WorkCover NSW again fails the test, prioritising profits over injured workers

failed-workcover-benefits

“If you wanted a case study in a bureaucracy that ensures vulnerable people who need assistance can’t get it you would establish the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme: you would exclude legal representation, you would empower insurers and you would limit benefits.  That’s exactly what we’ve got in NSW”, said MP david Shoebridge during the first day of the Parliamentary inquiry. We couldn’t agree more and are extremely grateful for David Shoebridge’s relentless battle for NSW injured workers. Likewise, we take our hats off to the Injured Workers Support Network!

WorkCover NSW again fails the test, prioritising profits over the protection of injured workers

failed-workcover-benefits

March 24, 2014
David Shoebridge, M Greens

If you wanted a case study in a bureaucracy that ensures vulnerable people who need assistance can’t get it you would establish the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme: you would exclude legal representation, you would empower insurers and you would limit benefits.  That’s exactly what we’ve got in NSW.

Recent revelations from WorkCover have shown:

(a) That it is taking WorkCover four times longer than the legally allowed 30 days in which to finalise merit reviews filed by injured workers

(b) That an amputated foot is not classified as a ‘serious injury’ under the reformed scheme, and

(c) That WorkCover has created delegated legislation (legislation created by the Government that does not need to go through Parliament) for the scheme that refers to a guideline document for insurers that has never existed.

The law requires WorkCover to resolve injured worker’s merit review claims within 30 days, but on Friday Gary Jeffrey, General Manager of WorkCover’s workers compensation insurance division, admitted that WorkCover is in fact taking four months in the processing of merit reviews. To add insult to injury the delay means many injured workers will forever lose entitlements to a portion of their income support as a direct result of WorkCover’s failure.

The inquiry also heard that the scheme has gone from a $4 billion deficit, to a $309 million surplus.  One of the ways the scheme has achieved this is by harsh benefit cuts, such that the new legislation does not recognise an amputated foot – just like the case of Dwayne Passfield and Kris Carroll – as meeting the threshold of a “serious injury.” Prior to the reforms an injury as severe as an amputated foot would see an injured worker receive lifelong medical benefits and income support until their retirement age. Now the vast majority of workers receive at most five years of income support and their medical benefits cease 12 months after their last income support payment.

Most baffling of all of the revelations from WorkCover was it’s inability to explain how they created legislation that requires insurers to comply with a guide that has never existed.  You can see these matter further developed in the ABC 7:30 report piece below.

The Government needs to admit that their workers compensation reforms have not worked. They have comprehensively failed at protecting the rights of injured workers. In the name of reform and change injured workers have instead faced a cruel and unfair system that has deliberately favoured insurers and given the scheme multiple opportunities for avoiding compensation payouts.

The workers compensation scheme in NSW is broken and no parliamentarian, no person of conscience, should let these laws go unchallenged.  I certainly wont.

Source: http://davidshoebridge.org.au/2014/03/24/workcover-again-fails-the-test-prioritising-profits-over-the-protection-of-injured-workers/

Related

  • Are workers’ compensation changes favouring insurance companies?

The first day of a Parliamentary hearing into recent workers compensation reforms hears victims, lawyers and doctors saying the new scheme unfairly favours insurance companies, who are using new guidelines to cut costs.

Watch the video here: ABC News and check out workcover’s representatives….

 

 



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6 Responses to “WorkCover NSW again fails the test, prioritising profits over injured workers”

  1. There is no natural justice here. It is disgraceful to even call it a Workers Compensation scheme. When the changes were rushed through, so many people on this site and on the IWSN predicted what would happen and the only politician who has continually supported us is David Shoebridge. Fred Nile the architect of the no legal help for the worker has gotten married and carried on like the true charlatan he is without any questioning of his repulsive amendment, in fact most people are blissfully unaware that he did it. The rest of them champion their achievements with Workers Comp changes and how wonderful they are. My own state representative bragged about how much better it is in the flyer sent to everyone in my electorate despite the fact that he admitted not even reading the legislation he agreed to (“it was really late at night’ especially if you have been drinking with Greg Pearce) and Workcover?? My last and only communication with them was about choosing my own rehab provider and the response was to denigrate me by yelling that I was too late in my request and it was tough luck if the insurance company had done the wrong thing. How about we call it what it is -The NSW Bosses Protection Scheme under the Statutory Authority of Workover, created to provide protection for negligent bosses and to harass all injured workers and malign them as fraudulent.

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  2. Heres another site/ form we can look at filling out.
    It goes to your local MP & a copy to Kim Garling from Wiro for the mid year review of this corrupt workers comp system.

    May just be another form/petition that goes nowhere but I guess we gotta try everything…

    http://injuredpersons.org.au/

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    • I joined and form off to local MP, everybody must do this as we may be gaining some momentum here.

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  3. From 4 billion deficit to 309 Million surplus! how was this achieved, by continuing to charge insurance premiums and minimising payouts, that’s how.
    Pay for a service you have no access to!
    History will remember O’Farrell as the Insurance companies puppet.

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  4. Also of interest is the following ICAC information on reporting corruption,
    it seems we could all report corruption. See Below link.

    The workers compensation system was bad before but now it is definitely corrupt!

    It has being made in the Insurers favour & is totally biased.

    We all wonder why there is no ICAC inquiry into it, well maybe we all need to start making inquiries with the ICAC ourselves.

    Maybe with enough complaints with legitimate reasoning they will start to look into it. Everything is worth a go at the moment, we have nothing to lose, its already all being taken away from us.

    http://www.icac.nsw.gov.au/reporting-corruption/how-what-to-report

    https://www.icac.nsw.gov.au/reporting-corruption/reporting-corruption-online-form

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    • faith no more,yes I wonder why they don’t do a royal commission too,but could you imagine it would go for eternity the prisions would be even fuller,the courts would run on over load.They do a series on underbelly maybe do one on workcover can you imagine watching the tv would it be a drama or a comedy.

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