We Support Vic Ombudsman Investigation into Workcover Insurers

VIC-Ombudsman-workcover

The recent announcement by the Victorian Ombudsman -Ms Deborah Glass– to investigate the management of Workcover claims is definitely very worthwhile initiative. For years, injured workers and their representatives have faced workcover Insurer representatives who just say “No”, no matter what!

This often means that the injured has to go through a prolonged process of legal proceedings before finally receiving their proper entitlements. This can mean no income for months and in some cases, even years.
And , of course many injured sods are scared by the prospect of going to court and the financial risks involved. The workcover Insurers obviously use this fear to their advantage. Their big pockets allow them to become big bullies indeed!

Diary of a Workcover Victim Supports Vic Ombudsman Investigation into Workcover Insurers

aworkcovervictimsdiary welcomes the Vic Ombudsman investigation which we believe, but certainly hope, will help injured workers recover earlier with the help they so much need and deserve.

Media statement as per Ombudsman:

The Victorian Ombudsman has commenced an ‘own motion’ investigation into the management of workers compensation claims in Victoria.
The investigation will look at whether WorkSafe agents have unreasonably denied liability or terminated entitlements for people who have suffered injuries in the workplace; and whether agents did this for financial incentives offered by WorkSafe. The investigation will focus on agents’ use of Independent Medical Examinations. Whether WorkSafe is providing effective oversight of agents and their claims management will also be reviewed.
The investigation is the result of many complaints about WorkSafe agents to the Ombudsman: 370 complaints in the 2014-15 financial year. The most common related to claims decisions and processes, including failures in decision making and failure to consider evidence. The second most common complaint related to payments, with complainants registering dissatisfaction with issues around decision making.
The WorkSafe agents include Allianz, CGU, Gallagher Bassett Services, QBE and XChanging.
The Accident Compensation Conciliation Service annual reports for the last three years have shown increases in the number of requests for conciliation of 13.6 per cent (2012-13), 5.2 per cent (2013-14) and 0.2 per cent (2014-15).
Ms Glass is not available for interview.
[Post dictated by WCV and manually transcribed on her behalf]


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32 Responses to “We Support Vic Ombudsman Investigation into Workcover Insurers”

  1. I’m pleased to hear that some Victorian Workcover victims got some satisfaction from their Ombudsman. I went to the Health Ombudsman in Queensland, because the doctors did not refer me for the appropriate tests for my injuries, but they said that they would tell them,( there was four doctors involved in my case.) not to do it again. It progressed to the Resolution officer, who agreed with the Health Ombudsman. I went to The AMA and apparently even though these doctors, who I believe take an oath and are bound by the AMA code of conduct and code of practice, it doesn’t matter, they are still allowed to practice, while I am left disabled, with ruptured tendons in both shoulders, numbness in my left thigh, torn meniscus in my left knee and pinched nerve in my back.
    I have emailed the president of the AMA, but I can only put it down to him stuffing up in his position, and knowing it, in not getting back to me.
    I have also read that some of the Workcover victims have engaged Shine Lawyers in their compensation claims, I would just like to say in my case they said that it was not viable, and the only reason it would not be viable is because of my age. There were also four other so called compensation law firms who gave me the same excuse. I also emailed Erin Brockovich who is supposed to be an advocate for Shine Lawyers and she didn’t even get back to me. It seems that if you are an older employee, even though you do the same work and sometimes more than a younger employee, you are treated differently. I would like to ask what do they term it if it is not DISCRIMINATION, and just say that it is not viable.
    I would also like to add that these government departments are bound by government bureaucratic red tape, so there is very little the injured worker can do. My next step is the CCC in Queensland and then the WHO, not unless I have missed someone.

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    disabled victim May 9, 2016 at 3:10 pm
    • Australian Human Rights Commission – lodge a discrimination claim if you can demonstrate a decision was made on the basis of your disability or your age. Or if your human rights have been abused; go through each article in the human rights legislation and conventions.

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  2. My question is if say a lazy solicitors legal fee was no win no fee and the agreement was made almost 5 years ago before the ombudsman was appointed. If I personally contacted the ombudsman & they looked at the matter – resolved it with the 98C claim settled then would legal fees be owed to the solicitor being that they didn’t get the claim settled instead the ombudsman did? In my mind the solicitor did not win – so no fee payable. If the solicitor missed out on their fees would it be safe to assume they would not consider or advise their client a matter can be referred to the ombudsman?

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    • Billy , looks like your in a bit of a pickle , I believe that if the solicitor had no part in the outcome and you did the hard yards with the help of the ombudsman it would be a bit rich for them to put their hand out .
      On the other hand your agreement with them may have some fine print saying they are owed money if you win a settlement .
      Trouble is it might cost more to fight them than pay them their fee .
      Check with the Victorian Bar association (think that’s right name) to see if they can help .

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  3. @Billy, you’re not very clear about what happened but I think you will find that the ombudsman is a resource and there was already one in place before this current one and u have access to them regardless of being legally represented or not. It would be best to check with the Legal Services Commissioner, they are the ones u make a complaint to if you have problems with a Solicitor and how they represent you (it’s not the Vic Bar Assoc- that’s for Barristers).

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  4. Those that wish to file a Complaint using “The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner” “Procedure Complaint Form” (at the link near the bottom of the page) I will Post the Site here:
    http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/ComplaintProcedure/Pages/HRCComplaintProcedureIndex.aspx
    Please SAVE it after Clicking it on.

    You will probably also need to Download “Open Office” to Open it and Complete/EDIT the form:

    Here is a Link to Download Open Office:

    http://www.openoffice.org/download/

    After you download and “Unpack” Open Office – it will extract it
    DO NOT Click on Download Language Packs.

    Since Open Office is a Full Suite of Office Products; you may wish to do a “Custom Installation” and install Only “Open Office Writer” which is Necessary to View and Edit the “Complaint Procedure Form”.
    Therefore DESELECT all others with the DROP DOWN MENU and Choose “This feature will not be available”.

    CLICK NEXT when finished.

    “Microsoft Word Documents” will be the only thing installed.

    You should be able to then Click on “Complaint Procedure Form” file to View and Edit it-

    Don’t forget to Save when your are finished.

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