The workcover system is, in my seriously injured opinion, designed to do one thing and that is to remove all “responsibility” from the injured worker, and alas, remove all control from the injured worker, which –all too often– leads to desperation, frustration and a myriad of secondary psychological injuries.The following somewhat controversial article aims to make injured workers think hard and show a potential way to stay in control of their claim.
Quite often the lack of a bonding and lasting doctor-patient or doctor-injured worker relationship is a central part…and —often— a central problem…of the workcover system. Quite often the injured worker did not choose to see their doctor or specialist, and the reverse is also true, quite often the doctor did not choose nor want to see this injured worker…
Workers’ compensation (aka workcover) was created for two primary purposes—to provide at least partial compensation for lost income and to pay for medical treatment and rehabilitation services for workers injured or made ill on the job. This approach seems to offer a good deal—if it only worked.
As we recently discussed in our article “Injured workers who have drawn out workcover cases recover more slowly“, a new study suggests that the stress from being on workcover, including engaging a personal injury lawyer, could be linked to a poorer recovery.
Our evil system is called workers’ COMPENSATION. It is NOT called workers’ Return to Work nor No-medical-bills-for-amputees or anything else for that matter.
Here’s the dirty bottom line – All the current discussions about Return to Work – especially forcing RTW- have no place in workers’ compensation. In other words RTW (Return to Work) is bullsh*t. And all ridiculously insulting cessation or capping of payments for medical and like services for permanently INJURED WORKERS is also bovine excrement.
“It’s under investigation” Delay, delay. “We are waiting on some records.” More delay. “It takes a while to process your information in our system.” “We’ll let you know when we make a decision.” “I’m sorry you haven’t gotten your weekly pay, I’ll look in to it.” More delay…. Does any of this sound familiar to you?
Over the past months, and more recently when I watched professional surfer Bethany Hamilton’s story, I can’t help but to have noticed that there is definitely a recurring theme on aworkcovervictimsdiary; and it is centered on the one thing that technical application of the law, workcover regulations and claims management can not provide: support. Or more accurately, a rock solid support network for an injured worker.
It is interesting to see how other countries are dealing with Workers Compensation. The UK has one of the biggest uptakes of personal Workers Compensation insurance, a trend that could accelerate here with the promotion of Income Insurance.
However they have gone further in the UK and as we have adopted other reforms from the UK in the past, how long will it be until these measures are adopted here in Australia?
Thanks to our co-author ‘Trinny”, we came across a phenomenological study undertaken to understand women’s experience of the workers compensation system in Queensland. Although the study was conducted in 2005, it is clear that nothing has changed and that the Study’s recommendations for improvements to the workers compensation system (QLD) was, again and of course, totally ignored. As Trinny comments: “why should the government change the smoke screen that is working for them? Workcover stigma. Clear the smoke and see what is truly behind it!”
Further to the horrendous story highlighting the importance of knowing your rights when it comes to all things workcover. That you need to stand up for yourself, learn to say “no”, not be intimidated, pressurized, bullied or threatened when it comes to lodging a workcover claim, being forced to return to work prematurely or in the most unsuitable duties, whether by your boss, case manager, rehabber or even doctor; and further to the sad but true fact that many injured workers are reluctant to file a workcover claim, because they feel that they would be seen as suing their bosses, and others are afraid of reprisals; the following article explains what you can do if your employer encourages you not to lodge a WorkCover claim.