What the ef is going on within the police force and with Metlife?

police-bad-treatment

We are receiving more and more gut-wrenching stories and emails from both NSW and VIC police officers who are being ill-treated both by the “force” and, yep, by their workers comp insurer aka as Metlife…and wonder what the hell is going on?!! Bullying within the police force appears rife and on the increase, and once a police officer is injured – whether physically or psychologically- their nightmares truly begin.

What the ef is going on within the police force and with Metlife?

A police officer’s story

We are both police officers in the NSWPF or in my wife’s case to be medically discharged next [day/week/month] with not even a hand shake.

I am back at work because it is the only way we can survive without losing everything we have worked so hard to achieve but it is taking its toll and I don’t tell my wife as I don’t want to add anymore pressure that what she is already under.

I go to work with great fear of senior officers and fear of being screwed over and it isn’t making my depression and anxiety disorders which the organisation has caused me by giving me no support for doing the right thing and reporting police corruption.

It is coming to the point that I don’t want to wake up and deal with these feelings any more but can let my wife and (children) down and put them through trauma for the rest of there lives.

I feel like a dog trapped in a corner and now way out.

I have read some many stories on this site and only feel pain for all these people and I have to ask myself why I ever joined the police to help others because apart from the few good ones like on this site (victims) and victims of crimes who I have worked with for so many years watching the disappointment in there faces when the courts let them down …

…I really am loosing my faith in humanity.

As mentioned in my last email I sent my wife broke her back and (other body part) after falling [place/manner] while at work. Now I only see a shadow of the woman I fell in love with and feel helpless not only with my predicament but see her in major pain every day to the point she cries and I can’t do a thing about it.

As a husband, Father and man I feel its my responsibility to protect them, provide for them and give them a safe and happy home and at the moment I can barely keep myself together which makes me feel very weak. Since my return to work in [month][ it has been nothing but a nightmare to the point that I was not a smoker and now smoke two packets of smokes a week just to help keep control of my anxiety because the medication isn’t working.

I never thought I would ever see myself in this situation and feel shit house for even talking about it because I have always been of the believe that there is always someone in the world worse off and not to complain. But my pot is full and overflowing and at the point I feel I can’t talk to anyone and this seems the only way I can release some of this very heavy pain going on inside me. I see specialists and they are good to a point but they don’t understand what you are going through and the only people I find that do are ones going through the same issues.

Once again thanks for putting together a great website it helps so many including myself and I have forwarded your site information onto so many other police and friends just like me who just need to see others who are experiencing the same pain and somehow makes you feel like your not on your own. All the advice, guidance and packages are very useful and without your site it would be very hard to obtain this information as I have know doubt the insurance companies and government agencies like the one I work for would do everything in their power to remove any information that might just help us get a small amount of justice so we don’t loose everything.

Police Officer X

Former cops say surveillance from insurer MetLife is compounding their PTSD

Former police officers suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) say excessive surveillance by an insurance company is making their trauma worse.

For months on end, former police sergeant Peter Klein has been subjected to endless hours of video surveillance by insurance company MetLife, which is assessing his claim for PTSD. (See video)

“It’s massively intimidating,” he says.

“They’ve been up my driveway. They’ve sat out there. There’s footage of me at my letterbox. It’s very ominous-looking. To have surveillance logs or surveillance video induces a massive amount of guilt and trepidation in me.”

Mr Klein’s policing career started like a boy’s own adventure. Commencing with Tasmania Police in 1994, he transferred to New South Wales in 1998.

His favourite job was working in the force’s air wing division, where he conducted dramatic rescues hanging from a helicopter winch.

A lot of your job predominantly was picking up people’s shattered remains that had committed suicide off The Gap.

Peter Klein

But all that has finished. These days, he rarely leaves the house for anything bar doctor’s appointments. Each day he swallows a cocktail of psychiatric medication.

During his time on the job, his mental health became eroded by daily exposure to death and tragedy, but it is what has happened since that has compounded his pain.

To escape the constant scrutiny of surveillance, he made his home a fortress, hanging blankets at some windows and taping others up with tin foil.

The irony is not lost on him that as a police officer he used to watch criminals do the very same thing.

“It made me feel perhaps I’m losing my mind; you know, I’m sticking tin-foil up in my own home trying to stop people I don’t even know looking through my window,” he said.

Cop shattered by exposure to human tragedy at suicide hotspot

Peter Klein serving with the police airwing unit Photo: Peter Klein worked in the police force’s air wing division, where he conducted dramatic rescues hanging from a helicopter winch. (ABC News)

 

Mr Klein spent many grisly hours at The Gap, a dramatic cliff face off Sydney’s Watson’s Bay.

“A lot of your job predominantly was picking up people’s shattered remains that had committed suicide off The Gap,” he said.

“I’ve had to chase crows that’ve picked up a bit of skull and ear from the shattered remains of a suicide victim.

“[I’d] wonder whether or not I’d get in more trouble for trying to get the ear back for the Coroner by discharging my firearm out towards the crow, out towards the headland.

“I just got to a point where enough human tragedy was enough for me.”

Mr Klein’s psychiatrist has recommended he go to the cliff as part of his recovery, but his return was enormously difficult and he could not stay long.

Insurer’s surveillance accused of hampering recovery

For the 18 months since he put in his insurance claim, Mr Klein has been paid under $400 a week by the insurance company.

“Forty-one years of age, having your friends and family pay for simple things like food after you’ve worked two or three jobs, never took a day off that you didn’t really need, did everything to build your life,” he said.

“In the last two years I’ve lost my job, my career, my marriage.”

But his attempt at recovery have been stymied by surveillance and delay by MetLife, the police force’s former insurer.

Mr Klein says MetLife “simply wants him to give up”.

“Why am I still being watched? Why is this still going on? Because to me, surveillance means you’re up to no good.”

Another former cop haunted by visions of the dead

Former senior constable Andy Peverill knows all about surveillance too: for six months this year, he has been endlessly watched outside his Parkes property by video surveillance operatives.

Mr Peverill’s wife, Michelle, showed 7.30 one of the nine DVDs of surveillance they have obtained from MetLife.

Investigators film the couple every time they leave the house.

The simplest way to tell people is just tell them I see dead people. The people I see… they were living. But they won’t go away. They just keep coming back.

Andy Peverill

 

“He has to come with me; he can’t be left on his own,” said Ms Peverill.

“The last time I left him on his own, he cut half of his hair off because he got extremely anxious. And then another time I left him on his own, he started a grassfire without supervision.”

Mr Peverill worked for 10 years at the Parkes police station on general duties.

“When I signed up, I never signed up to get PTSD. I signed up to make a difference. To do a good job,” he said.

“The simplest way to tell people is just tell them I see dead people. The people I see… they were living. But they won’t go away. They just keep coming back.

“They’re back now.”

Mr Peverill’s duties included having to count limbs after traffic accidents, trying and failing to rescue teenagers from a burning car, and giving CPR to a friend’s brother who had hanged himself and who then died in his arms.

One day, he simply could not go to work any more.

Something triggered him with his uniform and he just lost the plot and I said ‘What’s the matter?’ and he just said ‘I’m not doing it any more. Don’t make me do it’

Michelle Peverill

 

“And on that last morning I think he just stepped out of his brain,” Ms Peverill said.

“Something triggered him with his uniform and he just lost the plot and I said ‘What’s the matter?’ and he just said ‘I’m not doing it any more. Don’t make me do it’.

Mr Peverill’s desperation reached a limit one day when his wife found him in the shed.

“And I said ‘Well what are you doing?’ because he was just standing there aimlessly and he said ‘I was just thinking whether or not I would hang myself or I’d connect a hosepipe up to the car’,” Ms Peverill said.

Minute’s silence for those who’ve taken their lives

MetLife lost the contract for NSW Police death and disability insurance last year.

The officers believe the reason claims are being dragged out is because MetLife has lost the income stream but still carries the obligation to pay injured police.

Mr Peverill and Mr Klein are just two of a group of former police who call themselves the Forgotten 300.

Andy Peverill talking with ABC's 7.30 Photo: Former senior constable Andy Peverill says he is haunted by visions of the dead. (ABC News)

 

They say their claims have been delayed by successive insurers of the NSW Force.

This week, the officers invited 7.30 to film a minute’s silence for colleagues who have taken their lives.

New South Wales Greens MP David Shoebridge represented many injured police in his former life as a barrister.

“Even the most legitimate claims, they will take on appeal to the Court of Appeal, on appeal to the High Court to avoid making a fair payment to injured police.

“And that fighting of the claims further aggravates an often awkward and difficult psychological injury in the first place. They’re injured on the job and then they’re injured again through the claims process.”

Psychiatrist says surveillance is “grossly unfair”

Mr Klein’s psychiatrist, Dr Hugh Morgan, says the surveillance is “dehumanising” and “humiliating”.

“It’s a really horrible process and I think it’s grossly, grossly unfair,” he said.

“I can understand that an insurance company would want to make sure that a claim was valid but I think that the surveillance that has been occurring with my patient has just been relentless.

“And it has gone on and on and on and I can only see that this is like harassment.

“And of course what this has done has made Peter completely kind of overwhelmed, fearful, frightened about getting out and doing the things that would actually help in his recovery.”

Despite numerous approaches by 7.30, neither the Police Commissioner nor MetLife would talk to the ABC.

In a statement, police said: “NSW Police is aware of the delays in MetLife’s determination… and the methods used in assessing those claims.

“The force is disappointed with the delays… and is concerned at the impact on [former officers’] ongoing treatment and recovery. The force has voiced its concerns about the delays.”

MetLife says it has introduced a number of new initiatives, such as putting on more staff in effort to speed up what it calls incredibly complex claims. But it defends its use of surveillance as “industry standard”.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-19/shattered-cops-suffering-ptsd-say-insurer-making-trauma-worse/5168114



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8 Responses to “What the ef is going on within the police force and with Metlife?”

  1. I saw this story on the 7:30 Report and the more I watched it what I thought was odd was the words “workers compensation” or “workcover” etc were never mentioned in the story. And that the NSW Police declined to comment saying that whilst it concerned about the impact of the delays on the individuals, ultimately it was nothing to do with NSWPOL and was a personal matter, which I thought was strange comment for them to make. But what was left out of the story was that it is nothing to do with workers compensation but rather TPD claims; these were individual (many whom had left the police force quite some years ago) making TPD claims against their own super fund. MetLife is the super fund trustees TPD insurer.

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    • Police forces are guilty as are Workcover and Government, stupid is that WE citizens give to these corrupted entities the power to bully us!

      From the video: Even the most legitimate claims they (the insurer) will take on the appeal of the Court of the Bill on the Bill of the High Court to avoid making a fair payment to Police officers!

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  2. I think us emergency service workers injured need to get together and form a class action?

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  3. Very good point Madame Zena and it underlines the future of Workers Comp for all of us. We are systematically being groomed to take on responsibility for our own WC. The latest push by legal firms to ‘access your super if you are injured’ demonstrates that the avenues for workers making their bosses accountable for injuries are closing (especially in NSW). The other push is coming from the insurance companies with their relentless advertising of income protection. In the future there will be no workcover (yes I can see the irony of this) but there will also be no accountability at all. I watched this and I have enormous empathy for these suffering workers BUT as we all know it is not just them who suffer endless harassment just for being injured. Why doesn’t the media report about all of us? Joseph, it is not only emergency workers, it is nurses, teachers, construction workers, everyone, we must not let them divide us like they would like to do. An injured policeman is the same as an injured nurse when the negligence of their employer has caused their injury.

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  4. Dear AWCVD,

    This will clarify any clouded issues. Links have been attached for easy reference.

    EML are the current Workers Compensation agents for the NSW Government.

    This mob and their predecessors Allianz and GIO have a lot to answer for. There is clear evidence of perceived corrupt or misleading conduct over many years.

    These mobs hide and or utilise the the Workers Compensation Act. We are pushing for a inquiry into our treatment.

    MetLife are the underwriters for First State Super (FSS) and have and are ruining many former officers lives.
    These Agents of the Criwn all collude for the best rest for each other.

    So as a result, Injured NSW Police officers need your help.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    I am a former investigator with the NSW Police Force, serving approximately 22 years, until my forced Injury retirement.

    In relation to various issues about injured workers and various police departments overall, we now need your support on this issue.

    All three insurance systems, depending on when you joined or retired, act inappropriately towards injured police.

    We as individual victims of this vial Injury system also seek your support because innocent families are being destroyed.

    We are in the process of pushing for a complete investigation into the tactics use by Workers Compensation insurer Employers Mutual (EML) and First State Superannuation underwriters, MetLife.

    We have also started a petition pushing for an ICAC or Police integrity investigation.

    This petition has over 500 supporters signatures since it started lateSaturday night.

    See these insurers and their contracted agents are themselves agents of the Government and can fall under these investigate bodies as their master is the Crown in relation to this issue.

    So as mentioned we write to you for your support and if possible, to sign a petition in relation to the appalling and perceived corrupt treatment in the least, of all Injured and or retired NSW Police.

    The Internal and external harassment by contracted agents and cronies within, along with their contracted insurers or emanations if you like, is sickening.

    They are a law underthemselves as these agents are given the “green light” to undertake various forms of unethical and continuous vial practice against retired and or Injured police officers.

    What was witnessed on the ABC 730 report on Thursday,19 December 2013 is real.

    The reporter, investigative Journalist Loiuse Milligan, showed us she has integrity to expose issues involving the Government agent and insurer Metlife.

    Now it is time for the Injured Police officers workers compensation insurer to be held to account.

    We have all been affected, witnessed or been victims of this uncaring system at some point in our lives for various reasons and or incidents.

    Complaints have fallen on convenient deaf ears to appease or cover individuals under the old “chums Act” in my opinion.

    Please take a few minutes to read the petition. You may just get the picture.

    We are being honest and transparent, so should the government, hence we wish to lay our evidence on the impartial table for a investigation.

    If you wish, please sign the same.

    I am sure you can understand the predicaments which face Injured officers, who once protected you.

    In fact you may know someone who has or still is unfortunate to wear the blues.

    These officers now undertake their daily duties without proper safeguards in place, to protect them from various forms of injury and or internal retributions.

    The “poisonous” vine has grown and intertwined with various other agents of the Crown, spiking many with their venomous tips crucifying many a good officer.

    In turn, every officer is witnessing various forms of harassment, where the poison has also numbed their tongues for the above reason.

    We are pushing for a full enquiry in relation to various allegations of unnecessary surveillance on officers, their families and children just to save a buck.

    There is documented evidence of intrenched bullying and clear perceived misconduct.

    The reason for this inquiry is to expose and hopefully rid corrupt conduct by agents and or contractors of the Government, along with certain so called professional “cash for comment” report writers and decision makers who know their regular master.

    The mannequins in powerful positions, some wearing uniforms, who only appear when the positive stories come to fruition, will hopefully be held to account.

    Your support will be ever grateful to so many suffering officers and their loved ones.

    Please feel fee to pass this on to support the Injured Police, especially other Police throughout Australia and Overseas.

    Hopefully retired and injured police with decades of investigative experience and service can bring the whole Insurance and Compensation Systems to account.

    I could not see our Crown counterparts enduring this type of inappropriate conduct towards them.

    We swore the same oath to the Queen as the Politicians however are teated so much different?

    Simply click the link below to support the cause.
    http://chn.ge/1dtkbLz

    Twitter Accounts:
    @InjuredPolice
    @NSWPolicePTSD
    Please join and retweet, email, Facebook to your connections.

    Enquiries Email:
    hurtonduty@bigpond.com

    Regards,
    Injured Police officers of Nsw

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    Injured Police Of NSW December 24, 2013 at 9:42 am
  5. Apart from the disgraceful treatment of injured NSW Police, workers compensation insurers use the exact same tactics on other injured workers. Corruption, cash for comment, unjustified surveillance, intimidation, withholding treatment etc. All these tactics are “insurance industry standard practice” to bullying the vulnerable into walking away without just compensation – all to increase the profits of greedy and corrupt organisations.

    I support the injured NSW Police in petioning an enquiry into EML and Metlife insurance companies.

    Let’s support the injured NSW Police to get this enquiry up and running.

    Once this enquiry is underway, other injured workers can petition and apply further pressure to have the enquiry expanded.

    So many of us on this blog, have been calling for a Royal Commission or ICAC (in NSW) investigation into the systemic corruption in the whole workers compensation system.

    We should be so grateful that our brothers and sisters who are the injured Police of NSW, are taking such a stand and willing to use their substantive skills and talents to uncover the evil that has become the workers compensation system in NSW and indeed Australia
    .

    Thank you Injured Police officers of NSW. Let’s move forward together and kick arse!

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    • @Injured Police Officers NSW – I am very moved by the plight of injured (and medically retired) police officers and assure you that aworkcovervictimsdiary will support you in any way possible and imaginable, with a relentless view to – indeed- continue to uncover the evil that has become the workers compensation system in NSW and the whole of Australia.

      My greatest wish and ambition is for the Premier to investigate the abhorrent conduct, not only by EML and Metlife but by all workers comp insurers in Australia, and to put a stop to the dehumanising practices and “standards”…or to file a class action lawsuit against what is a horrible, broken system.

      All workcover insurance companies treat us like criminals and in fact by doing so are negligent to the point of putting our very lives at risk, be it physically and/or mentally. As is made very clear through our blog and its interaction with injured workers, from all walks of life (incl Police officers), the biggest issue is that YOU are not alone, which ultimately means that a pattern has been established by workcover insurance companies. In the interest of saving big money, insurance companies and their employees/cronies turn a blind eye to the treatment of injured people whose care is entrusted in them.

      All the while workcover insurance companies continue to do irreparable damage to you [the injured worker] with no regard for your safety, not to mention to the quality of your life.

      The natural next step would be to, indeed, request a thorough Parliamentary or Integrity investigation, a Royal Commission… or file a class action lawsuit against what is a horrible, broken system.

      Looking forward to kickin’ butt together in 2014!

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  6. NSW, the premium state: $100 million sum for a $133,000 payout

    The O’Farrell government has defended spending almost $100 million on a police insurance policy which returned less than $135,000 to injured officers.

    The Greens and Labor say the payment, part of a controversial Coalition policy to slash police compensation costs, has lined the pockets of one of Australia’s largest life insurance companies at the expense of frontline officers.

    But the government says its reforms are ”an unquestionable success” and the insurance deal is ”value for money”.
    John Robertson

    Said the reforms were “saving money at the expense of injured or traumatised police”: NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson. Photo: Ryan Osland

    The NSW Auditor-General’s latest report into law and order shows the government paid a $99.9 million premium to TAL last financial year, despite the insurer paying only $133,471 in claims.
    Advertisement

    The arrangement, which began last year, formed part of an overhaul of the police death and disability scheme. It replaced a government-run scheme which the Coalition said would cost $2.5 billion over four years if left unchecked.

    TAL pays injured police income protection for seven years, as well as payments for death or permanent disability. Previously, the entitlement to workers’ compensation top-up payments was unlimited.

    The Auditor-General’s report shows the average income protection claim paid to police this year was $19,067, down from $480,000 under the old scheme. This is mainly because claims under the new scheme are paid monthly, rather than as a lump sum. It is understood the government will take out a similar $100 million premium this financial year, paid for by taxpayers and police salary contributions.

    The Auditor-General noted that the claims covered only nine months of the financial year, due to a waiting period, and that payments in future years were expected to rise. But neither the government nor TAL would say if those liabilities would come close to the $100 million premium.

    The report also noted that the government had introduced measures to rehabilitate, retrain and deploy injured officers, which police say have increased the rate of officers returning to work.

    A spokesman for Police Minister Michael Gallacher said the previous scheme would have left up to 800 police on long-term sick leave, and the TAL premium represented “value for money”.

    The government spent $162 million on police death and disability payments last financial year – mostly comprising the TAL policy and leftover payments under the former scheme – down from $301 million the previous year.

    “Essentially what Labor and the Greens are saying is that their ideological opposition to market-based solutions is worth having less police on our streets,” the spokesman said.

    The government would work with the insurance market to “maintain value for money”, he said. But Greens MP David Shoebridge said the deal was a “comprehensive policy failure”.

    “These changes have left police officers exposed and, ultimately, failed to protect the rights of workers who risk their lives for the general public,” he said.

    “TAL must be laughing all the way to the bank at the sheer incompetence of the O’Farrell government”. He questioned why the government did not accept liability for the claims, rather than taking out a “worthless” private insurance policy.

    Opposition Leader John Robertson said the government’s reforms were “lining the pockets of insurance companies”, adding that it was “saving money at the expense of injured and traumatised police”.

    TAL group chief executive Jim Minto said the policy was “properly structured” and scrutinised.

    He said the report did not “reflect the full picture” because it did not take into account future liabilities and other adjustments.

    Insurance consultant Michael Harrison, formerly head of Zurich’s Australian life insurance business, said while TAL appeared to have had “a really good year”, it must build up reserves for future years when claims might be higher.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nsw-the-premium-state-100-million-sum-for-a-133000-payout-20131222-2zt46.html#ixzz2oLhvmyIX

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