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Workcover NSW broken, pointless, complex and unfair

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’.

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Return to work underminded by adversarial workcover NSW

According to its chief executive, getting rid of adversarial relationships that undermine an injured worker’s ability to return to work from the workcover system remains a “big challenge” for the NSW workers’ comp regulator.

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) is focusing on influencing behaviour and culture in the workers’ comp “ecosystem” instead of on compliance and legislation alone, with the latter being “necessary but not sufficient” to achieve more desirable results, according to Carmel Donnelly.

Speaking at the recent 19th annual National Workers’ Compensation Summit in Sydney , she says a “challenging and confronting fact” in injury management is that “people who access injury compensation schemes may in fact have worse outcomes than if they haven’t been entitled to compensation”.

“If you were treated with care and dignify [within a scheme], and that was your perception, you’re more likely to return to work,” Donnelly says.

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WorkSafe VIC – complex claims process needs fixing

Further to a recent comment made b y “Tom”,  here is the press release from the Ombudsman about its investigation into Victoria’s workers’ compensation scheme. We knon it is well overdue as it occurred in 2016 but here it is. Nothing we did not alteady know as injured workers on the system. Let’s hope things have improved?

 

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WorkCover NSW – entitlement to make further permanent impairment claim

In August 2015 the NSW Court of Appeal decided that NSW injured workers could not make more than one lump-sum insurance claim. In other words that injured workers could not top up their lump-sum compensation payment if their condition deteriorated. However, yesterday (Monday 26 Oct 15), the state government will make a new regulation to override that court decision in that case, known as Cram Fluid Power v Green.

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NSW WCC no power to order the workcover insurer to make payments – WTF?

We have lately been reading heaps of legal cases and recently came across a pretty disturbing one: The NSW Workers Compensation Commission (NSW WCC) ruled in a Jan 2015 case that it does NOT have the power to order a workcover insurer to(re) pay weekly payments to a seriously injured worker for a 2-year period even though the injured worker had a “no work capacity” status. WTF!?

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