WorkSafe advisory service versus complaint service


If you believe your workcover claim has not or is not being handled appropriately or correctly, WorkSafe vic (aka the Victorian WorkCover Authority) advises that you can contact the WorkSafe’s Advisory Service. However, fact is, many injured workers are not aware that there is a specific complaints service as well…

WorkSafe advisory service versus complaint service

According to [popup url=’ ‘]WorkSafe’s website[/popup], if you believe your claim for compensation has not been handled correctly, WorkSafe advises that in the first instance, you talk to your employer, your treating health practitioner or your WorkSafe Agent. They also state that you can contact their WorkSafe’s Advisory Service which will also provide “free and confidential advice” to both workers and employers. You can contact the Advisory Service on (03) 9641 1444 or 1800 136 089.

However what they don’t tell you is that there is also a specific complaints service – there is a huge difference between the “Advisory Service” and WorkSafe’s “complaints service”.

We only found out recently, via a wonderful WorkCover Assist person, that you SHOULD use WorkSafe’s complaints service (most often) rather than put up with the “Advisory Service”, which basically pretends to take your issues and complaints seriously and certainly is not a confidential service!

WorkSafe Advisory Service

Advisory Service as per [popup url=’’]WorkSafe website[/popup]

The WorkSafe Advisory Service offers:

  • answers to general occupational health and safety enquiries
  • advice to workers of their WorkSafe rights, including health and
  • safety and what to do if they are injured
  • employer advice on WorkSafe premium and WorkSafe policy issues
  • explaining return to work and rehabilitation rights and obligations
  • help to resolve worker, employer and service provider concerns with the WorkSafe scheme.
  • advice relating to Licence’s to perform high risk work & Construction Induction
  • order and enquire about WorkSafe publications

Call Recording [how ‘confidential’, eh?]

As part of its commitment to providing high quality service to clients, injured workers, employers, stakeholders and members of the public, WorkSafe records all incoming telephone calls to its Advisory Services. This helps identify ways that WorkSafe can improve its services to you. Incoming calls only will be recorded/monitored for:

  • employee training,
  • reporting on the types and numbers of enquiries we receive
  • service improvements

We respect your personal information and take steps to protecting it in accordance with WorkSafe’s Privacy Policy.

Telephone recordings are securely stored and archived for up to 2 years and subsequently destroyed after this period.

You can request access to the personal information we hold about you. If you have any queries about our privacy policy or to access your personal information held by WorkSafe please contact the Freedom of Information team.

You can contact us by telephone toll-free in all parts of Victoria by
calling 1800 136 089 or (03) 9641 1444 or email

WorkSafe Advisory Service
GPO Box 4306
Melbourne VIC 3001

However, in reality, when you contact the advisory service, your issue(s) or complaint is basically passed on to your insurer’s case manager straight away. Sometimes they’ll contact your case manager whilst you are still on the phone with the “advisor”. Needless to say that most of the time your issues/complaints will not be taken [as] serious [as they ought to be].

Whilst the advisory service may help you to finally obtain things like a rejection letter (so that you can take the matter to Conciliation), an update on your “delayed” surgery approval, outstanding accounts and stuff like that,  fact is that no action is really taken, apart from the implied “pressure” from the Advisory service on the case manager (insurer) to give you an ‘update’ or ‘answer’.

At times (and we have experienced it) you may even be treated disrespectfully by an “advisor” and be told things like “well, we can’t force Allianz, xchanging, CGU, whatever to approve your surgery, MRI, whatever-they make a decision whether [it] is reasonable or not, blah blah…”; even though you may have experienced serious misconduct from the part of the insurer (case manager), such as breach of legislation, bullying, most inappropriate delays, frank lying etc.

WorkSafe complaint service

If-you-have-time-to-whine-and-complain-about-something-then-you-have-the-time-to-do-something-about-itOur wonderful WorkCover Assist worker consultant told us that you can make a real complaint about your case manager or workcover insurer and that these complaints are taken very seriously by WorkSafe, which may penalise the insurer!

For example if your case manager has breached a conciliation ruling (not adhering to a ACCS outcomes certificate), you can and should make an official complaint (and no, not by writing to your case manager/insurer or by calling the WorkSafe Advisory Service!).

You can make a complaint about any wrongdoing/misconduct/ill-treatment – don’t be shy!

To do so you need to call (03) 9641 1555 and clearly state that you want to make a complaint and that you want the “complaints department” (and not the Advisory Service). You also need to ensure that you receive a complaint identification number.

WorkCover Assist is also able to make a formal complaint on your behalf!

So, don’t put up with any bullsh*t and please use WorkSafe’s complaints department when needed!

Also keep in mind that [popup url=’ ‘]WorkCover Assist [/popup] is a very useful service, and contrary to many Vic injured workers’ belief, they do KICK BUTT big time. Ironically WorkCover Assist is a service – consisting of six Workers Consultants – which is funded by WorkSafe.


7 Responses to “WorkSafe advisory service versus complaint service”

  1. Hi have been off work for 68 weeks.I reinjured myself June 2012.I first injured my back in 2007 and claim was accepted after about 11months company told me if I don’t go back to full duties they wil get rid of me partner just had baby so had to still in pain.My claim for 2012 was rejected as insurer Dr said I was Waddell positive and nothing wrong with me.Went to conciliation got general dispute cert.Went to court July 2013 and got adjourned cause was advised to fill out new claim form cause all 8 of my Drs say I have aggravated injury.That was July 12 that insurance company received new claim form.Ringing them every second day and they tell me they haven’t made a decision yet.Rang workcover and inform of situation and they look on my file and said I should be getting paid as they have gone past 30 days.Ring the insurance company and tell them this and they informed me Worksafe are wrong and they have as much time as want.Just been accepted for disability pension through centerlink due to injury and also terminated from job cause of injury due to advice from company’s Drs.I am so depressed think of suicide every day as i am in so much pain and can’t afford med cause centerlink payment not very much and live alone.I have lawyers and there doing what they can but insurance company just stalling need help or advice cause I don’t know how much longer can do this cause falling deeper and deeper into depression

    • @Todd – so sorry to hear about your ordeal and hope that your insurer will make their “decision” asap and accept liability for your injury (or aggravation). You could try calling the complaint service (workcover vic) again and explain what the insurer has said and that there is no progress.
      Also try to keep every communication with the insurer in writing, to preserve evidence. (email is fine)

      The most important thing at this stage is that you look after yourself, which means you should really get psychological counselling and/or psychiatric treatment for your increasing (major) depression symptoms. Please discuss your feelings and symptoms with your GP and ask for a referral to a psychiatrist/psychologist. If your insurer still has not made a decision you can see a psychologist under a mental health care plan (medicare) so you don’t have to pay for it yourself (if you need someone good who understands the workcover system and will take on medicare,let us know as we know of a really good one located in North/East Melbourne).
      If and when the insurer accepts liability they will then also become liable for your subsequent depression (secondary) and will need to pay for this treatment. Your weekly payment will also be back-paid.

      I guess the insurer may be stalling based on that extremely biased IME report – which is typical – besides those Waddell signs are unreliable – see:

      Should your insurer deny liability based on the biased IME’s report, do not lose hope, many such (sick) decision are successfully overturned at concilliation, especially if you have ample faviourable reports from your own treaters.

      Look after yourself! Go and see your GP and get a referral to a psychologist. Most of us, injured sods, develop secondary psych injuries because of our physical injuries and because of the way we are ill-treated by our insurers!

      Stay in touch and welcome to our big injured family!

  2. This is what the NDIS is really about. It has absolutely nothing to do with making provision for people with disabilities.

  3. Latest from C-U. They want my partner will call her MP, to attend the doctors surgery 2 days earlier than usual so they (the idiots posing as people) can process her pathetic payment. It suits them better doesn’t mean she’ll be paid though. Its a begging process. I think they’re into S&M myself.

  4. Oh dear how many have I ticked private. Thanks for pulling me up. Bernie.

  5. Yesterday my partner was on the phone to her Insurance Company you know, the one’s who look after you, NOT, & was spoken to by a female on the other end, like a piece of TRASH. After the call my partner said & I quote “I can see why people “top” themselves. She can barely walk, is in serious pain 24/7 & some little bitch on the other end of the phone thinks she’s God Almighty. This is a woman who devoted her life to her work & when she was injured over 3 years ago was shit on by the Company, the Insurer and lets not forget the Drs. One Doctor in particular after the examination came out into the waiting room and said “Anyone else for an operation, the answers NO”. Arsehole

    [unprivatised by admin – a great comment fit for all to read!]