Too few NSW injured workers know of the WIRO existence


Further to our article titled “Time to discuss some issues with Mr Kim Garling – the NSW WIRO Officer “, which states that despite having 31 staff and the (WIRO) office costing $8.4 million a year to run, Mr Garling was forced to admit the office had received just 350 complaints in almost a year in the job. ”….And worse,Of those, 50 matters are outstanding – only two of them “serious”; it appears that one of the reasons for those few complaints is that few injured workers know of the WIRO’s  existence. Mr Garling wants to make sure NSW injured workers know the WIRO is there to help injured workers.

Too few NSW injured workers know of the WIRO existence

Workers’ comp fight ombudsman appointed

Aug. 30, 2013 – Newcastle Herald
An ombudsman appointed to oversee the NSW workers’ compensation system says he encourages insurers to settle claims rather than battle them in an “adversarial system”.

Kim Garling, who was appointed to the $300,000-a-year position of WorkCover Independent Review Officer by dumped finance minister Greg Pearce, was in Newcastle yesterday (on August 29)  at an Australian Workers Union delegates’ conference attended by about 80 people.

Mr Garling, a leading light of the Law Society and the Legal Aid Commission, said legislation underpinning the NSW workers’ compensation system made it adversarial by nature.

The worker and the insurance company are being pushed towards a dispute whereas in nine out of 10 cases its usually pretty clear what is going on,” Mr Garling said.

He had been appointed for five years and was determined to improve injured workers’ positions.

He said his office, the WorkCover Independent Review Office, had a substantial budget to review some types of compensation cases and he encouraged workers with disputes to contact the office directly.

“I have lobbied the WorkCover Authority to have our name and contact details printed on every document that goes out to injured workers but they have resisted so far,” Mr Garling said.

“I am surprised about how few people know of our existence and I want to make sure people know we are there to help injured workers.”

Mr Garling said the workers’ compensation system was not like “normal insurance” where insurance companies had “skin in the game”.

“The government collects the premiums from insurers and all the money goes into a central pot,” Mr Garling said.

“The insurance companies act as claims managers, they get paid per claim settled, so it doesn’t affect them how much is spent. Everything comes out of the one pot – administration costs, payments to workers, medical and legal expenses and the insurance companies’ payments.

“Labor believed that while the scheme was in deficit, the deficit would keep moving forward. The Coalition wanted that deficit removed, which is why the changes were made.”

He said the changes had already resulted in a substantial improvement to the system’s finances. [Really?] [Source:]

As far as contacting the WIRO regarding any negative decision(s) made by NSW workcover insurers, we couldn’t agree more with Mr Kim Garling and urge all NSW injured workers who have had their entitlements or benefits cut to get in touch with the WIRO immediately for further assistance; even if it’s only to ensure that the insurer has not “scr*wed” you over.

We believe that, to date there has been around 7,000 NSW injured workers who have had their  weekly payments and medical expenses ceased by means of the famous  “work capacity” decision.

Of these decisions, only 8 (eight) been reviewed (and published) by WIRO –  which has highlighted consistent major procedural flaws by the insurers in the manner in which they have determined their decisions.

This is why it’s so important for NSW injured workers to contact Mr Garling’s office, the WIRO,  regarding any decision made by a NSW workcover insurer.


Direct link to the WIRO>>


14 Responses to “Too few NSW injured workers know of the WIRO existence”

  1. Thanks for the link, the future is bleak! My case manager just asked me why i’m not going to treatment…Well Hello, I can’t afford it and I’m depressed! Boy, they ask stupid questions and I’m expected to answer them, when they are ALWAYS EVASIVE to my questions! I never get a question answered, they just confuse me by quoting from the “section” blah blah blah….

    • Of course silly, your meant to go into treatment.

      I take it you were denied under section 11A ? It being a reasonable management action and as such your claim denied. you cant claim medicare as its a work-cover issue under dispute, you only get 5 treatments either way via medicare and going to them is unlikely to solve the issue in 5 50 minute sessions, you cant afford if your on New-start at $240 a week to pay $85- or $150- a treatment.

      Its all a scene from the “rain maker” movie and the insurer denies denies denies and in the end denies again. In Australia in 2013 unfortunately its possible for them to do this with impunity as there is no penalty for them acting in bad faith. NONE.

      Its encouraged by the Government and like the movie its all about $$$.
      If they deny 100% of them eventually after working out it takes 1-2 years just to get heard and you do need a lawyer …. there are about 90-95% of the cases go away and of the rest … I suspect less than 3% make it to the end. Of them they are the most desperately of the injured and who should have been accepted already in the first place.

      sadly in 2013, in most states it doesn’t work that way. No possibility of justice is allowed sadly.

      Stick with it however, eventually your day in court will come !!

  2. Yes Overwhelmed and I just read that our new government wants to dismantle the Human Rights Commission Whether they can or not we will have to wait and see, but it seems like we are about to enter an era of less rights for us, even though we did not have much before things may get a lot worse. I really can’t see any improvement coming in the near future, we will just have to put up with it until people wake up and vote these law breaking governments like the one in NSW out.

  3. Yes! Enough is Enough Bunny!

    WIRO, hand out funding to Solicitors knowing the injured worker won’t win against the insurer because they deny deny deny and the process will take months or even years! What A WASTE of Money! It’s the SOLICITOR that WINS because he or she gets the funding/money to run the case?. And who knows how far that amount will go? “The Supreme Court” I DOUBT IT!” I must ring WIRO and ask how much they got because the solicitor didn’t tell me….
    Its easy to become NEGATIVE and SARCASTIC in this corrupt system, no wonder i’m OVERWHELMED it becomes OBSESSIVE especially if your ANGRY and you know You’re under SURVEILLANCE! Being Followed isn’t funny its SCARY! And A DANGEROUS GAME that I’m sure, the P.I loves to PLAY!…CATCHING US OUT! So they the insurer can then again DENY DENY DENY!

  4. Very good point Leanne. Lots of great ideas here. Insurance companies are effectively ‘agents for your employer, if they screw you over then as agents of your employer, you have a case against the employer. Now as the government legislates that all employers must have workers comp insurance, they are also involved in this debacle. Kim Garling’s one big pot fails to mention how the money goes out of that pot. Does anyone ever believe that the Insurance companies would be involved in this without reaping large profits? They increase the premiums on employers if there is an injury remember. It is also a closed shop, only a certain amount of insurance companies are allowed to be involved in WC, now why is that???? I hate to say it but involving a profit making entity in the WC system guarantees that profit will take precedence over injured workers. It is sort of like our power situation, privatise it, watch costs go up, watch their profits go up then blame solar bonus or carbon tax. Similar here, privatise the running of WC (yes I know it has been going on for years), watch the costs go up, watch their profits go up, blame injured workers. Enough is enough.

  5. It is true that in Australia you need a valid provider number to practice medicine.So in my mind the work capacity assessments and any other medical decisions made by the rehab cows and insurance case workers are illegal as they are made on the basis of your medical condition.
    I certainly have raised this with my husband solicitor and I will be asking the fat rehab cow he sees next week what is her provider number……..cant wait to see her face.
    I will also be asking his bimbo blonde case worker the same.
    It is illegal to practice medicine without a valid current provider number

  6. The word “”Independent”” is very misleading, Whether it is WIRO or IME or any thing else. If “”work safe”” pay’s them, they are really dependent on work safe. That is how they make a living. The more delays, frustration, the more they get paid. Which encourages the worst in people
    If it is to be truly “”independent”” it should not be a government body or the insurance company in question. It should be a private company, audited every month, with sever penalties for fraud and mismanagement.
    The government will save mega dollars, and the injured workers rights would be respected.
    The work place would be a better place to work in.


  8. Did someone fart? because i can smell shit! Oh opps it is Kim Knarling! He reminds me of the piss weak maggot “Peter Earle” that helped CGU stitch me up on my workcover claim and force me out of my council job

    ........................ September 12, 2013 at 2:29 am
  9. The whole WIRO and work capacity assessments and decisions are completely illegal.

    What we have is a government agency Workcover collecting money from the insurers and putting it into a very large pot.

    Here is the illegal part, an insurer’s clerk or administrative employee usually carrying the title of case manager gets to choose if you are entitled to benefits and medical expenses.
    These morons are not government employees, do not possess provider numbers and have no medical expertise are deciding how government money is distributed or not distributed t the injured.

    think of it this way, we do not work for the ATO in taxation nor are we employed by the government and empowered with the authority to conduct business on behalf of the government, yet we start contacting citizens and advise them they will be paying 95% more tax than they already do and they have 3 months before it commences.
    Illegal yes!
    We would be hunted down and prosecuted.

    Or we just get up tomorrow and start booking people for parking legally and or illegally. We cant do that either, we are not government employees.

  10. WIRO is a joke. Their website states they will actually investigate a claim if you make it.

    In attempting to get help, I asked for them to investigate as their website claims. It did not and DOES not happen. You apply for funding for your lawyer they give them the run around.

    You lodge a formal complaint with work-cover itself after about 3 months they do investigate, but do nothing to help the injured worker then you get put onto someone in the CAS department who merely checks if your insurer filled out the correct forms and in the meantime the person who you are trying to help and is injured is still left waiting.

    Current wait time for NSW WCC cases is 14 months. After dealing with WC and WIRO they manager to delay even lodging a case by 6 months between them and makes it over 20 months before it is hear by WCC.

    This is a disgrace

  11. It appears no matter what state of Australia you live. If the investigation if funded by Workcover. Don’t expect it to convict itself. It’s a joke.

  12. Wiro have just funded my solicitor, so I’ll keep you informed….reading the w.c.c arbitrator decisions seems everyone is getting paid for pain n suffering!!!

    Unfortunately for me I’m not booked into the w.c.c, seems useless to be funded???unless the goudappel case wins!

    The insurer should just pay then seeing it all comes out of one MONEY POT But nope they always make everything long drawn out and stressful!

  13. I rang these dropkicks once all they do is dismiss and ask you to speak to the insurer talk about malingers

    the circle of delay and denial

    wiro refers you to the insurer the insurer refers you to workcover and workcover refers you to back to wiro
    and everyone gets paid and laughs except for the injured