Last night I received quite a shocking anonymous email, undoubtedly from an annoyed workcover Case Manager – or is it a newly re-branded Customer Adviser? The anonymous case manager writes that she has been “in the business” for a long time” and that even the “most polite case managers get sick of talking on the phone or reading and responding to ridiculous emails from claimants”. “This is especially the case”, she writes, “when a claimant uses certain scenarios or buzzwords”. The case manager writes that also “nothing can make her eyeballs roll faster than demanding outrageous, inappropriate services, such as home help, or taxi transport for minor injuries”. Read on… [warning: this will enrage you!]
Things that definitely annoy and irritate the workcover case manager
According to the anonynous workcover case manager, there is nothing that will make her eyeball roll faster than when claimants use the following “buzzwords“:1. Saying “I tore my rotator ‘cup’ “
The anonymous workcover case manager writes that one of her “personal favourites” is “when the injured worker accidentally misspells a diagnosis” “I understand that they are trying to talk “shop” with me but please do it correctly. I am not exactly sure where the rotator cup is, but my sharp levels of problem solving can figure out that I think you mean rotator CUFF. Make a note of it.”
Wow, wow, wow, I say! Mama-mia! Thanks for the tip Case Manager! Mind you, aworkcovervictimsdiary.com would love to see your medical qualifications! You sound as though you are a medical professor! It is aworkcovervictimsdiary.com’s understanding that medical, nursing or allied health knowledge and/or experience is NOT a pre-requisite for the title of Case Manager. This is actually a big problem as you guys make daily “medical and like” decisions about our claims, whilst not even knowing what you are dealing with, right? So, perhaps, you are stating your what-YOU-believe-is-funny “rotator cup” story here because it is the only medical term you have learned???? Aworkcovervictimsdiary.com finds it incredibly rude and inappropriate of you to even “laugh” about this, as most injured people have, of course, no medical training themselves, and yet YOU abuse them even more because of it. What is so funny about a person who gets injured at work because of the negligence of their employer? I would love to know if you would still be laughing after you’ll be injured on the job.2. Saying “I slipped a disc”
“Ah, another favorite”, writes the workcover case manager. She furthermore writes that she “has been to countless seminars about lower back pain and injury, and has probably handled hundreds of spinal injury cases, ranging from minor to severe, and from non-operative to operative.”
“Is it true that a disc can protrude out and cause pain? Sure it can”. she writes. “In fact, the disc can herniate, tear, bulge, protrude, fragment, etc. But I have yet to attend a seminar about a disc that “slips.” Where does it slip? Does it slip on the floor? Does it slip due to some magic force? I am not sure where this buzzword came from, but it will greatly annoy me sure. And I wish it would go away.”
Again, WTF, and how dare you? Again, you sound like a medical professor and we would like to see your medical qualifications, please. The author of this blog happens to be genuinely medically trained and A spinal disc herniation (prolapsus disci intervertebralis) is a medical condition affecting the spine due to trauma, lifting injuries, or idiopathic, in which a tear in the outer, fibrous ring (annulus fibrosus) of an intervertebral disc (discus intervertebralis) allows the soft, central portion (nucleus pulposus) to bulge out beyond the damaged outer rings, AND IS OFTEN REFERRED TO AS A SLIPPED DISC. So what is your f*cking problem, your Majesty? And even if it was not the correct term, so what? Just refer to the medical report, speak with the claimant’s doctor and do your job instead of laughing at someone who sustained such a terribly painful and incapacitating injury! You have no heart! I sincerely hope that you will slip many of your own discs, and may they fall out of your a*se.3. Saying “workman’s comp”
The anonymous case manager writes in her email ” From my own experience in the ‘business’ I know that women in the workplace can get injured as well. So if a woman gets injured, should we then call it “workwoman’s comp?”
Again, what can we (injured victims) say about this comment? You (case manager) are now obviously desperate to find something you can use against us, and, yeah, why not a “word”, for God’s sake? You should know better than anyone else that there are many terms used which refer to workers’ compensation, and that they are pretty confusing. You, from all people, should also be very much aware that Australia is a multicultural country, with many immigrants such as Lebanese, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Greek and Italians just to name a few. Why is it necessary for you to be a racist as well?
According to the anonynous workcover case manager, there is nothing that will make her eyeball roll faster than when claimants use the following “scenarios“:
The said anonymous workcover case manager furthermore writes that she has discovered that there are a lot of people out there that know a lot more than she does.
“I never claimed to know every facet about everything”, she states, “but if a claimant tries to challenge my ability to do my job, I hope they know what they are talking about. For example, if all I did was incorrectly pay people, especially by underpaying them, then why do I still have a job in this business? I know that people hear rumors and alleged facts from other people about what they got paid when they were hurt, but that does not make them a qualified case manager that ultimately has to report to WorkSafe (WorkCover)what wages were paid and how we arrived at that amount”.
The fact of the matter is, dear anonymous “qualified super case manager”, that many injured workcover victims are underpaid, point. Many case managers don’t seem to be able to make simple, basic calculations regarding pre-injury average weekly earnings, and as a matter of fact, it even happened to me! I am unsure whether these “miscalculations” are made deliberately or if case managers lack the ability of basic maths, but – let’s face it – the reason why you still have a job, and why you get promoted, is because you save your insurance company money, in any way possible you can.
The anonymous case manager emails me that she “likes to get free money”. In fact, so she writes, she” likes it a lot.”
“I like it more than working itself.”
She furthermore writes that she “also sees the same commercials on TV from workcover law firms, which promise thousands upon thousands of dollars rewarded for the pain and suffering from injury. But that does not mean that the case is worth a million bucks.”
She states that “if your case was worth a million bucks, the injured worker would not even be able to spend the money as he or she would just be too incapacitated”.
The case manager urges plaintiffs (us) to be “reasonable” and “we can settle the claim”. Basically she alleges that almost all injured workcover victims are trying to squeeze money out of the insurance company, which they don’t deserve.
Ahhh! Again, Miss Know-All, the FACT is that YOU (insurance companies) always offer on average 70% of what our injuries are worth!!!! And this is a fact! Who’s talking fair settlements here? Perhaps you ought to familiarise yourself with your insurance company (your employer)’s internal policy documents in the first instance.
How about studying a few real case examples?
Tell me, for example, how is it possible that you (insurance company) offered me 18% total body impairment (with attached lumpsum), but that a week later, the Medical Panel offered me 25% total body impairment (with attached revised lumpsum) for the very same injuries? A difference of a whopping 7 percent, can you explain this? Yeah, right… Gotcha!
Said workcover case manager furthermore writes that “in addition to being a fan of free money, I daydream about the time in life when all I have to do is lay on the couch”.
She states that many injured “claimants” with “minor injuries”will tell her that they are only able to lie on the couch
and ” present it to be this major ordeal that has rendered the claimant totally disabled from doing anything, especially working.”
Again, I don’t know whether the case manager is referring explicitly to my personal situation, where I discussed a few days ago, that I am so incapacitated that I need to lie on a couch to actually dictate my blog posts on a laptop.Perhaps she is of the opinion that having lost all function in your dominant arm AND having excruciating pain is no big deal and should not be an excuse to “lie on the cough, immobilised”. Perhaps, she does not understand the pain someone experiences from a relatively “minor” back injury either….
So, dear Miss Know-All, I sincerely hope that you will get injured soon on the job and that you may actually experience what it feels like to a) suffer a workplace injury, b) be immobilised all day on a couch from sheer pain and c) have a case manager that does not believe a word of what you say.
“Injured workers fear that the workcover claim may not be believed or accepted, so there is an attempt to try and protect the wage loss by saying this is the first time to have shoulder pain, or knee pain for example”, says the anonymous case manager.
“Part of any normal claim investigation is asking if there are prior injuries or treatment for the injured body part. All the claimant has to do is be honest. We are going to be obtaining all medical records that we can find about the claimant, and if we do stumble upon some prior medical history, this is not going to look well. It will definitely raise a red flag that the claimant is hiding something, and I(the case manager) am going to keep on digging until I feel I have exhausted all my resources.
Again, the anonymous case manager implies here that we, injured workers, always seem to cover up a previous injury to the same body part/area. The fact of the matter is, it is the other way ’round. The case manager will relentlessly digg into our medical files and history in the hope to find something that can be used against us. For example, I have heard from fellow injured victims the following:
- A man injured his back at work (fractured back) after falling from a ladder. He never had a previous back injury as such. The case manager went digging and digging and found that the man, 23 years previously (!) had on one occasion, complained to his GP of mild back strain after having had to carry his six year old son on his back for 8 kilometers, after his son fell whilst playing and broke his leg. The man was treated with 2 physiotherapy sessions, nothing more.
- How many injured workcover victims are denied their legit claims when it is accidentally discovered that they had a tiny little bit of arthritis in the affected limb? Arthritis is part of the ageing process, and many older people (50+) will have a tiny little bit of it visible on high resolution scans. This form of ‘arthritis’ is painless and has no symptoms and yet the workcover insurance company will use it to deny a valid claim,say for example for a torn rotator cuff of the shoulder.
- Then there is my very own ‘story’. My surgeon requested an arthroscopy of my shoulder to help him assess/rule out an infection (osteomyelitis). I had had a partially “reddened, swollen” ring finger a few days before the request, which happened to be mentioned somewhere in the medical notes. Guess what, workcover denied me the arthroscopy of the shoulder (original site of injury 7 years before and already undergone 8 operations) based on “that red finger”, WTF!!!! They kicked the most unbelievable fuss about this “redness” of the finger (but not about the massive redness and swelling of the entire shoulder joint), denied me blood tests, MRIs, and other tests. In the end WorkSafe had to get involved, numerous reports had to be written and it turned out that the “red” finger was nothing more that a mozzy bite. That’s right and I kid you not.
The anonymous case manager ends her email with a sickening “So all violators out there take note“!
I am truly offended and I am inclined to say that you (the case manager) ARE the violator and that you better take note.
By the way my eyes are rolled so far, I can’t get them unrolled!