Your Stories

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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.

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  1. tony

    can some one please help. i had an injury over 12 months ago my injury is still the same . i am taking morphine tablets for the pain syndrome. i had an mri done on the neck and i have a bulging disc hitting the nerves confirmed by the mri. the insurance ppl are trying to force me into back to work. i have always told them i want my injury fixed. but if i dont they are going to cut my pay. dont get me wrong i want to work but the thing is i copped that much bullying, sworn at,i yelled at,treated like an idiot. and i just cannot work under any one any more.cant sleep properly. my lawyer said to do as they ask, play the insurers game. but all i want is to to work for myself. my doctor knows all about this he even wrote to the insurance ppl about whats going on with my injury and (about my mental heath 8 months ago )i only have one good arm and when and if my other arm get better (the pain going away and the arm straightening) i am never to lift any thing heavy for the rest of my life because of the injury. all of the doctors have said it could be a very long time before the arm could be back to normal from the pain alone .now i am going to the tribunal to try and sought this out. all my life i have been in the one industry and they seem to think i am going to sit behind a desk. any replies would be grateful thanks

  2. Innominate

    Don’t know of a support group in WA and often they are not especially helpful. If you have pain and want to learn how to fix it UWA has a site that might help, or google painhealth WA. Another resource is

    Good luck


  3. Emzy

    Hi Everyone.
    I was reading through some stories on here and was wondering…

    Is there a support group in WA?

    I am currently on Workers Comp for a psychological injury and feel I have been treated appallingly (apparently not after reading some posts! Just the norm)
    I am a single parent with no family or support and thought it would be good if there was a support group I could attend in WA?

    Thanks and good luck to everyone.

    1. Rowan

      Injured Persons Action and Support Association of WA Inc

      Mission: To provide support and information to injured persons in Western Australia

      P: (08) 9227 0567

  4. Insurance Hater

    Just something for everyone to think about and would love to hear the responses as I am way over the system and the Insurers getting away with murder and blood on their hands and no one cares what they are doing except for us.

    1.Why is everything in the legislation is only for the insurers to benefit from and always supports only the insurer and not the injured worker?

    2.Why does the insurance companies ALWAYS get away with their bullying, Harassment, intimidation etc?

    3. Why does every complaint to Workcover work out in the insurers favour?

    1. Just Me

      You are 100% correct Insurance Hater, and there can be only two reasons – my guest is:

      1. The system is corrupt.
      2. The insurance companies pay out big donations around election time.

      If anyone else has any ideas as to how they get away with it, let us all know.

  5. Rowan

    Quick reminder.

    1. When you are posting please read the comments policy first.

    2. Please don’t include your personal details in any post. We advise you to use only your first name or a made up name as well to protect your privacy.

  6. Alacia Coles

    hurt my facet joint 3/4 at work and insurance company admitted liability with a 3a form will I get Payed out

  7. brad

    Hi guys im on work cover for a fractured T1 thoracic spinous process as well as muscle & ligament damage . Ive been screwed around by employers insurance company as well as employer i dont know where to start ! I’m trying to find out if i should get a solicitor or not . Both havnt been supportive , both have been screwing me around on pay . My employer didnt want me to get compo . Before accident at work we we not allowed to stop for lunch breaks , had to work in unsafe areas as well as preform unsafe work procedures hence my broken back . Was kind of pushed into work release of 15hrs wk to start thru a rehab service the insurance company got . I got thru 2 days of 3 hr work . Im now off work on a new certificate of “nil capacity” as the rehab people & work had me preforming tasks which have reinjured me . Im taking a high dose of jurnista as well as valium etc for pain & ive been given a tens machine but nothing is helping with the pain. Before the accident i was a very fit muscular 40yr old guy . I cant train , play with my kids etc , im booking in to see someone about anger, anxiety & depression problems which have popped up since this happened aswell . The list can go on & on of things wrong . Thank you for allowig me to vent .

    1. Ross

      Hi Brad
      If your not getting paid properly maybe speak to Workcover.Only recently laws have been passed to gain better help from them and maybe they can appoint someone on your behalf . Don’t give up your not alone.Goodluck Ross

    2. Rach

      Hi there,

      Yep, my advice is…get a lawyer!! I’m with Slater & Gordon, & they have been awesome! I had my accident in 2011, my employers also didn’t want me to go on workers comp, & then even blamed me cause their insurance premium went up after my accident!
      So it’s now 2015, & my settlement should finally be resolved soon, & I just want to put all of this behind me & move on. It can be very soul destroying & psychological help is essential I think. It has helped me immensely, from wanting to end it all, to now I can finally work p/t & deal with situations way better :)

      1. Tina

        Hi Rach can I ask did you go and do work placement and if so how long did you do it for. My husband is worried if he does any form of work he may jepodise getting any sort of compensation. He has been told he can never return back to the work he has done his whole life . He cant luft anything heavy with his injured arm again. He wants to go into his own business once his injuries are as good as there going to get. Should he do this work placement that the insurer is insisting he do or say no. He has a lawyer.

  8. Tina

    My husband injured his arm at work last october and has been to multiple doctors. He has been told he can never go back to his old job again (The only job he has ever known).
    He is in pain everyday and had pain syndrone.
    His previous doctor said he could do light duties with his one good arm. The 2nd doctor said he was unfit for duties but the work insurance wants him to go into work placement. He has told them on many occasion that he doesnt want to do this as he wants his arm fixed first and that he no longer wants to work under someone but rather start up self employment down the track when his arm is resolved to the best it will ever be. Work insurance is now threatening to cut his compo off. He has a lawyer. My question is if he takes up doing work placement even if he tryes it for acouple of days and it doesnt work does he jepodise getting a payout if his arm is permanent or if he stays in this work placement for a few weeks will he still jepodise a payout. He is worried this arm injury is permanent and doing any work placement is going to effect his compo. Any thoughts?

    1. mark

      Hi get your solicitors advice this is a scam by insurance company once you do several day”s at work weather you can cope or not or under heavy medication does not make any difference they will say you have a capacity to work and cut you off benefits and you could end up unable to work with no weekly benefits.

    2. belinda best

      Tina if your husbands Dr has said he has no capacity for work on his work certificate, then he doesn’t have to go to work. But if he can do at least 15 hrs it is beneficial for him in the long run even if he can do it for a week then have a week off and rotate that. His payments will drop after 13 weeks. 15 hrs plus a week 95% pay, under 15, 80% pay no work that week 80%. And you only get supperannuation on the hours you do work. I need a fusion on my L5/S1 but I do find it good to get out of the house for my 6hrs a week, when I can. Make sure when you talk to insurance company do it as well through emails for backup, and keep it in a folder, write down date, time and document briefly that conversation. Is he seeing his personal GP? If not do so. If they send him to an IME, YOU GO TOO. Just don’t give up, im coming up to 12 months of this crap. But this web site has helped me through the dark times. But DON’T tell the company that you are thinking of leaving after you get fixed.

  9. James

    What do I do
    What can I do
    Is this even legal
    In June ,2015 I was hired as a tower foreman and was promised that I would have my own crew shortly after coming aboard. However when I started I informed my Construction manager and my Regional manager of a pre exsisting shoulder injury and that Dr recommended for me not to climb. Anyways I did have to climb because I didn’t want to get fired and was under impression I would have me a crew in a short period of time. Well all of sudden after this goes on for around two months they tell me I cannot return to work until I get a letter from Dr clearing me to climb, Be cause of safety issues and the chance I might have to save someone on tower. So I stated to managers several times that I needed help, that I wasn’t supposed to be climbing and was about to have surgery on injury. So I told managers that I could prolly get Dr to give note stating that I could climb only during a emergency/rescue situation and they replied back that I was not allowed on any tower site that ,that company is working on. Now how can I work for two months goin against my Dr orders in fear that I lose my job. And one day out of blue just tell me I’m laid off basically until I get full release from dr. I am about to have surgery on injury and could be weeks befor a Dr releases me and I have kids, bills, mortgage, and a child on the way. What should I do

    1. keith

      do not say you going to end it you will be lock up I say it and the police come and lock me up just hanging in

    2. bel best

      James hang in matie, just use your support net work and this web site. And just remember you deserve the right to be treated and fixed.

  10. Redneck

    Hello everyone, I’m looking for some advice.


    I’ve been claiming income protection benefits through my superannuation since July. I currently have a cervical disc issue which has impacted the use of my right arm to the point I cannot use it at all sometimes. I live in constant pain and have tried all conservative methods to help ease it, to no avail. I’ve recently been informed I’m a candidate for surgery to improve my condition (yay).

    Now throughout my claim I’ve kept my insurer up to date constantly and returned all forms as required. My doctor put a date stating I would be able to return to work by a certain date on a part-time basis (it was 6 weeks from my consult) and immediately from the point I sent the forms to my insurer, I’ve been assigned a rehab consultant by the insurer who asked me to go back to work literally the next week (I still had 6 weeks leave and restrictions as per my doctors instruction). I said no, I was still in too much pain and had been referred to another specialist for further testing.

    The rehab consultant insisted we meet right away and told me she would be attending ALL appointments from now on because that’s just the way these things work. This didn’t seem right to me. So I contacted the insurer who told me she would only be present ‘as a once off’ to help prepare a return to work plan (even if it was for 3 months time) and that I could have her attend after my consult. I was ok with this.

    Since my questioning, the rehab consultant has been twisting my words and telling the insurance company facts that are incorrect. She also ambushed my appointment with a specialist and spoke to him about my medical condition without me being present and openly in a clinic corridor where anyone could hear, including me who was in a consult room within earshot. She asked if I could go back to work next week, my doctor said no (my symptoms have worsened and now I’m probably having surgery). She argued that he had said I could return to work in two weeks and he explained things have changed. She left and said nothing to me, in fact she didn’t even see me.

    The next day she called saying she spoke to my ‘training doctor’ – he’s actually a registrar! – saying we would have to work out a plan from here. The plan is that I cannot work, I’m awaiting an EMG test and a neurologist appointment then am heading back to my doctor to hopefully book that surgery date. I have no idea what her ‘plan’ is, but I dare say it’ll involve more pushing and twisting of words. She also made a comment that my insurer wouldn’t accept the diagnosis or medical findings from a training doctor (he’s NOT). So I’m stressing as to what’s going to come about from her report to the insurer.

    This lady has literally caused me so much stress in a week that I’ve considered cancelling my claim. I don’t want anything to do with her, she’s incompetent and seems to hear what she wants to hear. Do I actually have to take part in a rehabilitation program through my insurer?! I didn’t ask for one, the doctor ticked the yes box on my forms to the question because as thought it would be a simple workstation adjustment. She seems to be blurring the lines between a workplace injury and a non-workplace injury. My doctor is a registered practitioner, which is all my insurer requires me to see.

    I don’t want her involved a minute longer, I have a return to work program available to me through work and my employer is incredibly supportive and willing to work with me in staggering my return.

    So my main question is, can I tell me insurer I do not wish to participate in the rehab program without losing my benefits?

    Thank you if you got this far!

    1. Wai-Marie

      Sometimes you need your own Dr to refer you to someone higher than him. Psychologist who you may think is doing nothing but they can work wonders. Rehab Dr as well. W/C will push you with no empathy, almost cause my husband death, due to his stress levels. You must have a lawyer, my husband has now had his left leg amputated after 2 years. They tstill looking at him going back to work. Ain’t happening hes 55 able to retire. Hope this helps.

  11. Donna

    May 2014 had hearing for WC. Insurance Co. did not present my 3 open cases that were to travel together. Insurance Co. Claimed that I only have 1 case. Judge agreed because he said no other cases in system (doctors didn’t file C4’s and some forms incomplete as far as % & if able to work. Therefore all benefits stopped & judge told me to find a job. My attorney said nothing. I finally spoke up and explained to the judge I had in front of me all my medical records and they say 100% disabled and I can’t work. I then asked the Insurance Co. if there were no claims, how is it you paid my doctors? I then went in explaining to the Judge it’s a catch 22. Doctors filled out the forms and sends it to insurance, they pay doctor, both are happy. Doctor doesn’t file with board and items are left out or wrong numbers entered, etc. If filed with board and numbers don’t match up with your case, it gets kicked out. Who’s happy? Insurance and doctor.
    My attorney was vert angry with me for speaking up and defending myself. The judge gave me 1 chance to go back to the doctor and get the corrected forms filed with WCB and come back on my date. If it was regular health insurance the Insurance company would not pay doctor if their forms were incorrect. The staff would have to correct them to get paid. But not WC Insurance. They bank on these forms to be wrong and satisfy the doctor with payment. This should not be allowed. If form is incorrect and not filed with the WCB the doctor should not get paid until it’s right!
    After I left the hearing I called my adjuster and wanted to know why my cases did not travel together? I was told they were in the system all together and he did not know why their attorney did not divulged that. They were right there on the computer screen. The next time I called the adjuster, I was told he no longer worked there and that I have a new adjuster. I think they fired him for giving me that explanation.
    I pleaded with my doctor to file the C-4 form with the Board. But that was for only one case. I went back to court and my benefits was reinstated.
    After all that I figured that I would make sure that all my C-4’s were filed according to all my appointment dates. It was like pulling teeth to get copies from the doctor. I git them and went over every one of them. Wrong file numbers written in and so much of the information was wrong or not entered. But they always got paid by Insurance Co. So it didn’t matter to the doctor.
    I highlighted everything that was missing including the wrong file numbers. Gave all information to doctors office to fix. More waiting. Finally, i find out they lost all the notes of changes. They requested I bring the C-4’s to them with what was wrong and they would make their corrections. Since June 2014 I’ve been waiting for the corrections. I’m getting a total run around and no forms corrected or copies given back to me.
    New Problem:
    Insurance is trying to stop my benefits again due to evidence of not being treated by a physician. According to my attorney doctor is not filing with WCB. I keep calling doctor but can’t get anyone to do it. I’m told I have to speak with so and so and they’re not in every time I call. I went to speak to doctor and he became very angry and said I’m a doctor and the office staff fill out the forms and if I didn’t like how they do things that I should find another doctor. I’m happy with him but not his staff. How do I get this taken care of? My attorney says I have to keep asking. I don’t know what to do. I’m so stressed that when I go back to court next week, the Judge will agree with the lying insurance company if I have no proof. And like I said before, I have all my medical notes but the Judge doesn’t care that that’s proof I go or what’s wrong. The only thing he cares about is what’s in the computer as far as a completed C4 form. Is there any way to force the staff to correct and file my C-4’s?

    1. Donna

      Suffolk County, NY

      1. Rowan

        Dear Donna. We are based in Australia and our laws are different. There are brother & sister organisations in America who may be able to give you more direct assistance. is one

  12. cranky

    It seems like most of these stories that they ride the work cover wave without knowing what there in titled to or there legal options are and go through all this drama by them selves i say get legal advice after a few months most yes it cost you money in the end but at least you have someone to look after all the legal crap we dont get told of by work cover yes the solicitor is in it for the money too but they wont let workcover bully you either less stress.

  13. Linda

    I have been on Workcover payments for 3 years +. My physical claims were unsuccessful (by 1%) however I remain on weekly payments for 10% permanent psychological injury. My doctor considers me capable of limited work and I answe to a Work Rehab Provider. I have experenced a great deal of unexplained physical breakdown during this Workcover merry-go-round and have this week been diagnosed by a specialist with Fybromyalgia. I believe that this debilitating life I am leading is a secondary illness due to the immense stress….but nobody is listening to my limited enthusiasm and ability to seek work right now. Where do I stand? Is it worth changing my GP …. I am not that well and dont want to be classed as a malingerer.

    1. mgbible

      It sounds you are in a difficult situation. If you have presented the new diagnosis from your specialist and the doctor does not seem to be making any changes in their instructions, a second opinion usually never hurts. Just remember that a new opinion may agree with the first doctors opinion which can leave you in an even more difficult position. Unfortunately, this decision is one you have to make and I can’t encourage you one way or another as I don’t have every single detail. Your health is the most important thing in this equation so don’t feel like you have to stick with your doctor because of loyalty or being labelled.
      Remember that you can also choose who you Rehab Provider is if you feel concerned about them.

  14. Shell

    Has anyone experieced not being able to return to your previouse place of employment and insurance company finding you more suitable employment I would love to hear from someone on how this works

  15. belinda best

    Do I have the legal right to obtain a copy of an IME’S report, or do the insurance company own that report.

    1. Insurance Hater

      Hi Belinda,
      Yes have all rights to ask for and obtsin your IME report. Generaly like me they have not sent my last 2 IME’s due to it not being in thier favour. That is the only time they will not forward it onto you. The only time they will if it’s only in thier favour.
      But yes you can ask them for a copy and do it in writing or get your solicitor to do so.

      1. mgbible

        Be careful, not all IME reports are available to the injured worker unless the claim has been declined. For example, if you have had your claim accepted but you have been ordered back to work via a work capacity assessment, you are only entitled to the IME reports they have relied on in their decision. You can, of course, get your own done, but any paid for by the insurer would only be available if they relied on it to make a decision or the claim has been declined.

  16. Ian

    Hernia post repair problems can be very serious !!!!!!

    I recently had a hernia repair carried out. I have been told that the surgery was not necessary.

    The surgery failed and has left me with a disability and serious chronic pain

    I have been told that fixing the mess is very risky

    I think some people are being rushed into hernia surgery prematurely

    I would like to make contact with other men that may have been persuaded to have hernia surgery prematurely and experienced post hernia surgery pain.


    1. jasmir7

      My husband had hernia at work as well as injured his back. He had hernia repair surgery,mesh inserted, but he still has some pain and can not lift anything over 2 kg. Hernia is dangerous
      He was never approved hernia surgery,as soon after new law came into effect in june 2012, he was denied everything.He had it repaired through the medicare, 3 months waiting for the surgery

    2. John

      All depends what type of Hernia you have?, they all have risk, but risk is very limited if you’ve a good Doctor.
      What your surgeon Doctor name?

      I have 1 op to length my left groin, No help, then 2 operation’s on my left groin, then 2 on my right. groin, and final awaiting approval for a rare hernia called Spigelian hernia to be repaired, which is very hard to diagnose and has taken 8 month’s to find this hernia, as I had to have a push and rear endoscope’s, which I had to go through the public hospital system as it was not relate to my injuries, what a joke, the hernia is relate to my claim.

      I’m fine now in both groin’s still do have some pain which is going to be there from the rest of my life, but I can life with it now, except for this last hernia which is hold me back from working.

      I’ve have 2 ventral hernia before these above, so I’ve been in hospital a few times for hernia’s!!!!
      What do you what to know?

    3. denis

      Under workcover my employer told me to have op but in no way was that admitting that work caused it so I’ve had preumbicle hernia mesh repair pushing in my belly button serve pain then tues 4.30pm aug 2011 op straight away abt 4.40pm i told surgeon. I had bladder bag +heat pack +drip then surgeon with his notetaker lady was writing down things on Wednesday “i heard you have some problems ” + your expected to have bowel bladder or stomach problems cause your over 50 yrs old + i that i must leave the hospital before 12 noon thursday etc now it still ranges from anoying to mini vomits head acks + migranes cramps pain etc i found a hot water bottle helps sometimes just go to bed helps me ,or pills ,i last saw my doc about how i do not feel that im back to full strength + movement + still above happens + mesh is annoying +pain so Doc sent me to get scans “mesh intact no sign of hernia doc tells me i get tummy pain too + i will perscribe you etc i didnt wait i walked away feeling insulted etc

    4. Ashleigh

      Hi Ian, My husband has been through this as well. He had an emergency hernia op, which has left him with ACNES, Abdominal Cutaneous Nerve Entrapment.
      Work cover had accepted liability and booked him for another repair surgery, however the day of the op my husband had a chest infection and they decided it was in his best interest to post pone the op. The next business day work cover has withdrawn their liability on the basis of people who have hernias are just predisposed to getting them and as such his hernia was not caused by heavy lifting.
      My husband has been off work for over 3 months and has since had a mental breakdown, and is on anti depressants. Which is extremely hard for all. I will be unable to help him for a while and things will only get worse because of this. At the moment i am helping him wash his legs and get dressed as well as taking on all my regular house duties raising 3 kids 5 and under and being booked for my 4th caesarean in 1 week from today.
      We are using lawyers to go through all the proper channels in order to get them to approve liability again, so he can have his surgery to fix the problem.

    5. Ashleigh

      Should also mention it was an umbilical hernia repair.

  17. Ian Graham

    Don’t give up, don’t let the bastard win. I know it gets hard but some fights are worth the fight.

  18. Mary

    I am thinking of giving up my rights to my entitlement. I just can’t deal with the pressure that the insurer puts on me. I know it is all their little tricks to get me off their book. Do I have to continue to get a certificate if I decide to give up my rights. If I do, what is the advantage of doing that? They have ruin everything in my life and I have no idea how much longer I can put up with those bastards!

    1. Insurance Hater

      Hi Mary,
      What ever you do DO NOT GIVE UP. Trust me it is what the scoundrels want you to do that is why they do all stuff to us. Don’t think you are the only one they do it to everyone. DON’T let them win and beat you.
      Fight them all the way they don’t give a dam about us we all know that just dont let them win. You are stronger than them fight them all the way.

    2. denis

      Mary please don’t give up i do wish +hope you will have the strength to hold onto truth I’ve seen + met some people that shouldnt be called human !

  19. Vesna

    I have just come off workers compensation, I am permanent fulltime as a disability support worker, and my employer has to find me a position as I have applied for a compassionate transfer to another area. My workers comp payments have now stopped, and my employer won’t pay me until they find me a postion. Are they allowed to do this, as I am permanent fulltime.

  20. Mary

    If my doctor has got a very good reason why I should not see an IME, do I still have the obligation to see one? The insurer kept on arranging me to see an IME and my doctor kept on writing to them saying it causes too much distress to me and he does not allowed it. Again and again, they re-schedule it. This will the third IME that they arranged. I went for the first two, nearly killed myself both times. Once, I was even send to the hospital.

    1. concerned injured worker

      Hi Mary, I went through the same thing where I hated to go back to those IME’s. The problem is that’s what the insurers are counting on. If you fail to attend the IME visit, they will stop your payments. When you attend take a support person with you. You need to psych yourself up into defence mode and don’t take any crap from them. That’s how I handled them. Don’t trust any lawyers because in the workers compensation business, all lawyers work for the insurer even the ones that claim they have your best interests at heart. If you’re on a return to work programme under a voc rehab provider, be wary of them too because I’ve been burned by them too. I wish you luck – make sure you have a reliable support system like close family member or a very good friend who will understand what you’re going through. Its been my experience that psychologists and psychiatrists are quite clinical and just in it for the money as well, unfortunately. Good luck.

  21. belinda

    I injured my back in September last year. I have had 2 injections which did nothing, ctc scan and mri all done not long after injury happened, i have a tear on L4 and disc material indents the thecal sac centrally and abuts the S1. I have cronic lower back pain and burning constantly and nerve pain running down my leg. I have no social life at the moment. I normally work fulltime. I have been to an ime in December 2014 which told me there is nothing wrong and if i cant make it to physio go swimming in the lake, the whole examination took 13min. He took out i film from the mri lent back in his chair and said hmm… I have had 2 other appointments with another surgeon since then and had a xray about 6wks ago and now have OA in my facet joint. I have been to see a pain specialist, but they can’t help me. My surgeon has requested surgery for a fusion because my sacral scope is quite high. I was put on anti depressants back in march and my treating Dr then requested for me to see a psychologist which has never been approved, but the insurance company sent me to a ime psychiatrist, but still no approval for them to pay for my anti depressants. I have just received a letter today that they want me to see this idiot I saw in December, again. My surgeon is a Neurologist spine surgeon and this ime is a orthopaedic surgeon, i thought if they want to send me to an ime to over rule the other Dr, that they should have the same credentials? How do you obtain the reports that these so called IME whores have sent to the insurance company. All I want is to get back to full time work and have a relationship with my husband again. There have been a few dark days,weeks and months and now I am having counseling. Why is this such a long process to get fixed.

    1. Just Me

      Hi Belinda, yes there will be dark days ahead, the state liberal government fixed it very nicely for the insurers to have total power over you and they revel in it. It is a long process because that’s how they want it to be. All designed to wear you down. Good luck with keeping your full-time job! Get ready for a dizzy dash around the mulberry bush. But stay strong.

    2. Sore back

      Get a solicitor to help you

    3. Sore back

      Go see a solicitor most are free and will help you .and you might be covered under your super they will check that out for you free of charge maurice blackburn are good i got advice very early in my case with sore back i will be going back in a few weeks but i have a solicitor to look after everuthing im entitled to so always best to be on the front foot ehen they play there games a solicitor eill pull them straight up yeh they get payed well but takes alot of stress off you and they will get everything n every cent your entitled too.cant help 1st visit free good luck.

    4. Stressed out

      Omg Belinda your story was the same as me ! I am totally fed up with this whole crap of work cover been on this night mare since October last year and just keeps getting worse ! Insurance company just don’t give a shit and demand for u to go to I m e but won’t and stall to help me see my doctors what the hell ! It’s 2015 not the dark ages . The commerals on the tele are full of shit ! They don’t care at all ! I have had enough getting pulled go here u have to do what they tell u or oh yes we will stop ur payments !! It like being black mailed all the time ! So so over it just don’t think I can take much more off all this crap !!!!!! Very stressed out :(

  22. Mary

    I am fit for suitable part time work. I have return to work at a completely different role and within the duration that my doctor permits. The insurer still want me to see a rehabilitation consultant. I do not want to because I find them a waste of my time. Is it an obligation for me to continue to see rehab consultant although I have return to work???

    1. mgbible

      Generally, if you are still under an injury management plan then you are required to comply with the insurers instruction around seeing the rehabilitation coordinator or the insurer may stop paying you. There are specific conditions where this may not apply but if you still have any restrictions on your work, you would need to continue on to work with the rehabilitation provider. Also if you are not satisfied with your rehabilitation coordinator, you can request to change to one you choose.

  23. debbie

    I had carpal tunnel surgery on both hands and my doctor release me to go back to work workman’s comp wants me to settle for 4 thousands how do they come up with that amount

    1. concerned injured worker

      Hi Debbie, Hopefully you didn’t settle for that ridiculous amount. With carpal tunnel syndrome it could recur. For this reason it is not recommended to settle the claim so soon. I don’t know what type of job you’re doing but I wouldn’t recommend settling the claim until you know for sure that the condition has settled. If you’re doing repetitive work then the problem may re-occur. I claimed RSI of both wrists and later found I had a partially torn shoulder tendon which was undiagnosed at the time I claimed for the wrists. Now I’m going through the court system in an attempt to prove my case. If you decide to enlist the services of a workers comp lawyer beware cos they will sell you out as the two law firms I had did. Good luck Debbie and don’t let them stress you out.

  24. jason

    hi i was injured at work while driving a truck with faulty (broken) suspension my employer sacked me after sleeping in from taking tomany painkillers workers comp said itwas a work related injury but was only going to pay for medical expenses, after seeking a solicitor and seeing many specialist over the last Two years they say my back is fine and normal for the age of me (39) i am still in cronic pain in my lower back i am on strong pain killers,anti inflammatory, anti depressants.
    my solicitor and barrister meet with the employers solicitors and offered me less than 40k…. I cannot go back to work and do what i am qualified to do and have not worked for 2 1/2 years…. solicitor told me if i take them to court and lose i will have to pay their court cost could be $90k… what do u think i should do any advice ????

    1. jason

      sorry broken seat suspension

    2. Wai-Marie

      Hi Jason Every case is different but your not alone. WC push people back to work, the minute your back. The minute they sack you. They tried this with my husband. You need to get a physiologist an a higher Dr, which your GP will help find for you. It caused depression an stress level to excel. Almost causing his death, due to a heart attack. Hop this helps Wai-Marie

  25. PainIndaAss

    Hi I injured my back a few months ago at work (L4-L5 disc protrusion and nerve impingement sciatica) I had no trouble with work cover until I got sent back to work on light duties, my employer would push me to the limit and get me to lift things I shouldn’t and if I refused it would be a very unpleasant environment for me for the rest of the day which I did relay to my case manager. So talking with my doctor he suggested that I find lighter work I told my workcover case manager and they encouraged me to seek different employment. So I found what I thought was suitable work and resigned from my position, but upon induction to my new job they deemed me not fit for the job due to my medical certificate restrictions and even worse my old position was filled within the two days of me absent. I know now I was stupid for listening to my doctor but I was new to this whole workcover stuff and was unaware and not informed of work placements by my case manager it was after this I was given advice to see lawyers so I did so. Anyway I ended up having to apply for newstart which took 8 weeks to receive and in that time I lived in my car for one and a half weeks as I was unable to pay my rent. Im now back in accommodation and still receiving treatment for my back through workcover who are now paying my wages for a few months because the nurosurgen I recently seen said I was incapacitated for work until I finish my pain management program. I just thought I would share my story so that no one else makes the same mistakes as I did.

  26. Stressed out

    Hi john and welcome to the nightmare !!! I have been on workcover for 8 months and have found this sight such good help and advice . It’s not like the tele they don’t care !!!!! Anyway wishing you well regards stressed out

  27. john

    I was injured at work and torn one of the tendons of the bone in my shoulder.
    The work comp claim went through with out too many hassles and an operation was approved and done.
    That was 3 months ago. I return to full time work on restricted duties.
    2 weeks ago as my shoulder pain had been steadily getting worse not better my surgeon sent me for a further scan.
    In the scan they found that part of the repair had come away and that a bursitis was developing and i may be in the beginning stages of frozen shoulder.
    All report were sent through to my employer and insurance company.
    Since then a few things are happening
    1. I have had no contact from employers health safety officer any more.
    2. The insurance company have contacted me about sending me to another surgeon to get a second opinion. They have called to organise appiontment with me but i missed their call, i have treid calling them back 6 times but the case manager is not there and does not return my calls.
    3. My managers attitude to me has suddenly taken a turn for the worse. They have start to pick on all facets of my work. The are saying i am not performing in my job even though 2 months ago i was doing a great job.
    They dont talk to me at meetings any more and if i try to interact at the meetings i am either shot down or ignored.

    I am allready feeling very down as even though i have returned to work my shoulder has not work properly for over 4 months and is now at only about 20% range of movement. I am in constant pain and now the above behaviour has started.
    I getting very stressed over this whole thing.
    I am very worried they are trying to set me up so they can sack me.

    I dont know what to do.

    Can some one Please advise me

    1. Just Me

      Yes, they are now setting you up to get sacked. Advice, get a lawyer – sooner rather than later.

    2. anon

      I feel your pain, I injured myself tearing my supraspantus tendon and I snapped my bisecp tendon back on the 31st of October 2014.
      they didn’t operate on me until Mid February 2015
      Ive been bullied by rehab provider work pays for, I’ve sent to a shit load of physio Therapist appointments and a IME at the
      physiologists to see if they are liable For a claim to be made for depression. She told me that she thinks that i may have a mild case of adhd (im 39). I think this is there way of saying i have pre existing condition. My manager at work questions everything i do and im sick of attending meeting with hr over minor issues. The managers no that im a hardworker i was ranked 1st in australia for my company (Australian wide Company) in 2014. But im now being told im not a company focused worker and that im not a team player a d that i have conflict with others.
      I only have conflict with people if they are playing the game and not doing there fair share of work or manipulating the system. I only reported these people to my manager as i thought that it was in the best interest of the company.
      But those involved were all friends with management and nothing happened about it. My manager is also telling all of the bosses and management that i am not trustworthy even saying he has caught me oit numerous times lying to him.
      when he is the one lying about me and when he talks to me he makes out he is helping me out when i no for a fact he is doing this. I would love to see him go through the pain of waiting for surgery for months and then recovery then to be put in a office to do a job i have never done before and get warnings etc for not doing something right. Id yell at him but ive been given a written warning for swearing at a manager who told me in a tone TO SIT DOWN AND MIND MY OWN BUSINESS IN FRONT OF FOUR OTHER STAFF. He was not punishes for the way he had spoken to me when all i was doing was trying to help out another worker find something who later i found out told management i was in the wrong.
      Depression is a Bastard of a feeling if only the people who have been harassing me got it maybe then they would say hey treating someone like this is not really good. People and workmates tell me to ognore them but its hard to handle it especially when i tell my kids its not all right to bully others. So i follow my own words and i tell them exactly whats on my mind who cares if they dont like it. Its actually quiet funny to see there reactions when i say things to them that others wont.
      It does gey better hopefully one day i wont need to take a little red pill every morning and i may even be able to throw a tennis ball whos knows.
      Time will tell.
      All the best

  28. Cindy T

    I have a question. I worked exactly 15 hours a week. Am I entitled to 80% or 95% of my pre injury earnings? The insurer refuses to increase it to 95% saying that I worked 15 hours only. Not more. I thought it says 15 hours or more on the legislation? Thanks.

    1. Michelle

      You are only entitled to 95% for 3 months then it drops. No matter if full time, part time etc. it sucks

    2. Rowan

      There are two wage cuts. for the first thirteen weeks the wage cut is 5% (you receive 95% of your income). The second happens after the 13 week period and is 20% (you receive 80% of your income). Unless you are working for the fires, ambos, police other emergency services or coal this will apply to you in NSW.

      1. Cindy T

        Oh ok… between 14 weeks and 2.5 years and if I worked for 15 hours, my weekly payment will be 95% of pre-injury earning minus current weekly earnings.

        1. Rowan

          If you are under NSW workers comp your weekly pay will be 80% minus current weekly earnings

  29. Edgar

    I am a victim of harassment,
    belittlement, intimidation, threats ,
    Hacking my phone, .
    Currently fighting workers compensation case. They want to play my situation down. LA Fitness.

    1. Just Me

      Welcome to the world of workers compensation Edgar. Wait until they pass your name around – doing everything they can to discredit you and dirty your name. Just remember one thing though, it’s costing them money and time and best of all, it’s costing them credibility – pass it round!

  30. Denzil

    I was injured at work while walking down the stairs I slipped and fell injurying my neck . I had to have 3 operations to the neck , I was dismissed from work because I couldn’t recover on time. , 8 years have pasted now I am having majjor problems with my left side from head to toe , can you plsease assist me in this matter , Thanks

    1. Return of the Compensation HERO

      Acquire an updated WorkCover Certificate and give it to your case manager/insurer.r

      Make sure is has suitable duties or unfit.

      They will need to reassess your claim.

  31. Insurance Hater

    You have got that all in one YES both the insurance company and there own appointed rehab are against you it would be wrong if they were not. Because they do NOT care about you as you are only a number to them. They want to stop paying you as quick as they can and there rehab provider wants there bonus as well.
    Go find your own rehab provider ASAP that will care for you and work for you not the scumbag insurance companies.

  32. AB

    Could anyone please recommend a good rehabilitation provider (Workcover approved) in NSW that can assist with psychological injuries?

    1. Compensation HERO

      There is a pro-worker union rehab provider on this website. I believe they are called Workers Health Centre

      1. Mary

        I am in the care of Workers Health Centre and highly recommend them

  33. Insurance Hater

    Even with an work capacity decission done you will get a 3month notice. Which you should fight through WIRO. And DO NOT let the insurer or rehab provider bully, force or imtimmidate you or your doctor into changing or forcing you to have suitable duties when your GP says you are not.. They will try to force you or GP to change it. The rehab provider and insurer are goid at this but you must not let them and notify workcover if they do so and lodge complaint this must be stopped.

    1. AB

      Thanks very much for your advice. I will continue to fight. And yes the rehab provider was provided to me by my Insurer which is making the whole process much harder. I feel like they are all against me at the moment even though there is clear evidence to indicate that I was injured by my employer. Why is it that injured workers are always made to feel ‘guilty’ for what has happened to them?

  34. Insurance Hater

    Hi AB,
    Totally false, I to have been in this situation. Sounds like you have the same problem with the Employer usual crap excuse that there is no suitable duties. When there probbably is suitable duties but they just dont want you back its common from employers and they can get away with it.
    The insurance company is bullying you and sounds like the rehab provider is as well. (Is it your insurance company rehab provider)? If so go find your own.
    They cannot stop your payments for becoming unfit for work even if you was fit for suitable duties prior. It is bullying tatics and threatning you. Which these grubs do and get away with if we do not stand up to them.
    In short NO they cannot stop your payments. Your doctor has deemed you unfit for work and the insurance company simply does not like it. Stuff them stand up to these grubs and dont let them bully you.
    Get a solicitor and if they do try anymore bullying and threatening you take the matter to WIRO.

  35. AB

    I have a question regarding workers comp payments in NSW and would appreciate any advice. Over the last couple of months my doctor has certified that I am fit to work ‘suitable duties’ but my employer has not been able to find suitable duties at my workplace. In recent weeks, my doctor has changed his opinion and, at present, believes that I am 100% unfit to work again. The Return to Work Coordinator has advised that this is likely to result in my payments being stopped. Can my payments be stopped immediately without at least some work capacity decision being made by the insurer after an appropriate IME, for example?

  36. Torrie

    i still has pain back heel of my ankle now since last October after I went to see two drs for follow up my ankle and I decided to closed in my case cuz two Drs won’t accept to pay for interpreter cuz I am deaf as it s important communicate between dr and patient as it s law so two Drs know but they said yur responsibility to call interpreter and I said no your resp to call them but they said no. That happened between nove to dec I left and make an appt to see other third dr so finally dr accepted in my case and interpreter too betwee last February until today and worker comp approved to accept in my case last April when I told dr about WC . I went to see dr today cuz my ankle still pain but dr decided to disconnected with me and recommend me to See other dr today. I don’t understand cuz I am confused and why?! I feel lot of stress many conflict in my mixed feeling and frustration! Should I have to return work or what? Cuzl I stilll has ankle pain. Pls explain me what going on and need your help feedback .

  37. Isobel A

    I have often shared my story here and received very supportive response. I am still struggling to regain much of my Human Right and Privacy Rights that been robbed of me. I feel I am being punished for having taken on my employer (one of the four large Banks – who happen to be self-insured) to court, and again to WorkCover NSW for mediation, when my employer stopped all the benefits that awarded to me. I am under some sort of House Arrest and neighbours I associated with and Body Corporate Committee members have been told not to associate with me, as well as Strata Management (part of plan to isolate and stop me revealing the Insurers systematic plan – isolating, having access to my house, stopping any attempt to rehabilitate and make progress, all of which is seen as a crime to the WC Insurer). I have made many attempts to call WorkCover, but my calls gets diverted else where, and I get told there is nothing they can do to help. Attempt to seek an independent solicitor got thwarted and stopped in the past. But early last month I manage to get in touch with a lawyer at Davis Lawyers, in Brisbane, through Just Answer online service. I have been sending them some information through email and fax. Ongoing pain in my neck and shoulders has made it difficult to continue typing for too long and thus have stopped for a bit. I am after some legal advice on direction I can take. I have had an independent advocate from MDAA trying to help me. She has accompanied to meeting with my local Community Transport providers. She witness the verbal harassment I was targeted with throughout the meeting. She accompanied me to the Local Police Stn as I requested they take a report I made on my allegation my phone is tapped, internet, email shadowed etc. There being another Administrator behind who can have access to all of the information therein etc Thus violating the Privacy Law, thus Privacy Rights. When the Police Officer called my advocate to see her alone, she refused saying that I was her client, and thus she had to stay with me. Early this month my advocate from MDAA called to say, that another advocate has been appointed to take over my case. Early this week, I was contacted by the new Advocate from the MDAA (Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association). She has assured me, that she is going to do her utmost to help. an Independent Advocate from Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association. She has suggested that we go back to the same local Police Stn and report on the alleged cyber crime. I said to her, I have already tried that numerous times, and it did not work. She assured me, we give one more go and that it is possible another officer might be in charge. She was very encouraging and sounded very supportive. She even said, if nothing happened, we then can go to the LEGAL AID. I feel a glimmer of hope. Intense persecution, discrimination, verbal harassment, started as soon as injury at workplace was established and continued throughout until settlement. Surveillance continued and all effort by me to self rehabilitate myself etc was stopped through different form of threat using Swimming Pool management etc. WC Ins was behind with holding truth about the full diagnosis that led to wasting and disability resulting in physical pain – but emotional pain for me and my husband. Injury had turned into trauma. Not realising how traumas can have an effect of injury, I ended up with Chronic Neuropathic and Musculoskeletal Pain throughout (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome). Only of late, reading about Neuroplasticity, I have been applying the strategies taught and seeing some progress in some areas of pain. One wrong move, I am back often to increased pain that can send me back to bed. I have learned to keep what I have got – just enough to have basic independence. Can’t drive anymore. Can’t take public transport etc. I am focusing on what I can do and telling the brain everyday, that there is much more my body is capable of and count the blessing instead. But for fight for my Human Right and Privacy Right, on behalf of all injured workers, I will soldier on. Placing someone on House Arrest, as if a criminal is a crime in Australia, especially when it is an injured worker who is disabled!!! If the are loop holes for the enemy to do it to me, what guarantee is there they would not do it to another. I am in the dark in many of the issues because none would respond as they should. All that I allege of verbal harassment, isolation by intend, bullying, cyber crime etc can be verified, if police will investigate. THEY have even taken on the role of Power of Attorney, without my authorisation, as if I have lost my mind. They even try to recoup some of the money paid through Centre Link. This too could be proven. For the solicitor representing Centre Link did call me on the phone to discuss the settlement details through ATT advocacy. Sorry for going on and on. This is the only place I could do it and know, I am not alone. Here alone are the sad saga of Injured Workers, written through flow of painful emotions and readily read by receptive hearts and minds, who are able to empathise and where possible advice. At times, that alone seems will suffice. You are not alone. I pray there will be a break through for all, who have come to this website in search of advice, answers and direction. God Bless and keep us all.

    1. Just Me

      Isobel A, sorry to hear your story and what you have been put through. I too have been pretty much put through the same thing – survielled for intimidation purposes, internet and phone tapped etc, yes I was shocked at first but I learnt to laugh at them – understanding that it was costing them, not me. The government fixed it very well for the insurers – they must donate a substantial amount around election time to the pollies. Stay strong and go out when you want – do not become a prisoner in your own home – do not allow yourself and your husband to remain a victim. Keep up the good fight but learn to distance yourself from the affects. All the best.

  38. Nicholas

    Dr Brian Galton-Fenzi Osborne Park or some where near there.

  39. Joseph

    On the 8th May 2015 I was injured at work, I filled an incident report in and continued to work. On 11th May 2015 I was called in early and worked a 12.5 hr shift , my manager rang me and ask how I was, I said sore but coping.
    On 12th May 2015 I was at work and asked my supervisor, if I don’t have to work back that would help, as I was in pain. On 13th May 2015 I went to my doctor who gave me a work cover certificate and he sent me for an ultrasound, I rang up my work spoke to day shift supervisor the day shift supervisor and notified him, I got a call back 5 minutes after, the day shift supervisor told me to bring in the certificate on the current day, when I arrived into my workplace I spoke with the day shift supervisor and had the head of OH&S and compliance on speaker phone, the OH&S manager asked me “why did I go to my doctor and not their doctor who specializes with our workplace injury’s didn’t I listen in orientation”, and was questioned why I had a 3 day certificate from my doctor, the OH&S manager asked me why the doctor had given me those days off and for me to have those days off, I would have to have my head falling off my shoulders.
    I received a phone call from my manager saying he organised an ultrasound with their doctor, at the time I couldn’t go as I was under medication that restricted me to drive, I had my wife pick me up and take me to the medical imaging, after getting an ultrasound I went to my doctor and got told I had a indirect inguinal hernia.
    After I notified my work about my injury’s, I felt intimidated and bullied but most of my superiors, when speaking to them I would always get odd remarks and always getting told I will not get paid for what I’m doing, I would like to be contacted as there was a lot more incidents, I feel that I was unfairly treated, so please show me some support as i got none from my employer,
    thank you.

    1. Just Me

      Joseph, pretty much every injured workers get’s told we’re all just getting too old and that’s why we have an injury – all pre-existing from some time in our past. The governments have fixed it for employers and insurers to get away with treating injured workers like criminals – not a damn thing you can do about it – except to stand up for your rights and challenge their authority to make you work as an injured worker. You were right to go and see your own doctor – don’t be bullied by your employer. It’s good you found this site – you can find out what your rights and responsibilities are here – rather than from the workcover site. All the best.

  40. Emm

    Does anyone in Perth know of a Doctor who will give a fair assessment of permanent incapacity – way too many morally corrupt mongrels out there who are willing to sell the injured out in favour of the Insurers.

  41. cranky

    Hi guys .just reading some of the stories and i feel for you .i injured my back bending down walking backwards around a pallet wrapping it my boss seen me on ground stretching told him i pulled a muscle he didn’t seem worried so i worked on and whinged for 3 months and was worried about taking the next step which would a big deal for both parties i was scared of what would happen to me in the long run but it got that bad i went and seen doctor and told boss i need to go on workcover long story workcover have been great so far i just had an opperation on L5 disc .I have from my boss once since being injured and that conversation was more about them then me no emotion what so ever towards me which is wrong i think how am i supposed to go back and work for them if i can when ive been treated so poorly made to feel like a peice of shit after giving them 5 years of my life so im worried about that if the time comes if it comes .but i do advise on getting legal advice early once your claim has been excepted and the ball is rolling just so you know what to expect and if and when things start to go pear shaped your already have a solicitor and they should have your workcover file and you can get the right help straight away or when the time comes they are ready to go into bat for you don’t leave it until its to late and have to worry about all the legal stuff on top of the stress u already have . Don’t be behind the 8 ball be ready just incase

  42. Carl

    Can I just say to everyone if you support the changes that are needed to these grubs and A**** of insurance companies not caring for injured workers and stop their bullying and harassment and not believing in their injured worker please start by doing the survey in Workcovers NSW website and put your name to it and stop this bullying, harassment, Investigators intimidating you crap. Don’t let these insurance companies and their own appointed rehab providers try force your GP to return you to work etc when you are not fit to or can’t. and stop them from putting pressure on your GP to do so.
    Stand up to these Ass Holes insurance companies DON’T let them them beat you or us.
    Do the Workcove survey and start letting people know how we are treated like a dog by the insurance companies.

  43. AB

    Hi, I have a question on the ‘Return to Work’ hierarchy under NSW Workers Compensation. I have sustained a psychological injury at work and cannot return to my pre-injury position. As a result, and only after a few months, I have been advised by my rehab provider that I must now seek new employment or face cessation of my workers comp payments, i.e. different employer, different job. This is very difficult for me to accept as no effort has been made to relocate me into another position in the organisation (a very large organisation with multiple work sites and positions available). I have been told that ‘suitable duties’ may be provided but this is only temporary until I find another job. In other words, the injured worker with a psychological injury sustained from the workplace has to find another job? This seems grossly unfair. I would appreciate any comments or suggestions as to what action I can take to protect my rights and achieve a fair outcome? Thank you.

    1. Return of the Workers Compensation HERO

      Dear AB,

      I can only advise on workers compensation.

      Unfortunately, that is the return to work goal needs to change, however your insurer does not care whether you get a job or not. They will threaten you until you comply with their requirement.

      Your insurer will conduct the following:
      – Vocational Assessment.
      – Functional Assessment
      – Medical Examination.

      Once they have the above, they will be conducting a work capacity decision, reducing your benefits to nil. You will therefore have 12 months of medical benefits after the decision has been made (s59a of the workers compensation act 1987).

      If you can show evidence that you are fit for your pre-injury duties, you could possibly be reinstated to your role (within 2 years of leaving the organisation).

      To be honest, it is an uphill battle.

      I strongly recommend legal advice.

      1. AB

        Thank you very much for the advice. It is hard to find answers to these questions and I must say your site is an invaluable resource for injured workers.

  44. Mary

    I am currently not receiving any benefits as the insurer cut it off abruptly. Today, I got a phone call from the rehabilitation provider that they want to have a case conference with me and my doctor. I said no. Why would the insurer want me to attend a rehab appointment if they have already cut off my payment? Do they have the rights to do that? Am I obligated to attend? Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Return of the Workers Compensation HERO

      Dear Mary,

      You will need to tell me why your benefits were cut off? I assume it was a work capacity decision since they are continuing to provide rehabilitation services.

      Under section 54 of the workers compensation act 1987, they are required to give notice.

      I need more info to help

    2. Wai-Marie

      Work cover work on your weakness, they don’t care. My husband had s major turn; almost causing death. Stress is a major killer. W C thought they could dictate, guess what the lawyers, doctors an pychos told WC they weren’t helping the healing process, they were contributing to his to death.

  45. Donna

    I had a work place injury in March 2014 where I’ve broken my foot in 2 places and developed achilles tendonitis in my other foot and compensatory back strain.

    Apparently now its been 52 weeks since my last payment and they are no longer paying for medical expenses

    I don’t understand how they stop paying for medical treatment whilst I’m still incapacitated, as I still have an injury.

    Is there any avenue I can object this decision to?


    1. Return of the Workers Compensation HERO

      Dear Donna

      Are you in NSW?

      Did they send a section 59A letter stating your medical benefits are ceasing?

      If you are incapacitated, you are still entitled to medical benefits.

      Please provide your reasoning why your benefits were ceased (such as letter issued by the insurer).

    2. Wai-Marie

      My husband had a major injury, hes going to lose his left leg. I got independent lawyer in place 2 months into after the incident. We got meals on wheels, cleaners, all medication, a new bed, taxis to an from all appts, private taxis an now getting a car all brought. from WC

  46. injured by councils malfunctioning vehicle

    I have been injured for more than 3 years now. I’ve had multiple surgeries and I have had surveillance on me for at least 2 of the years. they surround my unit ,trespass on property they should not be on ,look in my windows and have even broken into my unit, they follow me in multiple numbers following me into shops,Drs appts ,if I go out, on public transport ,they stand in front of me ,intimidating me with their so called close surveillance with their mob ph cameras on and intimidate me,and have caused me to seek treatment form mental health practitioners as to these tactics they is a self funded insurer doing this who insures councils.not sure if I can name them but I am now taking photos and videos of them. and may make my own website and put these cockroaches,on the web for all to see who they are.I will not let these scumbags who are the lowest of humans to intimidate injured workers this way.i have notified police in what they are doing but they do not care. they were even filming not just me but other adults and children in a pool when I was doing hydro. The Physio supposed to be watching and helping me was either on the phone or making hand signals to the surveillance spies there.i complained to the manager of the pool and asked to make a formal complaint but all he did was give me his card and said just email the complaint,and he went inside and spoke to the woman filming. And told her to stop. I know there is a place for this in work injuries but to the extent of between 15-30 people following u is very upsetting and is not warranted. Workcover and police should be involved to restrict and charge if necessary due to intimidatory tactics. if it is not bad enough to deal with the surgeries,pain,mental anguish and fighting insurers for medications and treatments ,disputing surgeries ,being sent to multiple imes that do not give a fair assessment of injuries that surgeons recomend ,this is the tipping point for a lot of people. by the way see u at the mall and Drs tomorrow ,

    1. Isobel A

      Dear Friend, (Injured by councils malfunctioning vehicle)

      I so totally agree with you and am able to empathize with you. My heart bleeds for you. I too am in a very bad place. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and it resulted in my last seventeen yrs of suffering, Lost all of my Human Right and Privacy Right. Just as your story sound unbelievable, mine is too. How do we share what is so true and real as rain, to family, friends and neighbours, who might write us off. WC Insurers are well aware of this and thus are taking advantage. Here I go…..i am under illegal house arrest since my case got settled and local community option case managers took on the role to continue where my employer’s self-insured workers compensation insurer left off. They have i allege taken on role of power of attorney . They have blocked every effort of mine to contact an independent solicitor for advice. I am embedded with a tracing device, they know where i am at any given time – i am not permitted to question, querry on any matter of injustice. Phone is bugged, house wired, neighbours i use to associate with are now advised not to associate with me and if i approached them i be spoken down aloud. Same tactics they apply on the phone. All trades people, taxi etc will all have to come through their approval.

      Wc insurer came close to writing me off for good, by withholding information of true diagnosis, that almost saw me sent to a nursing home (where it would have been easy to writing me off), but got saved by the bell – family overseas got alerted and i got saved – second opionion sought overseas revealed the cause for the systemetic discrimination that led to sudden decline. A growth in the shoulder joint i was never told off. Knew of the tear that needed repair but no mention of the growth that led to years of wasting and disability. If family hadn’t came and got me and took me for second opinion – i would have been written off. I was not able to even lift a plastic mug of water to my mouth at that stage. Was struggling with sufficient personal care. The growth in my right shoulder had nothing to do with the workplace injury. Wc insurer knew of the growth and exploited wanting to write me off and pusnish me. I was in a top private medical health fund at that time. Could have had that look at and attend to and saved myself and my husband years of pain and sufferring. As for myself, years of wasting and disability, lost of dignity, friendships and relationships. Fifteen yrs ago there was not much out there in way of information on chronic pain etc, neither did i know about websites such as this. Police do not want to attend to any of my complaints. Theyalways referred me to the community health dept of local hospital. I have a dire need to see an independent psychiatrist, but not permitted such luxury. I never accepted any of the referral simply because, it became evident to me, there existed an issue of conflict of interest…wc insurer/associate/case managers very much set on writting me off, so i would lose my platform as it were, to speak up… For the last police report, i chose to take a independent advocate with me to the police stn. They refused to take any reports. Few days later i received a phone call from the community health dept of the local hospital. I accepted to attend an assessment. I took along a list of medication i have been on since 2008 (i got injured in 1998). She looked through. I explaianed that there was once i was treated for chronic fatigue syndrome, and saw a independent physician who explained to me that this was due to blocked neurotransmitters and that taking amitriplyne for a short period of thime could fix it and it did. The assessor said she would call me once an appointment could be made. Within couple of days she called, out of lack of trust and considering all the past red tape, through which i have been targeted by my wc comp inr/assoc/case mgr i backed out. Couple of days later i called the assessor and said, look, in my case there exist and issue of ‘conflict of interest’, if you could make and appointment with an independent psychiatrist i will gladly attend, as there is a dire need for me for such an appointment. Since then, i have made nuemerous call to sepeak with the assessor, but she has not responded.

      For the sake of all thesuffering injured workers, i would like recommend to injured workers support network, we meet-up in martin place oneday, with rest of the injured workers in nsw, get the media and tell our stories, about illegal house arrest to, illegal surveillance to all the injustice. Let us give the media all the proof available to us. Surely, our suffering should not go to waste. Some still fighting the battle, some of us long past, yet can be put under house arrest as pushishment for taking workers compensation on.

      Not sure how long could hang on. Seventeen years is a very long time. But hang in there we all must. We are injured in the body only and not in the mind. We are the same people we were before the injury and will be the same people always. No one can rob us of that.

      1. injured by councils malfunctioning vehicle

        hi Isobel . I’m so very sorry of all this happening to you. I totally understand about the house arrest, as they have tried this with me also. all of this surveillance and intimidatory tactics are what they use to make u crack and give up on your claim. if u are out and have a mob ph. Take pics of them and hopefully either the iwsn will start up a surveillance page where we can upload pics of them and show the nation how low these grubs go too ,or start up a website ourselves , if we are not already damaged enough from the work injury,u loose friendships,relationships and marriages ,people loosing their houses or having to live in boarding houses or pubs etc as the money u receive from wc is not that of your pwe, which can be so much more and would let u live and try to recovour with so much less stress. all this and fighting for what we are entitled to but denied or delayed by insurance case managers makes your health so much worse. all I can say to u is try to stay strong and positive , do not let these intimidatory tactics get to u. your life is worth so much more to u and your family to let these peeping toms invade your privacy and worsen your health. Wouldn’t it be nice if a politician got injured and got treated like we are! I bet things would change very quickly if they did . all the insurance co s worry about is the amount of money they will have to pay out, WHEN IT SHOULD BE ABOUT YOUR GETTING BACK TO HEALTH. Pre injury as best as u can.

      2. Just Me

        Yes people we are all in the same boat. Remember this – it is costing the insurers money (the only thing they worship) You must learn to laugh at them. Do not imprison yourself in your home – you must go out and do what you want to do. You have nothing to hide and they know that. Go about your everyday business – knowing they are the one’s losing – big money, big time.

  47. Hector

    Whilst any other type of insurance covers the individual making a claim against an insurance company “to make them whole” by fully covering their financial risk as well as any health issues that arises from the “accidental” damages incurred by the person, there is the excemption that insurance companies do not cover an “Act of God”.
    In the Workcover system our NSW goverment have given employers in NSW equal status as “God”.
    Injured workers are penalised in a unjust way for having the misfortune to be injured in the workplace, on the other hand employers are totally immuned from being financially accountable for being negligent and in most cases causing the injury their employee has suffered. Their immunity is such that if the RSPCA was in charged of injured workers employers would be prosecuted for negligence in the treatment of an injured person, hence suggestion number 1 is to declared yourself a pet.
    Criminals have more legal rights than injured workers as well as all health cost covered, hence suggestion number 2, the moment you get injured try to get arrested at work and take advantage of the criminal rights.
    No matter where you work you will never be the same if you are unlucky to suffer the negligence of your employer and get injured at your workplace, hence solution number 3 , do not get a job and joined the social welfare, again you will received free legal advice and free health care.
    There is just one job in NSW that is not and will never be affected by the injustices thrusted on us and that job is to become a “polititian”, they never change laws restrospectly on any issues that does not benefit them, sadly there isn’t enough polititian jobs for everyone hence we are left with the injustices of Workcover.
    Some may think I am being sarcastic with my comments, that might be so but let me tell you that even I might have used sarcasm to raised the points above sadly it is all true, if I had a choice of when and where to be born due to the brilliant goverment that the narrow minded NSW voters have elected I would choose to be born in Germany in 1943, at least the German citizens have better rights than Australians citizens in NSW in the 21st century

  48. Mary

    Hi. I need some advice. I got a letter from the insurer stating that they will make a liability decision by the 17th June. I have not hear anything from them. Should I ask them or should I just wait?

    1. Rowan

      You can do either. I would suggest ringing them because that might stay your anxiety a bit but it is up to you.

    2. Return of the Workers Compensation HERO

      Hi Mary,

      You should call WorkCover or WIRO if your insurer is not responding to your enquiries.

  49. Lenny

    My wife was injured in 2010 performing a job at her workplace which was as silly as a company can get (they made her pull a heavy wall mounted fire hose all the way out to clean a driveway), to which she done her back, she continued to work when she could (through physio, medication etc to the point she rehurt it making the injury even worse. She literally nearly ended up paralysed, 5 yrs on, 4 specialist confirming both injuries were related, tons of doctors appointments, getting sacked from her job, nearly becoming an addict to codeine (for her back pain) enduring a back operated to scrape 2 disks back, permanent compressed nerve damage, QBE still are trying to get the injury listed at 2 seperate injuries do my wife doesn’t meet the 15% threshold (literally trying to say it should be 7.5 per injury), then we can’t sue them! Court back specialist 6 weeks ago gave final
    Result in favour of my wife after a mediation now word is QBE are trying to appeal the courts decision! I will ensure these mutts pay for everything they are trying to do too my wife! They put things in place to protect people and when the crunch comes they do everything to ensure they can’t get anything…

    1. Carl

      Hi Lenny,
      For starters Workcover should have investigated this because it is a breech and against the law using portable firefighting equipment for that type off work other than firefighting or training.
      And was your wife properly trained to use this portable firefighting equipment?
      Therefore if not is is gross negligence on behalf off he management.

      1. Lenny

        It seems you must prove your permanent injury prior to getting any further! Because of the 2nd time in re injuring herself, the company are trying to say that they are 2 seperate injuries! By some stupid rule, you must reach 15% full body impairment to be able to sue! That’s why QBE are trying to get the injury recognised as 2 seperate injuries so my wife can’t proceed…guess we’d need to go through normal my wife wasn’t trained in using the hose, I also believe it stated that 2 person must use the hose at anytime. Funny thing is the company removed the hose not long after

  50. Irate Injured Worker

    I would just like to mention the poor turnout at monthly meetings. I have attended the monthly meetings at Gosford and I am disgusted with the poor attendance. I know people work on limited hours or attend medical appointments etc.
    It just disgust me that we are suppose to stand together and show our support for each other. It would be good for people not to let others fight there battle for them and to show their support as one and we stand together.
    Don’t be that person who cries wolf.
    There are so many injured workers out there and need support. So attend your meetings and show it.
    It has been mentioned that we could have alternate monthly meetings at night time which I think is a good idea as well for the people who cannot attend during the day.
    I am just having a rant because I am upset with the poor attendance and the amount off injured workers out there.
    And if we are going to have guest speakers at our meetings we need to be shown in numbers not just 1 or 2 people at the meeting that just makes us a laughing stock.
    Rowen does he’s best for us, as he is a one man paid Army here for us, to help us fight for our rights and changes as well as other injured workers who battle behind the scenes with Rowen attending in our own time meetings with politicians, Workcover etc.
    We stand together we walk together just so some support at our meetings.

    1. Lenny

      Are there meetings Sydney a west by Blacktown? Need to get my wife into it for support and knowledge

      1. Rowan

        We have meetings at Parramatta and Penrith.

  51. Debbie

    I just went for my rating for l and I and had r. Shoulder injury, neck injury and depression on my claim, since I went to the IME ,those doctors I seen totally gave me the worst rating and in fact they said there was no rating for my depression or my neck, basically saying there is nothing wrong with the depression or my neck! I feel so violated and feel that l and I paid them off to give me a bad rating. All I’m getting is a small amount for my shoulder because I have had 2 surgery s on my shoulder. They even accepted my depression about 2 yrs after my claim was opened and admitted they were to blame. I seen a psychologist for 2 yrs and then l and I stopped paying for it stating it wasn’t helping! Now they stay that I’m fine? What a joke! I swear I hate labor and industries! They have totally put me through he’ll, made me be homeless twice, cut off my time loss 3 times! But as soon as I see the doctor at the IME ,they act like they know how I feel and what I go through and had the nerve to tell me I’m fine and I need to go back to work! Well, I have hired an attorney and have to go see him in a week. I hope he will take my case, otherwise I don’t know what I’m going to do. Anyone have any advise?

  52. Matthew

    Iv never had a neck injury prior to working at the place I’m at now and I have injured my neck twice now in the 7 yrs of working here and they are trying to say it’s preexisting where do I stand?

  53. Hector

    Mick, at the risk of sounding heartless i tend to disagree with you, the Workcover legislation, guidelines etc etc is not that bad, it is full of loopholes that mostly can benefit the injured workers, the problem mostly lays with lack of information about their rights with injured workers, lack of knowledge to advice injured workers with Union reps and unions, lack of funding for solicitors which makes them not put the resources needed to fight cases.
    Of course I can only speak from the experiences I have had, but in my wife case and a few of her colleges that I have helped even tho they been dismissed by the employer all of them still getting pay , still getting all medical expenses pay and in most cases the insurance companies have given up on them cause they lost the argument on everything the ins company objected.
    Everyone must as a matter of great importance know their rights and entitlements and not rely on the insurance company to do the right thing for them

    1. roxiedown

      please if you don’t mind could you expand on where to get the correct advice and find the loopholes, Union
      not helping? would be greatly appreciated.

  54. zack

    I will be as brief as possible while still providing accurate details. THIS INCIDENT OCCURRED TONIGHT
    I am afraid that confronting the issue will terminate me from my employment.

    i work at the largest nightclub in Denver as a security guard. Tonight i was injured while several security guards where fighting with two intoxicated customers as they were trying to remove them. I was guarding the exit door for the night, and as the the security guards were escorting one customer out, the customers friend began aggressively verbally assaulting the guards, so then began to physically remove him as well, instantly a physical fight broke out between the four people in the stairwell near the exit i was watching. The customer that was originally being escorted began assaulting my coworker from behind him. To help, I proceeded to place a full-nelson (the safe way to detain someone) on the customer attacking from the back. As i was doing so, i was pulling him backwards toward the exit to remove him away from the fight and into open space. Then suddenly the other 3 members of the fight all pushed forward down the stairs and into myself and the customer i was detaining and we slammed into the the exit door. The door flew open and when i attempted to regain my footing, the side of my ankle cracked against the protruding metal latch on the bottom corner of the door, the latch the locks the door into to the frame. Instant extreme pain shot up the side of my lower leg. As i called for backup i held onto the door to maintain my balance as i could not apply ANY pressure to my ankle.

    When the managers arrived i was still standing there on one foot, wincing and obviously in extreme pain. They dealt with the situation then asked me if i was alright. I told them what happened and how bad it hurt and said i need to sit down. I sat down on the side of the building with my leg up, we removed the shoe and sock and shined a flashlight on it. My supervisor, an army vet, instantly said, “well its not swollen, its not red, youlll be fine” . As if he was a doctor. I think it was a mistake for me to say this, but i said this is the same ankle that i have a disability claim with the VA, (I am a NAVY vet). He immediately responded that since i have a claim on that ankle with the VA, workmens comp will do nothing to help, since it was a preexisting injury. But, these injuries were completely seperate and i knew it. One was severe tendinitis from rolling my ankle during PT, and the one that had just occurred from metal cracking against my bone.
    I could sense the supervisors urge for me to get back to work. And, mainly due to the unproffessionalism and indirect disrespect i felt i had been receiving in the weeks prior, i didnt want give any reason to receive that attention anymore severely, or be fired because i could not work. So i attempted to stand up, and the pain was less severe, tollerable, but still prominent. My supervisor said, ” youre gonna be fine, now get back to work”.
    Real quick, i failed to mention that the first thing he said to me when it happened was that it was my fault for not wearing boots, to protect my ankles. But no point during my employment, did anyone recommend, warn about the dangers.

    Anyway. I returned to my post. Still in pain, and still leaning to the other leg to not apply pressure. Just less than an hour went by and for a security reason i had to walk outside to the entrance to speak with another guard. During this walk is when i discovered that i was actually injured. My ankle was very tender and different subtle movements sent shocking pain throughout my lower leg. I immediately felt that it was officially a “serious” injury. I returned to my post in severe discomfort. My supervisor was walking through the stairwell attending his business, i captured his attention and asked to speak with him. i said “hey, im not one to complain, and i definitely dont want to be put on your injured list, but this ankle hurts pretty bad and i dont think i should be doing much on it”. He said “thats why youre not, that why your watching the door”. I said “well i mean after, while were cleaning, like going up and down these stairs and trying to mop”, he replied almost condesendingly ” well, well, we’ll find someone to help you”

    So i finished the rest of the two hours left in the shift standing at the door. Trying to discover when and where the pain occurred. Any time i tried to use my toes to lift my heels, extreme pain. any time my ankle was twisted even slightly, severe pain. Gauging from personal injury wisdom i have learned throughout my, i knew something was seriously wrong and i was not going to work on it even if my job was at risk.
    During entire remainder of the time, NOT ONCE did ANY staff member, ANY employee, ANY supervisor come back to check on me to see how i was doing.
    The responsibility of the doorman is to clean the restrooms at the end of the night. I was completely incapable of even attempting to do this. I limped downstairs the retrieve my back pack and turn in my radio, and seen one of the main supervisor and stood next to him waiting for him to finish his conversation so i could speak to him. He looked at me as if i was eaves dropping or interupting him. He said “what?”. I said ” my ankle is fucked up, i need to get off of it now, there is no way i am going to be able to clean the bathrooms”. He responded in a disciniplary threatening tone, “well then you need to find someone to do your job for you”. i said ” I need to find someone????” “okay, and if i dont, am i in trouble, are you going to fire me”. He said ” no, but its your responsibility and you need to make sure it gets done, start asking people, you have a radio, ask around, look, ask him”. I knew how embarassing and complete lack of responding volunteers i would get had i announced on the radio, specifally due to the responsibllity and the weight i personally carried. I said, “wait a second, im coming to you as my supervisor because i injured myself working for you as an employee. And your want ME to find someone to handle my duties.?” i said ” why cant YOU announce on the radio that YOU need someone to clean the bathrooms?” He said to just ask someone! Instantly feeling disrespected at the absurdity of the fact i yelled across the room at the person he pointed to, ” HEY, CAN YOU HELP ME CLEAN THE BATHROOMS, I F***ED UP MY ANKLE WHILE WORKING AND I NEED TO FIND A REPLACEMENT”. I think my surpervisor felt embarassed and began speaking in a gentler tone, and providing instructions to the other employee. I was officially pissed off at the the supervision and the complete disrespect. Not for even a split second was he concerned about my injury or my wellbeing. I got my stuff and waited in VIP hangout area where all staffmembers go at the end. Again, not one time did any of the management even look my direction. When it was time to finally leave with my ride, i limped to one of the bars to grab my cellphone charger, and asked the bartender, a five year employee, what thinks i should do about feeling like my injury was neglected. He pretty much just said blow it off, get it checked out and let them know tomorrow. WHile sitting there, the third supervisor, walked in to collect the bank and heard him giving me advice. He interupted and said “STOP, listen, what we are looking for is that you need to step it up a little bit”. I said “huh, dude my ankle is f**ked up”, he said “yeah, okay, but we need you to step it up, as in, if your ankle was hurting, YOU need to get on the radio and say that you are in pain, YOU need to find a replacement, YOU need to take control of the situation and continue doing your job”. He said this all in an annoyed, angry tone, absolutely no empathy, and complete blame. I felt instantly as if i had screwed up and all of the management were ready to fire me. I wanted to ask him ” am i out of line right now?… or am i overreacting? or am i just bitching? , but he gave me absolutely no attention to provide a response and looked down at his cellphone. So i walked away and said you guys have a good night, i said that three times litterally until and got a response and he didnt even want to say “yeah, you too”

    CONCLUSION: I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO. There is ABSOLUTELY no reason i deserved to be treated like that by anybody. I do not understand why not one of the management made not the slightest effort to offer me any type of relief from the pain. Or took any consideration of the seriousness. I dont understand why any of the supervisors did not recommend i sit down for awhile and put ice on it? or even consider to ask how serious I THOUGHT IT WAS. I dont understand why i left tonight feeling like i was going to be fired, or that no one wanted to work with me.
    I dont know what my rights are. or what the responsibilty of the management is. But I do know it was handled in a very innapropriate way. MY ANKLE STILL HURTS.

    DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY RECOMENDATIONS OR FEEDBACK? i gave all information as unbiased as possible, and as accurate as if a police officer was providing a testimony in front of court.

    am i creating drama? by feeling upset and wanting to confront the drama? am i overeacting? … I dont know

    1. Rowan

      Dear Zack,

      I hope you have seen a doctor since this incident and received the medical care you need. It didn’t read to me like you were creating an drama or overreacting.
      This website is based in NSW Australia so we can’t help you much from the legal or procedural angle from here. We have a number of visitors from America on our site so maybe one of them can help you.

  55. Kitty

    Just found this forum in one of my sleepless nights. Read most of the stories and feel I am not alone. It is also a good source of information.

    My story, I put in a claim to workcover insurer in Nov 2014 and it was declined. They sent me somewhat 200 pages of document, which were my statement, my boss’s, and our emails and letters. I didn’t even read any of it. I found a workcover lawyer and gave all the document to her to review. She then said there is good evidence to support my claim, and so decided to take the case, and will apply for funding to fight with the insurer’s refusal of liability.

    Due to the extreme emotional disturbances that I have to deal with everyday, I didn’t want to know more about what the lawyer was doing. Until recently she sent a letter to me saying that she has obtained funding to send me to an IME, and to obtain any of the medical reports that have been done on me (I’ve been seeing medical professionals at my expense, including GP that writes capacity cert every fortnight).

    My questions are:
    1. Does that mean, she was also granted funding to fight with the insurer’s decision too? (It is very difficult to catch her to ask these questions. She is out of the office almost every time I call)

    2. If she wasn’t granted funding to fight for me, does that mean she will stop fighting? Then what would be the next step for me? I don’t want to give up seeking justice for myself, although I am totally exhausted for having to deal with the extreme emotional disturbances everyday, every minute

    3. It seems like she got funding from ILARS, the Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service, established by WIRO?

    Really appreciate any advice.

    1. Compensation HERO

      Your lawyer was granted funding. If they were not, they would not support your case, hence you would most likely end up paying.

      Don’t worry about the next step, your lawyers will assist you since you got funding,

      They will make you attend an Medical Examination to support your case.

      Your lawyers will attempt to establish the following
      – Psychological Injury
      – Arose out of the course of employment.
      – Whether employment the main or substantial contributing factor.
      – Whether employment was unreasonable

      Post further questions if you require further assistance.

      1. Kitty

        Hi Comp HERO
        Thank you so much for your answer. I really appreciate it, and feel at ease that the lawyer has obtained funding to fight.

        Can I ask another question. Since it has been six months from the day I left my workplace (I am providing work capacity cert up to date), can my employer legally terminate me for the reason that I have not returned for six months? If so, is there anything I can do to prevent that?

        They denied responsibility, and I keep worrying that they will terminate me and have nothing to do with me.

        Thank you

        1. Compensation HERO

          Hi Kitty,

          Hope things are going well.

          Anyway, back to workers comp.

          In NSW it is an offense for an employer to dismiss an injured worker if:

          – the worker’s unfitness was the sole or principal reason for dismissal.
          – the worker’s unfitness was the result of a work related illness or injury,
          – less than 6 months has elapsed since the worker became unfit.

          The state provisions regarding protection of injured workers apply to all employees who are entitled to workers compensation in NSW.

          This can be identified between section 240 – 250 of the workers compensation act 1987. This can be found on the WorkCover website or austlii.

          Even though the period is greater than 6 months does not mean your employer can simply terminate your employment. There still must be a valid reason and proper procedures must be followed

          In NSW a dismissed injured worker may make application for reinstatement within two years of dismissal if a medical certificate is produced to the employer certifying you fit for employment in your former position

          Provisions under the workers compensation act 1987 as per below.


          240. Definitions
          241. Application to employer for reinstatement of dismissed injured worker
          242. Application to Industrial Relations Commission for reinstatement order if employer does not reinstate
          243. Order by Industrial Relations Commission for reinstatement
          244. Presumption as to reason for dismissal
          245. Disputes as to fitness-medical assessment
          246. Continuity of service of reinstated worker
          247. Duty to inform replacement worker
          248. Dismissal within 6 months of injury an offence
          249. Other rights not affected
          250. Enforcement

          I hope I have provided some form of reassurance.

          1. Kitty

            Hi Comp Hero
            You are really a here. I really appreciate the information you provided. I gave me a lot of assurance :)
            Thank you

          2. John

            reading this has made me realize there is no justice why do people lie for one day it will happen to them that’s carma

  56. Mick

    The whole workcover system iis a rort . Been dealing with them 2yrs now and still at the square one with them . All lies , i dear help i meet any of them in a dark alley

    1. Compensation HERO

      Insurers require to act within the legislation and guidelines. We can only hope they act ethical and fair when making decisions.

      If you require assistance, please post your inquiry and I will do my best to assist.

      1. Isobel A

        Dear Compensation Hero

        If this email gets to you and is not stopped and gets through to you, I will try to email my problem and hope for an answer. I will share a little for now. My case with court settlement. Within a yea, while I was continuing to deteriorate, my employer’s self-insured wc insurer stopped all the benefits awarded to me. Two yrs later, my solicitors took my case to WorkCover for arbitration. Arrived at final settlement with Deed of Release signed by both parties. The year after the benefits were stopped, Community based organisation took over Case Management. Persecution, disrespect throughout dealings with me, defamation of character obvious in their reports (seen it under Freedom of Information). I feel like I am under House Arrest They have access to my house, they are aware when and where my appts are and would use Taxi services and other services like Trades People etc to psychologically rape, taunt, antagonise etc For years, I have tried to access legal advice. Unable. They stopped, thwarted every effort. One stage, I almost reached the Lawyers Office, only to be told to leave. WIRO send me a list of lawyers to contact. Unable to contact due to the Cyber Crime in place. Please advise, what option is available for injured workers, WC Ins isolate and persecute for taking them to court and winning legally.

  57. Carol

    Hi Everyone,
    May I make a suggestion, that you google reviews of your insurance company doctors! I did with [dr name redacted by site admin]. Take a look. It should go viral and these people should be ashamed. Also, you need to pull out the positive things you have done in the statements of other witnesses to help your case. The insurance system challenges us. Just Focus. I went abroad to Costa Rica for diagnosis which I had certified so it is valid in an Australian court. I hope this helps. RN

    1. Compensation HERO

      If you feel there is inconsistencies in the reports, please seek legal advice or speak to your nominated treating doctor.

      Also, you can report them to WorkCover if necessary.

  58. Unknown

    I felt that the workcover system is b*******t. I was traumatized at work two years ago. They said the employer is liable for it and I have been getting compo since then. I was terminated from the employer as the doctor said I can’t go back to work there. I was certified as fit for suitable duties, so the insurer send me to see a number of rehab providers to help me with job seeking. Seriously, they are a waste of my time as I do more than those consultant! Anyway, they failed to get me a job and then the insurer send me to another provider and re-traumatized me again. Two months ago, they decided to cut off my medical treatment. They asked a psychologist to review my file and the psychologist (without consulting me nor my doctor) said that I have recovered. Then the insurer kept on pushing my doctor to certify me as fit for pre-injury duties. This is bull***t! The case manager would not stop harassing my doctor and kept on telling my doctor that the psychologist said I have recover. My doctor eventually certified me as fit for pre-injury duties and they close the file. No weekly payment, no support. I am left on my own! And I am still deeply traumatized by the event. I struggle so much with my everyday life. The workcover system really fu** me up!

    1. Compensation HERO

      Dear Unknown.

      You should go back to your nominated treating doctor and explain the symptoms (and get reassessed).

      If you are downgraded to suitable duties, they are required to reinstate within 21 days. However you will most likely get assessed.

      If you require further advice, please post.

      1. Unknown

        Thanks for your response. Compensation HERO. I have got a lawyer now so he is dealing with it. I felt that because I don’t have a legal representative to help me, the case manager thinks that she can push me around. Hopefully it will resolve the issues….

      2. Unknown

        I have got a letter from the insurer saying they have 21 days to make a decision. What sort of assessment will be involved? In the letter, it stated that if I have any information on my hands, I should send it to them for consideration. I really want to tell them that they are the ones who are hindering my recovery!

  59. paul

    I recently started work on probation I hurt my back may b ciatic nerve waiting on x rays doctor put me on light duties 2 days later I was fired although my superiouous boss went ballistic when she told him she said me to doctors I was givien no reason for my dismissal it also seems the company failed to give me a medical b4 I started work although I did undergo a drug and alchol test do I have any rights thnks

    1. Compensation HERO

      I would recommend seeing a lawyer. It is an industrial relation issue.

      If you were a permanent worker, it would be black and white situation, since employers can not dismiss a worker due to physical disability. (In accordance to the Fair Work Act 2009)

      Also, it is not in your employers best interest to dismiss it will impact on their premium.

      Hope treatment goes well.

      1. roxiedown

        but what about “so called not having suitable duties for you, that the light duties were only temporary.”
        and trying to push me onto the Insurer plan, vocational assessment path, Employer is still getting rid of me.

    2. Carl

      What a joke suitable duties this really gets to me this…. If your employer does NOT want you back because you have been injured all they have to say is “There is not suitable duties” and they get away with it!!!!!! All up until the 6month mark then dismiss you under the rules.
      Trust me I have been there and not one person could do anything under the rules and my ex-employer got away with it!!!!!!!
      The rules suck, and this should be stopped especially when you as the injured worker knows there are suitable duties there for you its just they do not want you back and your employers are getting away with it.
      It’s a F#$N joke.

  60. michelle

    Hi, i am hoping i can get some advice. I slipped in a restaurant 20 months ago and split my patella in two. I work in real estate and returned to work 3 months later.
    The area i work in has a lot of steep driveways, stairs etc. In Dec last year i was showing a property and slipped on a deck which resulted in a compound fracture of my ankle. The deck was slippery and my foot was nearly amputated. I am on work cover NSW and am still at home. My psychologist and GP have diagnosed me with acute PTSD. I hardly leave my home and feel completely lost. I am so scared to go back to work, i have been at my job for 7 years and its all i know. The fear of falling again, causes night terrors. I am still on heavy pain meds and was considering relocating to another state. I would like to know if i cant go back to my old job will my employer have to pay me out my long service and holiday pay. Will the insurer still cover my wages and assist me in finding a new job? If i can only work part time how long will i be paid the 85% of my salary and will i be compensated? Does the insurer have to continue paying for my treatment? The Dr and psychologist want me to go on anti depressants but i am afraid it will be alter my personality. Has anyone been on them and what can i expect?

    1. council worker

      hi Michelle. sounds like your going through a terrible stressful time.sorry for that. give me a call I may be able to assist. I’ve been severely injured for 3 yRs now. And it’s very confronting this workcover system. 0477137466

  61. Salone

    I work 3-11:30 and then have to get back up at 4 to get to work at 5:30 am until 2 and then I repeat it all over again? Is that against the law?

    1. Compensation HERO

      Are you on light duties? Are you based in NSW?

      If you are on suitable duties, it really depends. Your employer is required to provide suitable duties which are reasonable (which includes time).

      Need more information to help.

  62. diknat

    hi all i just want to ask about how workers compensation works since i am new to this and a bit naive. I hurt my back at work and MRI says i had facet joint edema and at the moment I am attending physio. I submitted all the requirements that are needed by the insurance company like work cover certificates etc..My question is when do the insurance company starts paying you with the 95% of your wages?One week after I hurt myself, I went back to work but doing light duties only. I have checked my bank account and it is only my employer paid me for the hours I was doing light duties but i haven’t received any payment from the insurance company yet. I would just like to know if the insurance pays you every fourth night or is it weekly? Sorry for my grammar, english is my second language…I would really appreciate if anyone can answer my question I am just confused how this things work. Thank you.

    1. Richard

      Hi Diknat. A lot depends on how many hours you are working at the moment. If you are working full time and being paid your usual rate, you will receive nothing from the insurer. It also depends on the arrangements your employer has with his insurer – he may pay you what you are entitled to and claim the compensation money back from the insurer himself so you do not receive any money from them. The insurer has, I believe, 21 days to decide on whether to accept the claim or not.

      1. Diknat

        Hi Richard thanks for your reply. I asked my work about it and they said that i only get paid of the hours i am working while i am on my pre injury duties. And the rest or half of it will be paid by the insurer. I am part time permanent and working 56 hours a fourth night before my injury and now i am doing only 48 hours pre iniury duties. But there has been two pays now that the insurer didnt pay me so i will call them and ask about it. Anyway thanks for your answer i really appreciate it.

  63. Joanne

    Thankyou for this opportunity to speak. I had a Traumatic Brain Injury 3 years ago where I was hospitalised having to relearn everything including speech, walking, throwing a ball to social skills and everything else. Assessed at WPI 13% I received workers comp for 6 months then less than half of wage for another 6 months. Completely at the mercy of health professionals, insurance company and my lawyers I had no skills in communication, forms, or day to day living. Everyday was a struggle to stay alive and due to a severe brain disfunction had poor decision making abilities. Lawyers had no case Because there were no fractures in my neck or head only 50% compression in T6. MRI, CT scans and X-rays were finally ordered after fluid leaked from my right ear. Complete decompensation of body along with excruciating head and neck pain that would be described worse than child birth. No structural evidence was substantiated yet if the tests had of been taken when presented at emergency I am sure that a bleed would have been detected. The dr refused and fought with me because I was a female who was of child bearing age. He did not ask me if there would be any risk of being pregnant nor treat me nor follow up. There was zero chance I was pregnant. I visited a second dr to get texts done who also refused to test me and just prescribed ibuphren and had me come back every 2 days for a month sent me back to work when I could not hold a conversation, recall words and was an emotional blithering mess. The school I taught at then observed me an immediately organised support for me after observing a partial seizure I had at work. Over the next few years I lost contact with friends family and my 2 children ages 13 and 16 had to fend for themselves while I was rehabilitating and had no money to support them. To this day I am still rehabilitating and trying to support my children with no assistance from the Department of Education nor it’s insurance company. Defaming reports and hiding evidence I needed for proper treatment in recovering. The local hospitals refusing to admit on emergency and not equipped with diagnostic tools that were needed to show I had an injury. 2 weeks ago I saved all my money to get a QEEG done that is a tool for functional brain disorders that showed I had a severe injury at the back of my head and contra coup to the front left frontalobe where my emotion and communication areas lie. With neurofeedback they were able to clearly see very significant deficits. I am now able to finally receive treatment but it is very expensive. Medicare does not cover any part of the treatment. I have however ‘acquired’ a great amount of research and knowledge on this matter and will be most happy to help anyone you know who is suffering the same sort of symptoms. I would never wish it onto the most evil of people even the politicians who have no knowledge nor any understanding. Or the so called medical professionals who work for the insurance companies. I do however really want to pass on the valuable information I have learnt to help save others from the trauma and processes involved, short cutting to getting proper medical treatment when needed at your most vunerable moments.

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Joanne, are you in NSW? Ring WorkCover 131050 to ask about re-opening your claim with the insurer. If you are or were working for the NSW DEC you should contact your insurer, Allianz TMF to ask them to re-open the claim.
      Would be interested to see what happens now you have a proper diagnosis. Also would like to know who diagnosed you for the insurer previously.

      1. Joanne

        Thank you for your response. They closed the case after Dr Linda Thomas apparently a neuropsychologist who said everything damaging and unprofessionally reported everything but a TBI. Very defamatory report, selectively reported and extremely biased. She name called me a drama queen, malingerer amongst other things. Also Dr Peter Morse paid by ALIAS Pyschartrist backed her up again supporting insurance company. Though his testings showed I was not a malingerer and being a Maths teacher hardly puts me in a Drama Queen category. The tests I did with Linda Thomas were not long after I was out of hospital and still extremely fatigue, confused and fragile with all TBI symptoms still present. Testings produced results equal to dementia. I have had a clinical psychologist (anxiety and depression) background with 10000 reports for an insurance company of people who had TBI s. He confirmed I have had a severe TBI and my GP is also saying it is a clear cut case of TBI. I sent an appeal letter to Allianz and they said they couldn’t read my email. Yes it happened in NSW in March 2012 before the changes in June. I have found a Pyschartrist trained wth exertse n TBI that does medico legal and uses qEEG and I’m saving for my visit apparently he is known as a good honest man. The test I had done was with a Neurotherapist using qEEG that has 30 years experience with the health industry in Germany but does not want any involvement with insurance companies in Australia. It has taken me 3 years to beable to comprehend what I have gone through and up until now had no fight in me. Everything was too stressful too handle and damaged my recovery . According to my reports Allianz claims that my injury should be recovered from 2 years ago. Allianz has not provided the medical assistance I have needed and continue to need and have hindered to the recovery process in a significant way. I would have been better off never having an insurance company involved at all. Why do we pay for insurance if it is detrimental to the purpose we have them for in the first place?

  64. Jimmy

    Hi I was just wondering if you think it is worth challenging a case with my assessment at 24% the insurance doctor and offer is 22% I’m 35 yo

    1. kiwi68

      My assessment from Shine lawyers specialist was 31% the insurer offer was 24% which I declined twice so it went to WorkCovers AMS for a resolution he came back with 32% which the insurer then desputed but to my supprise Work cover upheld the AMS findings

    2. Sherward

      Jimmy you should talk to your lawyers about the risks of going ahead with a claim before you make a decision. When there is a dispute between you and the insurer the commission orders an AMS whose word is final. There is always a risk that your AMS will be less than the offer but it may be more. Discuss your options with your solictors

    3. kiwi68

      The AMS gave me a higher % than even my solicitors specialist gave me and I thought great that’s final and then the insurer challenged the AMS findings luckily Work cover up held the AMS findings.

  65. Vikkie

    Hi I got injured in 2013 in the workplace and had to have surgery on my ankle with a torn tendon and now have a permanent injury even though I am back at work full time there are things that I can no longer do in the job I had LHD Lawyers working on my case for the past year and a half and going to doctors and getting there veiw as they were putting in a claim for me now they have come back to tell me that I am not getting any thing and they will close my case is this right as my ankle will never be the same I need help I am so angry at them for keeping this going on for two years and now tell I get nothing I don’t think this is right … vikkie

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Your claim for a lump sum depends on whether you are over 10% WPI under the new legislation. The WPI % is carried out by an IME or AMS and they test your ankle through Range of Motion Testing and put simply if you have good range of motion you get a low percentage no matter how much pain you are in. This is due to the 2012 changes in the WC legislation. You are also off their books for treatment after 1 year if they have stopped weekly payments because you are back at work. Your solicitors now have to apply to get their funding from ILARS and if you are under 11% WPI they can’t get funded as their is no ability to make a claim for you. This is one reason we are all so upset about the changes. No lump sum under 11% WPI and no Pain and Suffering for anyone.
      The changes don’t apply for Emergency Services.

      Blame the government, not your solicitors as it sounds like you have been getting assessed for your Whole Person Impairment percentage by various doctors and you have not reached the percentage now required.

      If you get worse down the track and you need further surgery you might be able to re-open your case to get such treatment but I think you only get treatment and weeklies for the time off work after the surgery.
      You can check with WorkCover 131050 or with WIRO to make sure what I interpret is right.

      1. Vikkie

        I am under the old seem it called the grandpa worker’s comp so it is different from the new one but that’s ok I am going to see someone else next week about it .

        1. Complainers of the world make a difference

          Good luck! Hope it all goes well.

  66. Carl

    To all if you need something from the insurer I.E; treatments help etc. then you should go to your doctor to get them to write a letter asking for what ever needed, if the insurer doesn’t reply within a reasonable time then go back to the doctor to get them to resend the request. Keep doing this for what ever you need until the insurer replies either in the positive or negative.
    I we all do this for everything we need it will cost the insurers for every Dr visit & the letters, this will effect the bottom lines of the insurers which will put pressure on them to approve requests faster so the balance sheet is not dented to much.
    The insurers fail to approve our requests as they don’t have to pay for your phone calls, faxes or emails but they do have to pay for all doctors correspondences plus the visit to the Dr.
    Make the insurers pay for making your lives as hard as they do.

    1. Pee'd off

      Hi Carl, another strategy is to put it in writing once and give them a reasonable timeframe to respond eg. 5 working days and state that if a response is NOT recieved by X day at X time then it will be deemed a refusal. Then take your matter to Conciliation for reolution. This works in VIC but IWS might be able to advise about the resolution process in NSW. “No decision” is considered a deemed refusal, i.e. an adverse decision which can be challenged.

      1. sharon

        It is not 5 days, you have to give at least 28 days.

  67. Bob

    Hi guys,
    Is it legal for QBE insurance to hire surveillance on individuals specially after they SUSPENEDED, TERMINATED OR REJECTED their claims?


    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Don’t think it is legal to do surveillance if they are not paying your claim. Ring the police if you see the investigator as this would be stalking I would think.

  68. kiwi68

    Hi everyone,
    I;m new to the post I am 47 years old, I was injured in Aug 2010 on the job as a Fitting / Paint shop Supervisor, Laid off in 2013 after going on full time workers comp in Sep 2012 due to work restructuring. Received my Workers compensation commission certificate of Determination in Feb 2015 (32% permanent impairment).
    My Question is does anyone know of banks that will do house loans when you’re on permanent workers compensation payments as I’ve asked the insurer for a letter of my entitlements moving forward and my case manager is asking his manager but is sure they don’t do them as the legislation could change at anytime.

    Kind regards Ian Graham

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Well, my bank was happy to rely on a letter from the insurer. You are over 30% WPI so you do not have to undergo work capacity decisions as far as I know so can stay on benefits as long as your doctor provides a certificate stating you remain unfit until your retirement age.
      Have you applied for your section 66 lump sum yet? If not you need to ASAP. This will be a reasonable amount for you and does not impact on other benefits and is not taxed.
      If you do not want to remain in the system inquire about either Work Injury damages or commutation. If you accept any of these you will get a lump sum and will not be in the system any longer, nor can you get Centrelink for a period of time but the lump sum can be enough to put into superannuation or to pay a fair amount off your home if you have a working partner who can make payments for a few years till you can get Centrelink. You also forgo treatment if you get WID or Commutation. Ask your solicitor and weigh it all up.

      1. kiwi68

        Thanks for that, received section 66 lump sum yesterday, I’m happy to stay in the system. I’ve been with one of the big four banks for 23 years and when I asked the bank about obtaining a home loan while permanently on the Workers Compensation and they informed me they used to but stop doing them in 2011.

        1. Complainers of the world make a difference

          Perhaps you might try another bank.

          Even though you are happy to stay in the system sometimes it is just worth discussing your options as you are quite young so WID would be at least a two or three hundred thousand if not more. With WID you have to pay your own costs but a good solicitor will tell you if you have a case and what the costs are.

          The insurer may even offer that for a commutation which has different guidelines to WID so is usually less but the insurer pays costs. As you are over 30% they have to pay you until retirement so have to calculate what the liability of your claim is for them for the next 20 years.
          You don’t have to go ahead if they offer too low but sometimes the solicitor will ask what they will offer to get the feel from the insurer.

          Sometimes people just take the lump sum so they can get their lives back and control their own medical care and so they don’t have to put up with the harassment from the insurer etc.

          1. kiwi68

            The advice is very much appreciated, I have had those decisions already with my wife and my solicitor and as tempting as the thought of WID was, with careful consideration we felt staying in the system was right for us at this time as my wife is unable to work as well.
            One of the deciding factors for us was that for every 50k you receive is a year off Centrelink and the state of government hospitals and waiting periods for treatments, Medical for life on my injury was a huge part of our decision, dealing with the insurer up till now at least has been less stress than the crap I’ve had to put up with Centrelink dealing with other family issues.
            I do wonder how Centrelink came up with the figure of $50k per year when Work Cover thinks $37,539 per year is enough any ideas on how Work Cover came to that conclusion / Figure????

  69. Cathy

    Hi everyone,

    Desperatly need advice i injured my back at work after a severe fall , long story short CT scan and MRI had to be done and then had to see a neurosurgeon .

    My neurosurgeon has submitted a report to QBE informing them i will require surgery. Up to this point QBE had sent me two previous letters the first accepting provisional liability and wanted me to release previous clinical notes , then i received fhe second letter informing me they accept full liabilty and went in to send the approvals for MRI and the neurosurgeon .

    After my neurosurgeon submitted his report and reccomendation , i received a letter from QBE with in two days requesting i see a neurosurgeon of their choice. In this request they state the reason for this is to a). Assess my need for any ongoing treatement b). Assess their liabilty for the injury !!!!

    When reading their request letter i kept thinking in my head this doctors name sounds familiar [name retracted] , so i thought i am going to google his name and i was MORTIFIED at what i have found . This surgeon has been suspended in Brisbane for FRAUD, he has also been responsible for a patuents death and had a coroner critise his dusregard for patient wellbeing , if that isnt bad enough i find over 30 receiws written about his misconduct , misrepresentation writting fabricated reports for the insurance companies and was even ordered to psychiatric testing himself . A little mire digging and yet even more comes out this doctor has now relocated to Sydney after being suspended in Brisbane for fraud and had a inquest for a patients death and now works for medical legal opinions , he is also on the workcover advisory board which is a blaten conflict of interest .

    I have genuine fears and concerns for my health and wellbeing and DO NOT WANT THIS DOCTOR NEAR ME !! What rights do i have and what can i do . I dont understand how QBE can accept liability , receive a report from a top notch neurosurgeon with supporting CT scan and MRI and then try this rubbish of re sending me to their doctor who has been responsible for a patients death , suspended for fraud and also state they want to assess their liability after already accepting liabilty .

    PLEASE HELP any advice would be appreciated as i am running out of time as they have made the appoinment with this surgeon on 01/04/15


    P.S wishing everybody marching today against work cover the best of luck and say THANKYOU for fighting for all us injured workers being taken for a ride by employers , insurance companies and misrepresenting doctors

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      There are WorkCover Guides for the use of IMEs and part 1 is mandatory for insurers. Part 1 states “Mandatory obligations are set out in Part 1 of these guidelines. These are made in accordance with section 119 (4) of
      the 1998 Act which states that an examination of a worker who has given notice of an injury must be in accordance with the WorkCover guidelines.”
      “Must” means it is mandatory legal requirement that the procedures are followed by the insurer before you can be sent to an IME for the insurer.
      The guides define the examination as follows “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.”

      Before an IME is undertaken there is a pre-requisite for the insurer as follows…
      “A worker receiving weekly compensation payments can be required to submit themselves for subsequent independent medical examinations when information from the treating medical practitioners remains inadequate, unavailable or inconsistent and where the referrer cannot resolve the issues related to the problem directly with the treating practitioner(s) and:
      -the subsequent independent medical examination is with a specialist medical practitioner with qualifications relevant to the treatment of the injured worker’s injury; and
      • the employer/insurer has evidence that the worker’s medical condition as a result of the injury has changed; or
      • the employer/insurer has evidence of a change in the worker’s health not resulting from the injury which will affect
      the worker’s participation in the labour market; or
      – the employer/insurer has evidence of a material change or need for material change, in the manner or type of treatment;
      • the worker makes a claim for section 66 lump sum compensation or work injury damages; or
      • the worker requests a review pursuant to a notice issued under section 54 of the 1987 Act or section 74 of the 1998 Act and includes additional medical information that the employer/insurer is asked to consider; or
      • there has been at least 6 months since the last independent medical examination required by the employer/insurer;
      • the last independent medical examination was unable to be completed.”

      The insurer is not able to send you to the IME unless the information from your treating practitioner (surgeon) is “inadequate, unavailable or inconsistent” and the insurer must have attempted to get the information from the treating surgeon before proceeding to the IME. There must be a reasonable attempt to ask the questions they want answered from your surgeon and the surgeon has ten days in which to respond. If they have not done this they can’t send you to an IME and you should make an objection to going on the basis they have not explained why the information from your treating surgeon is “inadequate, unavailable or inconsistent” and they have made no attempt to contact the surgeon for further information. Ask them to tell you what efforts they have made to get the further information and that they need to send you a copy of the “Notification to Worker”that shows why the information from your treating surgeon is “inadequate, unavailable or inconsistent” in regard to the question of liability. Tell them they have the factual evidence to determine how your injury occurred as well as what treatment you need.

      You have a legal right to object to the IME as per the IME guides that state – “If the worker considers the requirement to attend an independent medical examination is unreasonable, the worker is to advise the referrer of the reasons for their objection. The referrer must take account of this objection and advise the worker
      of their decision following this consideration.Benefits are not to be affected prior to adequate written notice being received by the worker following this consideration (see WorkCover Guidelines for Claiming Compensation Benefits, clause 9.3, Part 2). Any decision to suspend payment of weekly compensation can only be made after the worker has had an opportunity to comply with a reasonable request and must be made on the basis of sound evidence and the worker advised in writing of the reasons for the suspension. The worker may contact WorkCover’s Claims Assistance Service on 13 10 50 or their union for assistance in relation to such requests and decisions. The insurer is to respond to these requests.”

      You can object on several bases as follows-
      1.That there has been no reasonable attempt to obtain the information required from your treating specialist surgeon or NTD.
      2. You have not been notified in a “Notification to Worker”, as to why the information the insurer does hold, evidenced on your WorkCover Certificate of Capacity, injury notifications and any factual investigations, reports from your treating surgeon, is ” “inadequate, unavailable or inconsistent” particularly as they had already made the decision to accept liability and had approved referral to the treating specialist. State you want it in writing as to why the report from the treating surgeon is not good enough to provide approval for the treatment considering his superior qualifications and experience.
      3. Note the fact that you have not been asked to attend an IME in a location nearby to where you live nor on a direct transport route from your home (look up other IMEs in your area from WorkCover website and list a number of them who are closer to your home than the IME the insurer is using). The guides state “The location of the independent medical examiner’s rooms should be as geographically close to the worker’s home address as possible or accessible by direct transport routes.”
      4. State the fact they have overlooked the mandatory guidelines in order for you to attend the particular IME indicates to you they are using this IME in a preferred manner and then ask them to advise you of how often they are using to particular IME and why they are using him in preference to other IMEs who are equally qualified.
      5. State your objection to seeing the IME based on evidence you have obtained demonstrating he may be an inappropriate choice due to his history. DO NOT MAKE ANY PERSONAL ALLEGATION just provide the evidence without other comment ie provide the links to the websites where you gained your information as well as cut and paste of the fraud details directly from the case etc, that way you are covered and it is not defamation if there is evidence etc.
      6. State you feel the IME chosen can’t be truly independent if there is any conflict of interest ie if they have another role they are being paid for outside the perview of an IME that may impact on their attitude toward you, whether they are being used in a preferred manner, if they work in a role directly for the Nominal Insurer (WorkCover) they can’t be independent as they are directly paid by an insurer. You also should ask for the insurer to undertake an investigation into the matters themselves to determine if the IME is suitable.
      7. Advise the insurer you are not able to attend any appointment with the particular IME until all the WorkCover Guides are complied with and that you will be discussing the matter with WorkCover and you would like verification that you have made the objection and that the insurer will carry out investigation of your concerns before taking any further action.
      8. Contact WorkCover 131050 and ask for claims assistance to discuss the matters and have them send you a copy of the 2012 gazetted WorkCover Guides for Independent Medical Examinations. (If claims assistance gives you information that seems inconsistent with the guides as I have pasted, then ask to speak with the supervisor

      7. Ask the case manager for the name of their supervisor and the name of the Operations Manager. When you get the names forward your objections to these people.

      You can also get a referral to a second treating specialist of your own choosing re the surgery. Ask your NTD about this. Ask your NTD to write to the insurer supporting the decision of your treating surgeon and stating they are happy to refer you to another treating specialist if the insurer needs a further opinion. My partner had two treating doctors opinions for his surgery and the insurer, QBE paid for both.

      If your claim is QBE the Operations Manager is Sam Bashford and he is pretty reasonable. He should know his staff are not complying with the guides and it is his job to ensure they are and that the IME is reputable. If you are QBE TMF (government agency) then the Operations Manager is David Bacon.
      Write your objections to the case manager today. As soon as you get a response, if it does not address all the issues you can put in a complaint about the insurer breaching the WorkCover IME guides on the complaints section of their website. You can then forward the response from the case manager.

      ACT NOW!!
      You should also write to WorkCover providing not your own opinion on the IME but all the evidence you described above and ask them the question of why this doctor is allowed to be advising WorkCover and why they have approved him as an IME if they are aware of his history. Forward all this to WIRO as well.

      Good Luck.

      1. Cathy

        THANK YOU SO MUCH …….thank you for your time and advice , i feel instantly relieved i was having secere anxiety over them trying to force me to see this surgeon . Your information is so informative and i cant thank you enough as i would have had no idea what to do and there is absolutely no help out there for injured workers .

        Thank you thank you thank you

        Kind regards

        1. Complainers of the world make a difference

          That’s OK Cathy.
          Just get onto it today to ensure the case manager cancels your appointment which is so close. Make sure you say they have not made a reasonable attempt to contact your treating surgeon to ask for further information and in view of the fact your surgeon has ten days to respond they have breached the WorkCover Guidelines. Remember to say they had already made the appointment two days after you saw your surgeon indicating their intention to go ahead regardless of the mandatory guidelines. Tell them you will not be bullied into seeing their IME as their disregard of the guidelines indicates they are using the IME unethically in a preferred manner which also indicates he may not be free from influence or impartial. You generally have a 24 hour cancellation period or they are within their right to charge for missing the appointment. The insurer is also meant to send you, with the Notification, a WorkCover Brochure outlining your rights etc. If they have not sent this then you can complain that they have not provided you information about your rights and this is also a means of precluding you from information to enable you to rightfully object. Say you find this dishonest and a breach of procedural fairness. Feel free to cut and paste from my posts and feel free to alter the content so as to portray from your own point of view. Don’t let them bully you by say they will stop your payments if you don’t go. just say you are happy to go but only in accordance with the WorkCover Guides for Independent Medical Examinations as the following states-
          Purpose and Scope of the Guidelines
          The purpose of these guidelines is to provide the basis for a shared understanding of the role of independent medical examinations in the management of compensable injuries in the NSW workers compensation system.
          The guidelines outline mandatory [as per section 119 (4) of the 1998 Act] and other obligations for the referral, conduct and reporting of independent medical examinations, and complaints management. Mandatory obligations are set out in Part 1 of these guidelines. These are made in accordance with section 119 (4) of the 1998 Act which states that an examination of a worker who has given notice of an injury must be in accordance with the WorkCover guidelines.”
          In legal documents the word MUST is interpreted as mandatory action.

          I will attach a copy of these guidelines in an email to Rowan, the website co-ordinator, so you can email him if you haven’t obtained them from WorkCover.
          Good luck.

      2. David

        I submit that as a significantly injured worker I have been dealt with, by Workers Compensation, substantively unfairly for the last 13 years. Initial submission-September 7, 2012 (reintroduced to IWSM-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 and there is significant neurological losses down there since. 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 immobility throughout my body. I don’t sleep very well. I have widespread 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 and arms that will not heal since 2001. I sweat profusely. These symptoms all arose as a consequence of multiple injuries sustained on multiple different dates, by working very hard for 11 years for an employer that disregarded OHS over those 11 years between 1990 and 2001. My first significant injury was July 1993 (21+ years ago).
        Specialists and my G.P. all say that I have suffered enough from the permanent 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 financial hardship and 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 13+ 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 pre-injury life-style and commitment 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 and a flawed system.
        I use to have plentiful amounts of disposable 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.

        1. Complainers of the world make a difference

          Your solicitors don’t sound as though they did their job. What you may not know is that they do assess people under the Table of Disabilities if they were injured before 2002 and they also assess you under the Whole Person Impairment method to determine the threshold for a Work Injury Damages Claim which needs to be 15% WPI. From what you describe you should be over the 15% mark for WPI but if they have made deductions for any pre-existing conditions or degeneration from arthritis etc they have made big ones. You need to get a new solicitor who might be able to re-open your claim on the basis you are now worse than the last impairment for a threshold dispute. Luckily your claim was determined before the 19th June 2012, so you may be able to have one more chance at the WPI level needed to make a WID claim. It would be helpful to get all your medical information up to date ie see your treating doctor and get new referrals to your spinal specialist on the basis your condition has deteriorated. See if you can get a new MRI and ask about the guided injections into the spinal areas to determine whether your pins and needles are coming from your spinal area.

          I would ask your spinal surgeon if there is any evidence of spinal cord compression as it sounds either as though you have bad radiculopathy from the nerve root irritation by the disc protrusions or some cord compression. I am not a doctor but I have been through this and so has my partner and so have some of my friends and have I picked up things in the IME reports overlooked by the IMEs including two IMEs who said my friend was basically faking it and it was all psychological when the MRIs stated there was spinal cord compression. This is something you really need to check urgently.
          You will also need a referral to a shoulder surgeon. My partner saw Dr Ben Cass in North Sydney and he was great, also writing good information to the insurer. If you have shoulder problems you also need to know if is due to your shoulders or mainly coming from your cervical spine. Ask to have nerve conduction tests and ask your NTD to send you to a rheumatologist to rule out constitutional degeneration.
          I find it hard to believe the 12% WPI would be an accurate percentage for your injuries so get out the IME or AMS report that gave you that score and read it through to see if they made massive deductions. Also get your old MRIs etc and read them through to see what they say as well as the reports from your treating doctors.
          It sounds like you have been ripped off big time so the new investigations are essential if you are to get over the 15% WPI threshold. Once you get all this done you need to get a new solicitor. They can get your old file without you having to do it. You can do that straight away but you still need all new treatment evidence to have a good case for deterioration. Would like to know what percentage they gave under the Table of Disabilities or was this left out completely?
          You case sounds very complex. Are you still having your treatment paid for by the insurer? If you are, get your NTD to make the referrals urgently to all the specialists I noted. If not you will need to go through Medicare anyway.
          Would love to know who assessed you at 12% and what they assessed. What injuries were claimed by your solicitors? I am not a solicitor so can only advise you see a new one.
          Sorry to hear how horrible it has been for you. Good luck!

        2. Innominate

          Sorry to hear about your pain. Not in NSW and really can’t comment on your Compo situation. Ask your GP to check your B12 folate Iron studies Vitamin D TGG antibody and especially your testosterone. You might be surprised and possibly might help your symptoms if not your situation. Look after yourself and your family as well. Bon chance.

  70. Mad Chef

    Hi All, wondering if anyone has had IME with a Mr Philip Sharp (General Surgeon-NSW).
    I’m in Vic but for some dodgy reason Allianz appears to be bringing this guy down for an appointment on a SATURDAY morning. Weird eh??
    I am coming up to the 130 week mark so know what they are up to.
    Still facing 3+ rounds of further surgery- been told absolutely NO chance of returning to previous career (of 30 years). Would love to hear from someone who has had dealings with him
    Cheers, Mad Chef (hope I hav eposted this in the right place)

  71. monchou

    Hi all,
    I am on Workers Comp for my work related injury ( Western Australia).
    1) My Rehabilitation Manager brought a final copy of the return to work program and asked me to sign if I agree with it. And I signed it after raising my misgivings about the type of work trial he wanted me to go to which doesn’t relate to my skills. He said at the time that I can just give it a try for some time and if I didn’t like it, we can find another suitable place. Based on that I signed it. But after seeing the workplace and the nature of work I got depressed as he didn’t set up an ergonomic work station for my injury and the work is too boring. After couple of days work, my pain got worse as the chair and the table are too uncomfortable. Consequently, my underlying anxiety and depression have started tearing me apart. I can’t sleep at night and can’t concentrate on anything as I kept worrying about my injury and the pressure the Insurance Co and the Rehab Manager are putting on me.
    hence my questions are:
    1) Can I request my Rehabilitation Manager to be changed?
    2) Can I refuse to go to my work trial coz of the reasons I have mentioned and ask for a work trial program in which I will participate in preparing that is tailored to my needs?

    In addition, I recently had a scan for the back injury related to my other ongoing injury for which the Insurance had accepted liability, and the result returned negative. However, I have a recurrent tingling sensation all the time and pain when I sit for more than 20 minutes or stand for more than 30 minutes. Can Insurance reject my claim since the scan returned a negative result. If they do, what options do I have?

    I appreciate your help.

    1. Innominate

      Yes you can change your rehabilitation manager but do you know a good one? Don’t refuse a work trial, if it fails it fails but then get your new rehab provider to suggest a better one. Involve your GP as your advocate get a good physio and if necessary seen a pain specialist. Do it sooner rather than later before it stresses you out. Some good resources out there on the web. Try at the university of WA webserver.

    2. Complainers of the world make a difference

      You need your NTD to spell out the fact you need an ergonomic work station and work that is suited to your level of education and experience. The work is not meant to be demeaning in any way. You need to discuss this with the rehab person and tell him the demeaning and boring work is making you anxious and depressed and the pain from your injury is being exacerbated by the physical work station. You also need to see a treating specialist to see what they think about your scans. My spinal surgeon told me because MRIs are carried out while the person is lying down it doesn’t always show if a bulging disc is irritating the nerve because when you stand or sit there is the weight of your body on the spine so your symptoms are greater. It was not until I saw a spinal surgeon and had further MRIs as well as nerve injections that I had a correct diagnosis. I had been misdiagnosed as having plantar fascitis by three IMEs before my spinal surgeon found the pain and numbness under my foot was coming from my lumbar spine.
      The insurer is not likely to close your claim while you are on a work trial. It is very important for you to have a full and correct diagnosis so your injuries can be managed properly. Your first priority is your health so speak to your NTD about seeing a specialist and about the exacerbation of your injury by the physical workspace. You should also ask for your NTD to make a referral to a treating psychologist for some psychological support. The NTD can put that on your Injury Management Plan and I think you can attend one session before the psychologist needs to put in a treatment plan and request for treatment approval. You can check this with WorkCover claims assistance 131050 or contact@workcover on the WorkCover website.
      Hope this helps.

  72. kvhope

    Hi All
    I am new to this forum and was hoping to get some advice from people in relation to legal representation.

    I suffered a workplace psychological injury over a year ago. I have been off work since then. My initial workers comp claim was denied by the insurer (QBE) which resulted for me in obtaining legal representation. I used a law firm recommended from my union. I have only met with my solicitor once in order to put a challenge application in to WIRO for funding. The funding was approved and reports from my treating doctors have just recently been completed. I will be meeting with my solicitor again in order to prepare the documentation for the challenge of liability.

    What I was hoping for from the forum is if anyone could give me any advice on what type of questions I should be asking the solicitor. I am not really sure of what or how else the solicitor can provide assistance (legally) to me other than defend my liability case. Could anyone give any advice on what type of questions I should be considering in asking the solicitor in relation to my compensation case???

    Thank Kindly

    1. NamasteOM

      The very first thing you should do is change your legal rep! I’m also going through this same process and I’m only now discovering that any legal assistance/firm linked to workers unions etc are affiliated with workcover, who are your opposition and are working against you not for you! I found out the hard way that the whole process is sabotaged by workcover.. So workcover assist, ACO, and any legal aid recommended by your case worker or linked to their website etc. Google ‘workers comp lawyer reviews’ and you should get info on whether that firm is dodgy or not.. Most receive ‘kickbacks’ and personal experience, avoid Slater & Gordon! The whole system is a rout!! Mentally draining immoral and inhumane process so just be careful and mindful of any workers comp ‘help’ is not help.. I’m going with Shine Lawyers as they seemed the most reputable.. Fingers crossed hey!
      Good luck :)

      1. Nurse

        Thanks for this information. I am currently with the union lawyer and not happy thinking they are working for the employer and Workcover. I got punched in the right eyebrow 4 years ago at work and now have trigeminal and facial nerve damage confirmed in Costa Rica. I have signed a cost agreement, I suppose I am liable to pay to get out of it, so I can take another lawyer. I tried Shine Lawyers and Blackburn? but they would not take my case as there was not enough money in it for them. What to do?At the moment negotiating out of court settlement. Help Qld

        1. Marianna

          Hi Namaste. My God I know exactly what you mean I have that problem now and I don’t know where to turn. Im going crazy. Can you please come in touch with me. Rowan Kernebone has my email address.

    2. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Psych claims need to be dealt with very carefully. I made sure all my paperwork and evidence of what happened to me was all in chronological order and I wrote a statement referring to all the evidence I had that proved what happened. I also got all work based policies and showed how they breached them. I had help from my partner in organizing it all so the solicitor could see clearly what caused my injury. I was very lucky to have been assessed by two good IMEs for the insurer first up and they both agreed my PTSD, depression and anxiety were caused by my workplace. I also had a very good psychiatrist and psychologist who supported my. I had a pretty smooth run for a while until the insurer pulled out all stops and started in any way they could to harass me. They planned how they would destroy my case and their solicitors got another IME to give me a constitutional disorder not work related. I made a lot of complaints and in the end I beat them. The harassment made me worse and was as bad as what happened in my workplace.
      From my experience I learned that you need to record everything in writing and you need all the evidence you can get. You also need your paperwork in a logical order so your solicitor can work out your rights.
      You need a good treating NTD, psychologist and psychiatrist so when you come up against the crook IME for the insurer you will have good treatment evidence stacked up to verify your injuries. If you find you are not being supported change your treating practitioners. This is all about your health so you need good treatment to enable a successful return to work or if you can’t return to work at least to keep you going through the process involved in W/C.
      If you find your solicitor is not understanding you then make it clear you want support and ask questions about what they are doing with your case and what stage they are up to. If your injury is over 15% WPI you may be able to claim a lump sum.This is determined by a specific method of assessment so your solicitor should send you to an Independent Medical Examiner to have you assessed under the WorkCover Guides for the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment- pages 60-68 at-

      Read these pages carefully so you understand any impairment assessor is basically looking at whether your injury is likely to be as a result of the workplace incidents, whether you are still injured and whether this is permanent ie your condition is not expected to change too much in the future, and to what degree you are impaired by your current medical condition.
      You need to have been diagnosed with a proper DSM psychiatric illness so all your medical certificates should have your diagnosis on them. I had both my NTD and my psychiatrist send certificates of capacity to the insurer. Ask your psychiatrist to outline your diagnosis according to the new DSM V which I believe is the current diagnostic manual in a report.
      You need support from family members as this all gets pretty overwhelming and the process of getting it all together can make you more unwell so take all the help you can and see your treatment providers regularly as well as keeping on top of prescribed medications as well. Any IME will want to know what medications you are on so make a list for your solicitor and don’t forget to put down all the side effects. People tend to forget side effects of medication can be as debilitating as the injuries in some cases particularly if you have your medications changed often. One example is anti-depressants that make you so tired you sleep all day or meds that make you live in a fog. There are also things like excessive worry that may impact your sleep so don’t forget to put it all down in your statement for your solicitor and for if you are attending an IME for either your solicitor of the insurer’s.

      Beware as you may be under surveillance, particularly if you are leading up to a lump sum claim. Be open with your case manager but be aware they record everything and they write it down in any manner so if you have a conversation always send the case manager an email outlining the conversation and any aspect you were upset or unhappy about. In the end my partner communicated for me on the phone and I put everything in emails as the treatment from case managers made me too unwell. My file is full of discriminatory remarks about me and outlines how they tried to close my claim by sending me to their preferred assessors. It shows all the collusion and even the lies they told to WorkCover when I made complaints so beware of trusting your case manager too much as they get bonuses for closing claims and even the nicest may be stabbing you in the back. Sorry to worry you but knowledge is power and the one thing you become in the WC system is powerless.
      Good luck,hope this helps.

      1. kvhope

        Thank You So Very Much!

        The information and advice you have provided has been fantastic.

        For me, this is the first time that I have truly been able to relate to someone who has suffered a psych workplace injury and who understands how I’m feeling about everything.

        THANK YOU!

        Hoping to keep in contact if any other advice is needed. I really appreciate it!


        1. Complainers of the world make a difference

          All good. Am happy to help. I was able to survive the system through the repeated attempts of my insurer and their case managers and solicitors to bully me to death, even while I was in hospital so I will help whenever I can. I am out of the system and I am still fighting to expose all that went on and will continue till everyone knows how bad this system really is.
          Keep contact and ask for help if you need it.

  73. Joseph

    Hi all, I was wondering if there is anyone who has approached the 2.5 year mark (130 weeks) on the workers compensation system in NSW, and what happens to your entitlements, If you cannot be rehabilitated back into new work or pre-injury because of a workplace injury? and you are not working 15 hours?

    Thank you

    1. Joseph E.

      I have been in the same situation. I was let go from work due to “no suitable work” in October 2010. I have been on WC payments from the Insurance until the day we settled out of court in December 2014. Due to WC overload in reassessments, insurances have been told to keep paying even though the 130 week has been reached. If you have been assessed for P&S, there are % points that you will have to reach. If you are 30% ( I think) you will not have to be assessed. If 20% up to 29% there are some stipulations and conditions. 19% and under you will definitely have to go through the reassessment. call WC for details or go on their website and try to get details. I know that it is hard to get answers. If you are close to retirement age be careful as the insurance will extend as much as possible the settlement day so as to keep you from getting the pension. For every $50000 you get after costs you will loose 12 months of Centrelink payments. It is called “preclusion period” under the SOCIAL SECURITY ACT 1991. This means that your lump sum payment for past loss of income can effect your future pension, even if you have no other assets whatsoever. At the moment the WC payments have to be up to date of your 66 birthday. If you are a union member seek free union advice, but always get a second independent opinion. Wish you better health and may you have a good barrister.

  74. BeeMay063

    Hi, i see this is nsw, but im hoping canberra ppl can get help here too.
    in May 2013 my daughter had a car accident on the way to work. She was rear ended at traffic lights and the impact caused her seat to break and she ended up facing the roof.
    she had a back xray and neck xray, nothing broken.
    she filled out the claim form and doc gave her a week or two, (cant remember exactly) off. She was petrified she would lose her job and told the doctor there was no scope for reduced hours, nobody had ever done that they had left, and so went back to work. over 16 months she has used all her sick leave and a lot of her annual leave on days off with severe back pain. she has been to doctors each time. she was given phsysio originally , but i think they think she is non compliant, but with shift work and living between 2 places of residence 2 hours away made it diffiucult and she atttended when she could. she has never been without pain since accident and it ramps up after minimal exertion and so the many days off. 2 weeks ago she was in agony and i took her up to the hospital, next day dr gave her stronger pain meds and gave her work cover cert for 6 days . she did not know she had to return to him for clearance there was nothing on the form and he did not tell she went back to work. 1 week later after battling the pain, she returned to him again and he did a new form stating she could return to full time work. i got mad and rang the dr , asking how we get a new one. got an appt with him again next day as she could hardly walk for the pain.he gave her a new work cover cert giving her another few days off and then return to work 2 days a week. her medical bills are being covered by 3rd party insurer and work by allianz work cover. apparantly she needed to fill in some form, for the work cover, which will be done in next day or so. I’m guessing my question is, where to from here. she has a referal to a neuro surgeon and physio and an mri. we are asking the 3rd party insurer to approve these for payment as she has no spare money. she has a solicitor, but he hasn’t been very helpful over this time, we keep him informed though. I am hoping she has not done anything to jeapordise her claim?

    1. Andrew

      HI there,

      dunno anything about your insurance situation but I do know a little about chronic pain and the medical system having travelled that road for the past 6 years.

      First very very important to find a GP who is a decent communicator and is prepared to listen and do the insurance paperwork. This may be a lengthy journey and they hold a crucial role in the system. So if she doesn’t feel heard, keep looking. Its a tough journey without feeling like you are being treated as a neurotic.

      Second, chronic pain is a very very complex and tricky area. There are specialist pain clinics all over australia. I don’t know the act but get googling. DON’T accept the word of any one medico – in my experience none of them have a great map of who is out there or even beside them. I went to a rehab hospital (it took me 18 months to learn they existed and how to get in) and spoke there to a woman who had been walking past the corridor to the specialist pain unit for five years as an outpatient and no-one had mentioned it existed to her.

      Third, not all surgeons are created equal. Be VERY careful, ask around, perhaps speak candidly to a pain specialist. They will know the ‘quick to cut’ one’s and those with best outcomes. After all they have to pick up the pieces when things don’t go well. And remember that surgeons cut. They don’t do rehab typically, and some will put you on the table while others will say ‘no, try this first’.

      In my experience our medical system deals very poorly with non-specific soft tissue injuries. I have had the best results from finding a good physio, learning to listen to my body (and trust it rather than what anyone else says) and instincts and certain ‘complementary’ practitioners. For some its feldenkrais. Pilates can be great. Acupuncture can work wonders if you find a skilled practitioner.


      1. beemay

        Hi, thanks for your reply, we have changed GP’s which is a relief. same practice, diff doctor who is not so driven by the workcover “rules” or who doesn’t thinke veryone on workcover is a malingerer.she has been very firm with the workcover caseworker who she finds very pushy i think,regarding return to full duties. saw spinal guy, after mri. she has pars defects and a bulging leaking disk. he cannot say it is from the accident apparantly you can have this from birth. she has never had a back complaint before this. only ever had time off work for cold and flu.
        her xray a month after accident also says pars defect but “probably old” pffft
        she’s been hit for 6 this week. went for physio and she did accupunture. she COULD NOT WALK for 4 hours after it. doc saw her gave her muscle relaxant. she refused ambo as she thought she’d have to pay 800 bucks for it. pre sure work cover would have paind. but anyhoo, she left with crutches and tried to drive home, its only 3 mins away.endedup sitting in car another hour or so, them made it home. saw gp the next day, yesterday ,and she has given her unfit for duties for the next week. hopefully whatever happened wears off, she is in a lot of pain atm. she also upped the targin. i hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel for her . i live with chronic pain from RA it sucks. at the moment i have none, and really feel for her.

  75. Cathy

    Hi Everyone,

    I recently had a severe fall at work due to my employer not following proper procedures , on the 27th of January i was in our crew / change room gathering my handbag and went to the bathroom ready to go on break .

    As i exited the change room i opened the door took a step and my legs instantly came out from under me my legs went one way the top half of my body the other my body slammed straight down onto my tailbone . I slid some distance crashing into the metal fridge directly in front of the crew room. My heart was racing and the amount of adrenalin that was pumping i didnt feel any initial or instant discomfort .

    While i had been in the crew room they had mopped the floors with a ringing wet mop and just left water all over the floors , NO SIGNS , FAILED TO FOLLOW DRY MOP PROCEDURE AND NO VERBAL COMMUNICATION GIVEN THAT THE FLOORS WHERE RINGING WET !

    Adrenalin still pumping i went straight into my highest manager sitting in the office with another manager in front of the CVT cameras and explained i had just fallen severely hard straight down onto my spine . The response i was given was ATLEAST you didnt swallow mortein this morning while having to spray the store !! I explained it was a hard impact and reminded them that 3 years prior i had to have a discectomy and can they please give me the incident report log book incase it had caused any injury or aggravation . At first i was refused until another crew member that witnessed it said that it was a very bad fall and she witnessed it occur and argued with me for an incident report .

    I requested they re play the camera footage and whilst they did the girl that witnessed the incident used her phone to record the camera screen incase they still insisted on no report, and whilst she was using her phone to record the playback both managers where laughing which you clearly here and comments HAHAHAHA DAM YOU HIT HARD ! Now later that night the pain got intense , i had pain in the bum the legs , in the top in my shoulder blades and i was extremly worried as it was a very familiar pain ! It was the same pain i was experiencing that caused me to have the first surgery .

    I went straight to my GP the following day and she requested a CT scan . My fears where confirmed the Ct conclusion said i now had multi level disc bulges, canal stenosis being of moderate severity at the level L4/L5 , L5/S1 in particular with central posterior mideline disc protrusion potentially causing neural irritation.

    My GP said you will have to go back and see the neurosurgeon and we will have to start a workers comp claim , my gp filled out a NO CAPACITY work cover certificate arranged for me to see a neurosurgeon but unfortunately I cant get in until March . In the mean time i had to inform my employer who immediately tried denying knowledge of any incident , then infront of our highest manager and my partner tried bullying me and pressuring me no to do this ! He made Comments stating once i do this i will not return to work until i got clearance , it would take months for any type of payments and i wouldnt have any income and also tried to tell me to get my gp to re fill out that i can do light duties.

    I explained the severity of it and even apologised but said i have to go through with it as it looks like i may need surgery and alot of doctor visits etc . The whole process has been an absolute nightmare and it has only gotten alot worse. The insurance company rang and started the same pressuring and bullying tactics that my employer did to the point i severely broke down in tears and couldnt take it . I have severe depression and anxiety due to multiple miscarriages and they have made me feel like i am a criminal or something , that i am not in chronic pain etc. I went and seen my gp in absolute tears telling her with all the pain i am in , lack of sleep , pressure from employer and insurance company I CANT DO IT I CANT DO IT !!!! The gp insisted i see a psychiatrist to try and help with the mental anguish of the nightmare.

    Two days after informing my employer i received a text msg from the girl that witnessed the fall and had used her phone to record the camera playback , she told me that the boss had been lying that for three days he was calling all the managers in and re playing the video over and over and then called her in trying to pressure her to say are you sure YOU SAW IT HAPPEN !! My co worker said thank god i re recorded it for you because they are trying everything to deny it happening . I already felt from his comments that he was going to try and deny or blame or wiggle out of it .

    Anyway I received the call from the neurosurgeons office to say that i would need to have an MRI done for the surgeon before my appointment which i did once approval was given but thats where it gets so much worse the MRI report is saying the complete opposite to the CT scan ! My gp says its good news the MRI says its ok !! My jaw nearly hit the flaw…. IT IS NOT OK as i broke down I AM IN SEVERE PAIN ! MY LEGS MY BUM PINS AND NEEDLES CANT SIT FOR LONGER THEN 10-15 mins , cant bend if i do the pain is so intense i freeze in that position ,i cant even sit in the car and drive longer then 15 mins as my right leg goes numb and no sensation ! I have pain that radiates up into my shoulder blades and my arm , my leg will jump and twitch etc !! I said please explain how one scan says this and the other says the total opposite and please tell me why then am i in such severe pain !!!

    I am an absolute wreck feeling like i am being told i am lieing or that i dont know my own body !!! I refuse the pain medication as i WILL NOT BE DEPENDANT ON PAIN KILLERS so if your thinking its for pain meds your a fool !!! Can anyone please HELP me PLEASE ADVISE ME !!! I AM IN AGONY BUT BEING TREATED like a liar . I googled I am in pain but ct scan says one thing and mri says another and hundreds of other people same story along with case studies of MRI scans done on normal people nothing wrong but the scan says there was and people who had severe problems there scan was normal . Hiw is it possible and what do i do ? I was living a full active life , i worked out all the time i took my daughter to all her sporting activities but now in constant pain the only relief is to lay down motionless and now my depression has reached a very dangerous peak PLEASE HELP with any advise as the insurance company is now trying to say well the MRI seems to think your ok so you should return to work on light duties ! 27th of January i was in our crew / change room gathering my handbag and went to the bathroom ready to go on break .

    As i exited the change room i opened the door took a step and my legs instantly came out from under me my legs went one way the top half of my body the other my body slammed straight down onto my tailbone . I slid some distance crashing into the metal fridge directly in front of the crew room. My heart was racing and the amount of addrenalin that was pumping i didnt feel any initial or instant discomfort .

    While i had been in the crew room they had mopped the floors with a ringing wet mop and just left water all over the floors , NO SIGNS , FAILED TO FOLLOW DRY MOP PROCEDURE AND NO VERBAL COMMUNICATION THE FLOORS WHERE RINGING WET !

    Addrenalin still pumping i went straight into my highest manager sitting in the office with another manager in front of the CVT cameras and explained i had just fallen severly hard straight down onto my spine . The response i was given was ATLEAST you didnt swallow mortein this morning while having to sprsy the store !! I explained it was a hard impact and reminded them that 3 years prior i had to have a disectomy and can they please give me the incident report log book incase it had caused any injury . At first i was refused until another crew member that wittnessed it said that it was a very bad fall and she wittnessed it occur .

    I requested they play the survilence footage and whilst they did the girl that wittnessed the incident used her phone to record the camera screen , and whilst she was using her phone to record the playback both managers where laughing which you clearly here and comments HAHAHAHA DAM YOU HIT HARD ! Now later that night the pain got intense , i had pain in the bum the legs the top in my shoulder blades and i was extremly worried as it was a very familiar pain ! It was the same pain i was experiencing that caused me to have the first surgery .

    I went straight to my GP the following day and she requested a CT scan , my fears where confirmed the Ct conclusion said i now had multi level disc bulges, canal stenosis being of moderate severity at the level L5/S1 in particular with central posterior mideline disc protrusion potentially causing neural irratation.

    My GP said you will have to go back and see the neurosurgeon and we will have to start a workers comp claim , my gp filled out a NO CAPACITY work cover certificate arranged for me to see a neurosurgeon but unfortunately cant get in until March . In the mean time i had to inform my employer who immediatley tried denying knowledge of any incident , then infront of our highest manager and my partner tried bullying me and pressuring me no to do this ! Comments stating once i do this i will not return to work until i got clearance , it would take months for any type of payments and i wouldnt have any income and also tried to tell me to get my gp to re fill out that i can do light duties.

    I explained the severity of it and even appologised but said i have to go through with it as it looks like i may need surgery and alot of doctor visits etc . The whole process has been an absolute nightmare and it has only gotten alot worse. The insurance company rang and started the same pressuring and bullying that my employer did to the point i severly broke down in tears and couldnt take it . I have severe depression and anxiety due to multiple miscarriages and they have made me feel like i am a criminal or something that i am not in chronic pain etc. I went and seen my gp in absolute tears telling her with all the pain i am in , lack of sleep , pressure from employer and insurance company I CANT DO IT I CANT DO IT !!!! The gp insisted i see a psychiatrist to try and help with the mental anguish of the nightmare.

    I received the call from the neurosurgeons office to say that i would need to have an MRI done for the surgeoun before my appointment which i did once approval was given but thats where it gets so much worse the MRI report is saying the complete opposite to the CT scan ! My gp says its good news the MRI says its ok !! IT IS NOT OK as i broke down I AM IN SEVERE PAIN ! MY LEGS MY BUM PINS AND NEEDLES CANT SIT FOR LONGER THEN 10-15 mins as my right leg goes numb ! I have pain that radiates up into my shoulder blades my arm my leg will jump and twitch etc !! I said please explain how one scan says this and the other says the total opposite and please tell me why then am i in such severe pain !!! I said to her the scan or the reporter is incorrect i even said to her please re do the scan while i am sitting up as that is when it is the most intense and the pain is almost unbearable she refused sort if brushed the notion off and said lets just see what the surgeon says but i think everything is ok !!! I 100% believe the position they put me in and propped my legs right up and supported them is why the scan didn’t show anything there was no load or pressure on the disc and laying down is the only time i do actually get relief ! But she wouldnt hear me .

    I am an absolute wreck feeling like i am being told i am lieing or that i dont know my own body !!! I refuse the pain medication as i WILL NOT BE DEPENDANT ON PAIN KILLERS so if your thinking its for pain meds your a fool !!! Can anyone please HELP me PLEASE ADVISE ME !!! I AM IN AGONY BUT BEING TREATED like a liar . I googled ” I am in pain but ct scan says one thing and mri says another ” and hundreds of other people same story along with case studies of MRI scans done on normal people with nothing wrong but the scan says there was something wrong and people who had severe problems their scan was normal . How is it possible and what do i do ? I was living a full active life , i worked out all the time i took my daughter to all her sporting activities but now im in constant pain , i am a shell of myself and the only relief is to lay down motionless ! If that isnt already enough now my depression has reached a very dangerous peak ! PLEASE HELP with any advise as the insurance company is now jumping on the band wagon trying to say well the MRI seems to think your ok so you should return to work on light duties !

    PLEASE PLEASE HELP as i have no idea of my rights , i am not going to be told that everything is ok WHEN I KNOW I AM IN PAIN ! I will not return to work in a hazardous environment knowing there is something wrong and risk another slip or risk anything else happening until they find out what is wrong it seems all the doctors and insurance company give a rats about is the dollar figure not the victim not your health not what its doing to you or your family NOTHING !

    1. Kerrie

      Hi Cathy , I would get another MRI at a different radiology company ,I think the one at norwest is very good ,thing is it’s not just the MRI but also the skill of the person interpreting the results that matters. I have been through hell and back several times with a back injury on WC ,I also got depression and anxiety ,it’s so wrong how you are are always entitled to a second opinion and if you have a reason you can change nominated treating doctor ,they are very important ,find one you can communicate we’ll with.don’t be scared to ask for help .even if NTD puts you on light duties !if you have pain go back and tell them! have a talk to a solicitor they can help you !you have evidence you need a proper diagnosis !insist on more investigation!good luck I really feel for you .kerrie.

    2. Kris

      Hi Cathy,

      First of all, I am so sorry you’ve gone through all of that so far. I think you’re very brave to continue trying to put your life back on track, as well as let us know of your challenges on this forum.

      Thank you for your honesty and courage for sharing your experience.

      I’m not a doctor or anything like that, but I work in personal injury in Canada and the first thing I wanted to observe was that my understanding of a CT scan and MRI is that CT scans are used for bone injuries such as fractures while MRI is for soft tissue injuries (Again, I’m not a doctor.)

      That being said, it is surprising to me that someone would consider one report but not the other.

      I agree with Kerrie that a second medical opinion is definitely something you should do, and maybe show them your CT scan results too.

      The only other thing that I would say is to also consider speaking to a good personal injury lawyer in Sydney. Back home in Canada, I’ve dealt with a lot of clients who tried soldiering it themselves and they ended up doing things that made a legal claim a lot more difficult down the road (e.g. they don’t follow up on medical reports, they forget to get their evidence and it disappears, they missed limitation periods, etc.)

      I work in a personal injury firm in Queensland and it surprises me how many people try to deal with their pain themselves. Even though they’re fighting so hard, there is always so much that needs to get done and they’re essentially operating at a disability because of their pain. (I guess in North America, we tend to be more litigious.)

      But that being said, I’d say take advantage of a free consultation and find out what potential challenges and benefits you may gain from being compensated from your injury, especially if the workplace was negligent and caused it.

      Final thing…it might not do much, but I hope it helps :)

      Good luck with everything. You’re in my prayers.

      – Kris

  76. council worker

    hi all. This is just another and maybe my last update on my injuries.i was sent to a second orthopedic specialist who actually works in the hospital where my first shoulder rotator cuff tear took place. he looked at my original mri and the final arthrogram I had. I now have 2 shoulder specialists saying they cannot offer any further surgery as it may make me worse. I have less movement than a fused shoulder and I’m too young to have a reverse shoulder .and with both they cannot guarantee less pain. so I’m now told pain management is all they can offer. I had a new X-ray on my neck and even though the surgeon is happy that the bones are fusing in my neck and the screws and plate arnt dislodged he sent me for a new mri as the pain from my arm still goes into my neck .since I got the report from the second ortho, I know I have been followed and videod for over 2 yrs now. But it’s now got to the point where there are anything from 10-15 people who are following me when I go out. If I sit out the front they are there ,if I get on a bus they txt ahead and someone sits opposite me in the bus and video me.they trespass on the property im on and walk past my window and look in. not sure what they are hoping to see. I am doing hydro therapy and they were in the pool with a laptop sitting on a seat where I was walking and they put the laptop on their shoulder and scoured the entire pool. I went to the manager and complained and all I got was he will go and speak to the person. I asked to make an incident report and the manager came down and didn’t want a thing to do with this. He gave me his card and said please email me the complaint. this person taking the video was also taking videos of other people in the pool including children and I bet there parents Wernt alerted to this ! These people sink so low as to do this without other people’s knowledge. I know I am being followed daily but this is a blatant misuse of a devise and the police won’t do a thing .i rang them and they told me they will only investigate if they are trespassing or looking in my window. and all the manager of the pool said is he will talk to the person videoing. he said they also caught a pedofile not long ago doing the same so why did they not interrogate this person. and let them go. i know my case is being lodged in the court system very soon. As my date of injury is nearing 3 yrs. they think they are getting to me, but I have led them on a merry chase and am really enjoying watching them as I burn each one of them. if u see these people they must all be trained by the same idiot. they always have their mob phones out and they must have an abundance of investigators because as I burn them there is a new face that turns up 10-15 mins later. even the guy who looks after me in the pool laughed with me when I said what I do to avoid them. if they think they are playing with my head they better think really enjoying their company lol. for other injured workers who arnt aware u must be vigilant if u go out do not do the same things or go to the same places. They know all your movements. go different routes and places. And if an old person sits besides u and starts to chat. Be aware. They even use 60-70 yo people to follow u. I had this done when I went to the black dog institute .and had 3 people watching me at the same time.but I burnt the 3 of them. i do know these people have a job to do and a reason for doing it, but by Christ it should have an unbiased authority watching these insurance co s go about their business of stalking . take care all . wish me luck in court

    1. Kris

      Hi, we never met but my name is Kris.

      I just wanted to wish you luck on your court date. I haven’t caught all of your updates from before I started commenting on this forum but I hope you win.

      I read all of the pain that everyone is going through and it would be nice to hear a few happier outcomes that can inspire other members to continue fighting the good fight.

      Thanks for all of your contributions.

  77. Amy

    Hi guys my name is Amy, I have a case similar to most post, am practically numbed feeling that AM NO BODY AND USELESS.Reading this posts makes me feel…….. there is people like am not alone. My injury happen back 2008 I stop work for sometimes and attend physio they put me RTW for sometimes till then suffer a lot on my own and misdiagnosed misunderstood and ignored. now on there on time they kicked me off my work and say you can’t attend your next shift unless you bring the doctor clearance (this happen Sep 2013). After for a month or so go back on and off work until end of 2013, Since then stopped completely in July 2014 I had a surgery on my Left shoulder for muscle tear(which they accepted) but my back the first injury refused as they stated “degenerated disc disease” as their IMD suggest (where the MRI shows some bulging disc). Am in pain from 2008 towards lower back severe pain, frozen shoulder, depression (anxiety mood swing),horrible neck pain specially my left side including my head, my left hip and leg numbness tingling and needless, unable to sleep at all if I manage 1-2 hr sleep with heavy medication, etc… I was attend psychologist, physiotherapy knee surgery (meniscus repair) on my own expense. the insurer refused to pay for my psychology treatment, since my shoulder surgery I attend their a physio for my shoulder and now pain my GP refer me to pain management I have the second appointment on March.

    I was using the union lawyer with no effect (truly I wasn’t know what to do) once she organised a reconciliation which I refused to go ahead because I lost hope before I start as the next and third MRI suggest non to support.

    now I contact other lawyer with a family friend help and gave me hope but my inside refuse everything being lonely, not going out unless very necessary thing come up, I lost hope and myself nothing interesting anymore but in between my kids and my family suffer, I was a strong person loving life and my work but now….sorry

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Amy you need a referral to a spinal specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment of your spinal injury. You also need to go back to your shoulder surgeon for a follow up to see if your shoulder has deteriorated. Get a referral to a psychiatrist as well to make a proper diagnosis of your psychiatric health. Your solicitor will also have better evidence to get your claim back if you have updated reports from treating specialists in each area of your injury. You may also be able to get the right treatment that may help your pain levels rather than just using pain management alone that is more effective after all your injuries are treated properly. It will be good to get a report from pain management as well though- is this a clinic or a doctor? You also need the specialist reports so the pain management can take your injuries into account before making up a program.
      Give all your treatment reports to your solicitor and have all treatment while attempting to get your claim back as this is for your return to health just as much as for your claim.

      1. Amy

        Thanks guys for your advice I have an appointment this Friday so I will discuss my options.

  78. Jason

    I sustained my workplace injury in September 2014. The Insurer and Rehabilitation Manager appear to be particularly excited of late though? With that said, is there any significance if an injured worker in NSW is unable to be fully rehabilitated back to pre-injury duties within 26 weeks? Does this change things, and if so, how?

    Many thanks,


    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Hi Jason,
      You have passed the 26 weeks and now you will be down to the stat rate so the insurer will be determining your work capacity and if you have any at all and it is over 15 hours per week and you are not working 15 hours per week or more you will find they will determine what work you are capable of and how many hours and then they can deduct what they determine you are capable of earning from the stat rate and they can adjust payments accordingly, usually downward. If you have no work capacity after 26 weeks keep up your WC certificates and make sure the NTD is very clear about the reasons you have no work capacity ie stating exactly how certain work practices will exacerbate your injuries and what you are trained for and how you can’t carry out work in this area etc.
      Unfortunately you may also be looking forward to an IME from your insurer. If they advise you of this make sure you ask them to first make the effort to get the information from your treating doctors and make sure you object strongly if they try to send you any great distance to see their “preferred” IME. Give them the name of a local IME and get them to verify they are using their preferred IME and tell them you don’t want to see someone they employ on a regular basis as the IME might be biased. Ask them to say how often they are using the IME they send you to and say you have the right to someone who is truely independent. Make all complaints in writing-emails are best for a reply from the case manager.
      Hope I haven’t frightened you too much but I want you to get ready for some sort of onslaught from your insurer.

    2. Kim Garling

      Jason, the information you have been given is not correct. There is no 26 week period and no stat rate any more. Please contact my office at 13 9476

      Kim Garling

      1. Complainers of the world make a difference

        Sorry got mixed up and was thinking of the old legislation. Accidentally posted then realized and was looking up the 13 week etc on the new WorkCover website and got off the track as their website doesn’t seem to have all the correct info and had to email them, so did not get back to re-post. Sorry if this caused any confusion. WIRO should be able to help you. Also contact WorkCover 131050.

        1. Complainers of the world make a difference

          Sorry got mixed up and was thinking of the old legislation. Accidentally posted then realized and was looking up the 13 week etc on the new WorkCover website and got off the track as their website doesn’t seem to have all the correct info and had to email them, so did not get back to re-post. Sorry if this caused any confusion. WIRO should be able to help you. Also contact WorkCover 131050.
          Just asking what is it known as when someone goes down to the 80% of wages for weekly payments if not the stat rate and if there is any common rate other than the transitional rate? It would be helpful if Kim would explain the difference on this website for understanding by injured workers. Appreciate WIRO help on this please.

      2. Complainers of the world make a difference

        Also need to know if there is any period an injured worker is protected from dismissal? Was this 26 weeks under the old legislation?
        Also what about emergency workers are they still on the 26 week period and on the old stat rate or has this changed for them as well?
        Just a few things that require clarification.

  79. Karen


    I’m not sure if anyone can help me as I am in Qld but could only find this site for help.
    I work in a Hospital Dispensary as a Technician for five and a half years and had suffered sever bulling for the last two on and off, after my Pharmacist lef ( we work in pairs)t, I was not the only one, a nurse from one of my wards left as she was left in tears by this person and a ward manager also put complaints in to the Director of Pharmacy, I was that bad I could sleep if this person was covering , would vomit before I got to work then did’nt go, was diagnosed with severe depression, my friend told my team leader and when another person came back from maternity leave she replaced me and I was put on other ward, then last March I slipped and fell on wet internal stairs and hurt my elbow,shoulder, back,neck, my gp wouldn’t give me a referral to a specialist and I did not realise the repercussions of that, apparently I would be fine by June 8th ? I was not could not manage a full week or full time hours, had steroid injections, physio,accupuncture, cupping nothing helped, management told me I could not take my nerve pain medication as it might make me drowsy and I could fall again, I thne received a letter from management saying that I had gone to emergency received an injection for pain then got my 16 year old daughter who was on red L plates to drive me home, then another workcover DR decided I had a bulging C5 & C6 and this had aggrevated this so they finished me, three weeks later I had a call at work saying my daughter was sick and could I go collect her. I texted in the next day saying I was taking her to the dr as she was vomiting all night, I got a text saying we were short staffed ( nothing new) and had to go in, i said I couldnt and recieved a letter asking me t attend a meeting the next day when they terminated me for choosing the wrong brand of IV fluids and other “mistakes” because four pharmacists had told me they had been asked to monitor me I had complied a list of other people’s mistakes much worse than mine but was told’ I am not going there”. so lost my job, saw a lawyer who said I had a unfair dismissal case and a separate bullying case but he had dealt with R– Health before and they would gladly spend $200,00 to stop you getting $10,000 so I did not proceed as it was going to cost $4,000 to do and I only had $5,000 in the bank and two kids in private school and a car loan to pay.
    After applying for numerous jobs could seem to secure one so my husbands friend was was a manager of a flexible factory gave me a job packing plastic bags just before Christmas, heavy but a young guy who started same time as me did all the lifting, then he left and January 9th I got put on a different machine to help load the rolls of plastic,I was bent over a roll pulling and lifting at the same time and something popped in my back, had to go to hospital by ambo who said I had pulled something ( no x-ray) went back 2 days later and I have fractured my L2, have been seeing a neurosurgeon who put me in a back brace but I have excruciating pain in my hips and shooting pain in my left shoulder so he is sending me for a mri today but he seems to think I am ok for light duties ?! What I want to know is I can not drive, can not sit for long, can not bend to pull anything up over my feet, I have to juggle or get someone to help me, can’t lift 3l milk & juice out the fridge as it hurts. Do I have to go. Can I find a different job. Does it look funny because I have two claims. I am just at my wits end not knowing what to do. I have a lawyer for the first case who is taking my injury back to workcover tribunal as we got 0%, I have had a nerve test and there is a trapped ulnar nerve in my elbow and neck but they won’t accept my elbow injury as my gp never mentioned it even though I did.

    1. Kris

      Hi Karen,

      I work in Queensland and I am really sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds like you have been going through so much trouble because of your injuries.

      Honestly, I found it a little difficult to follow everything you have typed out because there is just so much going on between your termination claim and what I am assuming is now a workers compensation claim because your injuries sound like they originated from work.

      I don’t think that most people on this forum can advise if you have to leave work or if you need to find a different job. I think that is an answer best left to a doctor who can properly assess you. I also think that there’s a lot of info I think you may need to go through with a lawyer concerning your legal rights. There are a couple of questions that pop up in my head right away:

      When did the accident actually happen? If you are pursuing a workers compensation claim, you generally have 6 months to file a WorkCover claim in Queensland. Did you file a WorkCover claim when you were injured at work?

      Did you file an incident report when you first slipped in the stairs at work?

      etc. etc.

      The best advice that I can give you regarding your slip on the stairs is to speak with a lawyer regarding your injuries from your accident (if the accident didn’t happen at work, you may have a claim against the occupier of the stairs where you fell.) Most personal injury firms are willing to work on a ‘no win, no fee’ arrangement, as well as a free initial review of your case. Just make sure that you speak with an accredited specialist in personal injury because for cases such as yours, I think it is wise not to let it fall on a generalist because there may be a lot of complicated factors involved in your claim.

      For your termination and bullying claim, I’m honestly not sure how that would work (I work in personal injury.) However, I think most law firms would give free initial consultations so if money is an option, they may offer payment structures that might make it easier for you to be able to pursue a claim.

      I hope this information helps a little bit. I know it isn’t anything comprehensive or specific but I’m not a lawyer (yet.) If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. I will definitely do what I can to help.

      This is why this website exists.

      – Kris

  80. Hector

    Hi Garry,
    Sorry to hear about your injury.
    Don’t accept what the insurance company or your employer tells you, you are entitle to have your medical cost covered as well as weekly benefits.
    They tell you that for you to walk away from your claim so their profits can soar.
    Get yourself a solicitor, inform yourself and fight them, you can win agains them, you just need the determination not to let them win.
    If I can assist you in anyway I am more that happy to do so

  81. garry

    I was recently dismissed by sydney trains after being injured at work thru no fault of my own. I was told I was entitled to nothing and any further medical expenses would not be met.The general public do not realise the extent the workers compensatoin system has been changed.with the electiom coming up we all have to write to our local newspapers,not only about compensation it is the liberal party who plan to cut penalty and overime rates and leave loading attacking the workers while the fat cats get off scot free.The demise of O’ farrell was planned by the liberal party to promote a new image.O’farrell had hurt a lt of people and he had to go he knew and the liberal party knew it.But it is still the liberal party the same party that has lost 11 members thru corruption in their first term of office.If we can not get rid of the liberals we can at least reduce their power.We need everyone to write the their local newpapers statewide to protect the rights we have fought so hard to achieve.

  82. Hector

    Sorry Tess I neglected to mention that what’s more important than the report is the reasons as to why the insurance company send you to an IME, there is a very strict set of rules setting out the rules as to why, when and which IME the insurance company can send you to see.
    It has been my experience that insurance companies ignore those rules cause it is not in their best interest to follow such guidelines and they take advantage on the ignorance of the injured person to object attending such examinations, everyone should remember the so call INDEPENDENT medical examiner is not independent at all, they work for the benefit of the insurance company and not for your health recovery benefit

  83. Hector

    Hi again Tess ,
    Legally you are entitle to a full copy of the insurance company file, including notes, surveillance , email etc etc.
    You should request it in writting from your case manager as you have a right to see that everything in that file is true and correct.
    In the case of a report from an independent medical examination that the insurance company has send you to see you are only entitle to it if the insurance company use that report in any way in relation to your claim, they should send that report directly to you via the post, however if that report is used and has not been disclosed to you it becomes non valid in any decision the insurance company makes and it relies on that report in their decission.
    The decission you have to make its #1 write to the insurance company and remind them of ther obligation to supply you with the report or #2 keep quiet and in the future if that report it’s used in any legal case your solicitor can request that the report is not admitted in the insurance company legal case due to failure to disclosed it to you as required.
    The best person to advice you what’s best for you is your legal representative

  84. Tess

    Hey all I need some help!!
    I’ve been on Workcover since late November last year after hurting my back at work start of November.
    I’ve had all types of tests and scans done and it has pointed out that I’ve done damage to my lower disk which is now healing but because of all this, my muscle in my back and legs have disintegrated and cause major pain and numbness through my legs.
    After seeing the spinal surgeon yesterday he advised me to go and have an injection in my spin to help with the pain, he said to continue physio and doing what I’m doing!
    I had a nasty voice mail from Workcover demanding that I call them, so I did first thing this morning, they are now saying I must return to work asap, apparently the report she has says I am to return to work, (she had this report hours before my appointment). My specialist said NOTHING about returning to work now but after the injection I should be able to return as normal.

    I got a doctors cert from my GP giving me a further month off so I can do what the specialist asks, now th e problem is, is that WC are saying that this report that they have OVER RIDES the doctor cert!! Is this correct?
    I have tried calling my specialist but he was doing ward rounds so I emailed him instead, am hoping he answers or calls me soon. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    I am willing to return to work as soon as I’m able to control my pain and major numbness problems but until then I’m scared to make myself worse! Especially with the really physical job that I have.

    1. Hector

      Hi Tess,
      First of all let me say that I am sorry to hear about your work injury.
      Now to issues that you raised, I doubt if it was Workcover that rung you and told you that you must return to work, I am willing to bet my last dollar the phone call came from your employers insurance company case manager, don’t listen to them, you are not their best interest, closing your file and collecting their bonus for doing so it’s their only interest.
      You must listen to your own doctor and solicitor, if you don’t have one of each currently I would recommend that you do immediately, you can’t navigate the Workcover nightmare without legal representation or at least a very high and detail understanding of the regulations and guidelines within Workcover.
      The biggest mistake injured workers make is that they are not proactive when it comes to the legal rights and entitlements, having legal representation is just as important as having a good and caring doctor looking after your physical health factor.
      You must approach the whole thing with a conception that your case manager, return to work manager and any independent medical examiner that the insurance company send you to are all against what’s best for you, they will bully you, intimidate you, lie to you , threaten you all to achieved their ultimate aim that is either to get you to quit your job or buckle under and give away your rights.
      Never give up, inform yourself of your right and remember there is always someone here with similar experiences that might be able to help you with some advice

      1. Tess

        Hi hector and thanks for you’re reply.
        After further appointments with my specialist I ended up recovering the cortison injections in my back, had one further week off then returned to work on Monday, all was good, I worked four hours like the medical cert said and did very light duties.
        This morning (Tuesday) I was told to driver over 40mins to have a meeting with my boss. I arrived in sever pain and was told that I was to continue to work here now (my normal work place is right around the corner from where I live) and because of my cert I had to drive no it’s or buts. I’m currently waiting to get a response from my specialist as my back has flared up and I’m having major pain from all the driving of today: my boss said I have to call him by 8am or I have no other choice but to leave.. Now I’m pretty sure I can’t be forced to quite and I’m sure as hell not driving all that way in this much pain. Hopefully I hear something tonight from the doctor but I doubt that now so I guess I’ll be tell my boss I won’t be in tomorrow and hopefully I hear from my doc.

        I’m going to call a lawyer tomorrow and fair work about this, I’m so stressed out and they are truly starting to bully me, I was trying to do what’s right but now they changed everything that I was doing Monday, which no one had any problems about and I did my work, apparently now there’s no work for me there to do, which I know is a lie.

        I’m just at the end of my tether….I don’t know how much further I can be pushed

        1. Carl

          Hi Tess,
          Are you located in Sydney if so I can give you details for good Solicitor in Sydney?

        2. Complainers of the world make a difference

          Tess you need to ring WorkCover on 131050. Your employer cannot just sack you because of your injury and must provide suitable duties for the first six months.This is legislation. After six months they can say they can’t provide suitable duties and then can work with your insurer who is then obligated to help with your rehabilitation and to return you to suitable employment in another job suitable for your injury. You need to have your NTD provide a WC certificate stating you can only drive for x minutes and that the driving you now have to do due to your employer changing your place of work (not you) is aggravating your injury. The worker is not meant to be disadvantaged by provision of suitable duties. You can also make the complaint to WorkCover that you feel harassed and discriminated against because of your injury and you feel the insurer is bullying you-give some examples. Also make a complaint directly to your case manager about the manner your employer is exacerbating your injury and the manner the CM is treating you. Do this in an email and ask for the name of the CM supervisor. When you get a response you can forward to the supervisor if your case manager is not constructive or helpful. Make sure you tell your NTD about the employer and the insurer’s bullying and ask for a referral for psychological support if this or your pain is impacting on your mental health. Your NTD can put this on your management plan and on the referral the NTD should give the outline of the bullying as well as the need for pain management. The specialist can also provide a report outlining the need for treatment and your correct diagnosis. If the insurer tries to send you to an IME before the specialist sees you tell them you object as your specialist will be providing the information they require and you want any IME put off till you see the specialist. If they threaten you ie say you must go or they will terminate your claim contact WorkCover and explain your objections.
          Good luck!

  85. TiffB

    Hi everyone! I’m just after some advice. I have been on workers comp for 2 months and COMPLETELY stressed out already. It seems to be one step forward 2 steps back! I have hurt my back plus shoulder (Bursitis) and my RTW co-ordinator is pressuring me to have a cortisone injection in my shoulder. I know it would make sense to have it done but a) I have a MASSIVE phobia of needles to the point of a panic attack b) I’m concerned that this will just “mask” my injury and further down the track when the cortisone has worn off that I will be back to where I am now and not be on Workers comp to help with my recovery! Can anyone offer some advice from their own experience? Thanks very much!

    Ps I work in a physical job and I’m in my 20’s so I need my back and shoulder for many years to come!

    1. loz

      You can not be forced to have treatment. But discuss the phobia with your doctor. Bursitis responds very well to cortisone, and you are too young to be suffering. Have the injection and move on with your life. Your dr may have some options about how to deal with the phobia, such as some gas, or a light sedation, having someone with you etc. If you suffer a relapse of an injury caused at work the case can be reopened unless compensation has been allotted. Good luck. I hope you can find a way to do this and have the treatment and get your life back. And YES! Workers comp is a very stressful process and it doesn’t get easier as time goes by, sadly. I wish you well in your journey.

    2. Workcover victim

      Hello Tiff, you might like to read through lots of comments by ppl who have undergone this treatment here
      I was put into a similar position by my case worker, but I refused to have it being a diabetic and being told the cortisone would effect my sugars badly. My shoulder did heal with out it. I found soaking in hot baths was the best pain reliever for me several times a day. Good luck with it.

    3. TiffB

      Thanks for everyone’s advice. Appreciate it. My next question (sorry) .. I saw a Injury Management Consultant a week ago and I thought I had read somewhere that I was entitled to a copy of the report. My case worker has said she sent it to my doctor and I will have to wait until my next appt for her to discuss it with me.

      Anyone have a clear understanding of what my rights are with the report?

  86. Don

    I believe your site helps so many people with good information as it is a mind field out their,I personally have all but given up I have been injured since 2010 and only last 12 months am i well enough to work again but not in a labour intensive job anymore.I have applied for so many jobs but to no avail I have a lot of skills but cannot even get a foot in the door,once I got my petty little lump sum payout and termination well the rest is history, I have lost everything due to this injury,marriage after 35 years,no job,low self esteem due to constant let downs have always had a positive outlook on things but no more for me.I just found out I may be entitled to Newstart a whole $280 a fortnight due to the fact I have some money left over from my property sales well thats inspiring.
    It amazes me how normal people go about their work,do a good job and once injured are treated as leppers and second class citizens and get thrown on the Government social system or even that if you are lucky.
    Good luck to all the injured and hope a lot more good stories happen soon for us all.

  87. kim

    This is new to me this thing they call work cover and yes I call it a THING ! omg its not bad enough that I have received an injury from work but dealing with QBE is a night mare.
    Do we have rights ?

    1. council worker

      hi kim, i am going through the same nitemare with them too, just make sure you have good drs who will fight for you and document everything , and if you do not get any satisfactory responces from them ,do not be afraid to complain. you have rights so do not let them push you around or bully you, this is a very good site for us injured workers to help each other through the mess they call workers comp in nsw

    2. Carl

      Hi Kim,

      Yes you do most important thing get a diary and document EVERYTHING all contact with insurance, Doctors etc relating to your injury what was said who spoken to what time etc.

    3. Workcover victim

      Reading the information provided on this website and The diary of a workcover victim will give you the low down on your rights. I found the diary of a workcover victim exceptional as it gave away a lot of the tricks and nasties that insurance companies try on you and how to avoid them. Also another thing I liked was there is very good information about settlements and again what tricks they pull there as well. NEVER EVER settle for the amount they offer you and if you do make sure their offer is in writing. Do not accept offers made to you on the steps of the courthouse. Please have a read of the material on the workcover victims diary. Good luck !

  88. susan

    hi would like to know if anyone has had a claim for P.T.S.D… depression stress.. etc.. I worked as a shearers cook and was abused mentally as well as physical… nearly at payout stage and was just wondering how much I can expect… thanks… I am a 55 year old women

    1. Carl

      Yes I would like to know as well as I am diagnosed with PTSD from my work place accident and still am diagnosed 18mths later. Have also seen psychologist and treated for this.

    2. Traci

      Hi Susan and Carl,

      I was diagnosed with PTSD 5.5 years ago due to a workplace incident and was initially rejected by insurer, then challenged and accepted. Most people with PTSD dont actually recover, ever but they adjust their living and learn to accept it. I too see psychologists and psychiatrists.


    3. Complainers of the world make a difference

      It is very important that anyone suffering from a primary or secondary psychological injury is seen by a treating psychiatrist for a correct specialist opinion and diagnosis. While secondary psychological problems are common to physical injury, they are not compensable, however if you can prove the harassment from the insurer caused a primary psychological injury ie purely due to unacceptable or unethical treatment by your insurer then it is a new separate claim. This is one reason all injured workers should be proactive in collecting evidence if the insurer is misbehaving ie not sending you the correct information, making medical decisions or pressuring you or your NTD to act unethically in matters such as certifications in you Work Capacity Certificate, bullying you over the phone or being rude to you, not following WorkCover guideines etc. Some examples of this that my partner and I have had are as follows-
      – The insurer case manager stated she would approve three week treatment at the Pain Clinic if my partner could get his doctor to provide a WC certificate stating he was fit for 40 hours per week work. We pointed out to the insurer this was blackmail that also required the NTD to write a fraudulent certificate!
      -The case manager’s supervisor advised my partner as far as he was concerned unless my partner was lying on the couch all day doing nothing all day then he had work capacity. The manager stated my husband walked the dog so he had work capacity. My partner advised him this was part of his exercise program and then asked what if he didn’t take the dog? When I spoke with the case manager I asked what sort of work they thought my partner was fit for and the case manager stated “dusting”. I laughed and said he couldn’t dust at home so how could he get a job dusting!! Besides that my partner has both shoulders injured as well as two cervical disc injuries.
      -The case manager’s supervisor advised he would approve a certain motel stay while my husband was at the Pain Clinic then booked another dodgy one in an inconvenient location at a greater cost to the insurer because my partner had stated he did not want to stay there. The manager then spoke over me on the phone ignoring the fact I was threatening suicide as I just could not take any more of their harassment of my partner.
      -The case manager approved treatment and booked accommodation then accused my partner of going to the treatment without approval and she would reimburse the hospital causing us to have to pay and then she would not reimburse us and owed us $2000 till after many complaints her manager reimbursed us months later.
      Those are just a few examples of insurer unethical behaviour that may cause a primary psych claim.

      In my case I have a psychological injured and found the harassment and unethical behaviours from the insurer made me much worse.
      The following court case demonstrates an injured worker can make a claim for a new primary psychological claim after a physical injury if the insurer is doing the wrong thing-

      You can also find comment on this case on the following website-

      I urge injured workers to make complaints directly to the insurer when they perpetrate such behaviours and then make complaints to WorkCover through Claims Assistance. Always communicate via email as this gives good record of your complaints as well as the responses from the insurer. All this is evidence if you find you have a breakdown due to the poor management of your claim.

      It is much more difficult for you to get legal assistance under the new legislation so if you have an issue you have a greater chance of having legal assistance approved by ILARS if you have evidence to show wrong doing.

    4. Complainers of the world make a difference

      To obtain an award ie lump sum payment for a psychological injury you must be over !5% Whole Person Impairment. The WPI is worked out using a formula with categories being scored and added up.

      The following is a very interesting article that is a must read for anyone with a psych injury –

      The WorkCover Guides for the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment don’t seem to be on the WorkCover website any longer but I have a copy and will cut and paste the psychological stuff so you can see how a psych claim is assessed making this post very long but here goes.

      I can’t get the score boxes copied but the descriptions will help –

      AMA5 Chapter 14 is excluded and replaced by this chapter.
      11.1 This chapter lays out the method for assessing psychiatric impairment. The
      evaluation of impairment requires a medical examination.
      11.2 Evaluation of psychiatric impairment is conducted by a psychiatrist who has
      undergone appropriate training in this assessment method.
      11.3 Permanent impairment assessments for psychiatric and psychological
      disorders are only required where the primary injury is a psychological one.
      The psychiatrist needs to confirm that the psychiatric diagnosis is the injured
      worker’s primary diagnosis. This assessment is not done for the purposes of
      determining “pain and suffering” as defined for the purposes of section 67
      of the Workers Compensation Act 1987. “Pain and suffering” means actual
      pain, distress or anxiety, suffered or likely to be suffered by the injured worker,
      whether resulting from the permanent impairment concerned or from any
      necessary treatment of that impairment.
      Background to the development of the scale
      11.4 The psychiatric impairment rating scale (PIRS) used here was originally
      developed, using AMA4, for the New South Wales Motor Accidents Authority. It
      was then further modified for Comcare. At this time the conversion table was
      added. Finally, to ensure relevance in the NSW Workers Compensation context,
      the PIRS was extensively reviewed with reference to AMA5. Changes have been
      made to the method for assessing pre-injury impairment, and to some of the
      descriptors within each of the functional areas.
      11.5 The impairment rating must be based upon a psychiatric diagnosis (according
      to a recognised diagnostic system) and the report must specify the diagnostic
      criteria upon which the diagnosis is based. Impairment arising from any of the
      somatoform disorders (DSM IV TR, pp 485-511) are excluded from this chapter.
      11.6 If pain is present as the result of an organic impairment, it should be assessed
      as part of the organic condition under the relevant table. This does not
      constitute part of the assessment of impairment relating to the psychiatric
      condition. The impairment ratings in the body organ system chapters in AMA5
      make allowance for any accompanying pain.
      11.7 It is expected that the psychiatrist will provide a rationale for the rating based
      on the injured worker’s psychiatric symptoms. The diagnosis is among the
      factors to be considered in assessing the severity and possible duration of the
      impairment, but is not the sole criterion to be used. Clinical assessment of the
      person may include information from the injured worker’s own description of
      his or her functioning and limitations; from family members and others who
      may have knowledge of the person. Medical reports, feedback from treating
      professionals, results of standardised tests, including appropriate psychometric
      testing performed by a qualified clinical psychologist, and work evaluations
      may provide useful information to assist with the assessment. Evaluation of
      impairment will need to take into account variations in the level of functioning
      over time. Percentage impairment refers to “whole person impairment”.
      Permanent impairment
      11.8 A psychiatric disorder is permanent if, in your clinical opinion, it is likely to
      continue indefinitely. Regard should be given to:
      • the duration of impairment
      • the likelihood of improvement in the injured workers’ condition
      • whether the injured worker has undertaken reasonable rehabilitative
      • any other relevant matters.
      Effects of treatment
      11.9 Consider the effects of medication, treatment and rehabilitation to date. Is the
      condition stable? Is treatment likely to change? Are symptoms likely to improve?
      If the injured worker declines treatment, this should not affect the estimate of
      permanent impairment. The psychiatrist may make a comment in the report
      about the likely effect of treatment or the reasons for refusal of treatment.
      11.10 Consider co-morbid features (eg Alzheimer’s disease, personality disorder,
      substance abuse) and determine whether they are directly linked to the work-
      related injury or whether they were pre-existing or unrelated conditions.
      Pre-existing impairment
      11.11 To measure the impairment caused by a work-related injury or incident,
      the psychiatrist must measure the proportion of WPI due to a pre-existing
      condition. Pre-existing impairment is calculated using the same method
      for calculating current impairment level. The assessing psychiatrist uses all
      available information to rate the injured workers pre-injury level of functioning
      in each of the areas of function. The percentage impairment is calculated
      using the aggregate score and median class score using the conversion table
      below. The injured worker’s current level of impairment is then assessed, and
      the pre-existing impairment level (%) is then subtracted from their current
      level to obtain the percentage of permanent impairment directly attributable
      to the work-related injury. If the percentage pre-existing impairment cannot
      be assessed, 10 per cent of the estimated level of the condition now being
      assessed is to be deducted.
      Psychiatric impairment rating scale (PIRS)
      11.12 Behavioural consequences of psychiatric disorder are assessed on six scales,
      each of which evaluates an area of functional impairment:
      • Self care and personal hygiene (Table 11.1)
      • Social and recreational activities (Table 11.2)
      • Travel (Table 11.3)
      • Social functioning (relationships) (Table 11.4)
      • Concentration (Table 11.5)
      Activities of
      daily living
      • Employability (Table 11.6)
      11.13 Impairment in each area is rated using class descriptors. Classes range from
      1 to 5, in accordance with severity. The standard form must be used when
      scoring the PIRS. The examples of activities are examples only. The assessing
      psychiatrist should take account of the person’s cultural background. Consider
      activities that are usual for the person’s age, sex and cultural norms.
      Table 11.1: Psychiatric impairment rating scale – Self care and personal hygiene
      Class 1 No deficit, or minor deficit attributable to the normal variation in the
      general population
      Class 2 Mild impairment: able to live independently; looks after self adequately,
      although may look unkempt occasionally; sometimes misses a meal or
      relies on take-away food.
      Class 3 Moderate impairment: Can’t live independently without regular support.
      Needs prompting to shower daily and wear clean clothes. Does not
      prepare own meals, frequently misses meals. Family member or
      community nurse visits (or should visit) 2-3 times per week to ensure
      minimum level of hygiene and nutrition.
      Class 4 Severe impairment: Needs supervised residential care. If unsupervised,
      may accidentally or purposefully hurt self.
      Class 5 Totally impaired: Needs assistance with basic functions, such as feeding
      and toileting.Table 11.5: Psychiatric impairment rating scale – Concentration, persistence
      and pace
      Class 1 No deficit, or minor deficit attributable to the normal variation in the
      general population. Able to pass a TAFE or university course within
      normal time frame.
      Class 2 Mild impairment: can undertake a basic retraining course, or a standard
      course at a slower pace. Can focus on intellectually demanding tasks for
      periods of up to 30 minutes, then feels fatigued or develops headache.
      Class 3 Moderate impairment: unable to read more than newspaper articles.
      Finds it difficult to follow complex instructions (eg operating manuals,
      building plans), make significant repairs to motor vehicle, type long
      documents, follow a pattern for making clothes, tapestry or knitting.
      Class 4 Severe impairment: can only read a few lines before losing concentration.
      Difficulties following simple instructions. Concentration deficits obvious
      even during brief conversation. Unable to live alone, or needs regular
      assistance from relatives or community services.
      Class 5 Totally impaired: needs constant supervision and assistance within
      institutional setting.
      Table 11.6: Psychiatric impairment rating scale – Employability
      Class 1 No deficit, or minor deficit attributable to the normal variation in the
      general population. Able to work full time. Duties and performance are
      consistent with the injured worker’s education and training. The person is
      able to cope with the normal demands of the job.
      Class 2 Mild impairment. Able to work full time but in a different environment
      from that of the pre-injury job. The duties require comparable skill and
      intellect as those of the pre-injury job. Can work in the same position,
      but no more than 20 hours per week (eg no longer happy to work with
      specific persons, or work in a specific location due to travel required).
      Class 3 Moderate impairment: cannot work at all in same position. Can perform
      less than 20 hours per week in a different position, which requires less
      skill or is qualitatively different (eg less stressful).
      Class 4 Severe impairment: cannot work more than one or two days at a time,
      less than 20 hours per fortnight. Pace is reduced, attendance is erratic.
      Class 5 Totally impaired. Cannot work at all.
      Using the PIRS to measure impairment
      11.14 Rating psychiatric impairment using the PIRS is a two-step procedure:
      • Determine the median class score.
      • Calculate the aggregate score.

      Table 11.5: Psychiatric impairment rating scale – Concentration, persistence
      and pace
      Class 1 No deficit, or minor deficit attributable to the normal variation in the
      general population. Able to pass a TAFE or university course within
      normal time frame.
      Class 2 Mild impairment: can undertake a basic retraining course, or a standard
      course at a slower pace. Can focus on intellectually demanding tasks for
      periods of up to 30 minutes, then feels fatigued or develops headache.
      Class 3 Moderate impairment: unable to read more than newspaper articles.
      Finds it difficult to follow complex instructions (eg operating manuals,
      building plans), make significant repairs to motor vehicle, type long
      documents, follow a pattern for making clothes, tapestry or knitting.
      Class 4 Severe impairment: can only read a few lines before losing concentration.
      Difficulties following simple instructions. Concentration deficits obvious
      even during brief conversation. Unable to live alone, or needs regular
      assistance from relatives or community services.
      Class 5 Totally impaired: needs constant supervision and assistance within
      institutional setting.
      Table 11.6: Psychiatric impairment rating scale – Employability
      Class 1 No deficit, or minor deficit attributable to the normal variation in the
      general population. Able to work full time. Duties and performance are
      consistent with the injured worker’s education and training. The person is
      able to cope with the normal demands of the job.
      Class 2 Mild impairment. Able to work full time but in a different environment
      from that of the pre-injury job. The duties require comparable skill and
      intellect as those of the pre-injury job. Can work in the same position,
      but no more than 20 hours per week (eg no longer happy to work with
      specific persons, or work in a specific location due to travel required).
      Class 3 Moderate impairment: cannot work at all in same position. Can perform
      less than 20 hours per week in a different position, which requires less
      skill or is qualitatively different (eg less stressful).
      Class 4 Severe impairment: cannot work more than one or two days at a time,
      less than 20 hours per fortnight. Pace is reduced, attendance is erratic.
      Class 5 Totally impaired. Cannot work at all.
      Using the PIRS to measure impairment
      11.14 Rating psychiatric impairment using the PIRS is a two-step procedure:
      • Determine the median class score.
      • Calculate the aggregate score.
      Determining the median class score
      11.15 Each area of function described in the PIRS is given an impairment rating
      which ranges from Class 1 to 5. The six scores are arranged in ascending
      order, using the standard form. The median is then calculated by averaging the
      two middle scores. For example:
      Example A: 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5 Median Class = 3
      Example B: 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4 Median Class = 2.5 = 3*
      Example C: 1, 2, 3, 5, 5, 5 Median Class = 4
      *If a score falls between two classes, it is rounded up to the next class. A
      median class score of 2.5 thus becomes 3.
      11.16 The median class score method was chosen, as it is not influenced by
      extremes. Each area of function is assessed separately. While impairment in
      one area is neither equivalent nor interchangeable with impairment in other
      areas, the median seems the fairest way to translate different impairments
      onto a linear scale.
      Median class score and percentage impairment
      11.17 Each median class score represents a range of impairment, as shown below.
      Class 1 = 0-3%
      Class 2 = 4-10%
      Class 3 = 11-30%
      Class 4 = 31-60%
      Class 5 = 61-100%
      Calculation of the aggregate score
      11.18 The aggregate score is used to determine an exact percentage of impairment
      within a particular Median Class range. The six class scores are added to give
      the aggregate score.
      Use of the conversion table to arrive at percentage impairment
      11.19 The aggregate score is converted to a percentage score using the conversion table.
      11.20 The conversion table was developed to calculate the percentage impairment
      based on the aggregate and median scores.
      11.21 The scores within the conversion table are spread in such a way to ensure that
      the final percentage rating is consistent with the measurement of permanent
      impairment percentages for other body systems.
      Examples: (Using the previous cases)
      Example A
      PIRS scores Median class
      1 2 3 3 4 5 = 3
      Aggregate score Total % Impairment
      1+ 2+ 3+ 3+ 4+ 5 = 18 22%
      Example B
      PIRS scores Median class
      1 2 2 3 3 4 = 3
      Aggregate score Total % Impairment
      1+ 2+ 2+ 3+ 3+ 4 = 15 15%
      Example C
      PIRS scores Median class
      1 2 3 5 5 5 = 4
      Aggregate score Total % Impairment
      1+ 2+ 3+ 5+ 5+ 5 = 21 44%

      Examples: (Using the previous cases)
      Example A
      PIRS scores Median class
      1 2 3 3 4 5 = 3
      Aggregate score Total % Impairment
      1+ 2+ 3+ 3+ 4+ 5 = 18 22%
      Example B
      PIRS scores Median class
      1 2 2 3 3 4 = 3
      Aggregate score Total % Impairment
      1+ 2+ 2+ 3+ 3+ 4 = 15 15%
      Example C
      PIRS scores Median class
      1 2 3 5 5 5 = 4
      Aggregate score Total % Impairment
      1+ 2+ 3+ 5+ 5+ 5 = 21 44%

  89. Isobell

    I am seeing my Psychologist on Monday. I called today to check how much time I will have. was advised, it will be half an hour most. I requested if I could have an hour, as I had much to share, considering all the human right violation, verbal abuse, psychological raping that has been going on for years. I am already beginning to feel uncomfortable. Some organisation is acting as if the hold Power of Attorney over me. They hold key to my residence etc, they Trades People take instruction from them mostly etc. It is quite frightening. On Tuesday last I walked over to my neighbour and noticed my garage door opened. Since do not posses the strength to pull down the door, I asked my neighbour do it for me. I thought, strong wind which we had lately, could have released the latch that migh not have been properly closed. I had not locked the garage door. before retiring for the night I went and locked the garage door. Three days later, I had an appointment for the Council gardener to do my lawn in the backyard. Appt was for 8am. Face Book posting drew my attention to the shooting in France. I did not go to bed until 4am. se the alarm for 7.30 am so I could open the garage door for the gardener to get in. Since he did not come, I called him. He said he was on the way. I went out to open the garage door for him to come through. The garage door was already open for him. I had a Garden Rake Pushed against the knob of the door leading to the garage, and that had been removed and put aside for the gardener to get through. I was not shocked cause this has been going on. Lock Smith I had called and requested to change the Front Door lock and Garage Door Lock that leads to my backyard. I got refused. WC Insurer????/Who??? Police will not. Attend to me…Community Services would not put in writing services available Which I can access. Taxi Booking has been a nightmare for year….dread each time I book a taxi to go to church etc…….lately I have been mentioning of my plan to see a Psychologist….ever since then Taxi experience has suddenly become normal….no veral abuse, yelling etc. They/WC Insurer?their Associates??? have access to all of the documents, reports I write etc. having access to my house, they have damaged furniture to parts of property etc. House is wired, there seem to be duplicate Administrator for my internet etc….there is so much to share with the Psychologist…..Is is possible this people can influence the Psycholigist like they do doctors?? I just want all of this cleared and out of the way, as 2015 is here, I have goals to work towards. I am, in midst of working towards setting up a Pain Support Group in the Inner West. I want to be able to take a taxi without any hassle, as I would need to depend on Taxi to get to these places. Plan is to set it up and get it going by March this year if possible. I have met and spoken with the Dee Why Group Leader, who is going to help me. I very much would like to see this group up and running, so as to be a support for those with Chronic Pain, in these parts of the wood. I have suffered Chronic Nerve and Muscular pain for the last 12 years and have survived. Will get back to you people, once I have seen my Psychologist. Wish me luck/say a prayer for me. Thanks.

    1. Carl

      I dont know why your Psychologist is only giving you 1/2hr? I have seen my Psychologist about 11 times and all my visits are 1hr. I suggest you find another Psychologist that give you the full hour consult. Good luck.

      1. Isobell

        Hi Carl, I did have enough time with my Psychologist today. It went very well. He was very encouraging and appreciated what he said he noticed since my last visit……. noticeable progress and the positive attitude towards life etc. he said. Encouraged my plan to start a Chronic Pain Support Grp in the Inner West. He encouraged me to exercise my rights etc. I came out of his office, more sure of my self and for the first time in many years, I mean many years, am prepared to exercise my Civil Right to Privacy and Human Right….not that I have not tried it before In the past,I was squashed like a fly, the moment I made a move….but this time, it is going to be different……Hope I can go to Current Affair in the near future, for the sake of / AND, oppressed and persecuted Injured Workers, and as well, write a book some day to expose the low acts of W C Insurer’s to the Nation of Australia, based on my experience of mental, verbal, H Right abuse and Privacy Right abuse, Psychological Raping (word that I coined – who knows, someone else could have, before me!) etc for the total of fifteen years. Off which, last 7 yrs, EVEN AFTER I had signed DEED OF RELEASE with my Employer’s self-insured Insurer, at WORKCOVER NSW. All is well now Carl. For now, need to focus on setting-up the Chronic Pain Support Group in the Inner West. It feels good to have a goal….it sort of provides a purpose for life…pain or not, life has to go on….wish me luck…..or rather, say a prayer prayer for me, that I may succeed in my goal for 2015!!

        1. Carl

          That is great news, Always think positive it is the insurance companies job to break you and never believe in your injury or injuries. It is there job to make you as upset as much as they can as well. Keep a daily diary of EVERYTHING that happens with your day to day living etc and also anything you get or contact from the insurance company and what was said. Also ensure your rights to claim ALL money owed to you as well regarding travel expenses etc. Keep everything and check everything cause in can assure you they do stuff up on paying you entitlements i think is on purpose. Also to beware that they have probably got private investigators watching you as well. I had them for days following me rang my solicitor he rang the insurance company they off course denied it and guess what with-in 1/2hour of my solicitor ringing they were gone. Just remember as i said it is the insurance company job to break you or do what ever they want to upset you. DON’T LET THEM WIN you are better than them always say that to yourself :) Focus on your goals and achieve them. Good luck :)

        2. Complainers of the world make a difference

          Good to hear you have had a positive experience with your psychologist. If anyone is following you after you have signed a Deed of Release they are no longer protected under the Surveillance legislation as you are out of the Workers Comp system so that is stalking. Try to get evidence for the police who can take action if you are being stalked.
          Keep being positive and keep up the psychologist as they can support you a lot so you can move on. I also continue to see both my psychiatrist and psychologist for support even though I am out of the system just like you.
          Keep up the good work of supporting others.

          1. council worker

            thanx complainers of the world, I am keeping positive the best I can, but seems now there may be nothing more they can do for me,i have tried everything asked of me, thank you for all your help with all the injured people on here,

          2. Isobell

            Complainers of the world make a difference, Thank you for the encouragement. In the past, the Police were clearly on the side W.C Insurer or their Associates…must have been hood winked by the WC Ins into believing they still had rights to Surveillce Rights etc. For the first time in nine yrs., I feel confident, that this time, going to the Police is going to help. At the moment, I am building-up courage and, same time preparing a list of issues I need to report on…issues will include, being stalked, bullied, house invasion, vandalyzing property, robbed of Privacy and Human Right, fraudulently acting as Power of Attorny etc which has gone on for is a long time…nine yrs…Closure seems almost insight….light at the end of the tunnel, first appeared for me, after I began posting on IWSN Website…Before I go to the Police, I have decided, to first find, A place of Meeting, for The Chronic Pain Support Grp in the Inner West, and to have that grp up and running. Have got an appointment with my Parish Priest on the 20th Jan 2015 for that very purpose……… What hope have the injured workers, if other injured workers who are well versed in the WC Com Law or equipped with Administrative skills etc, are not there to help guide and point their way in the right direction – Thank you IWSN (BY ZIG ZAGLAR “Life is short, live it, Love is rare, grab it, Anger is bad, dump it, Memories are sweet, cherish it”)

  90. council worker

    hi everyone, I do hope you all had a nice xmas without too much pain,and some good times with family and friends,as these are the things that keep me going through this nitemare. and hope this year brings less pain and better health for you. id just like to give you a further update on my progress, I had an arthrogram on my shoulder 3 months after my cervical surgery as requesyed by my ortho, In the consult with him he said to me as the cervical surgery has not relieved my pain from my arm/shoulder into my neck ,i may have chronic regional pain disorder, he said that he does not recommend any further surgery on my shoulder as it may increase the pain and make me so much worse,by now the rotator cuff has retracted 4.5cms and that was in nov so its probably bigger now, he has recommended me to another ortho for a second opinion,he states he probably wont recommend surgery either,but a second opinion is a must., I have been seeing a psychologist for nearly 6 months now and he is recommending me to see a psychciatrist as my mental state due to depression ,anxiety all the pain and medication im on is driving me crazy, not to mention the way I have been treated by insurance co people and their imes. if all this had of been treated earlier when recomended and not delayed and disputed I would probably not be as injured as I am now. im sure I will update again to you after I see the surgeons in coming weeks, take care all .

  91. Jason

    I welcome everyone’s thoughts on the following questions: why, if at all, would Doctors be frightened of Insurers? What power can Insurers wield over Doctors and how may this abuse of power manifest itself in practical terms?



    1. Isobell


      I too am wanting find out the answer to your question. Among other pain condition, I have been a Chronic Neuropathic pain sufferer. That includes pain in all parts of my mouth. Led to me loosing most of my teeth. My WC Insurer has used doctors not to keep me advised on some of the diagnosis, delayed treatment to injuries etc. In August this year started my dental treatment and denture impressions. I have not eaten solid food ever is ce then. There has been approximately 24 Dentist visit, going on to 4th impression for lower denture and 3rd impression for upper denture. Not sure how long the WC Insurer will drag this drama of pain. Very intimidating phone response (sure tell tale signs of WC Ins involvement), clearly tells me who is behind inflicting this unnecessary pain and suffering. I am definitely not blaming the Dentist involved here. And thus the reason, I am waiting for a response from those in the know, as to why the doctors have to fear the insurers. Come 2015, I am not sure how many more Dentist visit it is going to take. I am walking around without a lower denture since August this year. Am I living in Australia?
      Jason, your qustion has been a question on my mind, but never had the courage to ask it. Thank you for putting it out there. Another question I have….when a contracture in my shoulders developed, the surgery was delayed for so long where I became so disabled. Dictors had not advised me of the cause for the disability. I only found out when my family took me to an overseas hospital for second opinion. When finally got operated on here in Sydney, I got advised by the surgeon, due to RED TAPE he was not able to help me sooner. I must mention, I had the best Surgeon who worked magic on me. I recovered from much of the disability gained back the ability for Personal Care. So, What is RED TAPE. I almost lost my chance at independent lifestyle. Though I have lot of limitation, I have some independence all because of that surgery.
      God Bless.

      1. Jason

        Yes Isobell…we are living in Australia…the land where, unfortunately, Allied Health Professionals are far more concerned with the idea of both minimising the expenses of insurance companies and prescribing drugs to patients to pacify insurance companies, rather than the concept of providing their patients with the best possible care.

        1. Roy Farmer,

          100% correct , This so called lucky country has almost destroyed us as a result of a work related accident ! We have been fighting this case for the past 8 years & the Doctors lawyers insurers all are supporting each other & not the injured parties !” Shocking “

          1. isobello

            Roy, I agree, the Lucky Country, through it’s wrong, unfair policies, harass us continuously, rob us Injured Workers (before the case, during the case and as for me for years, continuously long after settlement and that is disheartening), of our dignity, our health, chance at continuing our Career Life etc and, what one would consider close to a normal life. Must be relentless in conrinuing to take on our battle further, until policy change takes place and Injured Workers have a way out of this NIGHTMARE. He he he…Got to learn how to laugh or we cn go insane. We as a person must not change….that is our strength. All the best mate!! God Bless….

    2. Complainers of the world make a difference

      Treating doctors are harassed by insurance case managers by constant requests for paperwork. They ask them to justify treatment and re send virtually the same questions then deny treatment or say the doctor hasn’t responded so they send you to an IME. In one case my solicitor told me the case manager threatened a doctor saying if they didn’t agree with what the case manager wanted they would have the doctor disbarred. Most doctors know these are just harassment tactics. My doctor abused the case manager for harassing him and me. All treating doctors need to stick to their guns and stand up to the insurers. Wouldn’t it be good to see the NTD writing to the insurer asking them why they are undermining treatment and causing the patient’s injuries to worsen??
      Doctors can and should report such intimidation tactics by insurers to WorkCover. This would be a great help for the injured.

      1. Carl

        Last year my Doctor was FORCED by the insurers own appointed Rehab Provider to make me return to work when clearly my GP was not happy with me to return to work due to allot of reasons. Including upcoming operations, Pain, Walking Aids I am using etc. My GP was writing out the Workcover certificate and said I am putting him as No Work Capacity then the Rehab provider arched up and said “No you cant just put him as no work capacity that means he is at home in bed” she forced my GP to put some work capacity to which he did. I then was peed off to the max and went home got drunk and contacted Work Cover and the lovely lady I spoke to there said “they cant do that if your GP says that you are unfit for work he is more than entitled to put No Work Capacity” I then wrote the Workcover lady name down made another appointment with my GP and when I asked him when I walked in about what happened and that the rehab provider lady made you change me to some work capacity when clearly you wanted me on No work capacity my GP agreed and said “yes she did and was pretty forceful on making me put you on work capacity”. I then explained to him that I have spoken with Workcover and gave the lady’s name and what she said my GP changed me back to No Work Capacity. Only after 13mths of dealing with this pathetic and only working for the insurance company rehab provider that I could choose my own. To which I have changed and happy with at present as they are there for me to help me not just get me back to work when clearly i am not ready and still not.

        1. Hector

          Your Doctor, your Solicitor and yourself should not allowed that to happen as it’s not only illigal under Workcover is also immoral.
          I am not 100% of your situation but what you are saying I would recommend the following to you: #1 as a matter of urgency I recommend you get yourself an lawyer ( and try to get a lawyer that is a mongrel) #2 get ride of the rehab provider, the insurance company has no right to appoint one for you, it’s your choice to appoint the rehab provider so enforce your right #3 your doctor is leaving himself open to a complaint to the AMA by issuing a certificate that he does not agreed, he has falsified the certificate cause of the pressure by the rehab provider hence he has fail in his duty of care and leaving himself open for a lawsuit.
          #4 if the doctor does not change the certificate I would recommend you change doctor also.
          When it comes to Workcover issues all involved do a lot of talking and complaining about the legislation and rules but very few do anything about it, I personally put the blame on the mess all injured workers are in on the politicians, solicitors, health providers and union leaders, most of them talk to talk but are too affraid to walk the walk.
          Don’t allowed yourself to be stepped on by the insurance companies, stand up and fight and must start by arming yourself with the best ammunition you can use and that is knowledge of the legislation and guidelines.

    3. Kris

      My theory of insurer doctors is that if the diagnosis does not come in favor of the insurance company, then those same companies will no longer use the doctor for their IME’s. In my work experiences, it is very easy for a professional to summarize the same issue, but with different wording that portrays two completely different outcomes. This is of course not the case for EVERY doctor out there, but nobody is perfect.

      With respect to the medical profession in general, I speculate that a lot of it has to do with administrative issues. This article basically clarifies my opinion:

      If a doctor would have any fear, I think it would come from a medical malpractice lawsuit. Maybe that’s why they tend to adhere to the ‘red tape’, because if they do not it may possibly open them up to liability. Just my thoughts though :)

      Good luck with your recovery everyone. My prayers are with you all.

  92. Leanne

    My Son was cleared by his specialist to return to work pre injury duties 12/11/2014. He attended work for around 2 weeks even doing some overtime as required. The insurance company finalised my Son’s claim. On the 28/11/2014 he was sent to a Sports injury Dr. by the request of his employer. He has now received a letter from his employer 08/12/2014 referring to the report stating that his current physical capacity and reported symptoms are not aligned with the inherent requirements of his role. And given the nature of his employment & duties available on site they are unable to accommodate him in a revised capacity until such time he can successfully complete a standard pre-employment medical consistent with his role. And at a time he & his Dr. agree he is able to fulfil the full requirements of his role and provide a certificate stating such, they will again make the Sports Dr. available to complete a pre-employment physical assessment. If he is unable to return to his pre-injury duties on the 15 Jan 2015 they will again review his employment.
    What can we do???

    1. Hector

      Leanne, first of all, when did his work injury happen, was it prior to October 2012 or after.
      Secondly nobody that has been injured at work should be without a solicitor as sadly that I have to say work insurance companies in Australia DO NOT do the right and proper thing by the injured workers

      1. Leanne

        His injury was in March 2014. Does anyone know if its worth going to a No Win No pay. I hear that that charge a high % of the payout !!

        1. Kris

          Hi Leanne

          I’m a law student in Queensland, as well as a personal injury licensed paralegal in Canada where I’m originally from.

          I agree with Hector. Most personal injury firms offer a free consultation so it never hurts to check out firms and “lawyer shop.”

          With respect to your ‘no win no pay’ question, my understanding of Australia is that law firms are not allowed to charge contingency (percentages) fees:

          Rather, they bill clients hourly for the work that is done on the file. The ‘no win, no pay’ arrangement basically means that after a lawyer has assessed your claim and determined your chances of success, they will not charge you their legal ‘fees’ if you end up losing your claim.

          However, be careful of this. It’s important to go over their costs agreement because I heard that some firm’s ‘no win, no pay’ arrangement may not include medical assessment costs and other disbursements. Make sure that you choose a firm that undertakes the full cost of your claim if they decide to act on your behalf (from my experience working in different law firms, this usually indicates a certain measure of expertise.)

          The other thing as well is, there’s a ‘maximum fee” for personal injury claims that can be charged for amounts under $100,000 in NSW, which I believe is capped at 20% of the total settlement amount. By contrast, in Canada we are allowed to charge contingency fees and most personal injury firms average to 30% of the settlement amount regardless of the total. In my eyes, the fee cap sounds reasonable but then again, always look at their costs agreement for their full terms.

          Finally, you have a right to request an itemised bill to double check what you are being charged if your son’s claim succeeds. I recommend that you always exercise that right.

          So whether or not it is ‘worth it’ depends on what your lawyer’s initial assessment of the claim may be. That’s why you should definitely speak to a lawyer about it.

          Final tip, get an accredited specialist in personal injury. Be wary of lawyers without that credential. Personally, I feel that specialization is important when it comes to dealing with your family’s health or future.

          I know I was a bit late in this, but hopefully it helps you out (or anyone else for that matter.)

          Good luck. I’ll definitely keep your family in my prayers.

          – Kris

    2. Complainers of the world make a difference

      The legislation gives at least six months grace before an injured worker can be dismissed and this can only be done for reasons other than the injury. You need to get your son the give WorkCover a call immediately. If you son is over 18 WorkCover are not able to speak with you directly due to Privacy provisions but your son is able to fill out a Stat Dec which you can obtain from WorkCover where he can give you permission to speak for him. Ring WorkCover on 131050. Ask them about the permission from your son and have you son speak about what is going on. WorkCover is the regulator so should be able to follow this up for you.
      Good luck!!

      1. Leanne

        Thanks again for the info. His injury happened in March 2014.

  93. lucy

    I would just like to say I am not happy. I received in the mail today paper work from C.C.Insurane with surveillance report and yes I no that they do this. I am very stress due to the fact they took photos for my 80yr old parents of my daughter and my granddaughter they also follow my husband to his work and stated the name of his work. I am the one on workers comp not them and what right do they have to do this. If you have kids in school or at a sporting event you have to ask permission to take photos so why are the insurance company aloud to do this. I am under a lot of stress and anxiety with my injury and they just had more. I am over it

    1. Complainers of the world make a difference

      My insurer followed my 22 year old daughter and my husband around and the report even shows the investigator videoed a random person around my age who was in the shopping centre my daughter went into. I am adding this my my list of complaints and my husband told the insurer he was not happy with our daughter being stalked. Make a complaint to your insurer and highlight to fact it has been an invasion of your family’s privacy. Tell them you want it investigated as a breach of the Privacy Act and ask what them to tell you what their policy is on this and how they can justify surveillance on family members who are obviously not you. Tell them you want it dealt with as a breach of the Privacy or Surveillance Legislation and you want notification of what government agencies need to be notified. You can also ring WorkCover on 131050 and ask for clarification on this matter. Definitely make the complaint to the insurer themselves. Send it to your case manager and put the questions “Who is your supervisor?” and “Who is the Operations Manager?” to the case manager so you can forward the complaint to them as well. As long as you get the names of these people you just use the @insure’s name etc after their names in the same manner the case manager has their email set up and this is usually their email. The more people who make such complaints the more likely we can show what is happening.

  94. Joel


    I have recently had some back and forth with the insurance company in regards to a spinal injury that happened nearly 5 years ago. Below is a snap shot of the past few years.

    • Injury happened on 3.3.10. Damage to disc between L4/5
    • One year of back and forth with medical appointments to satisfy every CGU requirement. This time also included consultation with 2 specialists, work cover appointments and job searching
    • The first specialist I attended suggested I undergo a spinal fusion. I went to get a second opinion based on a recommendation from my GP, CGU and friends who have had a fusion
    • Got a second opinion. It was explained to me that a spinal fusion was indeed a last resort and should not be performed on a 22 year old if there are other options available, which there was. Having an entire life ahead of me, a spinal fusion at that age would have likely resulted in the discs above and below L4/5 wearing out an accelerated rate.
    • The results of this discussion was shared with CGU and the decision was made to undergo an L4/5 laminectomy (partial removal of the L4/5 disc). The information provided was that this was a much less invasive operation and could potentially provide some pain relief (though it may be temporary, as CGU were made aware)
    • I was successful job searching and returned to a suitable job as soon as CGU and Work Cover permitted. I am still in that Job.
    • Surgery was approved after I had started my new job. Given that I had just started, I delayed the surgery until after my probationary period, as I did not want to give the company any reason to let me go.
    • Surgery was booked in for 23.3.12 (2 years after the date of injury)
    • Months of rehabilitation followed this, and I finally came back to some form of normality and was able to return to work (not the job I had before the injury).
    • Over the 2 years following this, I have a few episodes where I have required treatment, however this was not raised with CGU. I paid for the odd visit to physio, deep tissue massage and pain relief as required. It seemed counter productive to me to involve CGU again and have to wait for approvals on each and every matter
    • After surgery and recovery, my Senior Case Manager from CGU, called me to discuss the avenue of a possible lump sum payout. The information provided to me at that time was that if I was to accept a payout that there would be no cover for me in the future. It was a case closed, good luck with life scenario. Of course, only being 24 I immediately rejected the offer as I was told by the specialist that the issue would return with time. I knew full well accepting a closing payment would not be wise given that I could require further treatment down the track.
    • After lengthy discussions with my case manager, it was decided that my case be closed, and if the problem returned, get in contact with CGU to have the case reopened.
    • I contacted my case manager on 23.09.2013 telling her I was having issues with my back again. Her advise was to go and see my GP. To Be honest, I can not remember the outcome of this. I will follow it up with my GP
    • I contacted my case manager again on 13.08.2014 but by this stage, she had left CGU, so I did not get a response to my email. I called CGU to discuss this and was referred to another case manager. As requested I went to see my GP and got a medical Certificate and sent it to him on 15.08.2014
    • On 03.09.2014 I had scheduled an appointment to see my specialist. CGU had told me at this point, that CGU are not liable to pay any costs for this, nor are they liable to pay for any medical appointments like physio, GP, Therapy etc.
    • My specialist recommend I go and get an X-Ray and CYT scan of my back and go back to see him. I am still to get these done but am aiming to have them in the next 2-3 weeks.
    • I was in contact with another CGU representative who has told me I have no cover for my injury and that they will no longer pay for any medical expenses given that the new legislation classifies this as a new injury as it has not required any medical attention for 12 months. I am expecting a letter from CGU this week stating they have no reason to pay for any additional medical costs as a result of the injury sustained on 3.3.10

    I can not comprehend how I can be left here with absolutely nothing I can do. After years of doing everything by the book, satisfying each and every requirement of all parties, returning to work and holding a steady job for the last 4 years, I have been dumped into a situation that neither I or my family can afford.

    I was hoping to maybe get some feedback from someone who new they were going to require surgery in the future, but now are left to cover all expenses due to the introduction of this unjust, blanket legislation.

    Any information that you can provide is going to be hugely appreciated.

    1. Hector

      My recommendation to you is very simple, as a matter of urgency you need to get yourself a solicitor , what the insurance company is telling is not 100% correct, but you do need legal representation to reinstate your rights back.
      One thing I must point out, the bigger the law firm is doesn’t always mean they are the best, get yourself a solicitor that fights for the injured worker

      1. Complainers of the world make a difference

        I am pretty sure there is something in the legislation that accounts for spontaneous reemergence of symptoms from an existing injury and something regarding further surgery. The new legislation cuts off treatment 12 months after you come off weekly payments which is your issue. You must make a new claim for your injury and put it is exacerbation of the existing injury that has never gone away. If you have all your records of treatment you can prove your injury never resolved and that you have just been managing it yourself you can show the link with the original injury. It is very complex as at the moment you may be under 15% WPI but if you have the fusion you will be over and possibly able to have a lump sum as well as a WID claim. It is really, really important that you maintain the link to the original injury as if you don’t there is something called the chain of causation. If the insurer can show a break in the chain of causation ie one injury has resolved and you then have another accident causing a new injury the assessor can deduct the first injury from the percentage of impairment but if it is just a deterioration or spontaneous emergence of symptoms or exacerbation of the original injury they can’t make a deduction. This is a legal point so you need legal advice. You should ring WorkCover on 131050 and ask about this. Also ring WIRO to ask about legal funding as this is now much more difficult and complex. You can also have a solicitor to do an application for such funding. If you do fill out a new claim form make it very clear you have had ongoing problems from the original injury. I would get the legal advice first if you can because a case like yours is a complex interpretation of the law. Ring WorkCover and WIRO ASAP to clarify what I have said above.
        Good luck!!

  95. Jason

    I was assigned a Rehab Manager shortly after sustaining my injury. The Insurer has now insisted that I participate in a strength program. I had a consultation with the organisation that delivers the strength program and present was a Physiotherapist and another Rehab Manager (separate from the Rehab Manager that was originally assigned).

    So it appears as though I now have two Rehab Managers-and both are particularly eager to have “conferences” with myself and my NTD.

    Any ideas why the Insurer would assign two Rehab Managers?
    Can I legally refuse to liaise with two or is it mandatory to liaise with numerous Rehab Managers?


    1. Rowan

      You have the right to choose your own rehab provider in NSW. I suggest you take up that and find another rehab provider.

    2. Hector

      Is neither the insurance company or a rehab provider to direct you or refered you for any kind of treatment , the only one that can refered you for any sort of treatment is your treating doctor.
      I would recommend to you that you do not agree or attend any treatment prior to consulting your treating doctor first and your solicitor secondly.
      In most instances insurance companies only do or get the injured worker to do certain things that are only beneficial to the insurance companies.
      It is a sad statement for me to say that the whole aim of insurance companies is not to get the injured worker better but their whole aim is to deny as much as possible of the claim so they make more profit at the expensed of the injured person.

      1. Jason

        Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated as always. The Insurer accepted provisional liability. I have been advised that they must either accept or deny full liability within 12 weeks?



  96. Carl

    Im on the Central Coast and the bloke who i trusted who worked for my injury management provider as i got informed this afternoon has left the company as off today.
    Does anyone recommend a honest reliable and trustworthy injury management provider around the central coast that you can trust and does not work for the or listen to everything the insurance company says and wants and is there for the injured worker??
    Any help would be appreciated as i have been told not to trust the the lady whom now I have been put under at the injury provider i am currently with. And was taken to the cleaners etc with my last rehab provider that the insurance company appointed.

    1. R.K.

      Hi Carl,
      All injury management providers (Voc Rehab Providers) work in collaboration with the insurance companies even if they say that they are worker friendly. I’m in Perth and I have experienced this first hand. My Voc rehab provider set me up to have a recurrence of my injuries by failing to conduct a worksite assessment of the rehabilitation role I was put in. That gave my former employer (a well known national private hospital) the license to kick me to the curb. If that wasn’t bad enough, my former employer then coached two of their staff members to commit perjury so that my payments ceased. Police refuse to investigate the perjury offence in this state if it was perpetrated in WorkCover Arbitration, therefore, these criminals never get punished in this state. My former employer is self insured – what that means is that they will do whatever it takes to avoid paying any entitlements, including falsifying documents and intimidating witnesses. There is no-one who can help an injured worker get justice. All lawyers are corrupt and dishonest – do not trust them. Don’t be afraid of asking questions of your injury management provider if you feel something’s not right. Be wary of everyone – they’re all looking to make a quick buck at your expense. Good luck,

    2. Hector

      Hi Carl,
      Your old rehab provider is currently working for another company.
      Like you many of his ex clients want him to continou as their rehab provider, I have spoken to Mel and he is happy if you want to get his number from me.
      Maybe Rowan can either put you in touch with me or maybe he can get the number from me and pass it onto you.
      Cheers mate

      1. Carl

        Yes please Hector would like to get in contact with Mel. I will give Rowan a call tomorrow cheers mate. But will say one thing the lady that was working with him that has taken me on now has done allot for me as well and got me things i needed she has not done anything wrong by me at this stage. But yes would love to get back in contact with him.

        And R.K I totally understand what you are saying as I put up with my insurers own appointed rehab provider for 13mths not knowing I could choose my own and they were defiantly only there for the insurance company then after i fund out I could choose my own I did this guy I found who was looking after me I could trust i know that he was there for me not the insurance company. But totally know where you are coming from.

  97. 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 ( Phone: 1800 043 159)

  98. 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.

  99. 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


  100. 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.

        1. Greg

          i read yr post Isobel and just wanted to know I understand and feel for you. I don’t know what advice to give u but saw no one had responded and wanted you to know I care and feel your pain. I think the end of yr post is uplifting . Feelings of bitterness and resentment are when the evil in the system triumphs. God will provide you with a way through the morass. Tolstoy’s writings as a Christian I have found a great blessing and joy and have helped me understand Christ’s teachings in similar struggles . In faith and without vengeance which you don’t have pray for resolution and miracles will come. God bless you

        2. Complainers of the world make a difference

          Hi Isobel,
          I think I have seen your story somewhere before. Did you put something on the facebook page?
          Just want to give you some advice. No-one can self appoint themselves as someone else’s Power of Attorney. You would have to do that yourself and your solicitor would have to draw up the paperwork for you and the person you have chosen, to sign.
          If you have signed a Deed of Release you would most likely have a confidentiality clause that prevents you telling anyone the terms of settlement so be careful about what you say or the ex-employer may take legal action against you. Once you have signed a Deed of Release your employer has no responsibility what- so -ever for your injuries and neither does WorkCover. You are also not able to get Centrelink for a certain period after settlement depending on how much you were awarded. This means you cannot access Centrelink services either. Community services such as disability services are precluded for a period after a settlement because you are meant to pay for these yourself with your settlement money. If your transport was supplied because of your disability this may have ceased after your settlement and you will have to pay in the same manner as other people who can afford their own medical transport. These transport services are for people with income support from Centrelink. Did they explain that to you? You should have received a letter from Centrelink saying that.
          If you think the ex-employer is harassing you, you must get the evidence of this and take it to the police so you can take out an AVO. If you don’t have any evidence you cannot do this.
          As for your mental health I would highly recommend seeing your GP and getting a referral to a psychiatrist who will discuss the impact of your injuries and the harassment on your mental health. I see a psychiatrist and I find him a great help after everything I went through with my WC. No-one can send you to a mental health unit unless the police are called if you have a breakdown or if you hurt yourself and only then can they take you to a hospital where you would be assessed. Then if a mental health team found you had a mental health illness you would stay in hospital for treatment. I have been in a mental health unit due to my insurer and I got a lot of support and medication to help my anxieties and depression and PTSD. I think it would help you to get such support after all you have been through. Don’t be afraid as we all suffer so much from the stress of being injured, particularly if you are in a lot of pain. Mental health is as important as physical health. Injured workers don’t judge and are the best support because they know much you go through with the process, let alone the injury.
          Good luck and I hope this helps.

  101. 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.

    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.

      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-

          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-
          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.

  102. 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.

  103. 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 !

  104. 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

  105. 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?

  106. 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

  107. 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.

  108. 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

      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.

      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.

  109. 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

  110. 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?

  111. 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.

  112. 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.

  113. 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
          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-
          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.

  114. 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

  115. 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.

  116. 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

  117. 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 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!!

  118. 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.

  119. Alexander Oliver

    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

  120. 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

  121. 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!

  122. 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 ??

  123. 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.


    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.
    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


    Mark Speakman SC MP
    Parliamentary Secretary for Treasury

    Mr Doug

    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 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
    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
    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, 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

    1. An


      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.


        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

  124. 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


      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-
      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!!

  125. 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


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

  126. 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!!!

  127. Stan


    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.


    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?


      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.


        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!

  128. 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

  129. Mel

    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.

  130. 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.

  131. Carl

    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

  132. 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?

  133. Carl

    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

  134. 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 phone:(03) 9460 7592. They provide a similar service to us in NSW. there is also Union Assist phone: (03) 9639 6144 who may be able to steer you in a helpful direction.

      With Regards,

      Rowan Kernebone
      IWSN Coordinator.

  135. 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 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

  136. 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?

  137. 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?

  138. 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.

  139. 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

  140. 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.

  141. 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.

  142. 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.

  143. Marko