Insurance companies messing with the lives of injured workers-share your stories!

injured-workers-story

“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.

In fact, we all need to send a message back that if you mess with injured workers and/or break the law, it will not be tolerated, and this includes YOU!

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!).

If you live in NSW, Finance Minister Andrew Constance says that if there are cases where people have been treated unfairly as a result of the changes to WorkCover, then he will look into them personally.

Is your case one of them?

Regardless… we believe every injured worker should be writing to the minister!

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]

 

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Bimmer
Guest
Messing with injured workers is how they increase profits. Your average claims manager is under constant pressure to deny a certain percentage of claims each month and to delay as many claims as possible for as long as possible or as seen with QBE in NSW recently have your job exported to Phillipines. The more pending claims they have in the filling cabinet the safer the job is. There is also the not so small matter of profits for insurance companies. When it comes to delaying tactics QBE’s claim managers in WA are some of the best in the country… Read more »
Trinny
Guest

I agree that people need to tell their stories in a safe trustworthy environment. With all the stories gleened by this blog over the years, the addition of a few more should give enough ammunition to commence actioning change in a very short time. Well worth watching what will happening in the new year.

confused
Guest
Hello I have been reading this blog for some time now and found this report very interesting. I would like some advice from anyone who has been cut off from a Workcover Psych claim by an IME’s opinion, and how they appealed. I am a white collar single female professional who was sexually harassed, bullied and threatened by the owner of the firm I was employed by. I was on Workcover (NSW) for 6 months, then after seeing an IME ‘hired gun’ I was told my PTSD and associated anxiety and depression did not exist, and he also made a… Read more »
Madame Zena
Guest
@Confused, take your lawyers advice and cut your losses and try and move on. I know its probably not the answer you wanted to hear but unfortunately when it comes to psych injury claims that’s the best thing you can try do for yourself. Psych injury claims are notoriously difficult to get accepted in the first place let alone remain on for any significant period of time. If your psych claim is accepted, 6 months seems to have now become the “magic” number/maximum period of time before you are cut off. I am only guessing but I suspect the “standard… Read more »
workcovervictim3
Guest
@Confused (and interested people), Madame Zena is spot on – Courts look unfavourably upon injured workers -even those with the tiniest bit of work capacity (even 1 day a week)- who do not, or did not attempt to move on with their life in terms of returning to work. Needless to say that the defendants (workcover insurer lawyers and barristers) will also use any argument possible to demonstrate that you, the injured worker, did “nothing”, or not enough to mitigate your own losses, for example by refusing medical treatment (to some degree) rehabilitation, counseling, vocational assessment(s), seeking employment within your… Read more »
confused
Guest

@Madame Zena and @workcovervictim3 – thankyou, your honest advice is appreciated.

Trinny
Guest

Even though You solicitors have told you to cut your losses. It still remains unlawful to sexually harass in the work place. Depending on the situation equal opportunity can advise an avenue. Every good Registerd nurse will tell you that if a Dr make a bogus report then it should be reported firstly to that Dr that his information is incorrect. Give them time to alter the report. If they refuse, report them to APHRA. False diagnosis is a serious breach of medical practice. Not enough IME’s are reported. You do have a voice.

Pugsley
Guest

This survey is all well and good but it is only for NSW we need it done for all states.

christine mckenzie
Guest
i had them cut my income off over the xmas period, when i tried to contact them they would not answer the ph or some one said they would call me back,They never did , my doctor had to call them Funny how they would answer the phone call when He rang, The next time they did this again over the xmas period, when they are on holidays, i was told after weeks of trying to contact them and no returned calls, that i did not send in my medical from, I again went to my doctor and asked why… Read more »
Ben
Guest

I made this exact call, on this website, a couple of years back, and was publicly shamed for it. Glad to see you’ve finally seen enough of the corruption to publicly call for political action. Well done.

Ben.

johnny rotten
Guest
Write a letter to the utter useless turds, fuck here i am malingering sponging of the system why rock the boat the new turd who took over pissy Pearce’s job he’s the type that’ll piss in the wind like boof the system needs work the turds say ,it need the kiss factor “KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID” but the dumb fucks who hang out for the big pay when they retire for their services to the state these wombats wouldnt know jack shit they cut everything tafe firey’s and of coarse workers comp and cause they havent got the stomach for… Read more »