I recently received several request and specific searches for the question: “can a workcover case manager send you to an independent doctor once you are on benefits?”
Can a workcover case manager send you to an independent doctor once you are on benefits?
Unfortunately the answer is YES and this is THE big problem we, workcover victims, have with the workcover system because they will only send you to an independent doctor (aka Independent medical examination) to:
- cut off your benefits and / or an entitlement, such as for example reduce or cease your physiotherapy entitlement, reduce then cease your psychology entitlement, cease your hydrotherapy, massage etc, prevent you from having (further) surgery etc.
- have you certified fit, even if you are not ready for work
Once you are on workcover “benefits”, and thus once your claim has been approved that’s where the struggles start – the insurance company does NOT want to pay out, remember it is a business (like any other) and heir priority is to their shareholders! Hence, your case manager will send you to independent medical examinations as often as she can, in the hope to find an excuse (in 9 out of 10 cases, through a medical whore) to cut off a previously granted “benefit” or to have you certified fit to return to work (even if you are not).
Workcover insurance companies very greedy and really don’t care about you – it’s about MONEY. Don’t get fooled! You may want to read the post about Psychatric IME’s don’t get fooled for a little more information. There are many more great posts about IMEs (just type “IME” in the search box to find them and I have listed a few below as well).
Unfortunately the law is very vague about independent medical examinations, for it states that the workcover insurance can request you attend an IME at reasonable intervals or from time to time.It is of course very difficult to define what reasonable means, however most solicitors I have spoken with are of the opinion that 1 IME per year would be considered reasonable.
I have been sent to no less that six (6) IMEs over a period of 14 months and I don’t believe that this is reasonable, but that it’s about doctor shopping! That is, that the workcover insurance company is so desperate to deny me a benefit or cut off a benefit that they sent me to IME after IME afer IME in the hope to fine that one medical whore who would state what they were after. So far they have not gotten what they wanted, nice try though!
If you feel that they are sending you to IMEs too often you should complain to WorkSafe.
Apart from that, have a read through the various IME articles and posts on this blog (some are listed below) and prepare and protect yourself as best as you can.