It’s almost spring and time for starting cleaning up our Diary of a Workcover Victim website! So our IT team is cleaning out our current website and starting afresh, with a fresh design, improved functionality, usability and many other improvements.
If you have a WorkCover claim, and the WorkCover insurer has made a decision that you don’t agree with, it is important that you know that you are allowed to challenge this decision. This can include denial of medical and like treatment, even denial of requested surgery. In this article you will find some useful resources to help speed up the decision-making process, as well as dispute and complaints avenues.
In the quest to curb costs, the WorkCover system often engages in counterproductive actions or inactions such as delaying care, inadequate care, denial of responsibility and minimization/ downgrading of the injury. Way too often, the depressed injured worker learns that delayed or inappropriate medical care has resulted in a chronic condition, and they are told that this could have all been prevented had you seen a doctor/surgeon earlier, but the (Eg. nerve damage, whatever) is now permanent. The injured worker already felt a sense of frustration, fear, and helplessness, but with that information, they now feel angry and hopeless. In addition to that many WorkCover case managers will take the liberty to fabricate intricate mumbo-jumbo cover letters that are sent to a cherry-picked independent medical examiner, together with some irrelevant medical information. One of the more common cover letters we have seen states that “… it has been alleged that there may be a psychological overlay…“.
Surveillance is still an accepted tactic in the workcover world, especially in longer-term and more complex cases, including in cases of mental injury/illness. Workcover insurers still try to convince the public that surveillance controls fraud. But for genuinely injured workers, surveillance tactics can cut off rightful benefits and, worse, also cause humiliation and paranoia to the injured worker’s pain, disability, and lost income and joy of life.
It has come to our attention that A Current Affair has posted a call out on their facebook page. They are looking for people who have suffered a serious injury at work. Now is the time to have your say, take the opportunity!
If you have been unfortunate enough to have suffered a psychological or psychiatric injury or illness at your workplace, once you start down the workcover claim path, you will soon realise that this is when your nightmare will truly begin. Once your workcover agent receives your claim, they will do just about anything to find ways to either deny or reduce your benefits. One of the unsavoury tactics used by the workcover insurer is to sent you to independent medical examinations.
Further to the recent article by ABC Investigative Journalist, Pat McGrath about an injured worker who has taken the unusual step of prosecuting her case manager (EML) for its failure to determine her claim for compensation as and when required under the WIMA, it has come to our attention that the New South Wales Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO) has published on their website that they “bring to your attention that on 29 November 2018, the Supreme Court of NSW (per McCallum J) declined to grant prohibition to Employers Mutual Limited (EML) in respect of a Court Attendance Notice (CAN) that was issued by the Local Court of NSW upon an application by an injured worker : Employers Mutual Limited v Julie Ann Heise and the Local Court of New South Wales – 2018/356687. Her Honour’s judgment has not yet been published, but her decision provides authority for the proposition that SIRA does not hold a monopoly regarding the prosecution of offences under the WIMA.
The only reason workcover case managers are employed is to help the Agent (aka the insurance company) to make money, or save money – as that is what all insurance companies do. They wouldn’t be in the business of providing “workcover insurance” to employers, if they weren’t a business. The whole idea is to make profits. Period. Below are a couple of their most common “dirty” tactics.
You may remember that we have – over the years- posted quite a few articles about the Workcover Case Managers (aka Claims Assessors). They
often have the right to withhold treatment recommended by our own medical specialists or to over-rule evidence-based treatment based on thorough medical knowledge. Workcover Case Managers also change often, without notice. The problem becomes even more absurd in that the Workcover Case Managers do NOT have appropriate education nor qualifications, certainly not in the medical or allied medical field, yet they are given the power to deny your claim and to deny your medical and like services! Continue Reading…
As we have stated a zillion times, independent medical examiners (IMEs) are not always perfect. Sometimes the IME doctor will make mistakes, these could be genuine mistakes and oversights based on, for example, very selective and outdated “material” your case manager sends to the IME doctor. But unfortunately some IMEs are outright biased, some more than others. So what do you do if you feel your IME report is incorrect, or is missing important information, or has partial “mistakes” and/or “oversights”?