WorkCover SA tells “psychologically deranged” workers “they should just go and work for someone else”

Crazy Deranged Fool

As reported in today’s The Advertiser, WorkCover SA has bought in rapid-response teams and rigorous data analysis to identify fraud and problem areas as psychological claims for the effects “disrespectful behaviour” more than double in the last 12 months.

WorkCover SA has identified the growth in psychological claims, WorkCover’s most expensive category other than catastrophic physical injury. Workers compensation claims for mental stress grew by 68% since 2011.

About 50% of all psychological claims are rejected under the “reasonable management action” exclusion alone.

WorkCover SA CEO Greg McCarthy recommends “psychologically deranged” workers “should just go and work for someone else”.
What is it with WorkCover CEO’s around the country? Did they all attend the same training course in blunt and tactless speech?

WorkCover SA tells “psychologically deranged” workers “they should just go and work for someone else”

Psychologically damaged workers left in limbo for months by WorkCover

The Advertiser January 04, 2014
Business Editor Christopher Russell

AN ALARMING increase in claims for psychological injury has hit the over-burdened WorkCover SA budget.

Claims for the effects of “disrespectful behaviour” have more than doubled, costing WorkCover millions of dollars. Claims for “work pressure” also have soared.

The poorly run system has resulted in workers sitting at home for up to four months waiting for their claims to be assessed, with no treatment or return-to-work plans.

A new management team has introduced measures to rein in costs and speed up processing of both psychological and physical injury claims.

However, chief executive Greg McCarthy admitted there was no hope of tackling the scheme’s political football – the $1.37 billion unfunded liability – without major reforms by government.

“At the end of the day, it is an insurance business and you need to run it as one,” he said.

“You could say that it’s been run as a welfare scheme – and that’s the problem.”

Mr McCarthy has brought in rapid-response teams and rigorous data analysis to identify fraud and problem areas.

But it will take up to five years to reach break-even let alone reduce the liability, he said in his first interview since taking charge a year ago.

Industrial Relations Minister John Rau, who says the scheme is “buggered”, has pledged to publish a reform plan within weeks.

Mr McCarthy’s team identified the growth in psychological claims, WorkCover’s most expensive category other than catastrophic physical injury.

“The data tells us there is clearly a problem here,” said general manager insurance Rob Cordiner.

Mental stress cases that entered the books in 2010-11 had cost $24.1 million by October this year, 49 per cent more than cases from the year before over an equivalent period. Payments grew another 7 per cent for 2011-12 cases and a further 12 per cent for 2012-13 cases.

Once a claim is lodged, WorkCover orders an independent medical assessment and takes statements from the employer, worker and co-workers – a four-month process.

“In that time, the worker’s being paid but nothing’s happening with the worker, the treatment or anything,” Mr Cordiner said. “It’s just an investigation as to whether they should be paid or not.”

WorkCover pays the substitute wage, which is not recoverable even if the claim is rejected. To streamline this, investigators now gather basic facts within five days and specialist medical practices report within 10 days.

About half of psychological claims are rejected because they are based on what reasonable action was taken by bosses.

Mr McCarthy said the aim was to support the injured worker and employer and let them get on with their lives.

“At the moment, by the time they’re three to four months down the track if they weren’t psychologically deranged before, they are now,” he said.

Getting workers off the compensation system also was problematic. After recovery, they often did not want to return to the same workplace.

“We end up with an insoluble problem that costs a lot of money,” Mr Cordiner said.

“It’s really an industrial issue, they should just go and work for someone else.”

[Source: http://www.news.com.au/national/south-australia/psychologically-damaged-workers-left-in-limbo-for-months-by-workcover/story-fnii5yv4-1226794588252]

 

Madame-Zena-author[Post & commentary by Co-Author Madame Zena]

Revised May 2014

 

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Neckiswrecked
Guest
Yeah, thanks for that. I don’t think I would want to risk being unmedicated anyway. It’s crap that I have to be on all these drugs – I forgot to add Baclofen – but at least I am upright! This time I intend to take a script with me, or dot points I wish to talk about, to ensure everything is noted … everything I used to enjoy in my life but now cannot (e.g. a job I worked hard to get qualified for, one which gave me much reward and enjoyment and respect from others), as well as personal… Read more »
Vic Injured
Guest
Neckiswrecked if you would normally be taking your medication on the day the IME is scheduled then I would have thought that you would continue to take your medication on that day as normal. If you turned up to the IME in unbearable pain the IME would wonder why you aren’t taking your medication if you are in a lot of pain. Knowing IME’s and how they twist things they would then say you aren’t really in any pain as you don’t need to take any medication or if you were taking the medication as prescribed by your doctors you… Read more »
Neckiswrecked
Guest
I have been doing the workers comp dance for years and now am off to a WPI assessment next month. Despite the many scans and reports that verify my physical injury, the most recent IME’s report said that I was fine to return to full time work. I intend to present honestly to this assessment (as I always have) – showing how honestly restricted I am and how this injury has impacted upon every aspect of my quality of life. My question is this: when I am medicated with Norspan, Panadeine Forte and Cymbalta I can function quite well and… Read more »
Left of centre
Guest

Hi FU_CGU

In the beginning I was convinced the person following me had something to do with the gunman and I was petrified. If I had known then what I know now, perhaps I would be further along on my journey to recovery.

They are so dogmatic in their approach to prove us all malingerers, and don’t appear to know or care about the consequences of their actions.

FU_CGU
Guest

Hey Left of Centre,

I am glad you are seeing through the insurer’s (& other hanger on’s) deceptive manipulations.

Rather than help us overcome and deal with our vulnerabilities, these arseholes use our vulnerabilities against us!

I couldn’t leave the house for several weeks. I was scared of everything. After 3 years, I still struggle with crowds and I continually scan my environment for potential danger. I hope it will diminish with a few more years behind me.

It is hard to accept how much “the incident” has changed me, but it ain’t going to change much now!

Good luck and take it easy

Left of centre
Guest

Hi FU_CGU

You are right the whole process is a nightmare. The hardest part is when you realise that all these professionals who are supposed to care are really concerned with mitigating the financial loss to the business or the insurer and you are on your own.
It has been 12 months of hell. I have not gone down the legal path as I don’t think I would cope mentally with the stress.
I appreciate your advice. Thanks

FU_CGU
Guest

Hey Left of centre,

I have no idea have you have handled those bastards without a lawyer to counter punch them when necessary – I take my hat off to you.

As long as you are getting good CBT treatment with a good psychologist and the insurer gives you some space and time to heal as best you can.

Just be aware that you are probably under surveillance, I kept spotting them (good old hypervigilance) and it just drove me nuts.

Take care

FU_CGU
Guest
Hey Left of centre, WorkCover, your employer, rehab providers, a few insurer paid psychologists and definitely insurer paid IMEs are not your friends or allies. I feel for you with PTSD. I don’t know how far into your WorkCover nightmare you have travelled, but I can assure you that you will be subjected to substantially worse before you case is over. During my case, I have been subjected to neuropsychological testing including a personality test – everything normal, A DAPS test for PTSD – confirmed PTSD. Even after that, the insurer IMEs denied PTSD, and came up with several personality… Read more »
Left of centre
Guest
As a psychologically injured worker, it’s demoralizing to be labeled as “psychologically deranged” by a CEO of Workcover. Please correct me if I’m wrong but deranged means insane and workcover is meant to assist injured workers. After surviving an armed hold up – having a rifle inches away from my face whilst kneeling on the floor and later jammed into my back. To be diagnosed with PTSD and depression, placed on medication that can cause diabetes and heart conditions. My personality and appearance changing dramatically. To then be theoretically dumped by a company that I had loved working for. I… Read more »
Vic Injured
Guest
There was a panel discussion on ABC radio week before last on this very topic with psych, lawyer, unionist and university experts about how the vast majority of complaints of bullying made arent bullying at all and how the community, workplaces, legal and industrial system is suffering from bullying fatigue as a result. The most critical of the over use of bullying accusations was the women on the panel from the union. They discussed how its not bullying simply because you perceive it to be and how bullying has come to mean anything the person throwing the accusation wants it… Read more »
Diane
Guest

if I say its bullying, then its bullying, end of story
im not going to stand back and have my rights walked all over
i so hope my team leader does suffer serious mental health consequences as a result, thats called ‘pay back’!!!!
with any luck he will go top himself

Madame Zena
Guest

Charming.

FU_CGU
Guest

@ Diane

Please read my other reply to one of your posts.

In short, just fuck off. If you already know everything, get off your arse and do something about it.

Leave the grown ups alone to discuss serious issues.

FU_CGU
Guest

Well said Madame Zena!

Anyone on workers compensation longer than 3 months know all about bullying!

Diane
Guest

so FU_CGU just cause you got your claim accepted your bullying is legit but mine bullying isn’t cause my bullying claim was fraudulently denied. its the bullying victims who get their claims fraudently denied that are the REAL victims of bullying and know what REAL suffering is, not those that sit from the comfort of being on workcover.

Madame Zena
Guest

WTF?!
@Diane did @FU_CGU actually say that? NO. Read!

FU_CGU
Guest
@Diane, My my, what wonderfully generous and empathetic little shit you are! Diane is the only person in the world that has suffered anything! I’ll give you a little bit free advice (small enough so that even you may be able to comprehend it – mind you, if your last reply is any guide, maybe not), most of the well crafted replies, and the odd humorous comments, on this blog are by seriously injured workers. The reason we bother to reply is because we want to help those who are at the beginning of their workcover nightmare. Now, my claim… Read more »
workcovervictim3
Guest

@Diane – your comments are becoming very insulting and no longer acceptable on this blog. From now on you will no longer be able to freely comment (your comments will go into the moderators queue). Any further public assault will see you banned from this site. Pull your head in.

Iamdone
Guest
I’m new to this process, so if my comment is not correct then please feel free to correct. For future users to use. @Diane Have you submitted a claim with the FWC? You can still submit a claim to them for the bullying to stop even if your WC claim was rejected. Your WC claim is for weekly payments and to cover any medical expenses correct? The WC claim rejection does not mean that you were in fact not bullied at work. The claim is for what has happened as a result of the bullying. If you are still employed… Read more »
Iamdone
Guest
Overusing the term “bullying” Found this website/blog from Oct 2013 http://www.edubabbling.com/%EF%BB%BFplease-stop-overusing-the-term-bullying/ There can be little doubt that bullying is a very nasty business. Hardly a day goes by where we do not hear about a new case of bullying in the news which has in turn led to very tragic consequences. Indeed, bullying is no mere children’s game and it is a driving force leading to an alarming increase in mental health issues for kids and teens, including self harm and suicide. I have written extensively in the past about the causes and effects of bullying and cyberbullying, and how… Read more »
Madame Zena
Guest
I believe there is an alarming growth in the overuse and misuse of the term “bullying”. I do believe that this term is so overused that it is actually creating an environment of apathy and desensitization. I do feel we have a responsibility to stop this growing trend in its tracks and set people right on the very real and horribly damaging nature and consequences of bullying. However, to classify every incident as bullying is extremely counterproductive. It essentially waters down the impact of the term bullying which should be reserved for serious cases of repeated aggression. Overuse of the… Read more »