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Fit for work notes instead of sick certificates – will we join the madness?

In the UK, the common ‘Sick notes’ (sick certificates) have apparently been superseded by “fit notes”, and the, ahum, health expert – Dame Carol Black –  behind this – ah- revolution was recently in Australia to promote the health benefits for our  injured/ill workers.

The UK director of Work and Health, Dame Carol Black, who, most interestingly has been flown across by Comcare to discuss the health benefits of  the Work(cover) scheme, stated she believes the tradition of doctors issuing patients (including severely injured sods) with sick notes, to give them time off work, can foster a person’s sickness mentality. Goodness me!

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A work capacity decision in NSW is not necessarily the end!

Thanks to our mighty contributor ‘At A Loss’ we were alerted to the following recent NSW Workers Compensation Commission case which basically shows that a work capacity decision in NSW does not necessarily mean the end! Under the legislation (11.) the Commission has jurisdiction to make a continuing award pursuant to the provisions of the former s 40 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (the 1987 Act).

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Work Capacity Assessments and decisions: NSW Nurse’s Association

The NSW Nurses and Midwives Association featured a comprehensive write-up regarding the famous work capacity assessments and decisions, which may help NSW injured nurses (and NSW injured workers) better understand how these work capacity assessments and decisions work. The article also provides a very handy telephone number to the Nurses and midwives’ Association for injured nurses who need assistance and/or advice re their “assessments”.

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cfmeu

CFMEU victories show importance of fighting workcover payment cuts in NSW

Changes made to the NSW Workers Compensation System state that a Lawyer cannot be paid for assisting an injured worker when challenging the validity of a Work Capacity Decision. However, according to the CFMEU’s article titled “Victories show importance of fighting payment cuts” (Unity Issue 61 September 2013),those  NSW injured workers who are lucky enough to be a member of a Union (in this case the CFMEU in NSW) can still seek Union assistance to challenge any Work Capacity Decision made by a workcover insurer.

It also appears that the CFMU may have better results than the WIRO alone when it comes to fighting wrongful payment/benefit cuts by the insurers!

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Workcover surveillance fails to prove work capacity

As we have pointed out on numerous occasions, many genuinely injured workers are “routinely” accused of “fraud” or “exaggeration” and have their weekly payments (medical treatment or claim) ceased of false accusations, leaving these injured workers in utter poverty, bewildered and having to resort to Courts to clear their name(s) and have their weekly payments and other workcover entitlements reinstated.

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Storm front builds around the ‘Work Capacity’ debacle

We came across this release from WIRO’s (WorkCover Independent Review Office) head, Kim Garling.  It suggests that major cracks may be appearing in the new WorkCover changes.  We are not at all surprised given that insurance company case managers are now able to make work capacity decisions that adversely impact on the lives of injured workers and their families.

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Injured worker keeps job in ‘baffling case of discrimination’

A Victorian inured worker was provided with alternative employment due his incapacity to perform his pre-injury duties. His inability to perform pre-injury duties were already determined however his employer attempted to dismiss him based on the results of the Functional Capacity Evaluations.Which should be used as a tool to determine capacity not incapacity….

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