“It’s under investigation” Delay, delay. “We are waiting on some records.” More delay. “It takes a while to process your information in our system.” “We’ll let you know when we make a decision.” “I’m sorry you haven’t gotten your weekly pay, I’ll look in to it.” More delay…. Does any of this sound familiar to you?
Insurance companies messing with the lives of injured workers-share your stories!
Since our existence (about 2 years ago) we’ve definitely noticed an incredible up-rise in workcover insurance companies messing with the lives of injured workers…and for no reason. They aren’t approving necessary surgeries even though every doctor and/or specialist says it’s really needed. They’ll pay for physio, but not for an MRI. They’ll pay your medical bills, but not your weekly pay, or the other way around. They won’t pay anything at all. They won’t return your phone calls.
It seems to be a new and even more pathetic and aggressive strategy to try and frustrate injured workers. It’s not that there haven’t been unreasonable delays on prior thousands of cases, it’s that the amount of times that it’s happening has greatly increased.
And it doesn’t matter how strong your case is or how weak your case is. They are just being ruthless.
The silver lining is that many injured folks have had some great success in getting these denials turned around once their lawyers have been involved, but on some cases injured workers have had to go all the way to trial (court) when there doesn’t appear to be any valid reason for them disputing your care or benefits!
So it’s not that you can’t win, it’s that they’ll put a big hurting on you if you don’t have a savings or others to rely on. In turn this can make your medical condition worse because the stress of it all can and will obviously lead to further problems.
We are monitoring this closely. The best thing we can do on our end is be very stern and stubborn and to publish if something unreasonable happens with any injured worker, in order to continue to send a message that they won’t make any case easy.
However publishing injured workers’ stories on our and like-minded sites isn’t enough, and as MP David Shoebridge says, it is well and truly time the government heard directly how the harsh workers compensation (changes) are impacting real people’s lives.
Whether you live in Victoria, QLD, SA,… or NSW, it is really time to engage beyond blogs, websites and forums, i.e to write to your (local) MPs (for starters) and bring your workcover nightmares to their attention. Ensure your New Year’s resolution(s) include at least one letter to an MP, (and copy your letter to aworkcovervictimsdiary who will publish it!).
Is your case one of them?
Do you have a WorkCover story? (NSW)
12 Dec 2013 – MP David Shoebridge (NSW)
It has been over a year since the O’Farrell government’s savage cuts to workers compensation passed the NSW Parliament and as a result many seriously injured workers have lost some or all of their benefits. The changes have saved the government and businesses money, but in doing so have comprehensively failed to protect the rights of injured workers.
It is well and truly time the NSW government heard directly how the harsh workers compensation changes from 2012 are impacting real people’s lives.
To help make this happen we have developed this online survey that we will use to send your stories of WorkCover injustice directly to the finance Minister Andrew Constance.
My office has heard countless stories about the impact of this disgraceful legislation. Most recently we raised with the Finance Minister the very real impact on a worker who had his lower leg amputated after a work injury. Remarkably under the new system he was found to not be sufficiently injured to get life-long protection under the broken compensation system. (He was assessed at only 28% WPI ! – see more on ABC Video Source: ABC News The State Government admits new workers compensation laws need work
After bowing to pressure to fix this one worker’s case, the Finance Minister promised to personally investigate other cases where people have been treated unfairly by WorkCover. We think that it’s time you told him your story.[Source: http://davidshoebridge.org.au/2013/12/12/do-you-have-a-workcover-story/]
Again, a great thank you Mr David Shoebridge for standing by and standing up for injured workers!
This certainly isn’t over and bears watching in the coming months. We’ll report more as we see things develop.
If you’ve had something similarly disgraceful happen to you, we’d love to hear your story. And of course, if you need any help please let us know.
[Posted on behalf of workcovervictim who dictated the commentary]