May 18, 2012

Your Stories

At any one time there are 120,000 people recovering from a workplace injury in NSW. These are the stories of some of those 120,000 people.

Feel free to add your own story  or ask a question.

If you need assistance please contact us on:
(02) 9749 7566 or
email: help@injuredworkerssuport.org.au
If you are in immediate distress 
Before you post please read our comments policy.

Please do not use your real name or include any specific personal details for your own safety. If you wish to ask a specific question you can email us at: help@iwsn.org.au

  • Lenny Burger

    I had been on here for a work injury before, the result of which was my GP got tricked into signing me off as 100% fit to return to work even though I wasn’t. I was carrying my elbow injury only a few months into my new job, taking Nurofen daily, until my lower back started hurting. I pushed on with the lower back pain, sciatic pain, leg pain and nerve symptoms in my foot with all the maximum amounts of over the counter drugs but eventually had to see a neuro. Turns out I had a bulging disc in my spine [L5-S1]. More pain killers and bit of time off, but I had to keep working to pay the mortgage. Eventually they ended up firing me because of all the time off and the risk of working construction whilst on opiates [Was getting tired and dizzy while up on ladders and stuff].
    For a while I was stuck on Centerlink until I decided to get it claimed by worker’s comp. Up till that point I wasn’t keen to go back on it after the previous 18 months experience with my elbow, but we couldn’t survive on the dole. They accepted the claim and I started the long path of scans, injections, specialist visits, more scans, pain clinics, the impossible public waiting list, physical therapy, different pain killers and not getting anywhere with any of it. My neurosurgeon, a medico-legal second opinion and even the insurer’s own specialist said if nothing else worked that surgery was warranted. Yet, after the last round of PT and no improvement, the insurer refused to cover the cost of surgery. I was aghast. They can refuse treatment, for no apparent reason and neither myself or my solicitors can do anything to force them to pay. The only option was to pay for it myself and claim for reimbursement. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a spare $54k lying around, as I’d been on 60% wages for the last year and barely survived week to week. I almost gave up till I found out I could get my superannuation released under compassionate grounds, for chronic pain. Well, thankfully I now had an understanding GP and both he and the specialist signed the paperwork and I got the money released just days before the big operation.
    I am now 2 weeks post op and the pain relief is amazing. No more leg pain, foot pain and my spine though tender from the procedure, looks to be a lot better too. I am hoping for a full recovery, but it will take some time to heal and build up my strength. Now we are going to pursue the insurer to reimburse my costs, which I really hope they cough up the cash for. My super nest egg has all but disappeared and I can’t get back a good portion which went to the tax man.
    Due to the fusion and my continuing elbow issues, I am not even going to consider returning to being a sparky. The next vertebrae up is also looking a bit susceptible so I don’t want to go through this again. It’ll be interesting to see what the insurer expects of me, if they are going to force me back to the tools. That would be very risky, so I am hoping they either re-train me for something else or at least give me a decent settlement so I can reinvent myself at 46 years of age. What that change will be I have no idea yet, but it is unlikely to be anything related to my previous 25 years of work, due to the poor job prospects in anything around the electrical industry that doesn’t involve using tools. Good luck to everyone, I hope we all get some fairness from this corrupt and self-serving system. We deserve much more than what we’ve been getting. The passion I feel about this issue may even sway my future aspirations towards being an advocate for the injured workers, maybe even a politician [Oh dear!], but how else are we going to get this abortion of a system fixed up? I want to make a difference, but posting on forums and writing to members of parliament just isn’t going to do enough.

  • Josse Hoddgie

    Insurance company sent a friend of mind to an assessment she got a 4% WPI from the orthopedic Dr ,
    She chose to be assessed by her independent neurologist he have her 63% as it’s nerve related pain
    As far as I know her lawyer sent that report to challenge the insurer
    It’s now a waiting game for her
    She’s had 23 proceduress to date and none have been successful
    I dare say her insurer will disagree and then she will have to go to the compensation commission what she dreds is having to be subjected to another painful examination
    Does anyone have any thing similar happen to them how does this work will the commission send her for another axamination or will they see by the reports and past treatment its nerve and just grant her the 63%
    She is terribly worried about her future
    I wish I could do more for her

    • Josse Hoddgie

      Any help at all??

    • Tell your friend to read our Workers Comp Handbook for further information which may be useful. There isn’t much to ad on the technical front. It seems a significant difference between the two assessments which, yes, will probably lead down the track of an court appointed assessment. 63% is a significantly high rate of disability.

      • Josse Hoddgie

        She was told her pain stems from crps 1 … with irriversable effects does anyone know much about this condition

  • Gav

    Anyone have any contacts for a lawyer that can handle an international workers comp case . I am in Australia but was injured overseas and would now like to see what options I have to take further action

    • What country is your claim in?
      It might be advisable to talk to an international firm as they are more likely to have access to lawyers with standing in those countries (what the lawyers call jurisdictions) or have offices there which could take the action you need while you interact with the Aust based office. If you were working for an Australian Company overseas you may still be eligible under an Australian WC legislation, some further detail might assist that.

  • Debbie

    hi everyone my husband crushed his foot 2000 pounds of iron rolled over it at work they did not take him to get care they only waited for the argent care center to open so they could drug test him after that they sent him back to work with in 4 days gangrene had started to set in I took him to are family doctor who sent him to a wound care center they did surgery DE compartmental syndrome made him go back to work light duty then fired him we have been fighting for 2 and a half yrs on this because the company was self insured and that means the company them self determines what they pay for and it has been nothing but the doctor that did the evaluation on his foot no med no shoe no nothing the doctor that did his surgery told us they will take the leg down the road but the company said he is faking so I would like to know if anyone in ohio or Kentucky has ever had to deal with self insured company’s and how to get the help he needs thank you Debbie from ky

  • Michelle

    Hi, i am currently being victimised & bullied within the volunteer emergency services sector in Queensland. Its been going on for 13mths now & involves the district & regional managements. I have tried to follow the CoC & follow all the procedures outlined in our doctrine but there is no resolve. These people come preaching these things to us, threatening us with them-but when we need them they aren’t followed! I’m at my wits end. This all started with a workplace injury. I had no communication from management for a whole week, when i did it was a quick phone call that i initiated. 3 weeks later, injured & alone i didn’t even know if my workcover had been granted or even initiated or any information from here on with my recovery. The night before my surgery-4 weeks later, in desperation i put a facebook post up on my organisation’s “solutions” page. This was picked up by the WH&S at our state office. They rang me 15 minutes before my surgery & apologised & wished me well & said they would follow up. They did, they were shocked to learn that not only was i ex communicated after i was injured, but that i had no idea of the process to come back etc. I can only presume the involvement of state office didn’t go down well with my regional office. I worked my butt off to return & was absent for just 2.5mths total. upon my return i went from being any normal member to trouble with a capital T. I was abused & condescended to by my district office, which was turned a bling eye to by my regional one. After i involved state office i had what i thought was a positive resolve. Boy was i wrong. Regional office’s answer to states second involvement-at my request was to hold a meeting, to which i was not privy with all of the rank officers (my peers) in the district-14 people + 2 regional heads & 2 district heads. Where the regional office proceeded to sell me out to them all. They were told things that were utter lies. Told that they needn’t worry as regional office was going to have (me) done with vexatious complaints-even though they were not even part of the investigation done by head office at all. (the one i requested!) A person at this meeting informed me of all of this & they were then sent a letter giving 14 days to explain or they would loose their position. i was mentioned in this letter 6 TIMES. After i spoke to state office the letter was mysteriously squashed. I have since challenged regional office as to what was said & in their own words it was confirmed. So to date, i have missed out on courses i was a priority for, pretty much the whole region personal are wary of me-i’m trouble & if you associate with me there will be negative repercussions, I’ve had to see the counsellor been on anti-depressants, had copious fights with my husband & my children because i refuse to just leave, had many sleepless nights & watch on saddened as many people have left because of this. I will quote something i said to my boss & then i will quote the reply.
    (me) “if i leave now, i will have archived nothing. They will just find another me & do it all over again that’s what they’ve been doing for years. If anything i hope to have shown everyone that you can stand up for your rights & you can make sure that the code & the doctrine are followed.”
    (reply) “all you have archived is to show everyone what lengths they are willing to go to too get away with what they do. Everyone has seen the cost to you, to your health. There’s nobody that will speak up now.” p.s i have found the recently appointed HR woman no help what so ever. She was hand picked by regional office straight out of the text book & they have her schooled already. For anyone that wonders what i base that on….Never go to a meeting to record it only-then turn around in that meeting & refer to yourself as the support person for the meeting facilitator. I’m up to seeking legal representation as i’m out of options with no end in sight. I’ve had warnings about severe ramifications of doing that also. I’d love to hear from anybody that understands. Thanks

  • Jade

    Bullied at work by the MD, finally cracked and asked HR for help saying it was affecting my health, anxiety, cold sores etc. Got dismissed two days later, putting it through Fairwork, now they are saying I was a poor performer, which is of course rubbish. Anyone with advice on this?

    • Anthony J Merritt

      Get a law firm to hear your case like Slater &Gordon

  • Debbie

    Hi everyone

    Here is another source that will help you find out more about those listed as IME’s. Read the reviews based on other injured workers experience. Its called ‘aworkcovervictimsdiary.com’. Some of the postings are shocking and should be taken as a red flag warning.

    So go to the website of A WorkCover Victims Diary and see for yourselves. The only way to change the system of practitioners behaving badly is to expose them so long as its true.

  • Pete777

    My issue is I was cut of medical and Workcover payments in 2014!
    Since then changes had taken place and my medical benefits reinstated as of December 2015
    I find this out by emails sent to me by the injured workers support group!
    When I contacted the insurer about these changes they said I would have to send in reimbursement request and see if they would pay them!
    It took me 2 months of fighting with the insurer and having to get Wiro and Siro involved.
    I received the the payments but I did not receive and notices stating that my benefits had been back dated or when they would stop!
    I recently had also submitted further documents to be reimbursed in November but I still haven’t been payed for yet!
    I contacted the insurer without any response by email or phone so I got Siro involved again, once Siro was involved I received a letter stating that I would need a Work capacity certificate to have my Benefits payed!
    That’s fine, but my issues with this is why wasn’t I advised of this earlier this year.. as you could see I had all medical benefits cut in 2014 and did not require any medical certificates after that date..
    Isn’t the insurers job to contact me and advise me of what I need to do to receive the Benefits I’m entitled to..
    I did contact the insurer by phone and lets say it wasn’t good conversation as the case manager is such an arrogant pig and wouldn’t let me talk.. all he said was you know what a injured worker has to do and that’s have updated certificates you haven’t had one since 2014. I tried to say that the only reason that is due to my benefits being cut off, but he didn’t want to listen!
    Pig Pig bloody Pig

    • Workers Compensation King

      Unfortunately, this is due to the government implementing Section 59A of the 1987 act, there has been many changes due to government reforms. You should speak to your local MP.

      The only reason your medical benefits were reinstated was due to amendments which passed through parliament.

  • pete

    How can one of the major Insurance companies, legally incorporated & a proud sponsor of sports events, engage in unconscionable conduct & condone anti-social behaviour? How can it use hordes of individuals to harass injured workers, employ criminals to break into victim’s homes? They make successful recovery & return to work impossible. They recklessly endanger lives. Is there any logic behind such conduct & systemic abuse of injured workers?!

    • Insurance Hater

      Hi Pete,
      Short term answer to your question is NO.
      As the insurers have no morals or code of ethics they even do not believe in the Code Of Conduct under the law!!!!
      And they get away with it all the time mate.
      What I learnt just before contemplating self harm to end my burden and torment they insurer put on me with their harassment, Intimidation and bullying tactics along with their private investigators invading your whole family and yourself was to stand up for yourself.
      Yes it is the insurers job to bully, intimidate and harass the injured worker as they simply do NOT care about the injured worker at all as much as they say they do but in reality they DO NOT. Get that into your mind as it is true that you are only a number and a liability to them.
      Come to accept this that it is true (Which it is that they do not care about you at all) and then you will realise that you are fighting several battles. The insurer, Your injury, your welfare and your rights as an injured worker.
      Then you will realise there whole sole purpose is to beat you down even though you are injured they want to break you and make you stuff up etc just to cut of their books.
      Do what i did FIGHT THEM I have learnt know I will never be in that dark place the insurer put me in fight them on everything go to Work Safe Aust and the WIRO on everything fight them tooth and nail I did and won it took a long time but I now found that I was the better person for standing up to bullies.
      BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT THE INSURERS ARE THEY ARE JUST THE SCHOOL YARD BULLY

      • Pete

        Thanks, Insurance Hater. Very glad things have worked out for you. I hear you. Not looking forward to the challenges though. It’s a dirty, ugly underbelly – a reality which the uninjured will never know exists. It’s wrong at so many levels.

  • Pete

    Did anyone experience Breaking & Entering to your home while of Worker’s Comp? I’m noticing holes in my walls & ceiling, my stuff has been rummaged through. My mattress ripped. My stereo system stopped working. The worst – my medicine, vitamins, cosmetics (incl. toothpaste) have been tampered with, so that I get skin rash, headaches, nausea, cough & eye dryness when I use them.

  • sharee

    I have been on the workcover roundabout since april last year in south Australia. fractured my patella and damaged my cartilage. I had to end up having an arthroscopy in September (the damage was not found at first). In August of this year I was sent to a surgeon of workcovers choice and obviously his report was one sided. At the end of August I was told that based on medical evidence they said I was not incapacitated anymore. I was up to 20 out of my 25 hours at that stage. They ceased my payments. I had to file a dispute at the employment tribunal. first hearing I didn’t go to as I didn’t have to but they were ordered to keep paying me and another hearing date was set for November. I attended this hearing with my lawyer and I won. That was 3 weeks ago now and have finally been contacted by workcover about going back to work, problem is now they are targeting my surgeon to try and get him to say I will not be able to do my job again, and this is even before I have even started back. Am also fighting to get my physio back. I want this rollercoaster to end they are just such nasty people.

    • sharee

      Now I am being told that I have to have my resume into them by jan 30th to retrain. I do not want to retrain and shouldn’t have to as I know I will be able to do my job before the time is up. These people just do not care about us at all

  • Real life

    Im wondering why my comment asking for a good lawyer is still waiting moderation. Also notice the text needs corrected im unable to access it to correct phone text does its thing sometimes.

  • Bob

    Hi I was hurt @ work 4 months ago @ my second job,, 3 hours a day. I’ve had all the medical procedures , MRIs ect , I’ve got to have Surgery early January, on my shoulder the Insurance company won’t pay me for that job because im already getting 38 hours a week from my original job. They excepted partial liability at first but because they have approved surgery etc does that mean they have excepted full ability? Im worry about if I have surgery they might say No we didnt take full liability so you pay for half of it??

  • Rob

    I was injured severely at work 18 years ago and required surgery 14 years ago that now requires further surgery.
    About 6 years ago the insurer withheld and substituted medical evidence they provided to a Medical Panel hearing.

    An eleven page medical report they requested from my surgeon was replaced with a letter requesting payment of the report.
    The Medical Panel withdrew their ruling but still Workcover refuses to investigate it fully.
    The insurers interference into my ongoing treatment has contributed to this further surgery being required (which has been backed up the their IME) is still being withheld.

    The insurer also in the past refused me to be reviewed by my surgeon after surgery was preformed.

    The system is a disgrace and there needs to be a royal commission into how these insurers continue to withhold treatment over bonuses received by team leaders for closing claims unjustly .

  • Hi Georgr
    Thanks for reply to message.
    Was it EML you had to fight for service??
    How did you fight them to get results?

    • Georgr

      Yes, it is EML. I have got a lawyer. Otherwise I would be dead by now.

      • Real life

        Greorgr
        Thankyou. I am sorry you had that experience. Glad you found a good lawyer to fight on your behalf. Understand the process is enough to contemplate suicide.

  • Real life

    Hello everyone
    Would some with ecperience of a good peoples lawyer, revommend a lawyer Practicing in victoria that is for the people dealing with workcover insurance providers playing god withholding much needed services thankyou

  • Real life

    Hi im having difficulties with EML withholding services. Has anyone else had similar experiences

    • Georgr

      They always do that. I had to fight for it.

  • Ben

    G’day Guys, has anyone out there had Drug rehab paid for by the TAC, and if so where. I would really appreciate a recommendation or two?
    Thank you.

    • Mel76

      My husband had his “detox” paid for by his insurer. Having being prescribed the highest dose of oxycontin over a lengthy period of time, the side effects were shocking.
      He entered detox at a private hospital initially for 10 days, the care was substandard to say at the least, and after being left unattended for approximately 16 hours to sleep and detox, subsequently developed a deep vein thrombosis which shifted and caused a pulmonary embolism. He was taken by ambulance to the public hospital unable to breathe. Lucky to be alive.
      Do your research, and goodluck

  • Pete

    Has anyone experienced over-the-top harassment & invasion of privacy while on workers comp?

    • Insurance Hater

      Yes and they get away with it. But there are rules for them but im sure they do break them. Just ring your local cop shop and say there is someone following me or i think they watching my house to rob it try get as much detail of person as you can type car rego etc. And ask the police to send car to look.
      Everyone on workers comp will get followed by the scum insurers private invesigators you can have a few following you at once.
      My insurer hated it because i knew everytime they were following me.

      • Pete

        In my experience, the surveillance MO has changed in that I’m not followed by a PI, but rather there is a “crowd watch”, i.e. strangers who I’ve never met & who I don’t know get in my face with their mobile phones and snap a photo of me, then post it to some group chat line/website. Someone else down the road picks it up, and they know what I’m wearing that day & which way I’m heading. There are also walk-bys or drive-bys to check if I’m in/out or on my balcony. Has anyone else experienced that? It’s scary that strangers know what I look like & where I live.

      • Pete

        Did the insurer admit that there has been surveillance? In my experience the insurer is denying it, despite the bleeding obvious. Has anyone tried to take legal action due to breach of privacy and undue harassment? Are there any lawyers who have taken on the insurers on that basis? Injured workers deserve to have dignity, privacy and peace of mind while they are recovering.

        • Insurance Hater

          No the insurer denied it when asked by my solicitor and when my rehab provider said to them why are you following the insurer said how does they know they are been followed they not supposed to see them.
          No matter what you will be followed.

  • NiAr

    I got injured at work. The company i worked for which is Amitran PTY LTD refused to report the incident then after days emailed me their own report. They also refused to provide the insurance policy. I had to lodge the work cover claim and the insurance going to decide whether or not im emtitled to compensation. Ive got the lawyer as the manager challanged me to do whatever but what the hell is wrong with some people.

  • Pete

    Can someone share experiences and advice regarding IME psychiatrist please?

  • Fazz

    Well it’s come to this. Now greyhounds have greater clout than the injured worker’s of new south Wales. Don’t get me wrong I am stocked they got there cause up what a victory. It just goes to show you that once again the squeaky wheel got the good oil. We are going to get NONE OF OUR LEGAL RIGHTS BACK WHICH WERE TAKEN BY LIE AND STEALTH. In 2012 the police and fire brigade with the ambulance service got out there and PROTESTED ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS. Because of the injustice in the legislation. Negotiations with these people have got us very little in the way of commutation and medical coverage which should have been dealt with.

  • Fazz

    We have to get our voice out there. Our rights were stolen. We went to court got our judgement only for Baird – Nile- and the shooters party. To stab us in the back. It will not be retrospective the great O’Farrell told us on national tv.i’m hurten so are alot of other’s. Orange is going to be big let’s get on the front foot. Time has come……..