning and I keep getting caught in the gears that drive them.
      I finally had my ultrasound done today and it looks like there is still some concern, meaning I’m going to have to get an MRI done. Also found I may have carpal tunnel, which I didn’t think I had before all this occurred, so there is another spanner to deal with. More to come once I’ve seen the doc, who’ll recommend me to a specialist and so on and so forth. The waiting game continues.
      Also received a letter from the insurer telling me I have to see another specialist. We’d already discussed a second opinion with the doctor and rehab consultant some time ago and it wasn’t deemed necessary, so I see this as some kind of action to get a resolution of sorts. It’ll be interesting to see what this guy says, considering he is the choice for Comcare and a registered Workcover assessor. Oh dear…at least I know I have got issues that haven’t healed and he won’t be able to pull the wool over my eyes, especially with the knowledge I have gained from this site in particular. Thanks for your heads up guys and trust me I will be back to reveal the results of all these wonderful twists and turns.

    3. Marko

      Hi again, I am so bored! I have been researching the symptoms I have been dealing with for the last many months, after surgery and return to work. I cannot believe my specialist didn’t already diagnose this condition which I have now 99% confirmed [with my Google medical license] is PIN palsy [posterior interosseous nerve palsy]. The photos of the symptoms are absolutely identical to mine so there can be no doubt. I can’t believe I didn’t research this sooner. I also think the ultrasound I had this week that showed a tear in the same tendon I had operated on, pretty much sums up that I am back to square one and destined for more surgery. This nerve problem I think is a result of either the surgery or the re-tear, but either way it isn’t like I’m going to be getting better soon. Bugger!
      I seriously hope the insurance company assessor realises all this and doesn’t do a dodgy diagnosis. I am definitely going to challenge his medical opinion if he does, considering that an average Joe like myself can figure out something as simple as this with the “classic” signs and symptoms available from various medical references on the internet. In the meantime, it looks like I am back to where I was around June last year, so no resolution will be forthcoming with income or otherwise. Bugger again!

  84. Complainers of the world make a difference

    Marko, that is the case and your father will lose his medical costs when he turns 66. This is the most disgusting thing about these changes.
    Make an appointment to talk to Centrelink about whether they will provide him a Healthcare card. Has he already lost his payments? If he has his own superannuation he may be able to get part pension which will give him the Healthcare card. You can have the GP prescribe meds that can be usually bought over the counter as well as those requiring prescription so he will be covered under the Healthcare card.
    There are also personal care plans where things such as physiotherapy are covered under Medicare-that is if the Libs don’t destroy that as well!!
    Sorry to hear about your Dad who no doubt went to work everyday for years, like we all did, with no idea what would happen to him when he was hurt and despite paying taxes was let down by governments that only care about what they can get for themselves!!!

  85. Jeffrey

    This is not a reply, rather a statement of my personal situation.
    In 2003, I was self employed, a partner of a very small company. I suffered a quad bike accident while in the course of work and had a severe fracture of my lower right leg. This needed extensive surgery which eventually put in back in place. Regrettably, the nerve damage that also occurred was not able to be repaired. That left me with a “foot drop”, a situation where I could not raise my foot and unsupported, it just dropped.
    An insurance settlement provided me with a relative small monetary compensation for “pain and suffering” and sundry expenses. By that stage, my marriage to the other partner had failed, the company had folded (workers compensation premiums had increased so much) and debt was WAY over my head.
    The settlement settled the debt and little was left.
    More importantly, the legal settlement provided for ONGOING SUPPORT as needed, for my welfare.
    I require an orthotic splint to support my foot/leg and medical personal have stated that this should be replaced each year (muscles atrophy and there may be other changes). I also require footwear that will fit my foot and splint simultaneously. This is not a huge expense; about $1200 each year but that is a serious bite out of an old age pension.
    Apparently I have been assessed as having a 27% whole body impairment and thus fall short of the arbitrary 30%.
    Like all injured workers, I find it appalling that the government can change the rules midstream and over-rule a legally binding finding.

    1. Marko

      Jeffrey, it is so coincidental that you mention foot droop, as that is EXACTLY what my father has. He almost had his entire leg [thigh to foot] cut in three places by a forest harvesting machine’s clamps. It was actually a very close to death incident, where a helicopter airlift and a very life threatening loss of blood almost took him away from us. To this day, he walks with a support because of the tendon/nerve damage, and has regular procedures and drugs to numb the nerve pain from that and the damage to his back from years of driving forest machines.
      The loss of medical benefits because of this absolutely ridiculous back-dated, retrospective law is what drives me mad. It is like telling someone that their superannuation they have put money into for the last 40 years, will now be only half of what it was because the new government decides to tax it at 70%. It is an absolute disgrace, as is the Liberal government right now, who want to rape and pillage everything we have worked hard for in the last half a century or more. The most frustrating thing about all of this, is that we will have to wait another four years for the opportunity to elect another government who may, or may not, reverse all these CORRUPT activities. In the meantime, they are now attacking the unions, to retrospectively claim more money from hard working Aussies, in the name of “budget savings”. I wonder who will have to pay next? Maybe they will introduce a homeless tax, for those who live in ditches and culverts, so that public servants won’t have to look at them when they ride to work in their lycra suits. I am so sick of this crap.

  86. council worker

    not sure on that question Marko. they have reduced and taken away so many benefits from us .for your dad’s sake I hope things are returned so that he is still covered

  87. Marko

    A question on behalf of my Dad. With the new laws regarding cuts to your medical benefits after 12 months of not working or receiving WC, does the following apply?
    If you are injured and you were getting meds through the system for your injury, then you retire at 65, do they stop paying for your medications after you turn 66? I sincerely hope this isn’t the case, as my father is still on strong and expensive pain killers, which if worker’s comp stops paying for would eat up his retirement plans in no time.

  88. Council worker

    thanx Marko . I am and I will fight till someone takes notice of the way they treat us. And we get the treatment we need .

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Council worker it is really important to see if the IMEs you saw for the insurer actually have qualifications, expertise and experience relating to spinal surgery or shoulder surgery. The WorkCover Guides are quite specific and state as an example a had surgeon for a hand injury, a spinal surgeon for a spinal injury. The IME must have qualifications and expertise in the area of injury so if they don’t you can dispute on this. Before you do though it is better to go back to your own treating surgeon and ask if he can write a report challenging the opinion of the IME to give specific reasons as to why you need the surgery and how it will help you return to work. If your surgeon doesn’t want to comment on the IME report just ask for the reasons and how it will help you get back to work. You can also tell the insurer you want approval to see a different treating spinal surgeon for a second opinion. If they won’t approve that just go under Medicare. You will need a referral from your NTD in any case. It will be harder for them to dispute your request if two treating surgeons agree you need the surgery. Once you get all this evidence and if the iME has less qualifications you can ask the insurer for a review of the decision and you can provide further evidence.

      1. council worker

        hi complainers of the world, thanx for your help ,the 2 ime s I saw were both about 70 y/o and apparently workcover accredited but their reports are all over the shop,with them both contradicting themselves, I had to ring workcover twice to get these reports as the insurance co were using delaying tactics and went well past the 21 days for a decision .I have seen 3 spine specialists now and two state I need the surgery on my neck, nothing will be done to my shoulder until this is addressed, so im just left in limbo , its just awfull the pain im in, they have paid for all treatments leading up to the request for surgery,massage/accupunture,3 injections in 3 levels of neck, medication,herbal teas,ointments,etc and now they deny it, how are these organisations allowed to do this to injured workers. if they disputed this why did they pay for all of this?

  89. Council worker

    thanx mushroom. yes I’m sure there is mate.

  90. council worker

    hi everyone another update . I got a ph call this morning from my insurance case manager. they said that they have their ime s report and are now disputing my Cspine surgery or any further treatment of this. But accept costs relating to my shoulder injury. they since the further injury to me in dec 2012 and feb 2013 have paid for MRI s that show injuries to my neck, 3 injections to 3 different levels in my neck ,they have funded. Physio/massage,acupuncture, ointments,herbal teas and medication. But can now turn around and refuse the surgery I require to try to get back to some sort of condition to try to go back to work. and as for my shoulder ! I’m just told by all their specialists to force my arm to move even if it hurts and makes the shoulder and neck worse ,,you have to keep moving it. these people are not specialists in their fields they are pawns in the insurance co s game of chess ,this game is our life and the way we injured people are treated. More to follow.

    1. Marko

      Wow , that totally sux. You have it bad to say the least. Only a few of us care apparently, nobody in the scheme does. Wish u d best. Chin up and fight tooth n nail for everything u deserve.

  91. Council worker

    I was told by a health provider.that the government pay them a bonus when u are pushed back into the workforce.weather you are injured or not Marko.

  92. Marko

    Has anyone been through VET or job seeking after injury to find a suitable career after injury? I’m specifically looking to see what kind of process you have to go through when you have been pretty much told you can’t continue with your well paid labor intensive job and you must look for alternative employment in something else, when you are only qualified for your previous role and you aren’t qualified for anything else?
    To be specific, 23 years of being a sparky and then being told you can’t continue to do anything repetitive or strenuous with your dominant arm, what can one do when sitting on a computer for a few hours causes chronic pain? So far I’ve been pointed toward estimating/sales stuff, which I’ve never had any experience in and I wonder how I would react considering I am not a people person. Estimating means doing stuff with money and I have NEVER been good managing budgets and I made over a $2000 loss on the last car I sold.
    Then there is the dilemma of this hypothetical situation – If and when I return to work in a job that pays me half what I used to earn and the insurer tops my payment up to my 100% of previous earnings, what if I am required to work say 50 hours a week? I could be on $5/hour, making $250 before tax and having the rest topped up to my 100%, but now I am working 125% of my previous hours and only getting 100% of my previous wages. Now there is a scary thought.
    It seems that the rehab people have some kind of incentive to get you back to work at all costs, regardless of whether it helps you back to your previous earnings or not.

    1. Mushroom

      Hi Marko,
      When I was medically retired they forced me to attend a private rehab company who threatened me that if I didn’t do as they said, (apply for ten jobs per week ) they would cut me off weekly benefits. I was forced to take the first job I could get which ended up with that job exaserbating my original injury due to the aggressive nature of the job. It was a crap job but the private rehab company were happy because they got me off their books, bonus paid, job well done as far as they,re concerned. I think they were meant to investigate the new work place to see if it was suitable but if that was the case none of that was done. So Marko please be warned, don,t let them force you to take the first thing that comes along. Please think long and hard about your next move. The way I see it you have been injured and it is not your fault, insurance was paid to protect you it is now time to call on that insurance system for help. Surely it is your right to at least be placed into a job that has similar pay and benefits, if it means retraining and weekly payments until you are placed in such a job so be it. Be wary if any jumped up little rehab consultant starts making threats about you losing your weekly payments. Don,t trust anybody you come across. I believed all their crap and now I,m sitting without any job or any income. I,m just lucky my wife has a good paying job to support me and three kids while I go back to tafe to retrain and hopefully get a half decent job. It looks like I,ll never get the same benefits I had in my lost career. It looks like I may not even get another job because I wear the black mark of the workers comp system! I hope things work out for you Marko, I hope for your sake that the ACT system Isn,t as corrupt as the nsw system and I hope they look after you properly, be careful, only time will tell if they can get you sorted correctly as they are meant to do. Good luck. I,ve given up fighting for any rights, they beat me, I was completely compliant with all their requests, 18 years public service, a nasty psychological injury and I get thrown on the nsw workers comp scrap heap for my troubles, no job, no benefits. Thanks for nothing mr o,Farrell.

    2. Mushroom

      Sorry Marko, I just re read your post. In regard to your wages being topped up. This was the case for me. I was prepared to take any job because my wages were topped up to what I earned in the public service. I was prepared to accept this as a fair compromise for losing my job and benefits but then Barry o Farrell comes along and re writes the whole workers compensation laws so that I lose any payments that I was entitled to under the old systems because the laws were retrospective. So Marko don,t fall into the trap of taking on any old job under the guise that you will get your wages topped up until retirement because I,ll bet my balls to a brick they,ll just change the act laws later on down the track so as you will be left with nothing. Marko try and hold your ground, insist on retraining and placement into work that you DEFFINATELY know that you will be able to sustain until retirement age. You have one chance to get this right and your future and your family’s future depends on it. Good luck.

    3. Mushroom

      I have just been wondering if the nsw workers comp system is corrupt or incompetent, or both. It is certainly not ethical nor professional.

      1. Marko

        I also agree with your sentiments about these rehab people, getting their benefits by getting you into work, regardless of what it is. However, our WC laws stipulate that Voc training is supposed to get me back to a similarly paid job or better. That’s why I am going to knock back ANY attempt to get me into being a door-to-door salesperson or some kind of retail that has no chance of progression into a similar salary. I will jump through their hoops to a point, but selectively. Apparently I’m going to be applying for 5-6 jobs per week but as I have already found in my searching for the last three months, that will be a waste of time as there aren’t any jobs out there that I would even get to an interview stage with because of my skill set.
        The next hurdle I have is transport too, as I don’t have my own vehicle [company car for last job and my motorcycle got sold off after I couldn’t ride any more] . Most jobs I have looked at that might be suitable stipulate own transport, so that is going to be a challenge for them to overcome, not me.
        I know they won’t top up my wages till retirement [another 20 years or so], I’m guessing they will cut me off after another year or so with a pitiful payout and leave me to fall into the cracks.
        No matter how much these friendly, young, smiling, re-training people try to coach me with curriculum vitae [of which mine has been successful every time I’ve needed to get a job in the past], they aren’t fooling me with doing volunteer work just to get back into the workforce. I’d consider that to be borderline on taking advantage of someone with a disability for the benefit of whoever receives their service. It’s like work for the dole, but nastier.
        I’ll keep you up to date with how it goes after my appointment on Thursday. In the meantime, I’ll just keep twiddling my fingers..LOL!!!

        1. Mushroom

          Hi Marko, interesting that ACT wc laws state that you must be placed in a job with same salary or better, it would seem I would have been ok if I had been injured in the ACT. Could this law be in place in the ACT because our glorious politicians and all our much needed public servants work out of there perhaps?

          1. Mushroom

            At the going down of the sun we will remember them, lest we forget!

        2. Marko

          From Workers Compensation Act 1951, A.C.T
          99 Vocational rehabilitation
          The insurer must ensure, as far as possible, that vocational
          rehabilitation provided or arranged for the injured worker under the
          personal injury plan is of a kind that may reasonably be thought
          likely to lead to a real prospect of employment or a real increase in
          earnings for the injured worker.

          and

          140 Meaning of vocational rehabilitation
          (1) In this chapter:
          vocational rehabilitation, for the injured worker, means—
          (a) the assessment of the needs of the worker for paragraph (b);
          and
          (b) the provision of appropriate, adequate and timely services for
          the worker aimed at maintaining the worker in suitable
          employment or returning the worker to suitable employment.
          Crap, I just noticed the “or” after real prospect of employment. There’s always a catch isn’t there? One word makes all the difference. Guess I’m screwed then, stuck in a pitiful sales job [suitable employment] hating my life forever…..bye, bye house.

          1. Mushroom

            You have to be a lawyer to try and navigate this hopeless workers comp system. The average person has no choice but to place their trust in these well paid rehab people and that trust is stomped on by them forcing you into the first crappy job that comes along, unfair sucky system needs to be replaced with vocational insurance!

          2. Marko

            Agreed. Maybe I can be one of these voc-rehab people if they have such a high earning job and all they do is type up references for others. In my first appointment I surprised them with the quality of my CV. It might have looked impressive, but it is only good for one thing now, and it isn’t for job seeking in any other field than what I was qualified to do before. Might as well screw it up and start from scratch with my experience for pretty much any job being “zero”. If ONLY I had enough money to get income protection before this accident happened. Considering I only pay $60 per week for house, contents, car and pet insurance all together, $30 a week to protect my income seemed a bit much, but it would have paid itself off in no time.
            Out of curiosity ‘Shroom, how long did they have you job seeking before you got into work again and how long were you in that job? I just wonder if they will keep topping up my pay indefinitely, or get to a point where they consider the injury and impairment permanent and just pay out? Anyone know when that decision is made, 12 months, 2 years or longer? There are big differences between being deemed unfit for suitable duties and your injury puts you in a permanent disability status, or the alternative limbo, where they keep waiting and trying things until you are worn out enough to throw in the towel, cut yourself off from their games and just try to get back into the real world again. Not knowing what their next move is, makes your future so uncertain in every aspect that you can’t plan anything. Some sort of closure or finality would be such a relief, which I thought would happen when the specialist and doctor agreed I couldn’t continue my profession any more. Apparently that was just another hoop I had to jump through.

          3. Mushroom

            Hi marko, I got another job pretty much straight away, the thing is I believe there are a lot of jobs out there but most of them are crap jobs that even an average person cannot sustain doing for a long time never mind someone with a recurring injury. It looks like it is game over for me, my weeklies have been removed and my medicals will be removed in September so I,ll be left with no job no income and an injury that makes it difficult for me to find the right job. In all fairness the insurance company said they would pay for a rehab provider but I,ve decided to retrain on my own bat, it,s sink or swim time for me. The shareholders can keep their millions they obviously need it more than me, what,s the sense in having insurance when they don,t pay anyway?

          4. Marko

            Thanks for the help. I will do my utmost to make this work in my favor and not theirs. So sorry about you guys in NSW and the crap the gov has done for you. Never trust a politician and never vote for any of them, Labor, Liberal, Green or Democrat, all they are is stooges for all the big money corporations out there. Stay strong folks, at least we have each other here for support.

          5. Mushroom

            If you get sick beware the smiling human resources officer, they will shaft and stab you,
            If you try and get better beware the psychologist hired to sack you nicely,
            If you want to work again beware the rehab worker paid to get you into anything,
            If you want to buy a clapped out junk heap go and see a second hand car salesman,
            I don,t know about solicitors, I dare not go there!
            Beware the case manager,
            Beware the hired gun insurance company preferred psychiatrist with opinions for sale.
            Apparently I need to work on some trust issues!

          6. Marko

            Guess what. Just rang this afternoon to see when my payment is going thru. They said it was being done. Then just after 5 I got email saying My med cert is only valid till 29th and I need to update b4 they will pay me. Didn’t tell me on phone when I rang. Still, my cert is good till 31st, like it said in the SMS they sent in last few days. All along I was never told I had to predate my med cert into the future payment either. Leeches the lot of them. Now I can’t afford to go to VOC rehab appointment on Thurs. GREAT system this is.

  93. council worker

    hi complainers of the world, thanx for your post, I have no problems giving my assessment reports of both their ime neuro and ortho they sent me to. if it helps other people to get treatments needed and to show the govnmt and public what these denials are making us go through I would be happy for adam to have copies, my whole story of my injuries and the way ive been treated are on this site if you would like to read it.
    I have a solicitor who as we speak is notifying the insurance co and their ime as to his report,and I may have to go back to my solicitors ime again for another assessment, I will update any further info as it comes through. no I wasn’t sent far away but it took them a fair bit of time to get this guy and believe me he was 70 if he was a day, he obviously doesant do surgery anymore,so why use them? makes you wonder why. ive also been in touch with the insurance co and asked for a new case officer as I wont put up with her treatment of me any further, ive sent an email detailing my concerns with her and her manager said she will look at it, but said she cant guarantee it, ive also sent my story to david shoebridge as he seems to be fighting for us injured people and my story and treatment may help, take care all, will update again, im sure.

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Good on you Council worker. Keep up your fighting.
      If you could give Adam permission to tell me who your IMEs were I will give him any info I have about them if I know there is evidence they are crook. Tell Adam to email me the names of the IMEs they used to deny your surgery. Also who is your insurer?
      If they don’t give you a new case manager then ask the supervisor who her manager is and make a complaint telling them how their harassment is making you psychologically upset and ask them if they want to pay for you to have psychological treatment.

  94. Complainers of the world make a difference

    They are not going to use the IME report to deny surgery they will use it to deny your whole claim so you need to work fast!!

  95. Complainers of the world make a difference

    Hi Council worker,
    Would you please pass the name of this IME to Adam on this website and give him permission to tell me who the IME was and a bit about your case so he can tell us at the Newcastle meeting on Friday. If you have any evidence that the IME has misrepresented what you told him ie evidence to show he is factually incorrect or other things such as a complete misrepresentation of what your imaging studies actually show or is stated in the radiologist reports then you need to make a written complaint directly to the insurer as well as WorkCover.

    In my case and my husbands’ case we could show evidence and contradictions in the IME reports and when we made our complaints the insurer and WorkCover removed the reports and gave back the claims. If you had a witness get them to write a statutory declaration saying what you told the IME so you can show how you were misrepresented. We have been supplying WorkCover any evidence of corrupt or unethical IMEs to show them how some of the IMEs are not impartial.

    I would not rely on the Commission either because we have evidence some of the IMEs who are seeing people as AMSs for the Commission are just as bad when they work for the WCC. You are better off to make many complaints now and to make them to the insurer before you go to the WCC as once you are assessed by an AMS you are stuck with what they come up with. Once you make your complaints you can ask for a review and for another IME who is not biased. Did they send you past a bunch of IMEs to get to someone they preferred a long way from your home? Look up the permanent assessors on the WorkCover Website to see if you could have been sent to someone closer as the WorkCover guides for IMEs say you should see someone geographically close to your home, so when the insurer is prepared to send you hundreds of miles from your home to get you to a preferred assessor there is usually a reason.
    Good luck!!

  96. council worker

    Council worker. we’ll I received the ime s report today and the report says spondolosis and degenerative changes of the neck ! Funny that isant it that a man can work all his life and not have any neck or back injuries yet they pull this out and try to make people believe it was already there. His report is missing so many things that he didn’t do to assess me and puts his own views on it which never took place. we’ll I guess it’s off to the wcc to see if any one there will assess me and see through his crap. I’ve also sent my story to the parliamentary commitee on workers comp and the providers we have to deal with. Hopefully it will be looked at so no one else goes through what I am. and changes some of the ways they treat us. Nite all

  97. Complainers of the world make a difference

    Good on you council worker.
    Complaining worked for me and my husband. We made complaints every time the insurer did something wrong or upsetting, then when the case manager did not act we went higher until we got to the top levels ie the operations managers and the general manager of the insurance company.

    WorkCover were very good and we gave them the information so they could get onto the insurer and they did. Remember WorkCover did not make up the Legislation, they are only doing what Barry and his cronies legislated them to do. When you get responses from the insurer showing they treated you badly and that they are giving you a new case manager because of it then cc the whole lot to every politician in the state so they know what is going on as well as WorkCover so they will have to take action.
    One of the biggest problems in this system is the waste of money with disputes being created by insurers’ solicitors using preferred IMEs who give a diagnosis totally different to what you have usually being treated for, for many years. Liability is then denied until it gets to the WCC and then even further. This means the only ones who really gain are the solicitors and iMEs for the insurance companies.
    I have a great deal of evidence that provides me with great concern regarding the financial benefits being gained by others at the expense of the injured worker.
    At the moment there are 9000 cases waiting to be heard at the WCC instead of the usual 3000 before the changes. That says a lot to me!
    If you complain to your case manager about any suspect IME/IPC reports and ask them to do something about what often looks like complete fraud from the IMEs then it is their responsibility to investigate and there is always someone higher, so do what Council worker and we have done, make complaints and remind the people who don’t do anything they are condoning it!!

  98. council worker

    council worker just updating on the latest fiasco from the insurance co. We’ll in my last post I saw the insurance co ime neurosurgeon. That was on dec 5 2013 and the decision they said they will make on surgery of my Cspine when they get his report. we’ll I sent an email 2 weeks ago to them and asked if they had the ime s report ? I also asked for a copy . a few days later I rang them as I didn’t get a reply and was told they had his report.she never mentioned giving me a copy but now said before they make a decision they now want a copy of the neurosurgeon who took me back off work duties. that has nothing to do with giving me a decision for surgery. I rang workcover again and told of this attitude of the insurance co claims girl and they did state to me they had enough time to decide and give an answer for surgery.and the other matter of my surgeons report is another matter. I also stated that I had problems with the case officer before and had complained to workcover and the insurance co and her boss rang me and asked me to continue to work with her. I said I would but only if she stopped treating me the way she had been. So I’ve asked workcover now for a new case officer and their reply to me was that I am entitled to a new one for the way I’ve been treated by her. all I want is an answer yes or no for this surgery so I can take matters further in the wcc if they deny my surgery. they have people following me and walking past my windows looking in my unit from next door. I have caught them hanging out the window of a car taking pics of me walking with a bag in my good hand and being called a dog as they drove off. I now take pics of them when I know they are watching me and after I do that they piss of quickly. workcover have now said they will escalate my complaint to a cat 1 level. Whatever that is and if I don’t hear an answer from the insurance co by tues to ring them back. If workcover had of given a dam about me and my condition I would be in a better place than what I’m in now. keep tuned and I’ll update soon. take care all and if your not getting anywhere with your insurance co. Start complaining as I’ve done.. Hopefully someone will hear my voice and make these people accountable.

  99. manuel

    Hey sorry to hear that you are hurting ask your Dr about see a psychiatry or Psychology to talk about how you feel about not being able to work.
    them not paying you is because they have a pi on you to see if you work to make money to pay bill its call the starve you out trick . in my state you could only sue if they did not pay you in La . most state have a law that a P .I must tell you who he is if you ask him and he must before he talks to you be careful they will give you there card tell you who they are and tell you they are working to help you be for you read the card no not talk to them . I would go see a lawyer most of the time they will take a case and get paid at the end of the case but will put a stop to you not getting paid . if your dr is telling you that you need more time that’s what go and if the people pick the first dr you can pick only one info that field but every time they send to a new dr you have the right to pick one to . best thing to do is see a lawyer. After that no one can talk from your enploryer if you hire him
    Good luck hope this help you (l am not a lawyer) just been through 19 years of the WC rules

  100. Injured police of Nsw

    Injured NSW Police officers need your help.

    Our group is called the Injured Police officers of NSW.

    This will give you an insight to how this system is failing retired and injured cops in Australia.

    The members include former Deputy and Assistant commissioners all the way down to Constable.

    I am a former investigator with the NSW Police Force, serving approximately 22 years, until my forced or constructive retirement.

    PLEASE HELP ME SAVE A POLICE OFFICERS LIFE OR IN THE LEAST THE QUALITY OF IT IN SOME FORM.

    By signing this petition, you will assist in preventing yet another serving or former police officer thinking or in fact taking his/her own life unnecessarily.

    We as individual victims of this vial Injury system also seek your support because innocent families are being destroyed.

    We are in the process of pushing for a complete investigation into the tactics use by Workers Compensation insurer Employers Mutual (EML) and First State Superannuation underwriters, MetLife.

    We have also started a petition pushing for an ICAC or Police integrity investigation.

    This petition has over 650 supporters signatures since it started late Saturday night.

    See these insurers and their contracted agents are themselves agents of the Government and can fall under these investigate bodies as their master is the Crown in relation to this issue.

    So as mentioned we write to you for your support and if possible, to sign a petition in relation to the appalling and perceived corrupt treatment in the least, of all Injured and or retired NSW Police.

    The Internal and external harassment by contracted agents and cronies within, along with their contracted insurers or emanations if you like, is sickening.

    They are a law underthemselves as these agents are given the “green light” to undertake various forms of unethical and continuous vial practice against retired and or Injured police officers.

    What was witnessed on the ABC 730 report on Thursday,19 December 2013 is real.

    The reporter, investigative Journalist Loiuse Milligan, from Victoria, showed us she has integrity to expose issues involving the Government agent and insurer Metlife.

    Louise has also exposed bullying in VicPol.

    Now it is time for the Injured Police officers workers compensation insurer to be held to account as well as Metlife.

    We have all been affected, witnessed or been victims of this uncaring system at some point in our lives for various reasons and or incidents.

    Complaints have fallen on convenient deaf ears to appease or cover individuals under the old “chums Act” in my opinion.

    Please take a few minutes to read the petition. You may just get the picture which will change the lives if many in the police family.

    We are being honest and transparent, so should the government, hence we wish to lay our evidence on the impartial table for a investigation.

    If you wish, please sign the same. This cannot be done without you !!

    I am sure you can understand the predicaments which face Injured officers, who once were the protectors, now themselves in need of protection.

    In fact you may know someone who has or still is unfortunate to wear the Police uniform in some State or Territory, for the fact that injury protection is totally inadequate or in fact non existent in some States.

    These officers now undertake their daily duties without proper safeguards in place, to protect them from various forms of injury and or internal retributions.

    The “poisonous” vine has grown and intertwined with various other agents of the Crown, spiking many with their venomous tips crucifying many a good officer.

    In turn, every officer is witnessing various forms of harassment, where the poison has also numbed their tongues for the above reason.

    We are pushing for a full enquiry in relation to various allegations of unnecessary surveillance on officers, their families and children just to save a buck.

    There is documented evidence of intrenched bullying and clear perceived misconduct.

    The reason for this inquiry is to expose and hopefully rid corrupt conduct by agents and or contractors of the Government, along with certain so called professional “cash for comment” report writers and decision makers who know their regular master.

    The mannequins in powerful positions, some wearing uniforms, who only appear when the positive stories come to fruition, will hopefully be held to account.

    Your support will be ever grateful to so many suffering officers and their loved ones.

    Please feel fee to pass this on to support the Injured Police, especially other Police throughout Australia and Overseas.

    Hopefully retired and injured police with decades of investigative experience and service can bring the whole Insurance and Compensation Systems to account.

    I could not see our Crown counterparts enduring this type of inappropriate conduct towards them.

    We swore the same oath to the Queen as the Politicians however are treated so much different?

    Simply click the link below to support the cause.
    http://chn.ge/1dtkbLz

    Twitter Accounts:
    @InjuredPolice
    @NSWPolicePTSD

    Please join and retweet, email, Facebook to your connections.

    We only have a voice in numbers.

    Enquiries Email:
    hurtonduty@bigpond.com

    Regards,
    Injured Police of NSW

  101. Long wait

    Horrific process to have weekly payments/ medical
    Treatment after the legistation changes

    Heading date at the commission next XXXXXXX – any other people been to a hearing and can
    Advice on what to expect?

  102. Tim

    Found out today that my claim for workers comp is denied because the attending physician listed me as “being available for light duty work” but failed to inform me that it was my responsibility to inform my employer I could do so. My employer was well aware of this fact because they recieved copies of the doctors report of my treatment but did not provide any light duty work for me to do so they or Travelers insurance would not have to pay on this claim. Sounds to me that the law is in favor of the employers and insurance companies and not an injured person that would expect the state to protect their interests and rights.

  103. Tim

    Just found out today my wokers comp injury claim will not be honored because the wokers comp physician said I could return to light duty work but did not inform me that it was “my responsibility” to inform my employer of this. Because a worker who is unaware of this does not report for light dut work their claim will be denied. Sounds to me like the State of Missouri, employers, and insurance companies conspired to screw injured workers to save a buck! XXXXXXXX THE STATE OF MISSOURI AND THEIR DAMN LAW!!!!!

  104. At A Loss

    https://davidshoebridge.good.do/tell-your-workcover-story/tell-your-workcover-story/

    If you haven’t done so please fill out this survey.

    these are the kind of injustices that need to be exposed

    https://davidshoebridge.good.do/tell-your-workcover-story/tell-your-workcover-story/

  105. Council worker

    hi everyone just another update on my injury. we’ll after being advised after all the conservative treatment I have seen at least 3 spine drs now. I made the decision to have the operation after the advice I recieved and asked for approval for the cspine surgery. now the insurance co are disputing liability and rejecting any treatment that my neurosurgeon has advised I recieve. I was sent to the insurance co s orthopedic surgeon and in his report he has said things in it that never happened in my examination and has also contradicted himself with what treatment I should recieve, he was approx 70 years old . I then saw their supposedly independent ime neurosurgeon and he did not even ask me as to move my head from left to right or move my arm /shoulder to find out where the pain is. he touched my neck and shoulder with 1 or 2 fingers and asked if that hurts a few times but I could hardly feel it. this man was also around 70 yo and did not examine me like all my other specialists have to see where my problems lie. it has been 20 months since my injury and prolonging the treatment I need is making all my pain worse. the insurance co also requested a conference with all parties and the rehab and insurance co case manager misled my dr with my specialists reports and was sent to do light duties. it was for 3 days pw at 2 hrs per day. Just doing checks on files and filing things away. but any movement from my arm/shoulder goes straight into my neck/upper back and I end up having to lie on the floor several times laying in between fax machines and filing cabinets. With the increase in pain during this and having to take more medication I went back to my specialist and he said lying on the floor was dangerous for not just me ,for others in the office and is increasing my pain which is unacceptable to my condition. I saw my dr last mon and he put me off duties. I notified my employer and they put pressure on me to come with me on my next drs visit .obviously to try to get the dr to send me back again with all I’m going through. I do not believe they have the right to ring me up and request this. It’s me going to see my dr. If they wish to see him they should do it through normal Chanel’s and request a case conference. All appointments to their drs and specialists are advised by letter and I believe this is the process they should go through. I battle with depression and anxioty every day and I do not need them to put any further stress on me. hopefully something will be sorted soon but I’m sure I’m going to have to fight them for any further treatment. I will update again later.

    1. Marko

      Crap. That is a shocking story to hear, especially regarding the over-the-hill specialists and their apparent lack of interest in doing a thorough job.
      The rehab therapists assessments are a joke in my opinion. They make you do the lifting, squatting, carrying, and other movement exercises which are great, except they don’t at all reflect the pain of your actual injury and don’t show the tasks you cannot do. Suitable duties is a joke too. What is suitable, anything, even when it increases your pain? I also love the attitude of the pain specialists and their “pain is good, it doesn’t mean you should stop doing what causes the pain, you aren’t going to make the injury worse..”. How do they know that pain doesn’t mean you are tearing a healing tendon more, or that the nerves are become increasingly irritated and inflamed? All they are doing is saying that the pain is in your head, whilst at the same time they are emphasizing that it isn’t in your head. “Flare-ups” is my favorite hated term. So, if the pain increases with activity, it’s a flare up and you’ve done too much, you need to rest it start gradually. Then they keep saying you shouldn’t baby the injury but keep active and moving it, it will settle and get better. Then they say you’ve been doing nothing for too long and the muscles have weakened, more exercise is the key.
      As for the insurance now contesting liability, how can they accept it, pay for treatments and then deny liability? That to me stinks of simple bs and they now it. I’d say they will get their nicely paid lawyers involved to figure that one out to save themselves money. I feel so sorry for you, mostly with respects to the pain, I couldn’t bear to think of having that kind of pain and lack of mobility. I count myself fortunate not to have been hurt that badly and your story along with others here put a different perspective on life.
      Good luck and stay in touch. Here you can at least talk to people who understand.

  106. Complainers of the world make a difference.

    Ring WorkCover 13 10 50

  107. Dani

    Can anyone tell me if whilst on workcover can your employer “mysteriously” not have enough work for you and send you home?

    1. Marko

      The less the employer pays, the more goes to the insurer. It’s a sucky system but that’s the way it is. If they say they haven’t got enough work, they just say so BUT if you don’t show up for your hours allocated, they [insurer] expect a doctor’s certificate. Not fair is it?

      1. Marko

        Sorry, I meant to say, the more the insurer has to pay as opposed to the employer, so it’s better for your boss. At least that’s how it works here in Canberra. Depending on your job, if you are able to carry out your duties without restrictions by the DR, I don’t see why there should be a problem with not having work available though.

        1. Mushroom

          Hey Marko?
          You still here mate?
          Do you reckon if I wrote to Tony Abbott he would lend me a few bucks to pay the mortgage this month?

          1. Marko

            Hi, I am back. Got the internet re-connected. Tony isn’t going to help you, he’s only helping out his mates in big business whilst taking away from struggling families like us. I’m already behind in the mortgage and NOBODY is willing to help with a loan/re-financing or anything at all. I haven’t gone to see the Salvos yet [too proud to accept charity] so we just scrape by with food. I was told again by the bank that superannuation should be able to help with our mortgage repayments under financial hardship but I’ve already spoken to them twice and been denied. This time I’m going through Dept. of Human Services [if they have an office instead of a help line phone number]. I’ve been given grace on our mortgage payments till Jan 2014, but then we have to play catch up. My specialist has recommended [in writing] that I be re-trained and if I continue trying to get back to working as a sparky, I will end up in chronic pain. So, I guess getting back on track with the mortgage isn’t going to happen quickly. Doing 4 hour days [maximum the doc would let me] hasn’t helped the healing as the first hour usually sees me start to struggle with the pliers and screwdriver. The re-hab gym people still think another 4-6 weeks and I will be back to full time, but that’s what they said over two months ago. They also keep wanting me to do less work and do a gradual return to tools. All the while, I try to get as much work to stay on top of things. Catch 22, catch 22, catch 22, it just keeps on trapping me in this hopeless situation. At least our Christmas won’t be as bad as I thought, I can live in happy denial until January 1st 2014 and then collapse into another year of misery.
            Sorry for hijacking your story Dani. How did the cut in work go? Did you end up losing out on pay as a result or did Workcover bridge the gap?

    1. Report unethical behaviours to your insurer and WorkCover

      It seems this may be the IME that has said a few other things over the past years to show his attitude toward injured workers, particularly those who have been bullied at work or those who have substance abuse problems as a result of mental heath issues.

      Some of his other tweets are quite revealing as are his comments in newspapers!!

      As for the Bressington matters these were complaints from injured workers in SA who went to her because of what happened to them during the assessment. She didn’t ask people to make such complaints, she just raised the matters in the SA parliament and the SA ombudsman made some recommendations about such fly in medico legal assessors.

      Once again it should be noted if you are sent to an IME and there is evidence they are not going to be impartial, make an objection on this basis to the insurer before you attend. If they don’t give you another IME who is ‘independent” put your concerns to WorkCover, particularly if you are being told you have to travel or skype to see an IME. There are clear guidelines for the independent medical examinations and if you read them you may find they are not being followed by your insurer.

      If you find your insurer is not following these guidelines and are moving heaven and earth to get you to see a particular IME you can be pretty sure they have reason to do so and in my experience their solicitors have chosen the IME.
      Check out the guidelines at-
      http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/formspublications/publications/Documents/independent-medical-examinations-reports-guidelines-3740.pdf

      If you have been to an IME or AMS or IPC who has bullied you or who has written a report that is obviously unfair, biased or inaccurate make a complaint to WorkCover. Provide a statutory declaration and if you have a witness get them to provide one as well. Be clear about exactly how the report is biased or inaccurate or against all your treatment evidence and be clear about the actions of the assessor and how this affected you including any feelings of distress or anxiety. Also report all this to your own treating doctor so it is included in your medical records.

      It is very sad when you are already injured and you then have to fight for your survival in this system.

      Thanks for you info “basket case”, would you mind forwarding all your information to WorkCover on this matter. Ring CAS 131050 to see who the provider services manager is and forward them the information to show the lack of impartiality of the IME concerned.

      It is of concern that an “independent” medical witness is training insurance company staff and spending time with QBE TMF staff. We found much the same with an IPC working in QBE and WorkCover are taking action. Obviously the insurers are paying this IME for another role outside his role as an IME appointed by WorkCover, which is a conflict of interest for them both, so if you have been sent to the doctor mentioned above by QBE TMF, use this evidence to make your objection and refuse to attend because this doctor cannot be impartial if undertaking or being paid for roles other than his role as an IME.

      How can any injured person feel confident they are being treated impartially with this sort of thing happening!!!

  108. basket case dog

    The following are the tweets of a work cover authorised “INDEPENDENT!” medical examiner,” supposed mental health professional. These tweets make me sick to the stomach.

    “Go Tony!”

    “Abbott is a man of substance. Clear winner ”

    “After a great day at CQ, looking forward to spending the day with the good people at QBE TMF. Best job ever.”

    “Doing a great job in nailing that feral nutcase Bressington.”

    “Pet hate: calling a medical practice and asking if I mind being placed on hold. Then doing so before I reply.”

    “There is nothing quite like the bloodthirsty ritual of cross examination to restore humility”

    “Hope lost. Unfit to work due to mental illness; but fit to appear on TV. Employer punished.”

    “Julian Assange’s mother is a complete nutter.”

    “Had the honour today of photographing the Premier, Barry O’Farrell”

    “Looking forward to a week of training claims assessors!”

    Independent, independence, yeah right!

  109. Basket case dog

    So work cover is fucked ! What about other organisations, police, corrective service, politicians.? Let’s get it out in the open and be done with it. Bullies are a minority that rule the majority because of their aggression lets stand up to them and let us hear some stories. They are mentally ill people that need help! Let us stand up to them!

  110. Belinda

    Hi All,
    I suffered my first work place injury in 1992 when I injured my lower spine and consequently had 4 months off work and mostly in attempting to get back to at least walking and being able to get of bed to go to the bathroom. During this time and well beyond I had physiotherapy treatment, scans, Dr’s assessments (back in the great old days of not being an independent report so one may say 0% and get back to work and another equally qualified Dr would say 30% and you will need ongoing support and therapy for many years to come – it would appear nothing has changed in that regard). I was not referred to any rehab provider by my previous employer (DET NSW) so to avoid losing my salary whilst still unable to walk properly and in great pain I chose to return to work for two weeks before the Xmas break during which time I then spent suffering and going to physiotherapy three times weekly, dog paddling and walking in local pools at 5:30am to avoid crowds (in the same pool that as a teenager I had done the same times as a swimmer preparing for championships – so the sign of ‘go hard or go home’ was still thereto drive me on.
    I was a broken woman as I could not do what I used to be able to do.
    My claim was fully accepted by the then insurer GIO and I was finally placed on a rehab programme in 1993 and then spent the next 4 years graduating up to full hours but not full duties as it was simply never going to be achievable and the DET accepted that as did the insurer. In 1995 I suffered another injury which involved a degree of negligence on the part of another member of staff (he sat in the staffroom whilst his class ran riot outside – he is now deceased from a brain tumour so there is no fighting that situation nor proving negligence I would assume). On that day my life changed yet again and it was in 1996 that my body simply could not take any more and went into what can only be described as an electrical and oversensitive state at which point I ended up in emergency at St Vincent’s … drugged up to the eyeballs and unable to pass faeces or walk or have anyone touch me or communicate properly … imagine my surprise when I realised I was effectively being treated with a narcotic which is effectively XXXXXXXXX in its basic ingredient! Before any injuries I rarely even had a headache or took a panadol!!!
    I was reviewed and assessed by the very best surgeons and Dr’s and they all agreed that whilst I may benefit from surgery there was also a 70% risk of a worsening of the situation and that ‘ further ongoing conservative therapy was highly recommended”. So back to that I went after I could get out of bed again (approximately 2 months) and back to the pool and walking … But I never returned to work and was medically retired by Health Quest NSW in April 1997. I have been in receipt of ongoing medicals and treatments and weekly payments ever since after two court determinations. I am still undergoing treatment for injuries and subsequent chronic pain syndromes, secondary fibromyalgia, absolutely buggered knee which needs replacement but cannot be operated on due to again the pain risks …. I have suffered depression and anxiety for years and am finally on a regime of medications that in some way gives relief but does not make me jump out of bed in the morning and be able to go to work …. I loved my career … not just a job … not just an income …. I loved with a passion my chosen career as an Agriculture teacher … loved it!
    The insurer had offered me a termination payment on the eve of the previous legislation change in 2005 from memory and they were being typically frugal in their very late at night catch the stupid bugger unawares approach … ‘ who the ***** are you and also talk with my solicitor and NEVER TREAT ME AS BEING STUPID OR IGNORANT OF THE LAW!’ Hence to this day I have never had another offer of commutation even though I have repeatedly told case managers that I am open to that discussion – even two weeks ago after being surveilled yet again … oh my god! Surveillance of others children in my company … and of me for the first time in years enjoying a simple walk and paddle at the beach … sitting outside a shop waiting because I could not do the stairs … surveillance that for the now three to four weeks on and off must have cost thousands and yet they refuse to pay for physiotherapy and pain therapy as it is ‘ medically unnecessary ‘ and ‘unjustifiable under the legislation’
    So here I am … luckily with the same partner whom I have put through hell and we still come out the other side 27 years on. So here I am awaiting the onslaught of the new legislation … still no commutation offer …. still receiving weekly benefits …. still having never been offered a Section 38 employment opportunity …. still awaiting any outcomes of IME’s sent to recently …. yep the same specialist sent to on many previous occasions and he still with the same advice …. continue to do your best …. and still questioning why I have not been offered a ‘reasonable commutation’ … yet he should not comment. He talked at length about how the new legislation is going to be ruining many lives even further … asked had I been referred to pain programmes such as ***** …. I have been referred to many from day one but refused payments until I basically had a breakdown (psychological and physical) and only then all of a sudden do they take any notice of the recommendations of experts … it has never been about managing the victim back to health it is about cost neutrality!!!! And that folks is repugnant.
    I understand the scrap heap of life.
    I understand the thought that suicide would be a way out of the agony.
    I understand why sometimes it is too difficult for partners to remain partners and injuries destroying relationships because post injury it is simply not only physically and emotionally destructive it is totally soul destroying.
    I understand that the workers compensation system has been through many changes but what I find unfathomable is that the 2012 legislation changes were actually passed to be include previous claims prior to 2012 date!
    I understand that I will be on medications for the rest of my life for post injury body trauma which cannot be resolved.
    I understand that I am also one of the lucky ones who was working and saving into superannuation and that has allowed me to be medically retired on my pension but what I do not accept is that had I retired at age whatever with no injury my pension would be, for life, at least 40% more than what I am on now. And that is what I am asking them to reconsider …. MY HUGE LOSS OF INCOME INTO RETIREMENT! Sounds fair to me.

  111. Marko

    Rant accepted. Crickey, 16 years! I reckon it’s not the work injuries that ruin people anymore, it’s the worker’s comp system that leaves them high and dry. Being sacked or made redundant is better than being off work due to injury because you at least have help from things like superannuation and Centrelink. If you are in the WC system, nobody cares. I’ll watch this space…

    1. Basket case dog

      Thanks for taking the time to reply to me Marko. After reading back my post yes 16 years is a long time. What I wrote was written with a lot of pent up frustration. Somedays I have really bad days and I go searching for some sort of help to keep me sane and I got excited by finding this site. The mere fact that it even exists is testament to the realisation that there is something wrong with the workers comp system. I must admit to being one of the fortunate ones that have quite a lot of support. I believe there are far more serious cases out there than the problem I have. I have a lot to be grateful for, brilliant doctors and good case managers, I think I am one of the lucky ones. I am probably taking up room on this site that should be taken up by more seriously injured people, people that are in constant pain and unable to work for one. The problem I,m having is that there is 2 sides to this situation. lets face it I think the insurers have their special doctors and we have ours. I hope I,m not giving the game away here. In some cases they have their lawyers and we have ours, ( I refuse to partake in this part of the game as it is very stressful and negative.) then I believe there are people in the middle just grinding away at trying to do the best for both sides. Mental health has become a huge industry but at the end of the day sometimes there are winners and losers. This is where it becomes serious and the losers lose their life to suicide. Again I,m lucky in this respect because yes I have a mental illness but yet I have wonderful support and I do not feel suicidal because of that. I struggle trying to make sense of this system I,m caught in, one part of me wants to be held in the system with all restrictions benefits and support another part of me wants to break free and step out into my own destiny but I,m afraid. I,m afraid that I,ll fail. I know I should be stronger and do the right thing. It sounds like the government are trying to do the right thing, save money and help those that need it the most, the people that are in real pain. I just hope they are fair dinkum.The greedy lawyers will be ok, they can retire to the country and set up yoga retreats. I,ll be ok I have support and a loving family but I,m still worried about the people left behind. The people left in toxic environments being hounded and bullied by arrogant selfish aggressive bosses. I just hope there is some sort of protection and safety net for the weak and vulnerable after they have been trampled on. I just hope that the government will do something about bullying in the workplace. Again I,m sorry these are the rantings of a madman my doctors keep telling me I should be grateful I don’t have leukaemia or cancer, that I,m lucky I live in Australia and not India where there is no workers comp. well I,m proud to live in Australia it,s the best country in the world and no I don,t have cancer but I do have a mental illness and i understand mental illness. If I get cancer I,ll go to a cancer website. I,m an injured worker and i,ve found this excellent site. I don,t live in India but I,ll bet their suicide rate is lower than Australia’s. well I,m just about done. If you bothered reading this crap I,m sorry for burbling. If I think of anything else I want to rant about I,ll be back. If you,re in pain and out of work I,m sorry for you troubles good luck with the broken workers comp system and the hyenas, my only advice would be is to search for a good gp and pschychiatrist, psychologist. Bye for now.

  112. Basket case dog

    Hi. I worked for a government department for 18 years. I was bullied and physically assaulted by a supervisor for years. I developed a psychological injury. I battled with various workers comp insurance companies over a 16 year period for some sort of recognition. Finally after 16 years they have accepted liability but it doesn’t seem to make much difference. My employment with the government department was terminated because of my mental illness. I was offered rehabilitation by a private company but the case manager was an aggressive arrogant little person that bullied me into the first Job opportunity that came along. The job was not suitable and I was sacked due my mental illness a couple of years later. I got another crappy job straight away but I could only last a year again due to my mental illness/workplace injury. I will have to take medication for the rest of my life, probably won,t be able to get another job because of the injury and I,ve recently had a work capacity decision made and my weeklies were stopped. So I can be assessed as unable to work and able to work when it suits them. Any time I have spoken to someone from workcover they have been incredibly rude and unhelpful. So I,m left with a mental illness from the workplace injury, I can,t get insurance or work because of the mental illness. These so called anti discrimination laws are just bullshit. Nobody really cares about the injured worker it,s all about dollars. The original government department should beheld accountable for this situation. At the moment there is some hope as my case will be reviewed. I won,t take a chance on losing my home because a private solicitor wants me sign a cost agreement that would probably only be signed by someone reeling in a full blown psychotic episode and I came close. I don,t fancy going through a long drawn out stressful court case that may result in me losing my home or getting a few lousy dollars. The only thing I have to cling to is I,ve been hearing about a goudappel decision in the Supreme Court that might reverse the retrospective part of the new legislation. If anyone has any information on this decision and the effects would they please reply. My advice to anyone that finds themselves in a similar situation would be to think long and hard before lodging a workers comp application. But then that is what the fat cats want! An expendable work force with no responsibilities when things go wrong. I feel like I,ve been used up and spat out. I,ve been compliant with every hoop that the insurance companies have wanted me to jump through. Well I,m not giving up, I,ll never give up I,m glad I found this website where I can finally have a say. Watch this space and I,ll let you know if the workers comp system has a sliver of decency left in it. Sorry for rambling but I needed a good rant.

  113. Peter

    Im an injured worker and have been on the books since feb 07, they why NSW workcover system is unfair and if you are involved in the racing industry its just worse. I rode horses for a living and did this since i left school at an age of 15, I rode in races in nsw and SA, had two falls in SA but the last was in NSW where i broke my ankle riding track work. My boss was there before i ride the horse but when the fall hapend they were nowhere to be seen, i crawled as far as i can to try and get close to a road so i can wave down a driver or passerby, i was there for nearly an hour.
    When i rang my boss she stated I should not say I was working as it would be harder for her to pay insurer, but I didnt want to stuff around, I got operated on 2 days after the injury due to swelling, when my boss come over to the hospital she went crazy as the doctors said to her I will not be able to ride again, from that day on ive been accused of everything under the sun (drugs, alcoholic) when I was able to seek help with a solicitor they asked if i could prove negligence, I said I fall of a horse due to It throwing me then It run over the top, can you tell me what negligence is involved in that…. there words were nothing sorry!! but you can go through the workcover giudlines and you will have all medical expenses paid for, for the rest of your life… from that day on ive had nothing but trouble with workcover and solicitors as i feel ive done everything i can to be honest with them. Up until last year before the changes come in they were okay but now they dont care about somebody trying to get there body right in regards to isue of treatment or operations, they just want me to look for work when my GP says im unfit, they also stated my wages will cease as i dnt meet the reqiuments. Now when i speak to my solicitor they say they cant do a great deal.. This is the most stresfull thing i have ever come across, my family has to put up with me in pain 24/7 stresed out and mood swings are very bad do you think solicitors or workcover care…. no they dont its down right crap how these two people treat an injured worker.. How do i go about fighting my rights as a worker and challenge all changes I want to take these guys to court but dnt have the money to fight it!!

    1. Marko

      I feel your pain. Not that I’m in physical pain so much, but hurting with the state of the whole system and how you get treated. The bit about them telling you to go back to work while the doctor says you are unfit is the worst thing they have come up with in this WorkFail system. How long have you been off work? Solicitors can only do so much too, because their hands are tied by the law. That is what needs to be changed, but we haven’t got the power to change it. The only one’s who have, are the fat pigs at the top of the ladder, reaping the benefits of all those saved dollars at the expense of people losing their livelihoods, homes, families and sanity. Aaargh this makes me furious. I can’t help you but will listen to what you have to say. Sometimes having someone to talk to who understands can help you cope just a little. Cheers.

  114. Laurie

    To all injured workers out there please be warned that if ********** or any other Insurance Company refers you to a********** of ******** , There is a special relationship between him and XXXXXX. I guarantee you will end up on the scrapheap if you do. Stand up to ******** and demand another assessor. If you have already and have been denied liability and all benefits have ceased as a result of this Dr / Insurance Company relationship DO NOT complain to the WorkCover Authority as they are sympathetic to the Scheme Agents (Insurers) and will not investigate. Complain directly to the Heathcare Complaints Commission and/or the NSW Ombudsman as I have.

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      We complained to WorkCover and have found some people listen and some people don’t and one who did nothing now does not work for WorkCover!

      WorkCover also suggested the HCCC and Ombudsman so guess it is worth complaining to all of those suggested by Laurie.

      WorkCover suggested complaints to the Ombudsman regarding bullying from case managers as well.

      We made our complaints to the insurer first so we had the evidence and then WorkCover and the Workers Compensation Commission as well using the evidence from the insurer proving what we complained of.

      What action did the HCCC or Ombudsman take?
      We found the HCCC didn’t want to look at our evidence even telling us they didn’t have to investigate medico legal doctors until we sent them a copy of the legislation saying they did!!

      The HCCC also needs five to six complaints against one assessing doctor in a 12 month period unless you can provide proof beyond reasonable doubt.

      Good to see injured workers claiming back their rights.

      1. Laurie

        I have had my complaint to HCCC aessessed and it has been forwarded to the Medical Council NSW for their assessment and action against the permanent impairment medical assessor. All I did was take the assessors report and picked so many holes in it that it proved to be very shallow and very biased as well as medically inept.

        I have complained to the NSW Ombudsman about the lack of action by WorkCover Authority of NSW concerning complaints against Scheme Agents. As the WorkCover Authority is a Government Department NSW Ombudsman must investigate the complaint. I have included all staff I have spoken with as well as the lack of transparency in their system in handling complaints.

        No one, it appears will investigate the Scheme Agents or do not have authority to investigate them. So it is worthwhile to complain to the NSW Ombudsman about WorkCover Authority rather than the Scheme Agents.

        I have complained to GIO Board of Directors concerning this “special relationship ” and depending on the result I informed them I intend to take it to Parliament and the Police if necessary.

        It is WorkCover Authority that needs 5 complaints against a medical Assessor before they will act NOT the HCCC.

        You just have to keep annoying them by exploring and acting on all avenues of complaint.

        1. Complainers of the world make a difference

          Well done Laurie!! We need more people like you.

          We have several complaints in at the moment about IMEs who have all provided false information in their reports and there is plenty of evidence to show it. I think some of these IMEs and IPCs are so arrogant and don’t care about anyone except themselves and their money. These people earn more in a couple of hours of assessments than an injured worker gets in a month so who is really ripping off the system?
          If an injured worker told gives false or misleading information on a WC claim they would lose their payments so what is happening to these so called “expert witnesses” when they provide false evidence on documents that could end up in the court system and they get paid for it?

          Did anyone know Independent Physiotherapist Consultants are sometimes working out of the insurance company offices deciding who they will assess? Nice way of giving yourself an income. I have the proof in emails from the insurer..
          How many people have been told when they are sent to an IPC that the IPC may have been sitting along side a case manager. I imagine the scenario could be “I’ll assess this one, this one and Oh I need a holiday in Bali, so I’ll do six more!!!”
          No wonder anyone going to an IPC soon loses their physio treatment.
          How many times have people been to their physio to hear them say how a certain IPC never approves their plans or you are told thanks to the IPC report you don’t require physio because the IPC suggested you would do better treating yourself at home!!!
          Just how many insurers are doing this?!!!

          The word “independent” seems to have a different meaning in this system!!!
          Anyone else have these experiences??

  115. victim of giant organisation

    i worked for one of the large oil company for last 6 years. 4 years back i had an injury (shoulder and neck) at my workplace. after the injury i got treated for 8 months and the cost of doc and physiotherapy been covered by workcover. since the injury occurred i used to suffer from neck, shoulder and back pain on regular basis. i some how manage to carry on my job by having neurofen, voltaren. even when i got clearance for pre-injury duties after a almost a year, the pain never vanished. till end of 2011 the pain was bearable, but it started to get bad gradually. end of 2012 my pain became so worse that i had to ask for a week off from work. i informed this to my manager and he send a letter to the insurance company to assess the matter. after 4 months long assessment based on IME report they decline my claim. according to the IME it is not work related injury, its due to degeneration in C6/C7 disc of my spine. where i am 95% sure that the aggravation occurred due to my physically demanding job. and this fact been agreed by my GP. but the IME (orthopaedics) haven’t mentioned anything about aggravation and why it become so worse in so early stage of my life (mid thirty). so basically i have been kept away from work without pay for almost 6 months. i requested my employer to give me suitable duties based on medical certificate but they refused saying ‘i am risk to their business’. to them as workcover declined the claim they are not obliged to give me any shift or pay me wages. the employer haven’t dismissed me yet, but trying their best to get rid of me within the legal boundaries. I tried to get some legal advice regarding workers comp but according the lawyer i am not going to receive anything from work cover due to the new policy. i was advised to fight for my rights on ground of disability discrimination. now in order to fight against this huge company, i need to have a good solicitor, which i can’t afford. due to all these hassles at the moment i am going through sever depression and feeling of worthlessness. and now i realised honesty is the worst policy. you give your 100% commitment & integrity and at the end receive this unfair treatment.

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Unfortunately you sound like another victim of an IME . You need proper medical evidence to fight the IME report as well as a new solicitor. You should also contact WorkCover Claims assistance on 131050 to tell them what has happened to you. They may give you the advice I am about to give you but it is worth talking to them about the legal advice you have been given and how the new legislation effects you.

      A new solicitor can send you to another IME to get another opinion to determine if your present symptoms are caused by work aggravating the existing injury. Your injury can be accepted for weekly payments and treatment even if you do have any degeneration as the work only has to have contributed to your condition to be a valid claim.

      Have a good look at your X-rays etc to see if any of the reports mention degeneration such as oesteo conditions. Ask your GP to have another look as well to tell you if the reports refer to degenerative conditions.

      We are aware of some IMEs who use this to deny claims even though the radiologist does not report these conditions.

      Ask your doctor to send you to a really good spinal surgeon who will send you for an MRI and give you a proper medical diagnosis. Google Adult and Paediatric Spine Surgeon, Westmead

      As well as this ask to be referred to a good shoulder surgeon. Look up Sydney Shoulder Specialists, St Leonards on the internet.

      I don’t think I can mention the names of these excellent specialists on this website but press your GP to refer you to the best. It sounds as though you do have shoulder and cervical injury and the symptoms are difficult to differentiate so you really do need to see both types of specialists.

      Once you have seen these specialists you will have their reports to fight the IME report. You do not have to be operated on but you will know what the current condition of your injuries is and your GP can then request further treatment and will have evidence to provide your insurer. You may also have physiotherapy reports that will help your case.

      Once you have specialist reports you can ask the insurer to review their decision based on your new evidence without a solicitor being involved.

      Would you mind sending Adam on the Injured Workers Network an email telling him the name of the IME who denied your claim and whether you have had any imaging studies done and what radiologist reports went to the IME as well as who the insurer is. If you could do this he could send me an email with your information with your permission.
      We have been doing some investigation and have found some IMEs are being used on a preferred basis by the insurers to deny claims. We are collecting evidence to show how the IMEs are really being used. Your information will be helpful for what we are doing.

      1. Magnus C

        You should be very careful ‘Complainers’ because you are perilously close to giving legal advice on this forum.

        To do so is illegal unless you are legally qualified.

        Who is this “we” you refer to in your posts?

        Also, how is this site getting away with being registered as a charity when you are asking people to contact you for the purpose of referral to preferred legal / medical providers?

        It will be interesting to see whether you post this reply.

        No doubt the down

        1. Complainers of the world make a difference

          Well I hope you read this so you will know I am not a solicitor but that we, as in my husband and I, have significant information from our research and experiences with this system, all well documented and provable and accepted by the insurers who have been subjected to complaints and have had to make internal changes and we have evidence of in writing.

          At this time it cannot be revealed but I can tell you the wheels are turning, even though it is a slow process our efforts are making a difference.
          You don’t get asked to make submissions to the parliament by WorkCover if you are not able to provide proof of what you are saying.

          I am not asking anyone to contact for the purpose of referrals but to see who the IMEs are that are behaving unethically and who provide reports inconsistent with the treating surgeons and radiologists.

          All the information I provide is gained through experience as well as reading the legislation and WCC cases and in meetings with the authorities and in information directly from insurers.

          You too can get all the information from the WorkCover website regarding all WorkCover Guidelines as well as the Codes of Conduct , Operations manuals etc You might note I always give advice to contact WorkCover or WIRO to confirm any advice I provide. There is a reason for that.

          None of this is legal advice it is all what is required if you want to survive this system. Telling someone to get proper medical treatment is not legal advice.

          Remember the legislation does not allow paid legal advice for people subjected to work capacity decisions.
          I wish I was being paid for the advice I give and for all the hours we have dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured people through providing evidence and making complaints.

          This network is for supporting others in the same situation as we have been in for many years.
          The only way you can get evidence is to allow others to hear your full story with regard to good or bad experiences and as people can’t make direct contact I advise people to provide permission through this website so I can give them something that might help them.

          How many people have you helped with your experiences?
          How long have you been an injured worker?

          This sight is a non profit organization, not a charity and any advice I give is for free because I care about injured workers and because it has all happened to us and we had to weave our way through the system.

  116. Marko

    Just an update and info that might help others with the cuts in weekly benefits.
    After reading up the WC Act of 1951, it appears they cut your payments after 26 weeks of incapacity. Seeing that I wasn’t restricted from normal work by the doctor until a month after the initial injury, I considered that dating the 26 weeks from the initial reporting of my injury was wrong. After contacting the insurer, they agreed and said it was a clerical error. I now have until November before the cuts come into effect, instead of October 14. At least I bought myself a little bit longer to figure out a plan of attack and hopefully heal up. It helps a lot to read up the rules and know your rights I suppose, not that there are many rights for the worker anyway..

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Glad you are looking into the re training. Unfortunately being injured at work insures you are disadvantaged in every way possible. Is your wife able to complete her diploma in another way such as distance education while she works. My husband ended up as the stay at home dad after his employer put him off after a functional capacity assessment found he was being further injured by working. Unfortunately I was then injured at work and eventually we both couldn’t work. We were lucky to have almost finished paying for our house so we could reduce our payments.
      Think about what you can do as a stay at home parent as sometimes adversity brings something good such as being able to support your children and spending time with them. Your wife would appreciate your support to if she has to work more.
      Good luck with it all.

      1. Marko

        It looks as though the politics are coming into it now. At the last specialist appointment the doctor recommended that I should return to physio, rather than a rehabilitation “gym” style treatment program that I’d been trialling for the last 6 weeks. For a couple of weeks I was in limbo, waiting for the insurer to approve the physio prior to my making an appointment. During this time the rehab coordinator advised me to continue with the rehab service in the meantime, which I couldn’t anyway because I was occupied with school holidays and the center was closed also. During the break I was advised by the insurer that a “continual change of providers” was not beneficial to my recovery and along with the rehab coordinator they felt it beneficial to continue with my current treatment with the specialist’s recommendations of focusing on the injury.
        “Okay.” I thought. How does this affect my obligations when I have a letter of referral to see a physio [whom I began my treatment with] but am now not following the advice of the doctor? I wrote back seeking clarification on the issue, to make sure I wasn’t contravening any of the rules for worker’s comp, along with some questions regarding the advice they gave me on looking for alternative work. Basically this was a view of “How can I get another job with another company, in order to keep my benefits, when I am not fit for duties with my present job?”
        The reply was that I won’t be violating any obligatory requirements for getting treatment with the rehab services gym, but with the travel issues I had mentioned, they had me start at one that is closer to home – so no physio, but physio styled gym rehab. I can accept that, no problem. But then in terms of my question regarding a different job to get myself back to work sooner, they started inferring i am “building these barriers” and they can’t help me without trusting them. How do they expect that an electrician of 20+ years can just slide into a desk job [ as I am cleared for clerical duties ], that will pay a wage equal to or even near what an electrician earns? The audacity. I browsed the most recent 150 job ads on the local jobs agency web page and all the office jobs were in IT and used terminologies I’ve never even heard of, plus requiring the obvious experience and training that I haven’t got. If I was to change to a lower paid clerical job, then I’ve well and truly cut ties with my current boss and will have lost this job, which is most counterproductive.
        Anyway, we will see how it all goes, but I have now been welcomed into the world of politics and being made feel small and insignificant…

        1. Marko

          Another update [this is turning out to be more of a blog than anything!! Is that okay moderators??]
          Well, it turns out my options are looking good for common law compensation, BUT I will have to wait for the wheels of justice -> up to 2 years?? By then, everything is lost. The only chance I have now is to find a job I can do in a clerical role, at least 10+ hours a week, to keep my pay entitlements. BUT, what happens to my current job if I do this? I’m sure my employer won’t be so happy to take me back after whatever period of time it takes for me to heal. That means I will be stuck in whatever crappy job I find, until I either get sick of it or find something better. Gawd this system sucks. I bet there are thousands upon thousands out there who have said something along the lines of this “I wish this hadn’t happened to me”. This statement is not so much in reference to having an injury at work, but more-so having to put up with these ridiculous worker’s comp laws we have suffered for decades. Yes, there have been and still are those who abuse the system, but what has it done to all the rest who DESERVE to be looked after, at least until some of them are able to get back to work?
          “They wait two years to see if you heal, but in that time they take away any means you have to survive the ordeal, piece by piece, like vultures nibbling at your rotting flesh while you squirm in agony. You reach for a helping hand but one of them is patting the vultures on the head, the other turns away in disgust, knowing it is not in their charter to do more than offer useless advice. The sun beats down upon you, relentlessly, unwavering and offering no shade. You slowly collapse into a ball, whilst your will to survive bleeds into the sands of greed. Rest well, knowing you are insured by the birds of prey who obey only the predators who dominate the land.”
          I apologize for being somewhat “down” in my little outburst [concocted on the spot here], I just had to have a bit of release. This was merely intended for those who might be following injuredsupportnetwork from the “other side” to show them what it’s like to receive their doctrine. Sheesh, what a stresser today has been. I’m thinking a lot of you are right now looking at putting me in the loony bin and I think you might be right. Great advice to all those who responded with precisely that recommendation as a “first thing to do”.
          Still…I’m in the fight, looking at all alternatives no matter what they might be. Even if a get a lousy job selling newspapers on a Saturday, I am led to believe that will entitle me to my current wage [with insurer topping it up]. Lawyer says so, let’s see if insurance coughs up and for how long? Cheerio folks, it’s not all gloom and doom.
          Marko – AKA Lippo the Mongoloid Swahelium Camel Pusher

          1. Complainers of the world make a difference

            If I were you I would be calling WorkCover, 1310 50 with regard to having to find another job while you are still employed. Your employer has a legal obligation to provide you with suitable duties and moving to another employer will mean any aggravation of your injury will have to be under their workers compensation. This places you in a position of having the injury you now have deducted off if it is aggravated in a new workplace. You are on shaky ground here and I don’t think your insurer is being straight with you. If you are in a new workplace you are under a new workers comp policy and will no longer be the responsibility of your present insurer so it is no wonder they are wanting to get you another employer!! You will be off their books then so be careful and check everything with WorkCover claims assistance before you believe the insurer.

          2. Marko

            Cheers for that. Unfortunately that No. is for N.S.W. I’ve contacted the Canberra equivalent and await their reply. Initially it seems that the insurer still only has to reimburse up to the 65% limit, if you get minimum wage or less. Might not be any way to get 100% AWPIE at all, just the 65% max, but I’ll wait for the answer tomorrow.

          3. Complainers of the world make a difference

            Sorry i forgot you were in ACT. Is that Comcare? NSW Laws are different and I don’t know that much about ACT but imagine it would be the same when you change employers.
            Keep up the fight. I know it is tough so good luck.

          4. Marko

            Cheers for the help. It’s not Comcare as that’s for public servants. I am under the W/C Act of 1951, which covers public and private I think. I’m still reading through the 340 pages to see what it says about changing jobs and the entitlements, without success yet. Lawyers, why do they write things in hieroglyphs? Maybe I should have been studying it last night seeing as I wasn’t sleeping anyway….

          5. Marko

            Hiya everyone. Update on progress [or lack of]. I reached the critical 26 week period a few weeks ago and had my GP clear me for some limited duties so I could go back to work. I could build electrical switchboards in the workshop as I was cleared to work at bench height and not lift more than 4kg. I thought this might work out okay, but day one proved it wasn’t going to be fun. Due to all the actions required to do electrical work [twisting screwdrivers, squeezing with pliers, holding and pushing with the cordless drill etc.], I found myself in a fair amount of pain after the first few hours. This gradually progressed to sharp stabbing pain in my elbow and a return of my pre-surgery symptoms with tingling/pins and needles down the back of my forearm and fingers. I persevered through it for the last two weeks, doing as many hours as possible so I don’t lose any benefits [pay] but thanks to the limited appointment times for hydrotherapy I had to keep leaving early. Well, starting at 5 AM was a solution to this, so I could get a full 8 hour day in.
            The hydro hadn’t been helping before I returned to work, but got worse after. By the time I’d get to the pool, my elbow was so stirred up I could hardly move my arm under the water. That was a big backwards step. In light of this, they arranged for me to have a review. The review report seemed to suggest that my return to work was too sudden and a gradual, reduced hours approach would be better so as to not inflame my elbow and I was simply having a “flare-up”. I don’t think pins and needles are part of aggravating an injury, nor does the fact my ring and little fingers don’t extend back up the same way as the other hand. I think there is still some damage to the tendon as a result of the surgery/injury which is either contributing to the pain and/or limiting the range of motion. Reduced hours might well be the right thing to do, but I simply can’t afford to lose a single dollar of my pay packet as we are over $2100 behind in water, electricity, phone and rates combined as well as now behind in the mortgage so I could feed the family this week. With my car weeks away from running out of rego and needing 4 new tyres, shock absorbers and whatever else the mechanic picks up on, I will soon be catching the bus or riding my bike to work [ 20km each way]. I then won’t be able to make my appointments or pick up the kids from school in the afternoons. Having searched everywhere for financial assistance and trying again with the bank to help consolidate our debts or put a hold on our mortgage repayments till things pick up, I can’t seem to find a solution to this dilemma whilst the WC system keeps trying to make things worse. Every day it looks more likely we are going to end up losing our house, but nobody in the whole stupid system cares. The GP just nods his head and signs on the certificate, the physio just keeps telling me it’s all good and the pain shouldn’t be holding me back, the insurance company just sits there quietly doing only what they have to do, my boss just looks at his budget and deadlines, trying to fit me in somehow but quietly annoyed that I aren’t performing at 100%. My rehab coordinator seems to have the most empathy for my plight but there’s nothing she can do to help me. She had spoken with her colleagues about my looking for other work and their suggestion of “supervisory” role was met with the fact that even electrical supervisors are on the tools. Stepping up to project management is an option, but again there is training and experience required, which I have neither of. Week after week I search the job vacancies but there’s nothing else I am qualified to do.
            Stuck without a paddle….

          6. Complainers of the world make a difference.

            Sounds like you are doing it tough. Reduce your work hours to 16 hours per week to stay on your payments. Have you had your cervical spine checked out? It sounds like you are getting symptoms from your neck. Is there any chance you hurt it and no one thought to check it out as they all thought it was only your elbow. Just a thought and also using your elbow in a way that is not normal can also result in you compensating by straining you neck and shoulders. Ask your physio to have a look at you neck and shoulders and send a report to your NTD.You made need some more thorough medical checks and imaging studies.
            You should not lose income if you are over 15 hours per week. Ring WorkCover 13 10 50 to check.

          7. Marko

            Unfortunately the system in the A.C.T is that if I work less than 10 hours/week, I only receive 65% of my wages [worked hours from my employer, the rest from insurance]. If I did 15 hours, I’d get a top up from insurance to 75%. If I worked over 20 hours, 85% and over 30 hours, 95%. The only way to get my full benefits is to go back to work full time. This is how dumb the Worker’s Comp system is, they leave you high and dry after 6 months, regardless of how long your injury takes to heal. I feel really bad for people who have serious injuries that could take years to recover from. I know the system is designed to get those people who are ripping them off, back to work and off their couches, but by doing so and painting everybody with the same brush, it disadvantages the ones who really need that support to get them back to health. Instead of getting me back to work sooner, this situation is only going to extend the length of time I will not be able to do my normal duties. Unfortunately, because it is the government’s law that has adjudicated on these rules, nobody can change it. I have written to our local MLA, with nothing but an empathic response and a “That’s just the way it is”. So it looks like I’m going to become a victim of the law, hopelessly helpless to change anything about my situation. Pretty soon I won’t be able to come to this forum either, as our internet will be disconnected because we haven’t paid the bill. Along with that goes the home phone and my mobile, further isolating me from the world. It’s going to be a long lonely journey. Until that happens, I’ll keep you guys updated and warn any new members not to hurt themselves at work and please get income protection, because without it you’re screwed.

          8. Mushroom

            Well Marko it sounds like the act workers comp system is far more draconian than even the new nsw system. It would seem that with the new nsw system we get 2 and half years before an injured worker gets left high and dry. 1 year of medical s paid. Why do they have this draconian workers comp system in the first place. Why can,t we just have plain old personal income protection insurance that gets paid out when we have an injury no matter what. If you are in employment and any form of injury occurs then you get paid out end of story problem solved. No lawyers no case managers just a yes or no. Billions of dollars being paid into a system that doesn’t,t work. Sorry Marko but it sucks. This does nothing to help your situation. I,m sorry for your troubles but nobody cares, you,re just caught in a fuck you system. There are a lot of people that will offer you empathetic support but they will not pay your bills. I,m sorry I,m just trying to offer some sort of support but nothing I will say will make any difference to your situation. I,m sorry mate!

          9. Mushroom

            I,m sorry Marko please don,t pay any heed to what I say, I,m mental!

          10. Marko

            Mushroom, no worries, I understand. I’m starting to feel the beginning of the long term effects….LOL. Mood swings, doubting your own pain and mental perception of it etc. You hit the nail on the head with the income protection insurance. It looks like the government is slowly but surely pushing everyone into a self insurance system so they can get rid of work comp altogether. Instead of the government spending money looking after workers, the insurance companies get to handle all the difficult stuff and the government reaps the rewards of the taxes. The same happened with Medicare – pushing everyone into private health, Telecoms, electricity, water…all the government supported systems that were supposed to help Australians are being eroded away into the private sector, leaving those of us unfortunate enough [too poor] to be left by the wayside. Which countres in the world actually look after their people? Canada? Sweden? Maybe I should start learning French as part of my vocational rehab and make a move to a better world overseas.

          11. Marko

            Internet disconnected, pretty much no speed…communication difficult

          12. Marko

            Dr said only 4 hours/ day now. 75-85% of income. No joy with consolidating debts. Homelessness in the future?? Cr@p.

          13. Marko

            Keeping msgs short works. Connection timing out. So isolated now, no phone, no internet, no petrol, No oil in engine! Less money to live on, no solutions. Losing hope. Happy Christmas everyone.

        2. Mushroom

          Hey Marko sounds like you have fallen on hard times I hope you get through this some how. I think it,s important that you document your story so that it can help people coming into the system if nothing else. I,m sorry I can,t really offer you any advice as 1. I,m still trying to work out this system after 20 years and 2. Mine is a psych injury. All I can offer is hang in there and don,t give up. I think you are doing the right thing coming onto this forum and people like complainers have the right sort of advice. These days we have things like income protection. I thought workers comp served that purpose when something went wrong, obviously I was wrong. We are in the middle of the workers comp ride from hell Marko. I just hope we all arrive at the end of this ride soon and with sanity intact.

          1. Marko

            Latest development – Another trip to the specialist, after being reduced to 4 hours a day by my GP on advice from the physio, a letter has been given pretty much recommending that I won’t be able to return to my previous duties as an electrician, period. Now, depending on how many hours if any my GP will allow me to do, it apparently gives my boss the choice on whether to keep me on doing light duties for limited hours, or terminate my employment. The latter would place me in the hands of the insurance company for re-training. If this happens, then there’s no hope of me getting any more than 65% wages because I won’t even have the opportunity to work at all. Crazy! Still, I have one more hail Mary which is the superannuation insurance policy for permanent disablement. If I meet the criteria, which it appears I very well may do seeing as I cannot continue in the career I am qualified for, they may pay that out as a lump sum. This might just get me enough to live on while I re-train for something else. My job hunting for “something else” on the other hand, is going very slowly because I am not qualified or experienced enough for ANYTHING else except an electrician or similar hands-on role. It makes me wonder what the insurance company would have in mind as a re-training option then. Pretty much any job earning the same as a sparky requires a similar certification – 4 years of study or more in a relevant field. I wouldn’t mind going back to school if someone paid my mortgage for me in the meantime…..Let’s see how quickly or slowly things progress from here on eh?

          2. Marko

            This is it! As of Wednesday this week I have officially been told I can’t return to work as an electrician. On Friday I became unemployed, my boss will send me the letter on Monday and pay out my entitlements. At least now, all the waiting and uncertainty has passed and I am in another world of waiting and uncertainty. Now I am completely at the mercy of the rehabilitation VET team and insurance. I have pretty much been cleared for any job that doesn’t involve repetitive use of my elbow. That leaves a whole lot of stuff I can’t do, so I will be interested to see what they come up with as a career change option.
            My biggest concern right now is, because I go onto the insurance company’s books, the paperwork might not get sorted before Christmas, so I don’t know when my next pay check is going to arrive. Probably in the new year? What a lovely thing to happen right before the holidays. I guess we won’t be going anywhere, just sit at home and eat bread for a few weeks. At least my veggie garden is coming into bloom and the chickens are laying eggs. Hope you all have a great Christmas break and next year gets better for everyone. Cheers.

          3. Marko

            Well, it’s looking like a miserable start to the Christmas period. Still haven’t got any money from insurance company for travel expenses from over two weeks ago [because conveniently my case manager is on leave, someone else forgot to process it, etc, etc.]. Now my final paycheck, with all my holiday leave and last week’s pay, has also not come through. I called the boss this morning and he said he’d look into it. It’s now lunchtime and neither him or his wife [accounts manager] are answering the phone. Looking like we will have to survive with whatever is left in the cupboard as the fridge is almost empty. No milk left so that leaves just toast for breakfast tomorrow.
            So, this is where the system leaves you just before Christmas, broke, hungry and forgotten. I shouldn’t feel too bad though with all the redundancies I’ve been hearing about in the public service and the local airline just going into liquidation. There are many families doing it tough right now and I have the deepest sympathy for them all. Let us all hope next year is a lot happier for everybody.

          4. Marko

            Yup, Merry Christmas from a certain insurer. The paperwork required for me to receive my first payment has gone into their internal mail system, sent last Monday but hasn’t arrived at their WA office yet. By new years we will be definitely knocking on the Salvos door. What a great welcome to “the system”.

  117. Marko

    Hi all. I hope this doesn’t go in the wrong spot on the forum, sorry if it does.
    I have a WC injury in the A.C.T, so this might not fit in here but there is absolutely no help on the net for Canberra based folks.
    As an electrician, I injured my elbow almost 6 months ago. Due to the time it took for all the scans and doctor’s visits, waiting for specialist etc. and the 28 days for the insurer to accept the claim, I kept working full time until I had the required surgery 3 months ago. I am now at the 12 weeks post-op stage, having seen the specialist today. The news was not good and I could be out of action for another 12 months before it gets better. The doc gave me a 1 in 2 chance of that happening.
    At this point in time, I was advised that I can’t go back to light duties, only clerical work, of which there isn’t any in my job. Due to the archaic laws [Workers Compensation Act 1951] after 26 weeks if I don’t work more than 25% of my previous hours my payments will drop to 65% of what they are now.
    Now this is where the system falls in a heap. I can’t go back to work because of the doctor’s recommendation, but I can’t live on 65% [three quarters of which will pay mortgage, the rest will be lucky to pay the bills. Dunno where food is coming from]. They are saying that the 26 weeks is from the date of the injury, but I was working full time for the first 3 months, which only gives me 3 months of payments to get better. God forbid had the surgery waiting list been any longer, I would have had my payments cancelled straight after they started or not got any at all.
    Sorry for the rambling, but I just want to know if anyone has any ideas on how to survive after they cut your entitlements. If nobody has any answers, I’m looking at losing my house before Christmas. After that, I’ll probably end up a nutcase. I’ve already signed the class action stuff, but I won’t hold my breath for an answer there.
    Help!

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Sadly your story is so familiar and it sounds as if you haven’t yet been subjected to the assessment industry as yet which is another story.

      I would only suggest you make an appointment with your bank to talk to them about any options including downsizing by selling your house ASAP and buying a cheaper one before you lose it all to the bank because you can’t pay your mortgage.

      Do you have any other form of insurance such as disability on your superannuation. Some of these policies have either Partial or Total Permanent Disability on them that you can claim if you cannot work at all.

      Very sorry to hear what is happening to you and I can only tell you to start seeing a psychologist now under a mental health care plan from Medicare. Your doctor can refer you or a psychologist can request this from Medicare.
      If you are becoming overwhelmed and don’t feel you can cope with much more you can also ask your insurance case manager to approve you seeing a psychologist and the insurer will pay. Get your treating doctor to write a referral to the psychologist who can request this on your behalf from your insurer.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help. Good luck.

    2. Michael

      Marko key words are adjusting & looking after yourself as nobody but yourself can do this & getting as much advice as possible.If able to work take a job in any field that doesn’t prolong/hurt injury. Look in to renting house out and living with family or friends until in a better position to support yourself. BEST OF LUCK!

      1. Marko

        Thanks for the advice. Losing the house is not an option. Unfortunately the bank already has my pay on hold to pay the mortgage first before I get to touch it. This means that when the payments get cut, groceries are the first to go from the budget. Hello Salvos. The option of taking another job isn’t going to happen, as my specialist said clerical work only and even sitting in front of this computer can only be endured for a short while before the pain kicks in. As a 41 y.o. sparky, a change to a desk job would be nice, but retraining costs time and money and I definitely don’t have either of those.
        Moving out of home to live with my family won’t work as they are interstate, that means I’d have to quit my job and then all of my benefits would be gone.
        Sucky, sucky, sucky system.
        I’d only just started this job and hurt myself 2 months in, after being made redundant in February. Oh how I wish I’d taken out income protection with the new job straight away. Unfortunately, it was too expensive as I’d already taken a 25% pay cut to get this job. Lemons, life certainly has a lot of them.
        I’ll look into the superannuation side of it, you never know.
        Anyway, I’ll keep in touch with you guys as this progresses.
        Cheers.

        1. Complainers of the world make a difference

          If you could get a cheaper rental you could rent out your house as Michael suggests so your payments are made by someone else if this works. See a real estate agent to get an idea of options.

          If you need retraining in NSW the insurer is obliged to pay for it so find out what the rules are regarding this in ACT.
          Get some support for your mental health as you will need it if you spend too much time in this system.
          Keep your chin up.

          1. Marko

            I just looked at rental market, for a 3 bed 2 bath like we are in, the rental price is almost what we are paying for our mortgage – $450+ per week. Also, we can’t take our pets with us [dog and 4 chickens], as there are only 10 rentals in the whole of A.C.T who will accept pets, all over the $450+ per week price. Even if we sold our house, there is little in the market that is cheaper [we bought as cheap as we could afford in the first place].
            Looks like we are staying put or moving to some remote village in the wilds, he he he.
            I’m going to look into the training thing certainly. I just wonder at what time frame the insurer’s require you to be in dire straights before they will let you proceed with this, be it 6 months, 2 years?? By then retraining will be the least of my worries.
            It really sucks that just as all this is happening my wife has just enrolled to do a Diploma course. I hope she won’t have to bail out due to finances as it would be our saving grace if she could get a better paid job than me, then I could stay at home and be the Mum.
            Again, support greatly appreciated. After two nights of less than 4 hours sleep, tossing and turning, it is nice to have someone to talk to who sympathizes.

    3. David Lancaster

      What class action? Could you please advise me of a contact person. I am certainly interested in a class action against the workers compensation system if at all possible. My injuries commenced in 1993 and my life has been devastated ever since, I have not been able to work since 2001. Regards David

      1. David

        I till cannot find the class action contact person regarding taking on the NSW Government, WorkCover NSW, The Workers Compensation Commission and the insurance commission. Can anyone send me some details of any class action ASAP as I have time limits. My multiple injuries took place between 1993 and 2001 and my claim began in March 2002.

  118. Waz57

    Hi there I broke my back three and a half years ago. To walk was murder but I was trying to be loyal to the company and push through the pain so I did for 3 and a bit weeks, until I was unable to walk. I have had 10 spinal 7 of them under .work cover.
    They were fantastic with me approving things but when I was told that I had Aracknoiditus and we tried to get a spinal cord stimulator but at 50 grand you need to be on deaths door. I ended up using my private health insurance, which has made live a little bit easier for me. W/cover and all the doctors and nurses.
    Between my disectomy and laminectomy that’s when I knew I had a huge problem !!

    Not to worry you or scared you, just a word of knowledge, never have any needles into your spine I have had 3!1epidural injections, also had a CT Mylogram which resulted in me having chemical meningitis for 2 weeks. I have also. My last scan was done in jan 13, have you kept a tally of everything that has happen, as these cases go for years and your tremor tremor

  119. Council worker

    hi guys just an update on my last post. well i have tried 6 sessions of acupuncture and it did nothing for me at all I’n giving me any relief of pain. So i then had the 3 rd injection I’n the c4/5 disc and it did nothing at all.so i went to see the neurosurgeon and he said that now that we have tried all conservative treatments i think a fusion is now warranted. he said go away and think about it after i asked a lot of questions. what i don’t understand is he won’t release his report to me ! Have asked for other reports from previous consults and denies me any reports. Obviously he is not looking after my welfare. So i now have to go and see the insurance co s specialist before they will fund any operation on my cspine. I am also going to get my own 2 nd and maybe 3 rd opinionon my condition. I also asked him if the new disc that mimics an original disc would be ok for me and he stated with my condition it would be unpredictable and a fusion with a bone would be better.as for the council truck that injured me,I’m told it’s still throwing bins back at workers and the council are still denying it. they have made most full time workers redundant and have casual staff which do not even get any training . I’ll update after i have my fusion.

  120. At A Loss

    Change lawyers Fast.
    type in compensation lawyers and you will get a list call them ask if they only represent the injured or do they represent both insurance & injured.
    my preference is a large firm that deals only with the injured but you may prefer the other.

    good luck

  121. lisa

    I need some advice … My friend had a severe accident 3 years ago when a steal bar on a truck he was unloading fell on his head, as it was not secured, the bar was 75kg, it smashed the top of his head and bounced off then came down again sticking into the back of his head, as there was 3 prongs on it. He did go to hospital where they stitched and cleaned him up and sent him home. It was a few days later that he went to his GP as after playing basketball he wasn’t well, further tests showed bleeding on the brain with bruising and fractures. Yes the hospital was negligent with the loss of blood and severity of head trauma, however this small town hospital is known for their negligence! The severity of the injuries was explained as a person going through the windscreen of a car in a head on collision. There was 3-4 months spent in hospital, in a coma, having rehab, learning to talk and eat again, stuttering, shaking, horrible horrible after effects. Day to day now is ok, he can’t bend down, run, walk far, no exercise, headaches and migraines are multiple every day. The insurance company has paid every week, but not at the rate it should be, around $200 less per week, he has gone to every single appointment requested, over a dozen, traveling 6 hours each time, visiting his GP for medication and doctor certificates every month, yet the insurance company is trying to claim that he can work, at a desk with breaks every half hour/hour and only part time, find a job that offers that with no skills or qualifications required!…. NOT one doctor has stated this, every single report states that he CAN NOT work, that any slight injury to his head will be fatal.. The insurance company has now cut off his payments, every appointment with them to talk about any payout, continuation of payments, they set a date and cancel, EVERY TIME! The lawyer has now suggested to go to Centrelink as it may take 6-8 months for any payments to come through.. its been over 3 years already.. what can I do to help? I don’t have much faith in the lawyer as I’m sure a case as sever as this would have been dealt with by now???

  122. dee

    EXACTLY the same thing was asked of me post a ‘rehab’ exercise session and I was in agony for days later …(.eventually vaguely got it back together 6 weeks down the road) could not attend my 3x days per week that had taken over 2 years to resume AND then I was told I would no longer be paid for a taxi ( I cannot walk properly and will be a ‘crip’ for the rest of my days post my injuries, pain excruciating at times still)…yet after the B.S. “assessment’ which nearly put me in traction, I now have to pay for taxis myself whenever I can simply no longer walk at all after a day at work! It really is ‘out-of-order’. I think there are LOADS of us out there …when can we do this ‘class action’ thing?

  123. council worker

    hi everyone i had a work injury with a projectile being thrown off a vehicle, which had been doing that for a long time and had been repoted frequently to the supervisors ,requiring surgery on a rotator cuff tear,after the surgery was done and months of physio and my shoulder and neck being very tight, after a surgeons visit who lifted my arm up above my shoulder ,the neck pain began to increase. i asked the insurance company for some physio sessions as the surgeon stopped them due to very limited movement 4 months after the operation it was agrivating my shoulder.so on a visit to my physio he then re tore the rotator cuff and the neck pain was extremely painfull now with lower and upper neck pain.i had an mri done of my shoulder and c/spine and it shows a near full tear of the rotator cuff and i have a slight bulge in the c2/3 and a bulge in the c 5/6 with a tear and possible nerve damage,i cant tell you how much pain i am in now, i went and got a second opinion from another orthopedic surgeon who i was told was very good ,and he explained what the mri s meant, i took them back to my original orthopedic surgeon who said it was only a small tear and mentioned nothing about my c/spine damage or pain,obviously because he was the one who lifted it well above my shoulder, i was refered to a neurosurgeon by my new orthopedic surgeon and he started me on cortisone in the c 5/6 first and then one in the c 6/7, i did feel some improvement but due to a questionare sent by my insurance company the neurosurgeon sent me for a functional assesment as to my capabilities to go back to work,i hadnt even seen him after i had the second injection to let him know of my concern as i thought that i was not ok just yet to do the assesment as i still had 60 percent of pain,but was told if i did not go i may have my benefits cut,so i went ,and doing the physical things the assesor asked me to do,crouching and standing where i did 3 or 4 and having to sit down after each one,then lifting a bucket with weights in my good arm and lifting it and putting it up on a table and after each lift she would increase the weight,i did this having to sit down again between lifts,she could see i was in distress but kept pushing me,then it was out in the fire stairs and walk up and down, after a few sit down exersises putting pegs in a hole and putting paper clips together she let me go home, when i left i was back to the pain where i was before the 2 injections or even worse,i got home and had to take medication and lie down,the next day i could not get out of bed and went to see my treating dr about the pain, i then went to see the neurosurgeon with my employer and the rehab lady wanting to be present,and the neurosurgeon said the report of the assesment came back as fit for suitable duties ? i could not believe what i was hearing,i cant move my head very much due to the neck/back/arm pain cannot move my left arm due to my rotator cuff still torn and needing another operation and i hear that ? i said i felt i was in no condition to go back to anything just yet and the assesment had made it worse but the neurosurgeon the rehab lady and my employers rep tried to presure me to go back, the neurosurgeon said he will try a 3 rd injection of the c 4/5 and if this does not give me any relief we will look at surgery, but im ok to go back to work? i thought specialists had also a duty of care ,i do not believe this neurosurgeon is or has done the best thing for me, i am now trying accupunture before i get that 3 rd injection as i am trying everything i know to get relief from this pain, but still have a long way to go, i hope and prey no one has to go through this like i have,

  124. David M

    Hi, I’m David, and I’d like to tell you my story.
    In April 2009, I started work in IT/Horse Racing with a group of people I knew from a previous job. I’d known them well. I suffer from a chronic illness called Crohn’s Disease, a auto-immune gastrointestinal condition. During 2009, my condition got worse, and throughout that year I ended up in hospital about 5 times. I worked throughout this period, including whilst in hospital, weekends etc. as the company was new at that time, and we weren’t going to bring in money until the software was complete. During this time, I couldn’t even wear a belt because of the discomfort!
    I ended up having surgery in January 2010, with a minor complication putting me in hospital afterwards.
    Unfortunately, after that I still had issues with pain, and unfortunately it took another year to diagnose gallstones, and my gallbladder was removed in January 2011.
    After my first surgery, I had asked for leave as I was exhausted from my illness and working, with the answer being “as soon as this project is done”, which of course, never really happened. I also told the office manager before my first surgery that I was suffering from depression – after him telling me that they were considering organising one for me (which I found offensive, because I was physically ill, which was causing issues for work).
    Throughout 2010 I had issues with my employer, due to my illness, and as a result of that we had multiple meetings, where in one instance the office manager claimed my work had been terrible (without any qualification which I got upset about), as well as claiming that my previous requests for leave, as well as me talking about depression weren’t valid because they weren’t “in writing”. Unsurprisingly, it went downhill from there, with a demand that I do tasks within 4-6 weeks, or lose my job. The first was already done, and another two were working with other teams (who of course, did not have time because the office manager had not alloted time for them to work with me). These jobs were completed in 4 weeks, 2 weeks earlier than they had allocated. After this came another notice, about my work, where their first complaint was that I was “working the minimum hours required”! Another one was about the colours in graphs, that I did a month after my second surgery!
    Having had enough of this, I tried to figure out who could help me. I talked to the Fair Work Ombudsman, another NSW entity which I forget, and finally Fair work Australia, where I lodged my complaint in August 2011.
    During that year, unbeknownst to me, an employee with whom I had personal issues told management that they were looking to get a AVO out against me, based on things overheard whilst I was on the toilet (I didn’t know at that time, and especially given that I suffer from a gastro disease, I’m gobsmacked. I’ve never hit anyone in my life.). I swore a lot there, and probably said some not nice things. There’s another funny story where my manager sent out an email, where he told the office that defecating in the main toilet should not be done (as they’d buggered up renovations, and some of the exhaust leaked into the A/C) – and should be done in the facilities in the lobby, 5 stories down, which again, gastrointestinal disease is not the most compatible.
    I found that out a day before the hearing, as my work tried to send their paperwork to me via courier (except that the courier couldn’t fit it in my mailbox, so they gave it to me at work).
    Now, I was quite depressed, and feeling quite paranoid, so to hear about that was quite shocking, especially the day before. In that paperwork too were outright lies:
    1) They claimed that they’d setup internet for me in hospital, when in fact I’d paid the bill for the IT guy’s mobile internet
    2) They claimed that the people I knew from work, with whom I stayed with after my first surgery, were doing it on behalf of work (which was blatantly untrue)
    3) A similar claim with my manager who has on multiple occasions dropped me off for colonscopies etc. which require someone to pick you up afterwards
    At the FWA session, noone seems to care about this, and after talking for a bit, and me breaking down a few times, the negotiator put forward a deed of release – the first time I’ve heard of something like that. They had a Laywer who said this was only on the table today – and without anyone in the State who I could talk to, accepted. (I called my Dad, who is on a DSP in QLD, and we both broke down at one point). I signed,
    I had to go the GPs afterwards, and I broke down there too, and we asked our local council’s mental health unit to help me out for a bit. My antidepressants got doubled, and in order to cope, I stated using synthetic cannabis to help out. I still get upset about it to this day, and I’ve been to two separate psychologists to try and help my depression, which it kind of did, but not really.
    It’s frustrating, because even now, 2 years afterwards, I haven’t really got any better, and I’ve tried to go off my antidepressants, which hasn’t worked, as I just get too overwhelmed by that experience.
    I’ve since been told that the Deed is probably challengeable in court, but I have no confidence in any system to be honest.
    There’s a quote I like – “It’s not paranoia when they really are out to get you” – which was more true in my experience unfortunately

    1. dee

      Ah, YES SOUNDS all too familiar. All psyche-out 101 tactics and it sounds like you are suffering ‘post traumatic stress disorder’. I feel for you but it makes things even harder if you can’t leave off the ‘drugs’ etc.
      Try to connect with friends and stay as positive as possible, I KNOW how difficult/impossible this seems but you must if you wish to regain any semblance of the old ‘life-balance’. Best wishes and keep on fighting!

  125. ash

    Gday every one,
    I have been on Workcover for three years now , My work cover have just finished my work capacity I had a IMD say I was able to go fro. 20 hr a week to 40.. since my last operation which was a wrist fusion to my dominate hand which was my second operation I was booked in for a complete wrist ligament /tendon reconstruction and a ulna deviation… as per my work capacity out come it was conducted on the IMD report . I am on oxycontin , end one and lyrica I was put on these meds a week after IMD REPORT I will get 4.95 as weekly benefits as one Dr out of 5 said I was able to do pre injury hours …….. it makes me sick that we have ANZACS and our elderly unable to buy food or use a heater and we have people Luke myself who will be made to use medicare for any other procedures I need to get to MMI … But we give boat people$ 912 a week … it cost us tax payers around 12 to 15 billion dollars to look after these boat people ( who can afford 5000 to 10000 dollars) to get on these boats …. hands up any person on Workcover who has that amount of money we can use .. NOT ME
    I am trying to get some sought of class action against Barry o-farrel as he said if he put any NSW person in a worse position as they are in now he would resign .. Barry ofarrel its time for you to fuck off and look after us tax payers a lot more and spend less on people who came here illegally

    Ash

    1. council worker

      hi ash, I too was sent to dr c*******, and I can tell you from my experience he did not assess me like all of my specialists and an ime I have been sent to by my solicitor,, he wrote a report which supports the insurance co and I guess this is why they use a man of nearly 70 and who has to wear glasses to read, im sure you will get the same sort of report that I did,which was all crap, but make sure you have all your drs and surgeons reports and document everything as it may help you later on,

      1. Rowan

        Moderators note:
        As part of our comments policy the name of the Doctor has been removed. I apologise for this but we need to ensure we comply with our policy (in this case legal).
        If you have a concern about a IME please fill out our IME feedback form found in the IME section. Here you can use their names because we aren’t releasing this publicly.
        If you wish to complain about a Dr you could also go to the Health Care Complaints Commission (http://www.hccc.nsw.gov.au/ Phone: 1800 043 159)

  126. Michael

    Best Advice I can give you is Now that you know what your injury is get advice on how to treat it with exercises and stretching,vitamins,even look at the pillow you sleep on Then get advice from a lawyer then a second opinion before going back on workcover as it’s not worth being on workers compensation even with a negligence case.

    1. Rin

      Hi Michael thank you for your advice. I will definitely do that.

  127. Rin

    Hi all,
    Is very sad and interesting reading all this post. I don’t realise that so many people become a victims of workcover unfair decision. I don’t feel so lonely now. I had been on workcover for 1,5 years and they ceased my payment October last year ( which is not much ). I have a neck injury from work, when they sent me to their weird specialist and sent me for MRI scan then they decided to ceased my payment. Because according to their specialist is nothing wrong with me and I will be healthy whitin six weeks. That was it, but I keep getting this neck pain, stiffness, headache, losing sleep at night, and so much other things with my shoulder and neck. Anyway I keep seeing my gp and reported what happen. Then he actually sent me to the best pain specialist on the Gold Coast. And he straight away found out that I had a chronic whiplash injury with c2-3 until c5-6 facet join injury. And I need to have an injection for it. So I reported what happen to work cover two days ago and still waiting for them to get back to me. I am not sure if I can do much with my claim neither sure if I can suing my employer for negligence or workcover due to their specialist false report. Is anyone can please give me an advise ? Because I don’t want to take a false move with my claim. Thank you so much…

  128. Dee

    I can relate exactly to how you are feeling (insurance co’s and Workcover work hard to bully and bamboozle hard workers into questioning their own judgement and even sanity). I have put up with all of this for nearly 4 years and now, after forcing myself to return 3xdays per week when (sort of) able….. (my part-time workplace “supervisors” are all working in concert to try to get rid of me outright through ‘bullying 101 tactics’).
    Have been with this Dept for approx. 35 years, this is the thanks I get. SO PLEASE….DON’T LET THESE TURKEYS GET YOU DOWN!!!We all need to encourage each other to keep fighting the good fight(your children also deserve a better future at their workplaces).

  129. Joe

    An article has appeared in the SMH on bullying at ASIC. “ASIC accused of failing to end bullying”. The problem is that though 27% of staff have reported bullying, human reources claim there has only been one (unsubstantiated) complaint.

    Clearly there is something wrong with this picture. Either there are only 4 staff in the team or there is a clear lack of understanding in what ASIC considers to be a complaint.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/asic-accused-of-failing-to-end-bullying-20130526-2n576.html

  130. MissA

    I injured my neck/shoulder 2. Years ago whilst working in a physically demanding job as machine operator, throughout the 12 mths I had little aches and pains but controlled it with heat/cold packs, voltaren (over the counter) and ibuprofen, and generally just kept going, unfortunately one morning I awoke in a panic I had lost complete sensations down my right arm with a sharp pain going from my left breast to under my arm pit, I thought I was having a heart attack, my husband took me straight to our GP, who sent me for an x-ray of the breast and neck/shoulder & arm, the results were good for the breast no mass and I hadn’t had a stroke, my next visit was toa neurosurgeon, after the physical examinations I was sent for an MRI and nerve conduction study, the results were bilateral carpal tunnel and nerve impingement in C5,C6 & C7. The insurance company then decided to send me to have an IME done by a Dr casikar, who stated in his report my above problems weren’t “work related, it was to do with my age” his findings were I had ‘ rotor cuff injury ‘ I then had another IME( on the shoulder) and a consultation with orthopaedic surgeon, who in his report stated ‘ no injury to shoulder, it’s the neck’…. Insurance company then instructed my GP to commence treatment I was sent to a physiotherapist, who contacted the insurance company for prior approval and got from another case operator as my current case manager was on LSL for a month to go ahead with treatment on my neck/shoulder after 7 sessions (approx) the case manger returned contacted the physio and told them they wouldn’t be paying them for the treatment. So I was back a square one again, my GP decided to give me acupuncture to try and help me with my pain to which its been 1 year next month I have been on compo for this problem and have been admitted to hospital after collapsing at work one morning and referred to the neurosurgeons clinic at westmead. After seeing 4 neurosurgeons, which in all their reports state the same problems and all recommend the less invasive surgery first and living on mobic 1-2 times day, trailed lyrica and endone, refused to continue as I have two very young daughters and seeing a clinical psychologist ( which the insurance refuse to pay, because she is not consulting me over MY SO CALLED SHOULDER INJURY’ driving makes my neck/shoulder a lot worse as does hanging out washing,vacuuming,and more importantly lifting my little girls up, which to me is heartbreaking for a mother,because children don’t understand ‘ WHY CAN’T MUMMY PICK ME UP’ and the fact my partner works f/t on shift and has to do the chores we once shared as a working family. I still force myself to do all of the above as much as I can but when this pain hits me I’m virtually in agony for hours to days…. I will never work as hard again for anyone or give my 100% to any job without first thinking about my OWN HEALTH & if its really worth doing it for my daughters sake… I want my physical and mental well being back and my life…. BARRY O’FARREL I have something to say to you YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVEN’T WORKED A HARD DAYS LABOUR IN YOUR ROTTEN-LIFE NOR HAVE YOU OBVIOUSLY WATCHED A LOVED ONE GO THROUGH THIS ANGISH, HANG YOUR HEAD IN SHAME………

    1. ash

      Well said

  131. Ms G

    I collapsed at work following a meeting with my manager where he wanted to performance manage me for something ridiculous. This meeting happened right after i returned from work after being of on stress leave). The lack of process followed by my manager and level of intimidating/bullying behaviour escalated in this meeting. I asked him to stop bullying me but he wouldn’t and called me all sorts of names. There were various other work related factors that added to my stress. i and was rushed to hospital by paramedics and remained there for a few days. My GP asked me to lodge a work cover claim as well. On contacting work cover and providing them with a report I was told I had to prove my manager intimidated me, bullied me and forced me to stay in the meeting. I was also told the manager did not tie my hands and force me to stay in the meeting. I was flabagasted and highly irritated by this comment and found it very stressful talking to the workcover representative who didn’t sound like she knew the process at all. I am seeing a psychologist, now a psychiatrist for treatment and have major work related stress and anxiety and post traumatic stress. The work cover rep says I got to prove intimidation as well. I sought legal assistance and was told by my lawyer that its just not worth pursuing a psychological/stress work cover claim as it is unlikely that it will get approved and I will be further subjected to more levels of stress.

    My employer it seems is trying to cover their tracks and have offered to do a small settlement with me. They also said they would assist me with the work cover claim.. I just don’t trust they have my best interests at heart.

    Any advice from anyone having gone thro something similar would be appreciated.
    I feel like I just want to move on and put this behind me! The level of stress is unreal and affecting me so much. I have only been in this country a few years now and never knew a policy for bullying ever existed until I got to Australia. I have a pre existing medical condition which I’m afraid is starting to resurface due to stress. I just don’t know what to do!

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference.

      There is every possibility the WorkCover person at claims assistance might not have known the facts. If you spoke to WorkCover Claims Assistance (phone 131050) you should ring them again and ask to speak to another person. If you have the name of the person you spoke to ask for their supervisor and tell them what happened. If you put in a WorkCover Claim to your employer they have to send it to the Workers Compensation insurer not WorkCover. It is up to you to advise your nominated treating doctor of what happened and they provide you with a Work Capacity Certificate. Your GP, psychiatrist and psychologist should be making the reports about whether your injury was caused by what happened to you at work. You should write a statement with dates and times of incidents with details of how the workplace incidents affected your health. If you have any witnesses then ask if they will make statements in support of you.
      I am not sure if the employer’s insurance company or the employer is offering you the settlement and the help with your claim or if it was the insurance company who has been giving you this bad advice. You should contact WorkCover 1310 50 straight away.

  132. GG

    Hi everyone

    recently my insurer case manager advised me that my weekly payments will cease as my weekly income ( I have returned to part time work 3 days a week as a part of my ‘return to work plan’ ) exceeds the weekly allowance.
    I have heard on the grape vine at work that my job is in jeopardy and I certain feel like an outcast by my manager ( a man that doesn’t believe people should even have a sick day if they are sick).

    My case manager tells me that I have 3 months more payments and in July they will stop. Twelve months from July my case will automatically close ( even though I will need two costly knee replacements in 5 yrs time).

    My question to everyone is that if after the weekly payments from the insurance company cease in July if after July my employment is terminated can I apply for the weekly payments to recommence? What is the chance of success here?

    I work 3 days a week with chronic pain in my knees and back. To get to work and stay and be productive I take a lot of pain medication. I only sleep about 4 hours each night, usually because my pain medication wears off after 5 hrs and then I spend the rest of the night trying to get back to sleep. When the lack of sleep is too bad I take morphine ( MS CONTIN) which gets me a lovely 8 hrs of sleep but I don’t take them too often as I don’t want to become addicted to heavy duty pain medication.

    I have asked for a merit review about my weekly payments stopping and I am awaiting a reply ( although I’m not holding my breath for a good outcome).

    In addition to this my case manager has advised that I need to have a IME ( my first one). The reason for the IME wasn’t mentioned on the letter from My case manager and when I asked why I needed a IME I was told it was because my doctor hadn’t answered questions in a form they had sent him back in march.

    My doctor states he has sent information that was required in march but for some reason My case manger didn’t receive it???

    My questions is …..do you have a list of bad IME doctors that I can check mine against? I have heard terrible things about IME.

    I would like to gain some background info on the IME doctor before I see him. So I can prepare.

    Also if the IME doctor writes a report that results in the insurance comp closing my case ( they have already told me my weekly payments cease in July – so the only thing left for the insurance comp to take away from me is the medical expenses reimbursement I presume) what is the notice period they have to give?

    Some people have told me that in a little over a week after I see the IME doctor I could get a letter from the insurance comp stating that my case is closed immediately because the IME normally writes a medical report stating nothing is wrong with the patient and so giving the insurance company the grounds to close the case.

    Surely The insurance comp has to give notice that they are closing the case due to the IME report???

    I have also over heard a HR manager at my work telling another staff member that when a employee is on workers comp it is best to push the insurance company to try and close the case and then once the case is closed because the IME writes that the injured employee is fit for duty then the company can retrench or terminate the worker.

    It has got me so worried that potentially after seeing this corrupt IME that my income could cease and my employment terminated and this could all happen within a few weeks!!! I have two kids to raise ( recently divorced) ,mortgage and car payments and I am so concerned I will lose my house.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    GG

    Ps thank god for your site- I have been in tears most of the day – combination of pain from my smashed knees and terrible back pain after a fall on concrete at work and feeling lost trying to make sence of this ridiculous system!

    1. Lucyducy

      Dear GG.
      I dont know if this will help . I am on workcover over 2 years now with little prospect of getting employment, I am to attend an IME and Impairment assessment by the same doctor on the same day, and then another IME by a psych following straight after, like you I was in tears and quite upset so I spoke to my present psych as I have a plan in place if it went to pot
      He explained that it may not be all bad, take with you all your information medical reports, xray reports anything you have written to your insurer stating how you felt especially at the beginning of your injury, how your workplace treated you etc if you kept a diary of your treatments and how you felt during them, as the IME will go into depth about your accident, The IME will also be able to determine if you are at your fullest capacity for working. You can also take a tape/mobile phone recorder with you and tell the EMI you are going to record the examination plus you can take a friend who may not but in in anyway who could take notes or record it
      I suggest you go to your GP and explain how you feel and get him to refer you to a psych asap even if only to talk with them, also ask gp for copies of any doctors reports make sure the GP bills workcover or your insurer for them its nice to get a good GP
      Pay stops if you wage exceeds your income maintainance you do not get both income maintainance is only a top up of your original pay that you are not earning ie if you were getting $600 pw income maintainance before a return to work plan and now your employer is paying you $400 per week your insurer will top up the rest if you are earning over $600 pw you will not get anything from your insurer but remember you are on a return to work plan conditions change and getting upset and in tears affects your capabilities to work!
      Are you in a union you may be able to get advice from a lawyer that your union uses for some advice
      another little bit of advice dont take your pain meds before you go to the IME appt it will then put you at your worse for your examination I take meds for depression which also help nerve pain I have been expeimenting not taking them for a few days I certainly know the nerve pain has not gone away! I hope this may help you

    2. Complainers of the world make a difference.

      There are WorkCover Guidelines for the use of IMEs and these are mandatory. You can only be sent to an IME if the information from your treating doctors including any specialists you have seen is incomplete or inadequate and the insurer must provide a “Notification to the Worker” stating what information was not complete or was inadequate etc. Get your nominated treating doctor to re-fax the information to the insurer before you see any IME. Then tell your case manager they have to have proof they have made reasonable efforts to obtain the information not just say they didn’t receive anything. Ask for the name of the case manager’s supervisor and make a complaint that the case manager did not make reasonable efforts to obtain the information from your treatment providers before deciding to send you to an IME. Tell the supervisor you think the WorkCover Guidelines are not being followed and you want it investigated why your case manager is going to waste between $1000-$1800 on an IME assessment when they can make a proper effort to get the information from your doctors which would save the insurer money and which would comply with the WorkCover Guidelines for IMEs. If the supervisor gives you grief then ask for the name of the Operations Manager. The Operations Manager at each insurance company has to make sure the WorkCover Regulations are being followed by their staff and insurers do get into trouble for breaching WorkCover Guidelines but this can only happen if you make the complaints. I would put what your case manager has done in an email immediately, so there is a record. Your case manager has to meet a service standard and must reply to your email within a time limit. Emails have to be answered within 48 hours and phone calls within 24 hours. Email your case manager first and ask for the name and email of their supervisor. Then forward a copy of your complaint to the supervisor. You can always look up the insurer’s website for workers compensation to find the complaints phone number. All insurers are required to follow the WorkCover Guidelines for the use of IMEs and if they don’t you can complain to WorkCover, 13 10 50. If you have made your complaints to the insurer first via email you can then forward them to WorkCover and ask for investigation.
      Act ASAP as your insurer sounds as though they are not complying with the WorkCover IME Guidelines.
      In my experience “doctor shopping” is common and certain IMEs have developed relationships with insurers so I would ask your case manager how often they are using the IME they are sending you to. If the IME is someone far away from where you live then ask them to be sent to the nearest IME to where you live as is required by the WorkCover Guidelines for IMEs. If your case manager has chosen someone far from where you live and then refuses to change you to see someone closer then it is a fair indication the insurer is using an IME they know will not be independent and who will give you a report against you so again make a complaint to the supervisor and WorkCover.
      I made my complaints before I was sent to an IME I had negative information about and when I went the IME bullied me and would not listen. Also the case manager sent no treatment reports and the IME refused to take reports I had. The IME lied in his report about what happened in the assessment and wrote things I didn’t say as if I said them, also saying I was unaccompanied when I was. I made complaints to my case manager and WorkCover straight away before the insurer got the report and now the insurer is not using the IME or his report as it was proved they doctor shopped!!! WorkCover have acted on my complaints and so has the insurance company so it is worth making all genuine complaints.

      1. Mr A

        Spoke to case manager and W/C about Workcover Guidelines for IMEs, said (and not surprised) that they can send you to a IME regardless of what reports you have. Can you show where/links to this infor thankyou.

        1. Mr O

          Section 119 (4) of the WORKPLACE INJURY MANAGEMENT AND WORKERS COMPENSATION ACT 1998 (found at: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/wimawca1998540/s119.html) provides that:

          ‘A worker must not be required to submit himself or herself for examination by a medical practitioner under this section otherwise than in accordance with the WorkCover Guidelines or at more frequent intervals than may be prescribed by the WorkCover Guidelines.’

          The definitions section of that same act provides that:

          “WorkCover Guidelines” means guidelines issued under section 376 (Issue of guidelines).

          The Guidelines on Independent medical examinations and reports (March 2012) are called up by section 376, specifically, and can be found at:

          http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/formspublications/publications/pages/independent-medical-examinations-reports-march-2012.aspx

          Cheers!

      2. ash

        I had the same here he put me from 20 hrs a week to 40 even tho I haven’t been able to do 15 hours a week since a wrist fusion in may last year and now I’ve need told that my weekly payment is $4.95 a week … the insurer is meant to take your specialist reports into consideration I was meant to go for a full wrist restructuring but was declined until they get another opinion… I am on lyrics 175 mg ,oxycontin 10 mg and end one 5 mg … I think Barry ofarrel should resign as he said if we the people were not happy with his efforts as our political representative he would step down
        Ash

    3. Dee

      Hi! This story is so close to mine as it’s not to be believed,(both knees completely stuffed after fall on station steps …trip on silver metallic plates ,wobbly and stuck up)…fell flat on steps , lucky not to go right down the forty or so steep and hard!!! All on CCTV so ins. co./WC had to OK approval BUT have placed every obstacle known to man in the way ever since. The so called “INDEPENDENT DR’s” can range from vaguly give a s&*! to outright LIARS….willing to misconvey/ underestimate your difficulties in order to ‘scam’ money!!!
      They will attempt to make your difficulties a part of almost anything else including (the MOST RECENT EXCUSE FOR ME)…issues with anger ??? S o now I have to see a psych. for ‘anger management’….sounds like a good title for a movie.
      Anyway, don’t think you’re alone …keep on fighting them , I know it’s really hard as I’ve been without much sleep for nearl 4 years and it’s NOT getting any easier, I just Know it’s all B.S. and this ,at least, is a strange kind of comfort.
      I intend to hold onto my newly found ‘anger’ and use it to thwart these poor excuses for human beings!

    4. cassandra

      Hi all, reading your stories makes me very emotional, my mum has been on Workcover in victoria for 16 years, and the cost to our family and the legal changes that you cant sue your boss, as its a no fault system sucks. I am a return to work co ordonator for my own job and deal with insurance companies and my employee’s at work and i see and have personally experienced the unfair and unjust work cover requirements. I would like to say is to Appeal! You have nothing to lose, under each state and territory it will differ, but dont be scared to take them on and know your rights. Keep notes and keep records of all your documntation, Also seek advise from your superannuation fund surrounding the criteria to claim a % of disablity payments. Insurer’s no matter what will always try and pull the rug and kick you off the payments, but if you still have the emotional energy to go to mediation, do it. Demand a reasonable service from your case manager and hold them accountable for negletance is the claim which can be used as evidence as aggrevation and you can put forward a claim/ compliant and that is taken into consideration when sitting with a medical panel board. IME are useless as the doctor;s are the preferred insure’s and they get a kick back out of the fund. One IME i had an empoyee attend and it went for 12 minutes for a serious injury, so it a joke, but keep fighting them and dont be affraid to take them to mediation, i sound like a broken record, but you can always gain more from them, and expose them. Insurer’s dont like having reversed decisons and once you have them on the back foot, use every source of information to keep ahead, Even if they are saying we have evidence based of survillience, prove it, and most panels generally consider that the insurer is looking to finalize, close or terminate and 40% the evidence is ruled to be not irrelevant to the injury been looked at. So dont let them bully you with that, you also can demand to see the vision on which they have determined is enough to cease, show a solicitor which can be free advise and fight!! Good luck all and may your road to a better quality of life be given to you, as we dont work in order to suffer. Good Luck

  133. Stan

    Another story which I suspect will be the first of many.

    Wife worked for a major supermarket – Rhymes with ‘Tolls’. Injured at work (broken hand). Forced by her manager to turn up to work the next day. She made a complain which he placed in his desk drawer – where it still is (He is protected because his father is a senior manager in the same company.

    She continued to work in spite of the fact that the area managers aim was to have no workers on compensation in his region.

    She was asked to go to another store as a deli manager to revive it. Foolishly she did and because it was a smaller store she had to do more hands on instead of managing. The used this as an excuse that she could not cope with the job so they laid her off under section (40 or 42).

    She developed a nerve desease from the broken hand and eventually ended up being 17% impaired.

    She got a payout and a payment for life.

    Her medical expenses are over $200 per month. Sometimes she waits for up to 3 months to get reimbursed!

    She just got a letter indicating that her work capacity is such that she could get a job at close on $100,000 PA.

    Because of this she will have her payments and medical claims cut off.

    SHe currently has a job in a cafe – obviously at her age just as a casual.

    Waiting now for final determination of what they will be doing.

    Can someone send Barry Ofarrell a dictionary with the word RETROSPECTIVE underlined so he can understand what it means!

  134. At A Loss

    Terry,
    It was difficult before and Barry O’Farrell has made it a living hell for anyone injured. A typical Liberal parasite. There only mission is to help the wealthy get wealthier and big business, bigger.
    I believe your biggest mistake was no going to Fair Work Australia the Nsw ir commission, is state run FairWork is Federal.
    Don’t vote liberal state or federal .
    Write to O’Farrell and tell him you, your family & Friends won’t be voting for him or his Federal equivalent.

    The fight isn’t over!

  135. terry

    i’m anxious at barry’s changes! i’m only just starting on my journey into the workers compensation system in nsw I was employed as a storeman in 2008 when I sustained a rotator cuff injury 14mths on workers comp while I recovered from the surgery sacked from my job at 12mths 2mths later my gp said fit for pre injury duties workers compensation payments ceased applied for my job back only to meet with silence asked industrial relations commission to intervene within the required time limit “reinstatement of injured worker” irc appointed ams posing question “is fit for preinjury duties?” 6mths later hearing for 2 days 12mths deliberation by irc commissioner decision “application for reinstatement of injured worker declined” “ams report not fit for preinjury duties as a storeman where it involves pick and pack” but heres a little morsel for you $10,000 thanks commissioner that’ll pay my legals. respondent says not entitled to compensation if no reinstatement order is made appeal lodged 6mths later appeal upheld
    so now I have an incapacity cant perform the duties of a storeman If cant pick and pack
    which means that i’m entitled to workers compensation to date and ongoing for a maximum of 5 years
    unless the injured worker has a wpi in excess of 20% or the insurer assesses the worker to have no current work capacity( as if)
    since barrys changed everything I have to attain 11%wpi for lumpsum compensation = $15,400 =11%wpi
    must attain 15% wpi for access to common law damages which means you have to be moderately incapacitated
    and 30%wpi to be classed seriously injured in all cases (except seriously injured workers who must agree and or request) the insurer and or workcover will send these workers for work capacity assessments where they will say you can earn x dollars and then drop your compensation. their not in it for charity
    it all hinges on whole person impairment to gain any sort of real compensation but no compensation will makeup for the injury you have to live with
    from what I’ve read on the wcc website the adversarial system in workers compensation sees the insurers employing all sorts of tactics to rid themselves of liability supported by the o”farrell government
    I have had what I considered to be suitable employment from time to time during this ordeal albeit with varying degrees of incapacity and pain otherwise I would have lost everything that I have worked all my life for
    insurers making work capacity assessments of injured workers is putting the children in charge of the lolly jar
    and flooding the wcc with disputes

  136. Kerrie Thompson

    Hi Im new to this website.
    Just checking it out.

  137. Carlo J

    Hi Everyone

    Just read that insurance company QBE is out sourcing jobs to Manilla after they cut 700 local jobs now that real great first we have the Indians / Paki’s calling at all hours or we call for a help line and thats what we get people that cant understand or speak a word of english im not being racist here but aussie jobs for aussie people i say the way i see it now is that this will make it even harder for the injured worker thru stress trying to get there point across about treatment and payments it seems to me that they have done this as another way of making it harder so the injured worker gives up not that things are real good here either i have 25 plus requests from myself and my doctor for phyiso from a operation i had done in November 2012 which the insurance company accepted liability with no result as yet so whats it going to be like when all this is off shore as it stands ive had mental break downs serve depression thought about ending it all as well because every day is like a black hole so where do i turn to now ? because i dont no i really do think its about time that the unions of Australia band as One and fight ofarrell head on ! it may take the drastic measures of unions of yester year but i believe it will get a result

  138. Matt

    Gday to Everyone,

    Every day Australian Men and Women take themselves off to work to provide for themselves and their families and in doing so place an inarguable trust in their employers and the mechanisms that govern their working lives.

    This trust that I refer to lies in the expectation, acceptance and most importantly belief that not only their employer but the government that represents their interests in governing the society to which they belong, operates with a conscience and in good will. This trust extends to the belief that god forbid, should something happen to them while they fulfill their roles as providers to their families and fulfill their roles as workers driving our economy and way of life, that they will be taken care of should they one day sustain injuries while fulfilling these roles.

    The fact of the matter is that this trust, this expectation and this belief is now nothing more than a fantasy designed to ease the population into believing that they will be conscientiously and with good will cared for under a system that is nothing more than a false impression.

    Insurance companies who currently manage Australia’s Workers Compensation System as custodians of the various Workers compensation Schemes Nationally do so under what is commonly referred to as a Scheme Agents Deed. This deed sadly is rarely if ever fully adhered to despite the clear and definitive intent they convey.

    Below is an extract from the NSW Scheme Agents deed which outlines the purpose and intent with which it is intended to be delivered to the workers of NSW.
    Next time your insurer acts the fool, ask them how are they adhering to their obligations under their Scheme Agents Contract and then pop back and let us all know how you went.

    (http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/formspublications/publications/Documents/scheme_agent_deed_2129.pdf)

    4. Scheme Objectives
    4.1 Acknowledgements
    The Scheme Agent acknowledges that:
    (a) the Nominal Insurer wishes to achieve the Scheme Objectives;
    (b) the Nominal Insurer has established this agency arrangement to achieve
    the Scheme Objectives through the achievement of Scheme Outcomes ;
    and
    (c) the aggregate targets for Scheme performance are believed by the Nominal
    Insurer to be achievable by the combined efforts of the Scheme Agent and
    the Other Scheme Agents,
    and for the purposes of the 2010 Deed at the 2010 Deed Commencement Date
    and until such time as the Nominal Insurer Directs the Scheme Agent as to any
    change in the Scheme Objectives, the Scheme Objectives are:
    (a) to assist Employers to make workplaces safe and promote the health,
    safety and welfare of Workers;
    (b) to aim to ensure Workers receive prompt, proactive and effective treatment
    and management of their injuries to improve their Return to Work
    outcomes;
    (c) to achieve appropriate management and financial governance relating to
    payments made into and out of the Workers Compensation Insurance
    Fund;
    (d) to provide fair and affordable Premiums while maintaining the financial
    viability of the Scheme; and
    (e) to provide improved health and social outcomes for injured Workers.

    That’s the jargon and this is my interpretation :-)

    NSW Scheme Agents (Insurance Companies and Self Assured Businesses) by being party to this deed commit to within this clause, namely in paragraph 1 (a), (b) and (c) that they wish the achieve scheme objectives, that they believe applying the objectives contained within the deed will achieve the objectives and that the objectives are achievable as managing agents to the deed.

    In paragraph 2 of this deed, which I emphasize is contact between Workcover NSW and the Scheme Agents, these agents commit to assist employers to assist Employers to make workplaces safe and promote the health, safety and welfare of Workers;
    (Has an Insurance ever even stepped foot on a work site or into the places of business that they insure and gladly collect premiums from? Never in my 22 years of working life!)

    These agents commit to allegedly aim to ensure Workers receive prompt, proactive and effective treatment and management of their injuries to improve their Return to Work outcomes; Yet visitor after visitor to this support service spew anecdotal evidence and hard out facts proving that this is just not the case!

    These agents commit to achieve appropriate management and financial governance relating to payments made into and out of the Workers Compensation Insurance Fund;
    However appropriate management seems to have no place in the way that these insurers conduct their business, to the point where they blatantly promote on their websites that their core business focus is actually to “Deliver superior returns to their shareholders”!
    (http://www.group.qbe.com/Careers-At-QBE/Insurance.html)

    Sadly and most notably the most important commitment, in fact the very purpose for the creation of the deed in the first place has been left to last in the above Scheme Agents Deed being a commitment to provide improved health and social outcomes for injured Workers, and we all know how loosely this commitment is executed.

    Now with the recent changes to NSW Workers compensation Legislation, led by none other than Barry “The Bastard” O’Farrell, NSW Workers have never been, in our great countries recent history, so poorly treated and neglected while they place their bodies, minds and lives on the line to keep our country running.

    Injured and able bodied workers of Australia Unite! Educate yourselves, network yourselves and make heard the plight of the broken families, broken bodies and broken spirits contained on this website.
    Present your views to your Local Media, Local Member of Parliament and Local Community!

    Together we can bring about change to Australia’s BROKEN WORKERS COMPENSATION SYSTEMS!

    John you are an inspiration to me and clearly an open ear to those injured workers who feel they live in a deaf world.

    Together I believe we can ALL make a difference!

    Cheers ;-)

    Matt

    1. Dee

      Thanks so much for this information! As I have returned to p/t work ….just don’t get time to read all that the ‘hierarchy’ dumps on us workers and (taking pain-killers doesn’t help the brain to retain info.!!!)
      Have read a # of these very gut-wrenching stories and am often in tears , can’t force myself to read more, so it’s a surprise to read solid information that may help me thwart the ongoing bullying by * insurance teams *workcover *outright liars… some/most (drs/ physios/ pain peoplel etc and now * workplace ‘supervisor’ bullies!)
      They’ve stepped up the assault over the last couple of weeks and this could be something to do with new legislation passed recently (read a little late last night) rewriting public sector rules /regs…this will/can increase bullying as well. Intend to put some of the above info. to good use…eg saving my sanity!

  139. Complainers of the world make changes

    With regard to the bullying of Shah, that is a disgrace! I feel embarrassed to be an Australian when I hear about such racist, discriminatory actions in the workplace. Make a direct complaint to WorkCover and ask them to investigate how you are being treated in your workplace. There is a form that can be printed off to complain about workplace bullying on the WorkCover Website. You can attach extra information.
    Get all your documentation together in chronological order with dates of the incidents. If you have any copies or the original documents to prove what you are saying attach them. It is helpful if you can speak to any witnesses and ask them to make written statements verifying what they have witnessed. You and they can make Statutory Declarations (you can obtain a copy from a newsagent) and these are the same as court evidence. The instructions are with the form as to who you can get to witness your signature.

    Make a statement yourself in writing going through the events and how it has been affecting your mental health. You can also ask your doctor for a copy of your medical records if you want.

    The more information you have the better.
    Bullying is never acceptable and no one should have to put up with this at work so make your complaints as soon as you can. Good luck!

  140. Complainers of the world make changes

    I agree some claims assistance officers at WorkCover don’t always know their job either. If you make a complaint to WorkCover and you are not happy with their reply ask to speak to their supervisor. We have found if you ask them to confer with their supervisor then ask them to contact the insurer on your behalf they can do so, and they can sort out some problems.We have also found some lack the correct knowledge and we have ended up telling them what is in their documents. Ask the Claims Assistance people to locate the WorkCover Guidelines relating to your question and get them to read it to you and email you a copy. The email for WorkCover Claims assistance is contact@workcover.nsw,gov.au. They will tell you where the documents are on the website.
    I was recently assessed by an insurer, what I perceived to be “doctor shopping” to bias my case. I complained to the case manager and to her supervisor before I went and when I went I found the doctor only had two old reports and a few pages from my statement -totally biased to ensure the assessor didn’t have all the information. They left out two very good reports from their own previous assessments and provided no information from any of my treating specialists. The assessor didn’t even know my diagnosis. His questioning was in the manner of bullying and he had me fill out a form and then proceeded to cross out my information and put in his own. I signed saying he could use my information so he has basically acted to falsify records. I then complained to the case manager who was rude about it, so the complaint went to her supervisor and cc’d it to the general manager of the insurance company. I now have some action and the insurer made their solicitors provide the assessor with my whole file and he has to re-write his report. I don’t have the report yet but if there is any bias I will challenge it as the assessor has a conflict of interest as he now knows I have complained. I told my specialist and he wants a copy of the report too and he will challenge it if it is inaccurate or biased.
    The whole process is flawed as too many people in this system don’t even know their own regulations. if you don’t get help or the person you speak to gives you grief always ask for the name of their supervisor and then put your complaints in emails so you have good records of how you are being treated.

    We found you complain to the case manager directly first, straight after any bad phone conversation, outlining directly what they have done to you and once they reply if you are not happy tell them and ask them to cc it to their own supervisor. That’s when you also send it to WorkCover Claims assistance. When the supervisor doesn’t act appropriately make a complaint to them and this time cc to the general manager of the insurance company. Ask the supervisor for the email of the insurance company operations manager and send a complaint to them as well.

    Each insurer for WorkCover has an operations manager for workers compensation and each of these has a manager at WorkCover so when your complaints go to WorkCover as well, the information can be sent to the insurers WorkCover manager. There is now a complaints manager at WorkCover and John can give you the details on this website.
    When you make complaints always complain about the impact on you and be specific about how you don’t think people are doing their job as well as be clear what you want from your complaint.
    Hope this helps.

  141. Shah

    Hi and Thank you for your site

    My name is Shah and I have been bullied and racially picked on by a senior manager at work for the last 3 years. I have decided finally I will make one last complain to immediate manager and HR. Then inform Work Cover, Australian Human Rights Commission, Anti Discrimantory Board, my psycogist and my family. I have been employed in this company for 5 plus yrs and have been picked on numerous occasions either through consistant bullying, racial look, appearance and intellect. I have a brief diary for last 2 years, evidence of email circulation racially picking on me within managers and staff, posters made of me and stuck around the office for fun at my expense, former and current staff witness who may come forward and second my claims that they witnessed this verbal attacks on me.

    The company that I work for is a global one with turnover in australia alone over $600m at current recession levels. Globally they tunr over $80B and operates in over 140 countries. I dont know an organisation like this ever knows what goes amongst local manager circles. I have had enough! I just lost my only sister to god on Dec 16 2012 and started work again on Jan 4 and got picked on again Jan 18 and he knows what I just went thru. I just lost my sister who was only 36 where is some moral support. My own manager on the other hand is very supportive and I have raised this issue with him and at director level on 3 undocumented instance including a verbal notifacation to HRdirector who I think had a chat with this Psycho manager about 8 months ago. Yet this is allowed to go on at work.

    I get picked again by the same manager today 18/01/13 in front of a new staff just tarnished my character in 15seconds and this has been the case for the last 3 years. Posters of me being depicted as a terrorist, boat refugee, that I am slow and will die of a heart attack, that I didnt come to australia thru the airports, that I should be working at nighclubs as door men not in an office, im too black, too fat, too lazy, too dodgy, too much of a liability to the company, that I am everything bad for the company, that I have part time road side business after work of selling mangoes and coconut drinks in refernce to my pacific background.

    Today I was introducing myself to the new staff when he saw us chatting and walked in and told the new staff “hanging with him at workplace will not assist your career around here….This is coming from a senior manager who is more important to the company then I am and constantly individually target pick on me laced with massive bullying overtones. I think 3 years of putting up will be over when I lodge my complain.

    Those with knowledge, pls. advise if there is anyone else that I should advise or things I need to do before I formally notify these authorities. One thing is for sure

  142. Selina

    Hi, I’d like to start by saying “THANKYOU” for offering this site to all these people who have been injured AT WORK, allowing us a voice to share our stories & frustrations, on how we’ve been stuck in, & shafted by the”SYSTEM”. I too was injured at work in 2004, instantly damaging my lower back, with 2 level disc herniation. In that instant, my life turned on its head, constant pain, unable to do anything, see anyone, newly financial issues due to only receiving WC, I became SEVERLY depressed to the point of suicide. Since then, (past 8 yrs) I’ve spent 6 months every year in a physciatric hosp, at times scheduled, 35 rounds of shock treatment ECT, with many many different medications, incl high doses of morphine daily. 6 months ago I was forced to hav a 2 level pedicule screw fusion, and 2 extra rods & large amount of bone graphting which wil take upto 2yrs to grow, so stil hav a long road ahead. What others on the outside often just don’t realize, is the HUGE toll it takes on your family, your partner, and friends (that’s if any stick around). And amongst all of this suffering, you find yrself having to FIGHT FOR YR RIGHTS & correct wages,etc etc and even treatment too!! It seems the system that is set up to help an injured worker, only hinders u every step of the way, and like to kick u while yr down. Unfortunately, it takes quite some time BEING AN INJURED WORKER on WC, to figure out and actually realize, all the tricks & games these insurers like to play, & how they run the game!! As Its been 8 years under their ruling for me, I’ve also seen just how much more nastier the insurers become. THIS SYSTEM SUCKS!! IT IS DISGUSTING JUST WHAT THE INSURERS R ALLOWED TO GET AWAY WITH, WITH THE SICK, & NASTY games they play!! And, I’d like to know HOW IS IT POSSIBLE, FOR THE INSURER, YOUR CASE MANAGER, TO MAKE SUCH LIFE DESICIONS ON YR HEALTH/TREATMENTS, when your life is basically in their hands, TO DECIDE, WHICH IF ANY TREATMENT, U CAN OR CAN’T HAVE, when they have NO MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE OR EXPERIENCE?? Or even simple common sense at the best of times, and even going beyond and over yr doctor, or specialist requests?? DISGUSTING, &AT TIMES HORRIFIC TREATMENT TOO, to purposely do this to those who are DESPERATE, & GREATLY SUFFERING DAILY, HOW R THEY ALLOWED TO GET AWAY WITH THIS?? Intimidating, threatening , bullying you too.
    It’s so difficult to fight, when yr so low, u having nothing to fight with anymore, only barely surviving.
    Even workcover, who is supposed to b there to keep the insurer in check, to make sure they r doing the right thing? What aload of CR*P. Cause every time I’ve called them, over the many complaints of BAD TREATMENT from insurer, WORKER COVER IS ON THE INSURERS SIDE, DON’T B FOOLED!!
    DID U KNOW, if yr weekly wage hasn’t been paid, the insurer has 21 days to get it paid to u??
    DID U KNOW, if yr suicidal, emergency situation, the insurer, again has 21 days to make decion?
    This system needs DRASTIC CHANGES, especially for those SEVERLY injured/disabled.
    With The new changes recently made, no one even knows what’s what. Can u help clarify for me?
    I’ve also had SIMPLY HOPELESS LAWYERS TOO, ONLY INIT FOR THE GUARANTEED MONIES, NOT to get you justice for your suffering.
    Anyway I have many inhumane stories, & treatment from this system, but would need to write a book to share.
    I also have several questions I need help with, so I will try and call you instead is best, and greatly interested in attending your support group too.
    I wish all injured workers the best of luck with yr future, and on getting the justice u deserve. Blessings

    1. Injured Worker Support

      Hi Selina

      We will be posting dates for our next IWSN meetings in shortly. Also, feel free to contact me anytime.
      Phone: (02) 9749 7566
      Email: john.mcphilbin@injuredworkerssupport.org.au

  143. Cherie

    Hi everyone & John
    i am reading everyones posts and i too feel a though we are the forgotten ones swept under the carpet or put into the too hard basket, thanks to the discriminate NSW GOVT

    I too have suffered not a physical injury but a mental one. I have been belittled, continual and nasty verbal abuse in the form or profanities had the threat a nail is in my coffin, not to mention the sexual inuendos and discussing of the female body and the size of it, this makes me feel violated.

    I have been seeking medical help first from the acute care team at RNS back in early 2012 & now my doctor and councellor. It shouldnt matter what your injury is be it physical or mental the fact that we are made to jump through hoops to obtain our respect and dignity and a safe work environment is unacceptable .

    Currently i have been off work since october due the last incident of abuse and was told i was a liar and called the f word multiple times i was an effing this and dont effing listen etc, i wont go into details. what scared me the most was the look from the principals eyes. The language was used continually the fact i was terrified to go to work and was making errors because i felt useless and belittled was not right or normal. I sat back at my desk and self harmed with a box cutter. I have had thoughts of taking my life and still do. Is it all worth it.

    I had complained to the other principal many times previously but when i did he informed the bully principal and it was even worse

    so i started the ball rolling workers compensation and now the 12 weeks liability is up and claim denined because of 1 supposedly independent psychiatrist paid by the insurer who has told me that i am not depressed nothing wrong with me. I havent seen the report, irony that the insurance company wont give me a copy as they are concerned i will self harm again. SO they DONT WANT THE RESPONSIBLITY IF I DO this has made it even worse. The thoughts going through my head the last 24 hours re pretty vivid. I know i need to put it behind me but i will die trying to win this isnt right. I am not medicated for no reason or seeing counselling

    For the last 3 months i have been seeing a counsellor and trying to take the steps to feel worthy and trust again and safe but now i have gone back to that place i dont want to go out terrified of the outside and continually teary. my sleeping hasnt been good for ages and i feel like i am running on empty.

    I am thankful my best friend by flook found this group, she is a kind heart loving friend and a good christian who just came across this page last week and believes she was meant to pass this onto me. so with the advice from her & after speaking to John i am taking this further.

    I hope i have the strength to fight as i hate standing on the precipice looking over wondering should i jump

    1. Tanya

      Dear Cherie,

      I understand where you are coming from. I experienced bullying in the workplace. I received no support from my workplace when I spoke up. The senior person I expressed my fears and concerns to told the bully. The bully talked to my co workers behind my back, she made my once happy working life miserable. The senior staff in their interviews said that they had talked to the bully and hoped that she was talking to me appropriately and treating me the same as the other employees. The other staff members said they bully supported the manager /bully. The bully alienated me at work, criticised my work unfairly, gave me unreasonable timeframes, spread untrue malicious gossip and accused me of theft and of course being a liar. I received a written warning over something trivial, I felt like I was being set up. I felt pathetic and helpless. I completely broke down. It has been 9 months and I still struggle on a weekly basis, but I am learning to overcome the psychological damage that was caused wholly and solely by my workplace. You can get better Cherie, it will be really hard but you can. Workcover are an insurance company for the side paying them, not for the people they are “helping “. They are looking after their bottom line. So please, please don’t take it personal and don’t hurt yourself. There’s a book called “Anxiety Free ” by Robert Leahy if you have Google play you can download it $4.99. You are completely normal, when push comes to shove our mind is set up to protect, protect, protect. This leads us to antagonize over future events so that we keep ourselves safe. When you said you didn’t want to go out anymore, I could relate. I didn’t want to be around anyone, I stopped living in the moment. I worried what would happen next, and I still do. But I’m learning to not give my worry voice, you know the one..the one you hear in your head that thinks it can predict the future. Please don’t give up, keep going through the motions with workcover, if you feel in your heart that what your workplace did to you in the course of your employment was wrong then it was!! Remember that there is nothing wrong with the way your feeling,

  144. garry watkins

    i have been off work for 6 years with a back prob had two opps trying to live of 418 dols a week i feel with this new law i will just get tost out on the street as i find it hard to live now i have asked C G U workers comp on a number of times for help with no help at all iam 63 years old trying to do my lawn and garden i have been told all the DR not to over do it or i could end up in a weel chairso i would like to nowho looks after the injured ? ps.i have been by all i will never work again so where dos that leave me

    1. Injured Worker Support

      Hi Garry

      Please feel free to contact me:
      Phone: (02) 9749 7566
      Email: john.mcphilbin@injuredworkerssupport.org.au

  145. scott

    Pania did you say that you deffinately got rorted by your “Union Solicitor” , fancy that hey , welcome to the club !

    Great advice and Information John , Gaylord , Phil , Joe and COTWMC !

  146. Complainers of the world make changes!

    You would be right Joe. At the moment I am in the middle of some complaints concerning AMS doctors. If you feel you were not assessed properly or have deteriorated don’t sign the complying agreement. Tell your solicitor you don’t want to take the offer and feel your condition has deteriorated as it sounds like you are much more depressed due to the ongoing harassment. It might be too late, but talk to your solicitor if you have deteriorated as it sounds like you have.

    Make a complaint about the assessor if they bullied you and put it in clear terms of what was done, whether you were listened to or not, whether they spoke rudely or spoke over you or in any way intimidated you . Look up the AMS Code of Conduct on the WCC website and then write down what they did in terms of the breach of the Code of Conduct. If you had a support person get them to write a statutory declaration if you were bullied in the AMS assessment of if the AMS put false evidence in the report.
    Your complaint goes to the Registrar of the WCC.

    You can also complain to WorkCover about the other assessor if they bullied you. WorkCover are interested to know what is going on with the assessors so complain to the Provider Services Manager. There is a provider services Code of Conduct. WorkCover also have a policy of investigating an assessor after 5-6 complaints and the new laws give WorkCover more power to act against corrupt assessors.

    Any complaint you make about assessing doctors needs evidence, so tell the absolute truth and provide documentation that supports you if you can. A statutory declaration is court evidence so you can write one and so can a witness.

    I would be very interested to know whether you got a fair hearing during both the insurers’ IME and the AMS and if you didn’t it would be good to hear if you are making complaints.

    Send copies of any complaints about assessing doctors to the Health Care Complaints Commission. They need 5-6 genuine complaints in a 12 month period to properly investigate one of these crooked assessors.

    Also send John Mc a copy of your complaint so the Injured Workers Support Network has evidence of what is really going on with some of these assessors.

  147. Don

    Hi All,
    I did work for woolworths for 7 years and their way of looking after you is replace you with a new person and pin number, I hate them so much for the way they dont give a shit about people,
    I got injured in 2010 and OMG my life has gone to shit, I have to torn discs L3 to L5 which required surgery,neck injury C2 to C7 and numerous other pain . My compensation was a joke I was told to take a small payout by my solicitor after whole impairment done by medico as after my surgery I can make further claim, well that has turned out not good advice as I was assessed on 5% neck and 7% back and now I cannot reclaim because Mr Ofarroll has changed the law.
    I now have more pain than ever, no job no future

  148. colin aldridge

    hit by car while working and am so dscouraged and offended by my adjuster.have been out right lied to on numerous occations and am currently injured unable to work, let alone function on a daily basis.looking for some advice or tips or a ray of light been off work now coming three months and have only received excuses from my adjuster for any kind of financial compensation.

    Thanks for reading

    Colin Aldridge

  149. Melissa

    HI,

    I know i do not have it as bad as some of the others who have posted here. However, still bad enough in it’s own right.

    My name is Melissa. I had a work related back injury in Sept 2001. I had a badly herniated L4 L5 S1. Conservative treatment did not help, and I deteriorated further. I had nerve infringement on the right hand side- sciatica, numbness, tingling, very painful for any wind or touch to the leg. So 6 months later I underwent the knife with a spinal surgery – micro – discectomy & rhizolysis. I had three medical opinions before being cut open, and was advised by all to have the same procedures done by the number 1 Dr in the area at the time. I was given a 85%chance of a successful surgery. I was in so much pain and was very desperate for some relief. I started seeing a physciatrist for severe depression and adjustment disorder and anxiety (panic attacks). This has had its up and downs over the last 11 years. My 1st surgery failed. MY right sided nerve damage became bilateral. I have a bad medication mix, with a particular anti depressant mixing with a pain medication. I went psychotic for those 7 weeks, but this was not noted or proven to Work-cover or my specialist. I tried to jump off the Balcony of the private hospital I was in. I was operated on again in another 7 weeks time only to have another failed surgery. No specialist would touch me after the 2 failed surgeries on my lower spine. I spend a few years in receiving treatment in a Pain Management Clinic – inter facet injections, pain meds, pain management counselling, & physio. 2 years here made no significant improvement . I got so bad that I needed a wheel chair to walk more than about 50 meters. LIfe was hard. I had lost most of my independence.

    My partner of 4 years left me due to my injury & associated problems saying “I never signed up for this”. I moved back in with parents needing the emotional and physical support. I am still there 8 years later. I am unable to afford to move out independently. Like other posters, I am unable to claim transport or other claims from the NSW government as my workers compensation benefit takes me a few dollars over the limit.

    I 2005 My GP and I decided to change our treatment plan. I started seeing avery good Chiropractor. This started a slow and steady improvement in my condition. Slowly I got rid of the wheel chair, and then the walking stick. I spent a few years on a walking stick as i had a drop foot as a result of my injury – the right foot always dropping causing me to fall.

    I am sure you can imagine the impact his injury had on my life. I lost all off my independence, lost my partner of several years, became depressed and very anxious as I was put through the workers comp system. I was originally given 38% of total impairment in 2006 from the 2002 legislation including loss of use from each leg, loss of use for my back, loss of sexual function, etc.

    Although I have worked hard over the years and have improved heaps, I still experience daily back pain, problems in both legs with numbness & tingling. I still have severe depression and anxiety. I have experienced severe depression and anxiety with this injury. I have experienced chronic fatigue in the last 8 years. My GP has sent me for numerous tests RE: the fatigue with NO conclusive injuries other than my injury an related problems. We have privately seen oncologist, immunologist, cardiologist , rheumatoid specialist, etc and the list goes on. I saw everybody who is the best of their area on sydney. No underlying reason for my chronic fatigue.

    I am currently working a 15 hour week – 3 hours x 5 days. After more than 12 months I know I can do a few more hours, maybe 1 hour a day extra. I am currently receiving a Make up payment from work cover. MY recent assessment by a an injury management consultant feels that I can return to a full time position. My GP did not agree, so we are probably facing a tribunal on this matter. This terrifies me. I could very likely lose my benefits and medical expenses being paid. I am so depressed and anxious over this situatiion.

    UNder the new system – I am now currently given only 14% of total impairment. This sucks. I am working a 15 hour week, # hrs 5 days a week in a job that i dislike. I am no good at sales or lying to people. I am up- selling preventative car maintenance at a major dealership. I would like to find a better job with a few more hours – maybe a 20 or 25 hour week at tops.I know I could maybe manage 20 hours per week – being one more hour per day.

    I am currently working a 3 hour day, 5 days a week. I am exhausted once I get home. I usually need to rest in afternoon for a few hours. . I then go out a few night’s week and train dogs (best rehab plan ever). I am 40 years old, living with my parents . I am currently very depressed and anxious over the upcoming NSW work cover changes in 2012/2013.

    I know I could work a 20-25 hour week at tops, if given the right support and benefits. I currently have a medication that cost over $200 per month for my neuropathic = Neurontin (gabapentin) which makes a big difference in my quality of life. What I can and can not do.

    My hobbies are dog related and dog training. I have 2 small dogs that i train in Obedience, Agility & Flyball . I train my dogs 2-3 nights per week. THis is my only medical, social and recreational activity in life. THis has been a great area of rehab for me.

    I experience severe depression and fatigue nowadays. I need to sleep/rest in the afternoons to cope with life .I do not have the same life as I had B4 my injury.

    Before this injury I had a great work ethic. I worked full time before I have even finished my HCS . I took days off for my HSC exams when needed. I used to put work as the Number 1 priority in my life. I worked more than 10 years for this government department – partly casual, then partly full time, and then ended up in this position.

    I have been screwed by the NSW Government. What options do we have to fight this???????

    My life has never been the same – nor will it never be. I am honest, legit with my medical complaints that are injury related. My life will never be the same. Help me????

    I can see people making bad decisions over the new NSW workers Compensation legislation and committing suicide over these changes. If I did not have my dogs or my parents, I am sure i would feel suicidal over these changes. I can not afford to pay the medication or medical expenses related too my claim . I al already self funding a regular massage every 7-10 days die to the build up of muscular spasms in my upper back,.

    Is there any future for us, or any avenue for us to dispute this new legislation.??

    ARe there any other websites that we will have a voice at??

    Is there anything we can really do to make a difference?

    My workers Comp Claim was settled in 2007 with a lump sum payment of $82.000, and medical treatment & benefits for the life of the injury & a work cover benefit until retirement age if not working full time. How can They change the system now.????

    Should I get in touch with my lawyer?? Do I have any real claim to y promised settlement????

    Hope you can help or at least offer some emotional support??? I am stressing out big time???

    1. Injured Worker Support

      Hi Melissa please feel free to contact me to discuss further on (02) 9749 7566 or send me you contact details to john.mcphilbin@injuredworkerssupport.org.au

      Kind regards

      John Mc

    2. Michael

      Hi Melissa, I can feel your will power to get back to a normal life.However If your taking medication to work and/or to recover from work each day You are over doing it. YOUR NORMAL LIFE is what you can do NOW without hurting yourself & taking mouth loads of pills & you have to adjust your medical certificate to suit your limits Also have you asked your doctor about long term side effects from these pills. Yes its mind over mater(pain) but how long can you do this for? I did it for 18 months & lived like a zombie. Your injury management consultant is only looking after the insurance company and not you and at the end of the day it’s you that has to deal with it all by signing YOUR medical certificate.Something for you to think about.BEST OF LUCK .

  150. Maz Conroy

    Dear Ken

    Your post brought me to tears! Enough is enough! I wish I could do something to help you, others and myself.

    I wish you all the best!

    Please dont give up!

    Justice will come to you. It has to!

  151. Joe

    I wish I had been given advice in relation to avoiding my impairment claim going to an Approved Medical Specialist (AMS) at the Workers Compensation Commission. My psychiatrist, who has treated me for years, gave me a high impairment percentage after a thorough and fair assessment. EML insurance sent me to their doctor for an assessment which I felt was very incomplete and short with a comment ‘I have read your file’ as I was walked out the door. The EML ‘hired gun’ gave me a low impairment percentage. I communicated with my solicitor who agreed that EML’s doctor’s report was very inadequate and incorrect. I was told that EML was entitled to choose the lesser of the two reports. I had no idea that I could have complained to Work Cover to investigate how both psychiatrists carried out their assessments and avoided being sent to an AMS. Reading the above article by Gaylord has riddled me with anxiety and worry because I was assessed by an AMS and therefore become imbedded into the Workers Compensation Commission system. I felt like the assessment was incomplete. When I got the report I felt so depressed. The comments in the impairment rating scale were ridiculous and a statement I provided prior to the assessment seemed to not have even been read. I can’t express how distressed and depressed I felt. I felt sickened by the report as it felt like yet again I am against the enemy. I have since been told that AMS doctor’s are biased and not only that, they all know each other. My solicitor lodged an appeal which was part accepted. The AMS lodged a ‘notice of opposition’. It goes before an arbitrator and two AMS’. I am worried sick because I was told the AMS know each other. Even though they would be required to agree to abide by the usual code of conduct and ethics, it would be an uncomfortable environment for an AMS to criticise a fellow AMS’ report. There is a definite conflict of interest here because these people all work in the same environment and probably go to the same Christmas parties and other functions in the year. Who knows, they may even be friends and spend time together outside work. Maybe we should be setting up an investigative group to carry out surveillance and audits as well on them, and let’s include the case managers of the insurance companies. Deliberately downgrading impairments is fraud but it obviously goes on every day. Having fellow AMS re-assess each other’s work is being susceptible to corruption, fraud and other criminal acts. I feel very uncomfortable by the current WCC system.

  152. Injured Worker Support

    Hi Julie

    Please contact me on (02) 9749 7566 to discuss further I may be able to help.

    Kind regards

    John Mc

    1. Mary

      Hi Julie, my name is Mary,

      I read your experiences and felt for you and sincerely wish you the best ..

      Whilst reading about the violence -based incidences, which you were explaining that you have been exposed to and involved in, within the workplace,
      along with the psychological and physical effects these experiences have had on you as a result of what has occurred to you,
      i felt deeply saddened; by the deep degree of trauma; which you have been exposed to,.

      As i read through your experiences, i felt that you had been failed by the healthcare system you were working under, which
      insists that this type of behaviour is normal and part of the job.

      Julie,
      believe me its not and steps should have been taken early on , even before you got injured, to ensure that your well- being was looked after;
      and not just expected to suck-it up ( as i think you mentioned, was what had been expected of you to do at the time).

      Julie,
      , instead of management moving you to another area that was just as volitile in nature, why did,nt anyone check to see, that you were truely okay to go back to work?
      also
      ,why did,nt they let you read the file of client you were expected to care for ( before you began work that day,;
      when realistically, how can you be expected to carry out good care, if you are unaware of the facts surrounding; a clients behavioural needs/ trigger points. ( that is deffinately not a fair expectation, i don,t care who expected you; to do that)

      The Workplace is supposed to be a safe one and these days, there is supposed to be a no-violence policy in place; at all work environments that healthcare workers are employed in.

      Julie,
      I just feel that more caring and appropriate steps should have been put in place,
      before you went back to work to ensure that you were truely okay.

      No wander things got difficult for you and i really feel for you, because i believe that at some level; the system has let you down.

      I commend your desire to return to work and yes, you do have a lot to offer and your experiences in the area in which you worked are invaluable;
      but
      not to get punched and kicked again. ( by a different client- thats not right.)

      Have any of the professionals that you,ve seen, since you became unwell, ever raised the issue with you,
      that not only are you and have you suffered from:
      a Reactive Depression, but from Post traumatic Stress as well?
      and together
      the two are classified as an Adjustment Disorder.

      P.T.S.D, is the result of being exposed to trauma in the workplace:
      Symptoms such as: relieving the experiences,
      having flashbacks related to the events that occurred, nightmares and an inability to return to the place of employment and feeling trapped; to name but a few .

      Re-active Depression :is depression which sets in, but its in response to what you have experienced; in the work-place. ( i.e the violent incidences ongoingly)

      Julie
      I sincerely wish you the best in all of your future endevours and commend you on your courage to face the issues; which you have been confronted by;
      as a result of the work you loved doing for so long.

      All the very best.

      Mary

  153. Can anyone tell me where I can obtain an Application for review form ??????? There was one alledgedly attached to my section 74 notice …. It’s not there though.

    Help anyone

  154. My name is Julie, I am 53 years old. I live in rented accommodation and take care of my disabled son.
    I have worked within the welfare industry working with marginalised young people and women for a period of 24 years. I have worked across multiple sectors within the industry such as, women and girls in custody, domestic violence, sexual assault, ritual abuse, mental health, self harm, AOD, trauma torture and complex trauma. I enjoyed and was passionate about my work. My work as with most people defined who I was, and was rewarding and enriching.
    I made a choice in August 2009 to place myself in a position through which I could work full time and attend Uni, it was my intention to complete a psyche degree and to eventually work in a clinical capacity with complex trauma clients in therapeutic environments (my area of speciality).
    I began working with Therapeutic care service in Western Sydney after a three month sojourn from the industry in September 2010.
    I began my journey as the team leader for in a one to one placement setting, working with a young woman who was a chronic self harmer, complex trauma and AOD abuser. In or around November the client, whilst in what appeared to be a dissociative state e.g. none responsive, fixed unfocused gaze etc, began lighting the curtains in the house. Starting in the TV room the client lit the curtains which were net. She went through to the dining room then the front room lighting the curtains as she went. Her counsellor was standing in the front room; I grabbed the fire extinguisher to put out the curtain in the front room which was at that time smouldering. The fire extinguisher didn’t work. I grabbed the garbage bin and emptied it, filled it with water and doused the curtains which were now alight. I noted the counsellor appeared frozen and the client was close to the flames, I approached her, taking her arm I removed her from the house. In doing so a large piece of net curtain fell into my hand causing burns, , this was the first occasion in which it was noted that my blood pressure was high, the cause sighted as a physical response to shock (Blacktown Hospital).
    I was absent from work for a period of one week after this incident. After which I returned to work performing full duties.
    I continued to work with this client until August 2011 I was asked to leave my shift at my work place and assist with a new client aged 10 years who had challenging behaviours. I did not feel comfortable working with this client; I did not have access to a Client profile from which I could glean information regarding behaviours / triggers etc, I voiced my concern and was told I could read the young person’s file once I arrived at head office. Upon arriving, I was told that the client had arrived early and needed to go to a medical review and was therefore unable to read his file. After meeting this young person, I and another worker took the young person to his medical review; the young person refused initially to leave the vehicle and only attended the last 10mins of his review. After which we went to a park and played for half an hour before returning to head office. Upon returning to head office, the young person spoke with his case manager, after which we left to return to the unit. The young person came running behind me when we were exiting the office and attempted to push me down the stairs. The young person then refused to get into the car and ran off, I followed one way around the building and the second worker went around the other way. I managed to get the client to return to the vehicle at which time he escalated and began punching me across my chest and kicked me. I managed to remove myself from the environment and went upstairs to the sanctuary of the office. The young person had followed me up the stairs and had walked in to the office. I turned around and the young person grabbed my top and ripped it and began plummeting my chest with his fists.
    I do not remember much from that point other than pushing down the overwhelming feeling to strike out at this young person to defend myself and being lead into the adjoining office, crying, shaking. Of the Police attending and leaving as they could do nothing due to the Childs age. I remember going to the doctor and again being of work for a week and again returning to work in September. I don’t remember how I felt during this period.
    Upon my return to work I was afforded the grace of setting a house which was eventually to receive two clients. I spent four weeks completing this at which time I was buffered from the chaos in other houses. The first client arrived in the November and settled in quickly, whilst she was 13 years old high need, a self harmer, who communicated with ghosts who prompted and taunted her to self harm, she developed a positive rapport with staff. The second client a complex high need client aged 9 years arrived rather haphazardly one evening in November. The relationship between the two young people deteriorated rapidly with both young people assaulting each other, using items as weapons against each other, the female client had begun isolating in her room, drawing pictures which depicted her hurting herself, she then began self harming, by cutting herself with pieces of broken CD’s. Both young people were telling staff that they were afraid and did not feel safe. The younger child often stated he wished he was dead; he at that time began demonstrating sexualized behaviours, eg. Grabbing staff breasts, asking to feed from a staff member’s breast, touching himself in front of staff etc.
    The young people’s behaviour continued to escalate throughout November and December. Staff and myself as Coordinator, raised concerns as to the interaction between clients, the in ability of staff to protect the young people from each other and the increasing violence e.g. the only means available to staff was to tell young people to lock themselves in their rooms as a means of deescalating the situation. The placement was rapidly breaking down and both young people were at risk of serious harm, the young people were highly escalated and both young people appeared to be in a permanent heightened state. Neither responded to program and the relationship between the young people and staff broke down. This and multiple other concerns were raised again by me to upper management at which time I was told to suck it up.
    I did not cope with the feelings I was feeling at this time, I vocalised that I believed that what we were doing and allowing too take place without intervention was “abuse in care” and we were “passive abusers”. I found this extremely difficult to live with and continued to raise my concerns to management. On call at this time had been told not to listen to me as I was losing the plot and my RPM had called me raising concerns as to my well being and stating that she believed that I had not recovered from the assault and she was again moving me. I struggled with this and believed that they (management) were covering up what was happening .I contacted DOCS Help Line in an attempt for intervention to occur, and to appease my conscious. I was them moved from that house and concerns were raised as to my recovery from the assault.
    I returned again to the initial house I worked within in early January after a meeting with my RPM and HR manager. I was again working with the original client I began with. This period was uneventful in terms of incident, the client was mostly absconded and when returned, was recuperating from chronic AOD misuse. It was during this period that I began drinking at home when not at work, I did not notice this shift in my behaviour at the time and didn’t until the beginning of March when I one day noticed how much I was drinking. I immediately ceased to drink. I noted that I felt ill and went to the Dr and discovered my blood pressure was high, I was given medication had a week of work and went back to work my blood pressure normal. I noted upon my return to work that I was experiencing anxiety which began on my way to work. I recall taking my client to a Police interview on a Wednesday and sitting with her for eight hours whilst she gave details of being packed raped. I remember being on suicide watch with her throughout the night. I remember going home exhausted and sleeping the sleep of the dead. I remember being called the next day and asked to work on Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday day shifts to set up house for two new clients who were coming in, I remember not wanting to. I was cajoled in to taking the shifts. I found myself in a state of high anxiety every day I was at work, I recall emailing my RPM and suggesting that we meet that I needed to talk. Everything spirals out of control at that point. I recall being on shift and the young person was chroming, of being sprayed in the face, of being in the office and the young person kicking and pulling at the screen door, screaming at me, this continued throughout the day. I remember my heart pounding in my chest and feeling sick. I remember the worker coming in for change over and my running out – running away, that was on March 16th.
    I went to my GP on march 17th at which time my blood pressure was 180/ 120. I felt unwell shut myself in home, after two weeks I returned to my doctor after finding myself sitting on my lounge room floor against the wall in the dark, other times pacing through my house, talking to no one, effectively shutting myself off from the rest of the world. My rational mind knew something was wrong and I asked to be referred to a Psychologist and that in truth was the beginning of this my journey of healing.
    Upon entering psychologists ooms, I remember a dam burst forth from deep within me and everything spewed out a jumble of words and feelings, I remember feeling the sensation of fear and the vision of myself standing before a deep dark pit. What I remember most is that I exhaled. It was like I had held my breath for ever and then exhaled, this left me with a feeling that I had taken a step back.
    I later met with my Psychiatrist who along with my psychologist have walked with me trough the labyrinth of events, the upheaval of the work cover process, the trauma humiliation, dehumanisation, derogation this process brings and ultimately to this; my journey of healing of recognising and accepting that I have in truth lost my nerve, the ability to bounce back, the ability to implement and even bring forth strategies, in its place is anxious chaos . The education, information I have gained from 24 years of working in and training in therapeutic care in to practice has ended. To reach the point in one’s life aged 53 and face that you can no longer do your life’s work. To explore possible futures only to find that the fear that I live with the anxiety that lays in wait within me prevents me from going back. Is so very disheartening and brings an end to that that was my passion.
    With the support of my Doctors, my family I have propelled myself forward, I have taught myself methods that I use to promote a sense of calm. I’m I changed by this experience, Yes, I am changed. I am but a shadow of who I was. I am still an articulate and educated woman and I still retain all the information I have learnt over the years, I still care, I am still a nurturer. I was encouraged by my psychologist to initially look back and see what would need to be different for me to go back to my work. I couldn’t do this; all attempts resulted in headaches, anxiety, nausea and high blood pressure. I instead choose to audit my skills and find my strengths. This process was healing and whilst it brought me to understand and eventually accept the profound changes in me the loss of skills I had taken for granted my ability to multi task, My crisis intervention skills, my behavioural response skills and the fear that now replaced them. The understanding that I would forever live with anxiety and trying to find a space in which I could operate and feel safe, left me struggling with feelings of grief and loss and eventual acceptance that I was now in a new phase of my life, the Autumn as I call it. My world has become smaller and I cannot go into spaces that are filled / crowded with people that are closed spaces. All my senses burst to life and there is forever a knot in the pit of my stomach which as I begin to feel anxiety, spreads throughout my body and I feel a vice like grip on the back of my neck and I can’t breathe. When in these situations or when I’m faced with change and have little or no perceived control over the situation my blood pressure rises the last rise was 170 / 110. I have now being diagnosed with Malignant Hypertension as a result of acute anxiety and which will affect me for the rest of my life.
    I know I need to move away from crowded environments, from pressure, to a smaller community, I want to continue to heal and nurture and have explored possible futures in the healing realm of welfare. It fits my calling, my gift and one in which my training in therapeutic & holistic care comes into play and is I hope a possible future for me.
    And then the wheels fell off. I was issued a section 74 regarding my insurer accepting liability for malignant hypertension…. The journey begins and it is a lonely one.

  155. Ken

    Firstly I would like to point out that in ” our ” country the culture regarding workplace injuries is that should an employee have time off that employee WILL be critisiced, however should said employee be injured at work and unable too continue with duties employee WILL be crucisfied. Think very carefully about ramifications regarding your future or lack of it. The “system” as it stands now is designed to destroy you and any prospects one may have had for the future! Should one ” live ” for want of a better word thru the process, without commiting suicide, witch is exactly what insurance companies want, that is you drop dead. You will be left with absolutely nothing, dumped on the scrap heap like garbage! In my case, I drove semi trailers in the bush. Due to defective equipement I tore my right bicep tendon in right shoulder, c5 crushing nerve onto c6 in neck, damaged left shoulder, carpule tunnell and tennis elbow left arm, bursitis in right and left shoulders, arthritis in neck,nerve pinching in left leg groin, god what else. Lost my property, house, pride, marraige,etc etc etc. Insurance company would not even provide transport to Doctors, Pyshio etc as they said you live too far out of town and would cost to much. My now ex wife said she had not taken out morgage insurance nor sickness and accident insurance which I had had for many years as apparently I was expert at what I did in my chosen field of some 30 years. Then said she was no bodies nurse! My employer admitted full neg from day one, but that meant nothing as insurance company goes off first visite to Doctor, who ended up doing her 18 months in country area then back to the city, this happened with two Doctors I had. I apparently attempted suicide and end up in mental hospital, but don’t really remember much of that. I do remember Doctor telling me you are destroyed because of what has happened to your life, nurse then rang taxi and sent me to train station. Three months later I was living in old homested on isolated farm about one hour from town with no transport nor funds, relying on community transport to get to town and insurance company appointments, I started having fits, cost $1044 for ambulance to hospital it was found that I have a inoperable tumour in brain and have epilepsy. A blow to the head will apparently kill me, I can only hope it will be quick!Because I am still on workers comp after nearly 4 years, I can only receive low income health card from Centerlink for 6 months at a time as cpi increase each year puts me just over disability limit, meds costs are not cheap but ” computor says NO ” ! Well that took quite a while to type, but hey I had the rest of my life to do it!? I look forward to the day I meet our politicons in HELL!!!

  156. Injured Worker Support

    Hi Phil and Gaylor

    Your feedback is much appreciated. Thank you both very much.

    I have spoken with Pania and directed her to urgent legal assistance.

    Kind regards

    John Mc

  157. Gaylord

    Always send copies of any referrals form your treating doctor to the insurer and get approval before undertaking any treatment. If you do get treatment under Medicare keep sending the doctor’s reports to the insure and tell you case manager that as you are in dispute, you want any new medical evidence to be placed on you flle and listed as supporting your request for reasonably necessary treatment. That way if you don’t yet have a Section 74 Notice they will have to use your new evidence to assess your claim.

  158. Gaylord

    The insurer cannot deny your claim without having evidence to do so. They then have to provide you with a Section 74 notice stating why they are refusing your claim with a list of the medical evidence they think supports them. They also must include all the evidence they hold that supports you!!!! If you get a section 74 Notice without the list of evidence they hold supporting you then email your case manager and tell them they have not complied with the Legislation that states all evidence including evidence supporting you must legally be included. If you have further supporting medical evidence from your treating doctors you can send them to the insurer. The section 74 Notice must have provision for you to ask them to review the decision so you need to gather up all factual evidence and medical evidence you can get your hands on and write to the insurer telling them your reasons for still needing treatment plus your evidence. The insurer is not legally meant to dispute your claim if it is apparent they don’t have enough evidence to support their decision.

    Most people do the review without getting more supporting medical evidence and then the insurer can deny because the evidence provided by both parties is the only evidence you can use if you go to the Commission.

    You can ask for as many reviews as you want from the insurer. I would suggest anyone who gets a Section 74 Notice gets more medical evidence before asking for a review then if they still dispute get more specialist reports. Get another referral through Medicare to see a specialist in your injury to confirm your diagnosis and treatment recommendations, Ask the specialist for a copy of the report, any new imaging studies etc. If the insurer has stopped treatment or payments you should still send a WorkCover certificate to the insurer as this is evidence you are still injured and getting treatment.

    Remember , you can ask for as many reviews as you want just keep sending back each time they deny but you need medical evidence to go with it. Ring WorkCover claims assistance if it looks as though the insurer has no medical evidence to deny your claim or if they have not listed the supporting evidence. Make a complaint to WorkCover if you are sent to a bad assessor.

    Workers are better off fighting through the review system and by making complaints to both the insurer and WorkCover. As we all know there is no legal cost support to take your matter to the Commission so if you do need to go you want to be sure you will win. Even if you win back your treatment you are obliged to pay your own costs so keep getting more evidence for review and keep sending it in.

    This is the same with the lump sum assessments. If you have a high assessment from one assessor and a low one from another assessor do not go to the Commission. Once you go to the Commission because the insurer has disputed your claim you will be sent to an AMS and what ever they come up with is the one and only percentage you can ever have. Rather than go to the Commission send a copy of both differing reports to WorkCover with a complaint that two approved doctors who are supposed to come up with similar results and ask WorkCover to investigate why there is a variation. Any huge variation means one of the doctors, or both are either incompetent or corrupt. When you complain with both reports describe exactly what happened in each assessment, what and how the tests were carried out and how long the examination took and tell WorkCover to investigate why the two doctors did the tests differently. WorkCover have no means of knowing what went on or which doctors are crook unless they can compare different doctors doing the same testing which is why you give both reports with your description of what was done for each. WorkCover will then need to investigate.

    I have recently seen some pretty bad reports and I now know of two doctors who took ten minutes to do the assessment. If this happens then complain to the insurer as they are usually paying for an hour’s assessment. Tell the insurer in writing if the doctor was abusive, rude, didn’t make you do any tests or measure anything or if you think they ignored the medical evidence or biased the report. Insist the insurer provide a new assessor if you were bullied or upset or if there is false evidence in the report ask the insurer to have the factual errors corrected and tell them the doctor had breached the Workers Compensation Legislation by providing false and misleading evidence.

    Don’t go to the Commission until you have exhausted all other means of getting evidence as once you are sent to the AMS you will be basically stuffed if they don’t assess you properly and this is for the rest of you time on workers comp. The Work Capacity assessment will also use any percentage from and AMS as well.
    Remember it is only one assessment from and AMS that is allowed. You can have as many other assessments as you want.

    Don’t let your solicitor tell you to go to the Commission until you have exhausted all the normal medical channels to get the medical evidence. Don’t accept a lump sum percentage if it is too low for your injury just keep disputing by providing medical evidence in continual reviews to the insurer till they send you to an assessor who is competent or till they accept your evidence.
    This sounds horrific and it is but it is what we must do as it is the only way to fight it now. WorkCover is also against bad assessors but they have to rely on proof not opinion and it is pretty hard to prove a bad assessor unless you have good medical evidence.
    WorkCover claims assistance is also there to support you so ring 131050 and complain about any bad insurer behaviour.
    There are also some good specialist Workers compensation solicitors who do know the new laws and who will tell you about the fees. Ring around and ask for the facts on fees and if you can meet with the solicitor to discuss your case.

    Hope this helps!! Good luck!

    1. Phil

      Cannot agree more except one thing.

      Para v last line, you said, “Even if you win back your treatment you are obliged to pay your own costs so keep getting more evidence for review and keep sending it in.”

      The applicable date for legal cost is not finalised yet, so there is no cost towards your legal cost as yet.

      Please keep visiting here. We need more people like you.

      Regards

  159. Phil

    @ Pania: By saying your claim denied, are you referring a dispute notice issued? Or just medical treatment denied?

    Once accepted, insurer cannot deny your claim. If they are delaying your medical treatment, go back to your GP and ask what treatment do you require?

    If insurer still deny, call claims assistance service immediately. If your claim is disputed, you need to go to workers compensation commission.

    Whatever your solicitor has said is completely wrong. Due to the little amount they could make for such settled claims, they ignore people like you and give false advice which are disastrous in some cases.

    Look after yourself.

    1. Pania

      I Phil, i am waiting to hear from new Solicitors now and am going through Medicare for my treatment, iactually better, believe it or not because i am getting all the medical i need now, I have just had Spinal Epidurals and injections which has helped and am being operated on this month to replace all the lower discs in my spine and the Specialist says that there is a 70%chance of improvement ant 30% of none, so its a chance im happy to take. I was definately rorted by my solicitor, but maybe with the new one he will help more.

  160. Pania

    Hi,
    I am 42 years of age and had a back injury in 2000, i slipped and fell at work and ended up with 2 herniated discs. It went to court NSW in 2003 and i was awarded $9,000 and ongoing medical treatment. During this time It has been a battle to get any help form my Solicitor (Union Solicitor) or from the Insurance company QBE.
    Late last year I sent off more Invoices from my specialists for QBE to reimburse and as of March 2012 QBE have now denied my claim and I am going through MEdicare to get treatment as I can not afford to pay for my own treatment.
    I can and still want to work but my working capacity is severly limited. I am on perminant pain medication and am waiting to see if i am a candidate for a new back surgery.
    My Solicitor says that this is the way it works, Can you please tell me if I need to get different Legal advice and if I have been given the bum steer ?
    Any advice would be great as i am at a stage that i just cant deal with the crap any more.
    Regards
    Pania

    1. Injured Worker Support

      Hi Pania

      Its is hard to offer advice on such a complex issue, especially when claims are in dispute. Please feel free to contact me on : (02) 9749 7566
      to discuss further.

      Kind regards

      John Mc

  161. David

    I have been struggling for years to get justifiable compensation for my avoidable workplace injuries. I have a completely stuffed cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine (6 herniated discs). I have constant sciatica, valsalva and pins and needles in my feet. My groin and genitals have not stopped aching. I have soft tissue damage in just about every joint in my body. I have carpal tunnel syndrome, with constant pins and needles in my hands. I have severe arthritis throughout my body. I don’t sleep very well. I have gout. My neck and shoulders burn continually. I have headaches. I don’t have a choice when it comes to the amounts of necessary pills. My kids think I’m an embarrassment. (Not a man) My wife and I co-habitate. I have lesions all over my legs that will not heal. I sweat profusely. These symptoms all started between the 21 November 2001 and 15 January 2002.

    My treating specialists and G.P. all say that I have suffered enough. My doctors have also said the workers compensation system prior to Jan 2002 is the system that I should have been assessed under with a permanent impairment of between 80-90%. The commission on 6 June 2012 said 12%. What the ___!

    QBE Case managers and The Commission determined that my children will suffer more on-going poverty. This is Australia and this adversarial system has to care more and rectify injustices. My former employer XXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXX have destroyed my families life, and got away with it. How is that justice?

    My losses are very huge, I have already sold most of our assets (including the family home in Sydney) to keep the banks happy. If I don’t get the correct compensation in the next couple of years, the 3 other members of my young family and I will probably be living on the street. We already are missing meals.

    What happened to the FAIR GO!

    I did nothing wrong. I am an honest man. I need enough money to cover my costs. That has not happened since this mess started. By the time I’m 68 (if I make it), my family will have lost $11,000,000 in pre-injury income.

    I use to have alot of money, but because my old employer did not heed my OHS warnings for 5 years, I am now in No Mans Land.

    My mental health is holding for now, but who knows?

    NSW Government shame on you all.

  162. Julia Jackson

    I agree with you ,I have been on work cover for 12 mths from a neck injury at work, I have been stuffed around by work cover and belittled the whole time,Not only can I do the job I love but I cant even have my family life the way it was as there are so many things I can no longer do at home ,I have gone from an independent women to now relying on others to do things for me , Work cover has granted me home care once a mth,even after their own doctor requested 3-4 hrs per week so I have to rely on my family to do it for me,Not only does the injury affect you but your whole family suffers,I would love to pick up my grandkids but I cant lift anymore then 4 kilos,that is so hard as they dont understand .These laws are so unfair , Mental health is going to go through the roof .

  163. Phil

    @Martin:
    You are not obliged to participate in any survey unless it is for the Census (Australian Bureau of Statistics). Even they don’t do any survey by phone generally.

    Unless you have been given something in writing, such as a summon from a court – tell them Good Bye and hang up the phone.

  164. Martin

    Hi John
    Thanks for the support.I am a long time court ordered weekly payment. I was terminated from my employment 9 years ago, luckily I have a part time job now not earning anywhere what I used to. Work Cover and my insurance company have been very busy with me the last few weeks I know why, I am expecting to lose all that was awarded to me through the courts.
    Off course I am not coping well with the stress of it all and suffering through depression but I am sure there are many others out there who will and are going through the same. One thing that really hurts that I should warn people about is that I had received several calls from N.S.W. Health asking me to do a survey regarding my health I thought I would as I had come out of hospital emergency because of my injury and felt obliged to help. I won’t go into it here but I do now know what was there intention. So now I am being hounded by letters,phone calls and appointments after 9 years they are telling me they want to help me with my injury.HaHa.
    I foresee many a person suffering mentally from these actions and changes and predict some suffers to suicide as the impact is enormous to people’s lives.

    1. John Mc

      Hi Martin

      Please feel free to call me (02) 9749 7566 or you can’t get through (which is sometimes the case when I’m talking with other injured workers) email me with you contact details at john.mcphilbin@injuredworkerssupport.org.au

      There are a number of issues to consider before assuming anything – also, we may be able to point you in the right direction legally.

      1. David Lancaster

        September 7, 2012 (reintroduced November 11, 2014)
        I have been struggling for years to get justifiable compensation for my avoidable workplace injuries. I have a completely stuffed cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine (several herniated discs). I have constant sciatica, fibromyalgia, CRPS and pins and needles in my feet. My groin and genitals have not stopped aching since 2001. I have soft tissue damage in just about every joint in my body. I have bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, bilateral ulnar/median neuritis, with constant pins and needles in my hands, wrists and arms and I also have bilateral shoulder bursitis. I have severe widespread imobility throughout my body. I don’t sleep very well. I have nerve pain. My neck and shoulders burn continually. I have headaches. I don’t have a much of a choice when it comes to the amounts of necessary pills. My kids think I’m an embarrassment. (Not a man) My wife and I co-habitate. I have lesions all over my legs that will not heal. I sweat profusely. These symptoms all arose as a consequence of injuries sustained by working very hard for 11 years for an employer that disregarded OHS over those 11 years between 1990 and 2001.
        Specialists and my G.P. all say that I have suffered enough from the impairments of my multiple injuries. I should have been assessed under the old legislation prior to January 2002 with a permanent impairment of between 70-90%WPI or 23 separate body parts injured and listed, but this did not happen. The Workers Compensation Commission on 6 June 2012 said 12%WPI and arbitrarily closed my file. What the ___ is wrong with the NSW system?
        A 2010 WorkCover NSW appointed insurer’s case manager (QBE clerk) and The WC Commission determined that my children will suffer more on-going poverty. This is Australia and this adversarial system has to care more and rectify delayed injustices. My former employer MSR Ferlan Pty Ltd, have destroyed my family’s life and potential future, and got away with it. How is that justice?
        My losses are very huge, I have already sold most of our assets (including the family home in Sydney) to keep the banks happy. If I don’t get the correct and adequate compensation in the next couple of years, the 3 other members of my young family and I will probably be living on the street. Over the last 10 years, we have already missed out on lifestyle choices and opportunities that we were accustomed to.
        What happened to the FAIR GO!
        I did nothing wrong. I am an honest man. I need enough money to cover my costs. That has not happened since this mess started. By the time I’m 68 (if I make it), my family will have lost an 8 figure sum in dollars, in pre-injury income, directly due to my former employer and their combined staff’s negligence.
        I use to have plentiful amounts of income, with which to secure my family’s future, but because my old employer did not heed my OHS warnings for 5 years, I am now in No Mans Land in an untenable situation.
        The current NSW Government; shame on you all.
        David

  165. Robert

    Hi John.
    Thanks for your support with what I posted I wish a lot more people could see it and agree with us so we could do some thing about the system we have.

    I was injured in early 2009 in an air drill accident at work, I received about 3 or 4 physiotherapy sessions and 2 visits with a Specialist before I my claim was terminated by Work Cover QLD and they offered me a Settlement.
    My employer left a message on my answering machine saying they didn’t have any work for me any more, HOW GUTLESS IS THAT. The thing that pisses me off the most is that Work Cover never let my Specialist do any Investigation into my injuries they just Terminated me. Since this happened it was found that I had Carpel Tunnel Syndrome in both my left and right hands plus Ulner Nerve damage in both my Elbows only found all this out through my G.P. sending me of for tests. Now I have just found out that I have damage to both my shoulders which I new was there from the original accident but no would listen to me. After all Work Cover have a Dutie of Care to all people who are Injured at Work to get them Treatment and Rehab so they can return to work as soon as possible it even states this on there Web site. I would have given any ting for this to happen as I would much prefer to be working than in the state that I’m in now, and after all no amount of money can ever make up for Disability that you are left with and not being able to work again.

    1. Maz Conroy

      Hi Robert

      I am with you!!!!
      This is what I have been saying to anyone who would listen, people power is the ONLY way foward.

      Maz

    2. Stu

      Hi Robert I have pushed my issue to the point were I now have been offered a meeting with the qld atourny general I have been through hell warmed up.would you like to come to this meeting.This is confirmed in an email to me post your ph number ill call you ill post mine but I will go an get a prepaid card first so I don’t get harrassed further mate money talks that’s got to stop.I have been billed over 6000 dollars for speaking up about threats of being bashed at work by Qld industrial commission this has to stop what a joke.

  166. Robert

    I to have Suffered and am still suffering from dealings with Work Covers Inadequate System, the way they deal with the people who have been Injured is nothing short of Negligent and you are treated like you are lying about your Injuries and only trying to rip them off well I have had enough. It’s about time all of us took some action and do a Erin Brockovich on them, we should all band together and take out a Civil Law Suit against Work Cover’s miss treatment of people there Discrimination against injured workers. IT’S TIME WE SHOULD TAKE A STAND AND SHOW THEM WE MEAN BUSINESS AND WE WONT STAND FOR TACTICS ANY MORE. Please let me know if you agree.

    1. Injured Worker Support

      Agreed Robert , that’s th direction we need to head in. Here’s an intersting article by the NSW Law Society

      Workers compensation changes a breach of faith by government

      22 June 2012

      The NSW Law Society says that major reforms to compensation passed by State Parliament’s Upper House last night will hit the most vulnerable workers the hardest with reduced medical benefits and entitlements.

      President of the Law Society of NSW, Justin Dowd said the reforms are an unnecessary attack on workers’ rights and have been enacted in a poorly considered and rushed fashion without consultation.

      “These reforms are bad for injured workers and bad for their families”, Mr Dowd said.

      “In terms of weekly payments of compensation for injured workers with an existing claim, these claims can now be reviewed in a manner where an injured worker can have their benefits discontinued without the opportunity for review or appeal.

      “Under the changes, an injured worker who previously was entitled to medical expenses paid for life may now have this support removed.

      Mr Dowd said that the new legislation will have a huge negative impact on people living in regional NSW.

      “With the ability to assess claims based on regional considerations removed, someone injured in Burke will be assessed on the same basis as someone injured in Sydney, resulting in massive social and economic upheaval and true hardship,” Mr Dowd said.

      “These changes will lead to reduced work and jobs within the legal profession and support services, the medical profession and allied health professionals, the insurance industry and government.

      “Support for this reform demonstrates a lack of understanding of how workers compensation works, the social utility it represents and its economic importance to the State.

      “In addition, amendments to the Act moved last night by the Christian Democrats may result in injured workers having to bear their own costs even if their claim is successful. This may remove the incentive for insurance companies to support legitimate claims.

      “The Law Society’s position is that this legislation should be abolished and we should go back to the drawing board to develop a fair system based on consultation that achieves the aims that the Government said they wanted to achieve.

      “The Law Society is currently requesting an urgent meeting with the Premier to discuss our opposition to the reforms,” he said.

  167. Daniel

    Hi Robin, the question is what do and how do, people set a precedent.

    I have so far contacted:

    Fair Work Australia – (was not their area)
    Workcover, initial complaint, investigation of complaint, complaint about biased investigation and intimidation by inspector, complaint to and review by inspectors’ supervisor, complaint and review by Workcover, Ombudsman complaint, review by Ombudsman (still not complete but likely nothing they can do).
    A Compensation Solicitor – I have a case but it would be very hard to prove, very costly and limited by WComp laws.
    A Private Solicitor – He said “what did you want to get from this?” I said “I want justice”, He said “sometimes you have to put economics before justice” and didn’t want to touch it at his 380 dollars per hour rate without a 60 thousand dollar trust fund.

    Ironically even though the insurance company has accepted liability for my injuries, Workcover refuses to acknowledge anything wrong with my worksite other than fatigue.

    There will never be a precedent because we’re too well off to qualify for legal aid, too poor to pay ourselves, and the companies (SNP in my case, a 200 million dollar a year turnover and Railcorp) are too powerful and too well connected to and with Workcover to ever go up against.

  168. Robin

    What they are scared about?

    They know if there is a precedent created about the unfair treatment , bulying and discrimination linked with the causation and worsening of an employees injuries it will open a whole new avenue…………..and they will have to change the system, which is exactly what they dont want to do.
    That is why you dont hear on the news much about the reall cost and causes of a broken workers compensation system, it is heart broken the treatment some people have, not even real criminals are treated ike that.
    The Productivity Commission estimates workplace bullying costs the Australian economy up to $15 billion a year. This figure does not include the hidden costs of recruiting and training employees to replace those who left as a result of continued harassment

  169. Robin

    Dear All,

    Bellow is a much better method of tackling the problem which it coud save 3 times more than Mr Ofarrel says he is going to save.
    Everybody knows that Bullying, dsicrimination harassment happens to those who are fighting for justice and for their rights(Mostly), wistle blowers and honest people who refuses to lose their values and stand for their rights and for the benifit of al society instead of their onw.
    I have seen many people who unfortunally says that there is nothing they can do and all their malpractices and acceptance of this evil system is because they have a familiy to support, we all have a choice in life and close our eyes and comply when we see something is very wrong and people are being hurt is not the way to go for our society, we all have a responsibility and a choice!!!!!.
    All emplyeers, insurance and government wants is to stop people like us who defies corruption and misleading employeers.
    The system(government) is there to empower people, the insurers since 2001 have had record profits as workers rights have been gradually slashed, corporations shares are on a huge expectation of this changes as their shares will hit a year high but the real problem of a corrupt and a failed system hasnt been tackled ad employeers, govt, insurers will keep getting away with murdering people, if you kill someones souls and dreams using of criminal methods it is considered murder as tha person is powerless to do anything and becomes a robot.
    There had been tests of a psycopath brain done and it was found that most of those with a psycopath brain end it up working for big organisations and politics, they are people who can talk and look good but have a complete lack of integrety and feelings for their fellow human beens.
    This problem needs to be talked until everybody is aware and we all need to unite towards a better system for ALL, and not for only a few who think that they can rely forever in a barbaric system.
    When the first pioneers and setlers who arrived in this country they did beleived that the aborigines were backwards and in need of help but i think there are many people in the world is in need of help because they are backwards and have a complete lack of vision and common sense.

    The Productivity Commission estimates workplace bullying costs the Australian economy up to $15 billion a year. This figure does not include the hidden costs of recruiting and training employees to replace those who left as a result of continued harassment.

    kind regards,

    Robin Fletcher

  170. Daniel

    Yeah its quite disgusting Robin and it just got much much worse than it was with the amendments they rammed through parliament.

  171. Robin

    do have an extreme case of misconceived conduct practiced by the insurers, lawyers and employers TNT.
    I do have a serios case of racial discrimination and serious vlification which is deemed criminal.
    I have suffered an injury back in 2000 and since them the insurer spent around $1.000.000.00 dollars of wasted money and my problem only got worsen, I have told the insurer about the harassment and discrimination but the insurer wasnt interested.
    I have the right of worker compensation that have been continuously denies any benefits and I have over 22% loss on my foot and I have been waiting now for around one year to be rightly examined by a doctor sice my treating doctor refused to redo his report since the MRI done by Pitwater radilogy was falsely reported and I had to do a proper one overseas which was given the right diagnostic due the seriousness of my injuries.
    I do have all papaers to suport my statements and all the facts going back to 2000.
    The scheme is a fraud and ,lawyers, doctors ,agencies are all making huge amounts of money but in reality they are not doing any work due to their lack of care and serious negligence.
    They are using taxpayers money and not doing the work they say they are doing.
    I am a proof that the sytem is broken, but not because of the injured workers but because of the corrupt system and criminal employeers who will use of any means to hide this ugly truth.
    I came to Australia as a free man and I have been treated worst than criminal but the real criminals are not only impune but making it look that they are the good guys and cutting beenfit and not tackling the problem the right way is a criminal act itself and have to be talked.
    Kind Regards,

    Robin Fletcher
    2012/43283 workers comp at request

  172. Daniel

    I made a typo in my story, it should read “Workcover refutes your claim that workers are being put at risk”.

    This was sent to me in a letter by Workcover after I complained about the investigation they did. I had sent them a medical certificate along which showed my doctor had indicated that my injury resulted from my duties (walking / standing constantly for 11:30 each shift).

    It boggles the mind how they can say allowing workers to be forced to work under the exact conditions that led to my injury does not put them at risk.

  173. Daniel

    Hi,

    In 2011 I started work as a Security Dog Handler working on Railcorp premises. My job was to patrol for up to 12 hours with a 20 minute break after 5 hours and a 10 minute break after 8 hours. I was to “patrol continuously” and was “prohibited from sitting or standing still for more than 2 minutes”. My dog was allowed a rest for 15 minutes every two hours but I was required to stand during this time. The ground I patrolled over was ballast, sharp jagged rocks which stabilize the train tracks. I worked from approximately 6pm to 6am and up to 75 hours a week.

    After a few months of patrolling and experiencing severe pain in my legs and feet as well as severe fatigue, I was almost struck by a train and being told by supervisors I would be sacked if I reported it and so I complained to Workcover NSW. Workcover ignored my complaint for 2 months and when they did investigate they intimidated me by bringing my boss and a Railcorp manager to my work, who watched me be interviewed. Workcover refused to accept documentary evidence from me including rosters, photographs and witnesses which could prove our allegations. They told me it was all just a misunderstanding and communication problem and that the company and Railcorp would fix it up and no penalties would be imposed.

    I was then intimidated and threatened by my employer, had my hours reduced and nothing had changed in terms of safety or conditions.

    Approximately 3 months after the investigation was concluded the pain in my feet became so bad that I had to relieve myself of duty. After tests and scans it was found that I had sustained a fractured bone (stress fracture) in my foot, plantar facistis in both feet, arthritis in my left ankle joint and a as yet undiagnosed (I just an an MRI today) problem which my left ankle.

    To date I think my treatment, doctors, podiatrist, scans and compensation payments for wages have probably cost Workcover 20-30 thousand dollars, for an injury that could have been avoided had Workcover done its job and forced Railcorp, and the company I worked for to comply with OHS / WHS legislation.

    As it is, there are hundreds more people working under the same conditions I was today who are going to be injured and cost Workcover more money and I have no idea why.

    I have complained to Workcover since that time, advising them of my injury and that allowing this to continue is placing more people at risk. Workcover’s response “Worker refutes your claims that workers are being put at risk.”.

    If Mr O’Farrel wants to save money, I think his first and foremost priority might be to have Workcover do its job to prevent injuries rather than dole out money post accident or injury.

    1. El

      Hi everyone,

      Att: Daniel,

      I am within a month to start work with as dog handler with the same company, I believe that you might have been employed at. My previous dog handler employer has told me not to take up the position. My question is: Is it a good career move or will i regret it?

      thanks
      El

  174. Scott Castiovski