What is truly insulting is that it appears the O’Farrell Government seem to think that injured workers are less intelligent than the general population. Here is another good example of an injured worker articulating the obvious short-sightedness of WorkCover changes to an MP that no doubt supports the changes.
Dear Member for Drummoyne, the NSW Workers Compensation system is no more than a poverty trap: Injured worker
Dear Mr Sidoti
I live in the local Electorate and am writing to raise my concerns regarding you voted in support of changing the NSW Workers Compensation system after the release of an apparent Government appointed independent review which reported of a growing $4 billion deficit that would see the scheme become non existent unless action was taken. The Government has claimed this is largely in part due to a so called lump sum culture undertaken by injured workers, from my experience the NSW Workers Compensation system is no more than a poverty trap and offers very little in assisting the health and wellbeing of injured workers and their families.
A brief history of my journey to this point, October 2010 while going about my usual duties as a delivery driver I sustained an injury while lifting heavy items out of the back of the van, it hurt at the time but I was able to continue my duties as per normal. I kept on working for a few weeks and the pain in the affected area would come and go until eventually it was unbearable & i had to seek medical advice a lodge a claim for workers compensation. From that point on the treatment I received from my Employer,Insurer & RTW Coordinator has certainly been at times harder to manage than the injury itself and is largely due to the fact that the three mentioned parties refused to comply with the certification of a medical professional nor concerns raised by the injured worker being ME.
My Employer, Insurer & RTW coordinator ignored all certificates that I supplied to them regarding weight restrictions, days and even hours worked as supplied by my nominated treating doctor. From day one of reporting my injury they have taken on a very hostile stance and have not tried to exercise any duty of care around my injury all in the hope of closing my claim. I have no doubt that by taking this course of action over a prolonged time there has been a exacerbation to my injury which has produced an increase in their financial costs due to the stance taken by the three parties mentioned. Another method used to try and close the claim was to deliberately underpay me for hours worked and at times make unauthorised deductions in the hope that I would walk away and forfeit my claim. This not only affected me but had a very distressing effect upon my family so I took it upon myself to seek a ruling from a totally independent arbitrator and have reclaimed close to $5000net in unpaid wages and entitlements. When a claim for workers compensation is lodged, the employer is not supposed to terminate you for a period of 6 months, I was terminated pretty much on the day that the 6 month period lapsed. I raised concerns about this as I have no doubt they would have sought advice on this matter from the other two other parties previously mentioned and was asked to sign a 30 page Deed of Release surrounding my termination which is still left unsigned to this day.
Currently I am receiving a weekly benefit to which I am truly grateful as I can at least exist and support my family in a very limited capacity, I am still undergoing medical assistance for the immediate future. My major concern is that I am left with an injury that does affect how I go about my life on a daily basis, I am seeking employment but Employers are not interested in hiring injured workers and there is very little assistance offered to assist me in re-entering the workforce. The Government has introduced time frames on weekly payments which are retrospective meaning I could be forced over to Centrelink for assistance in the next few months. Time frames on medical assistance could mean that I possibly no longer have any sort medical care in the near future. I am also very concerned by the amendment to legal assistance as what I have briefly explained will now be a lot worse as the 3 parties will now know that no matter what happens an injured worker will never have the financial means to have their case heard in a court of Law by an Unbiased Judge. There is a penalty to try and deter this kind of behaviour explained and to my understanding is only a maximum $11,000, which would merely be classed a tax write off by some employers.
I am willing to come to your office and discuss these and many more issues that I have experienced to date and will continue to experience in the future. Hopefully I will be given a chance to discuss with you ways that may assist me in exiting the workers compensation and aid me in my transition back to the workforce.
I look forward to hearing from you in the very near future.
Thanking you in advance