In 2016 the Victorian ombudsman conducted an investigation into the workcover insurers’handing of workcover claims. The findings were scathing. In particularly the Ombudsman found that Victoria’s workers compensation scheme had failed some particularly vulnerable people. It has now come to our attention that the Vic Ombudsman is to re-investigate insurers’ handling of workers compensation claims and WorkSafe oversight.
Last week, NSW launched an inquiry into the possibility and feasability of a consolidated personal injury tribunal to resolve workcover disputes as well as CTP disputes. This was recommended by last year’s massive review of the NSW workers compensation system.
Last year (March 2017) an upper house inquiry into NSW Workers Compensation released its report recommending a range of reforms. But at the end of our readings we see that nothing has really changed, or has there?
The Law and Justice Committee report found that the dispute resolution processes – called “dysfunctional” by stakeholders – were “inefficient, caused delays, and resulted in inconsistent decision-making and a system that is difficult for scheme participants to navigate”.
The review made 26 recommendations to make claims simpler for injured workers and for the NSW government to establish a ‘one stop shop’ forum for the resolution of all workers compensation disputes.
Other recommendations clamp down on aggressive covert surveillance by insurers, stop insurers “doctor-shopping” to deny claims and require case managers to have mandatory minimum qualifications and training.
The review also recommends the removal of the distinction between ‘work capacity’ and ‘liability’.
National review of WHS legislation
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!
A journalist working for a well-known TV Channel is working on a story and came across our site. S/he is looking for teachers that have been assessed by two well known (notorious) IME psychiatrists.
Hoda is currently conducting a research project as part of his/her fourth year graduate diploma course in Psychology at Cairnmillar Institute, located in Camberwell, Victoria. The research topic is on workplace bullying and its influence on employees’ psychological wellbeing and work functioning. S/he has asked us to post his/her survey/questionnaire (approved by Cairnmillar’s ethics committee) on our site, which we’re doing.
More than 5000 NSW injured workers have lost their workers’ compensation benefits since the state government overhauled the WorkCover NSW scheme in 2012, a new Macquarie University research study has found.
A new enlightening research report by researcher Sarah Pollock, John Bottomley and Ann Taket has just been released by Creative Ministries Network. Sarah interviews 15 long-term injured workers about their experiences of the WorkCover system. All hoped the report would help to improve the system for others.