I need help

Do you need help with your workcover claim? Do you have a question you need answered?

 

 If you need help or advise, this is the page where you can post your question(s).

If you’re stuck and need help with your workcover claim or have a particular question, please post your query here. Please ensure you mention the state you are located in, as the workcover laws vary from state to state.

Due to the large amount of email queries (questions re workers comp and workcover claim issues) we can not guarantee that we will be able to answer your email/queries personally. Please use this page (I need help) – below- to ask your questions, as our contributors and injured readers are often able to answer your questions or lead you in the right direction. You can use a nickname and an alias email to comment/ask questions, preserving your anonymity.

Remember that we are based in Victoria, and are most knowledgeable about the Victorian workcover system, however our interstate readers are often able to help injured workers from other states than Victoria.

For “peer-to-peer support”, you can post your questions here on this page (below in the comment section) where our Team and other injured workers may have advice for you or experience with your specific situation in your state.

We always like to hear the stories of all injured workers in Australia to help us compile anonymous, but factual, evidence from as injured workers about any abuses they have experienced by workers compensation systems across Australia.

How to post a question

workcovervictimsdiary-use-a-nickname

Please also refer to our general website use page as well as to our Comment Policy as well as our Social Networking warning

To post a comment on a workcover victims diary you do not need to register or login or anything in order to post a question and you can post it entirely anonymously.

You can use the “comment” form under each post (article) to comment. To do so you will need to use a name (which can be anything fictitious such as “victim”, “newbie”, “I hate them”, whatever) and an email address. The email address can be entirely made up as well, should you prefer to remain anonymous (mind you, using your real email address is also safe, as it will NOT be published and your email will only be visible to the blog’s administrator), however, due to potential hacking or snooping, we suggest you use a fake email address at all times to comment (so that in the unlikely event of a successful hack your email address can not be stolen). A fictitious email address can be anything as long as there is a “@” in it and a ”com”; for example “nothing@whatever.com”; “fake@fake.com”.

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Note: aworkcovervictimsdiary does not (or very rarely) insert comments on behalf of our readers – i.e comments on articles received via email.

Additional Resources

Search box and the Tags:

 

workcovervictimsdiary-search-tools(on the right hand side of the blog): our site contains over a thousand articles and chances are thataworkcovervictimsdiary-tags the information you are looking for is already on the site. You can use the search box (see image left) to type in a keyword(s) i.e. type in “IME” (see below – use our advanced search), or you can search the Categories. An easier way is to select the Tags.For example if you are looking for information about independent medical examinations, simply click on the tag “IME”, which will show you all the posts and articles about IMEs. (see image right).

You can also view our site’s content in the form of a Sitemap , showing our archives, for ease of reference.

 

Use our advanced search

search-aworkcovervictimsdiaryYou can type a keyword in to the search box (top right and bottom of side bar on page) and you will see a little wheel spin while the site is looking for all articles that contain the keyword. For example: I am looking for “impairment” articles and started typing “impairm” as my keyword; after a few seconds the articles come up automatically! (see picture on left)

Relevant workcover legislation in each state

Head on over to our section: Resource Centre in the  (top)menu, which contains a page titled “workcover legislations” where you can find all the workcover laws in every jurisdiction (state and territories).

Frequently asked questions

We have created pages and lists of FAQs, i.e. WorkSafe VIC FAQ, where you can find heaps of information.

Also see “who else can help”

If you’re stuck and need help with your workcover claim or have a particular question, please post your query here. Remember to please ensure you mention the state you are located in, as the workcover laws vary from state to state.

If you need help or advise, post your question(s) below in the comment section.

 

updated12 April 2015

2,624 Responses to “I need help”

  1. Thanks for that. I can understand the physio’s point of vview, I had never been there before he was having as much trouble as I was in getting into contact with the insurer . He has stated to me that stopping treatment at that time has played a part in the aggravation of the injury.

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    frustratedmonkey November 19, 2017 at 8:47 pm
    • If you don’t already have a lawyer I would suggest you engage one sooner rather than later.
      I would also lodge the complaint with workcover and send something from the physio saying the pause in treatment has had a detrimental effect.
      My treatment was stopped altogether and I’m now unable to work. So it’s better to have proper legal help and supportive medical team early on. Be careful of the lawyer.. Make sure they are reputable and known. I was referred to a local one by my treating GP as the firm took care of him with court times etc. They don’t however always look after their clients ad I found out. I now have to start from scratch. Arnold Becker & Thomas in Melbourne are supposed to be ok and Norwicki Carbine. Some firms have been taken over by one of the big 5 but the lawyers still work within the original offices.

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  2. Hi, I am really struggling with ongoing claim, all the advice points towards seeking “independent legal help”, but I am having trouble working out how to find it! I have phoned the legal aid advice line and they say they don’t do workcover, I definitely do not have enough money to pay a lawyer, and when I phoned around some no win no fee lawyers they said they couldn’t represent me until my claim was accepted or denied. (Workcover have been stalling this decision for a long time) Does anyone know why that would be, or what that means?

    If anyone has any advice or tips on how to get some true independent advice, I would be ever so grateful! I have never used any lawyers before so I really have no idea what I am doing. Also I feel like my injury will not be permanent, so would a ‘no win no fee’ lawyer even be interested in helping me as it is not likely there will be a lump sum payout?

    Thanks!
    Alone and Struggling

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  3. Emma,
    Sorry this isn’t the helpful site it used to be. It’s creator had serious health issues and hasn’t been on for some time.
    First things first..
    What state is your claim related to? While work cover is throughout Australia it is state based on claims.
    Have you lodged a claim form with your employer?
    Has you employer forwarded your claim to their insurers?
    Your GP would or should have filled out a certificate of capacity. And maybe even given you a worksafe claim form .
    Your employer is liable for the first 10days wages and a excess on your claim. If you are not sure if your employer has lodged your claim find out who their insurer is, call and let them know you have lodged your claim with your employer. Keep copies of everything.. cannot stress that enough.. buy your self a folder and keep everything filed as it happens, keep track of any receipts for Drs and medication and treatments you pay for. Initially this should be claimed from your employer, once they reach the excess threshold the insurer starts to reimburse the employer.
    You should be notified within 28 days of your claim outcome. If this period had lapsed contact Worksafe ( in Victoria) and let them know the date of accident, date claim lodged employer etc, and they will follow up.
    Some legal firms will off an initial consultation free of charge. Some firms will assist with filling out the initial claim form, some known firms are Arnold Becker Thomas, Norwicki Carbone, Shine Lawyers, the lawyer Workcover victim used was
    John Typaldos of Zapata Lawyers 0437 070 388 mention this page.. but majority of those are in Victoria.

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  4. Emma, I have not been on this site for a while and finally after nearly ten years, I am off WC. My journey was very tough, but I fought it all the way and eventually won against them. I do not know what work you do, but if it is possible, join a Union. I know there are weak Unions out there but they are only weak because too many people do not belong to them. I could not have dealt with WC without my Union, they provided me with legal help and guided me through the whole process. Ring around and find out what union would cover you and remember if they take your money, they have to provide you at least with advice. This system thrives on making injured workers feel alone and desperate, we can only fight it collectively. I wish you well with your fight against them.

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  5. When I enquired about joining post my accident to get help I was told they are unable to. You have to be a member before any accident.

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    • I often thought of unions as insurance for work and yes they can refuse you if you already are injured. My union did allow people who were injured to join, but they could not get the free legal action, however they could get the advice.Never used to be that way years ago, but I would still advise everyone to join their union in case they got injured.

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  6. I am writing as supporter/career/friend of a WorkCover victim. He suffered a workplace accident in Victoria 2002, hurt his back, had 4 level fusion surgery, cannot work ever again and has had a pathetic settlement but WorkCover is still liable for his medical and like expenses. He is in 24/7 pain, is limited in walking, sitting, standing for any length of time. Approx one year ago due to feeling an increase in his pain he sought advice from a Neurosurgeon who told him he could help alleviate some of his pain. Apparently a screw from his earlier surgery had worked it’s way loose and this surgeon said he could fix this and replace a lot of the outdated hardware in his back. He said he would not be running around a football field but it will certainly help him. Xchanging sent him to a Rheumatologists for an opinion. I did not know it was an opinion only, I thought if this guy didn’t think the surgery was suitable he would recommend what would be suitable. This was not the case and he told me he cannot offer my victim anything and he was only employed for an opinion, which of course was, NO, the surgery is not suitable treatment for the condition. This IME is on your list. My victim has since had a second opinion from another Neurosurgeon along with letters from other doctors in the pain management field who have all supported the surgery. He was going to conciliation with these reports when the conciliator told him she contacted Xchanging to tell them to rule in his favour due to these reports but they said no, they were digging their heels in. Xchanging also requested a report from the second opinion Neurosurgeon but when he said he wanted $2,000 for it they didn’t go ahead, instead going back to relying on the Rheumatologists opinion. So now he is heading to the Medical Review Panel and I am so afraid for him as I thought he had a slam dunk case for conciliation but obviously WorkCover are a law unto themselves and can just say NO. My question is should he hire a lawyer and if so is my victim liable for the lawyers bill? Also, is there any way we can force Xchanging to send my victim to a Neurosurgeon instead of a Rheumatologist? Also, is it legal for Xchanging to ignore the second opinion Neurosurgeons report due to cost? Sorry for the lengthy post but I think the history is important and I want to get the most informed advice I can for my friend.
    Thanks

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    • Hi Fred,
      A Neurosurgeon certainly trumps a Rheumatologists in terms of expertise. Rhumatologists cannot operate and do not have an equal weighting of skills that a Neurosurgeon has.

      The insurers are playing hardball for sure.

      The second Neurosurgeons fee of $2000 is very expensive for a report. I suggest your friend contacts his insurers and tells them that he needs the report to enable him to present it to the conciliation to be fairly represented in the interests of his ongoing health and pain management and denial of this is discriminitory and detrimental to his physical and psychological well being. The insurers are playing tricks in comparing a Neurosurgeons report to a Rhumatologists report. It is totally inadequate and like comparing apples to oranges.

      He also needs to explain to them that they are cherry picking and in relying on the opinion of a Rheumatology specialist who is not in the position to negate a Neurosurgeons opinion and the recommendations of one other Neurologist and numerous doctors in the diagnostic and pain management field. Rhumatologists cannot operate and do not have the diagnostic expertise that Neurosurgeons have.

      If the insurer still won’t budge, your friend should ask them to refer him to a their specialist Neurosurgeon or pay the $2000 cost for your friend to get his second Neurologists report, otherwise the insurers are comparing apples with oranges.

      The only other thing he can do is pay the fee himself and tell the insurers that if they use the second Neurologists report to arrive at their decision, be it in his favour or not, they will have to reimburse him for the privelage of using the report.

      Also, he should have a copy of the Rhumatologists report to give to his Neurologist to comment on in his report. If not, he has to ask the insurer to send him a copy. They cannot deny him this.

      Your friend has to be ballsy and call their bluff.

      Good luck.

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    • Hi Fred, Who represented your friend at Concil? Was it WorkCover Assist or was he in a Union? Has it been referred to the Medical Panel yet bc this can be crucial i.e. the question and the medical evidence to be considered. Usually Conciliation issues a Medical Authority for the injured worker to get reports so if your friend has that Authority he should be able to get the report from the Neurosurgeon. I do agree with Paula about the Rheumatologist not being the correct Specialist to be making a decision in this regard. There are things that can be done to try to get this back on track but it sounds like the brakaes need to go on this quickly. X-Changing are one of the dirtiest of the Insurers but they still have to be accountable so there are ways and means to fight back. I’m pretty sure if he hire a solicitor he will be liable for the bill but he could call a few no win no fee firms and check it out for sure. Also Adviceline Injury Lawyers sometimes give some free advice over the phone. Most advice is usually basic and it usually is a means of getting new clients though. Come back to us and let us know a little more if you can.

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      • Hi Joe, thanks for your post and the others who responded. My friend did not get to go to conciliation as the conciliator told my friend she was going to xchanging with the letters of support for the surgery and they will have to agree. They did not, they were not budging, we were told conciliation would be a waste of time, so the case was referred to the Medican Panel. He had Worcover assist. The case has not gone as far as having a date set but all the reports and letters have been collated and listed, so it’s just a matter of time I guess.
        As for the second Neurosurgeons report, we did in fact write to him to ask him if we could have the report and that we understand he should be compensated but with my victim being on DSP could not pay $2000. We have not heard back from him unfortunately. We have heard Xchanging have a bad reputation! So if you know of any means to tip the scales in our favour, please tell us how. The ironic thing about this is due to their stuffing him around and him completely losing hope, they had to fork out for two weeks in a private hospital for him as he was so depressed. Thanks again. Fred.

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  7. Hi Fred, I wouldn’t worry too much about the medical panel.. they are quite fair in their assessments. You just have to make sure all the reports from the Drs your friend has seen and that are in support of this surgery are sent to the panel as part of the assessment. There should be scans, X-rays mri’s that have been done recently to support what this Neurosurgeon has said, the conciliator should have sent these for inclusion.
    The panel will be made up of specialists in the fields relevant to your friends condition. Obviously a rheumatologist is a specialist in inflammatory disease and are not orthopaedic/neuro surgeons. In saying that I recently had a rheumatologist present at my medical panel for my back, but there was also a GP and an orthopaedic surgeon.
    Your friend can always seek the advice of a lawyer, I believe Workcover cover some of the costs, and the first consult is usually free. There is a possability your friend could be eligible for further compensation.
    All the best.

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  8. Does anyone on here have IT knowledge or the ability to assist load a wordpress website and forum for us to use? This is urgent for us to consolidate and unite. We have the support of Vic Trades Hall Council but as this site is no longer active we need to activate a new one and link with the Unions and get behind some of the campaigns and changes that they are pushing for and that will help us all. PLEASE HELP? We have some physical groups already running and we need to connect everything with an active online presence. Let us know asap. WooWoo, we desperately need you if you can with all of your knowledge and experience. Pls all spread the word and respond on here and then I will advise email and phone contacts. We are aiming to unite and have the same kind of Support Network as the Injured Workers Support Network in NSW and VTHC have already connected with them so that we can all unite.

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    • I know how to upload and install wordpress and have some intermediate knowledge of IT. I would be happy to donate my time to sorting this new site out.

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      victornotvictim December 5, 2017 at 1:11 pm
      • Write to my email address and I will be in contact later today. I already have pre-arranged engagements this afternoon.

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        victornotvictim December 5, 2017 at 1:13 pm
  9. Hi Admin
    I’ll check with my son’s and ex hubby.. they are all IT literate and may know WordPress..
    I’m happy to help where and when I can.. but have limited capabilities.. brain fog being one issue..
    Are you looking at transferring all the data from this site?
    I have an email address for wcv but haven’t had any response from my last email.

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    • Hi WooWoo, fabulous, thank you so much as well. I understand how difficult it is having limitations, I am in the same boat, and probably many others of us are as well. So it’ll be a matter of making sure you look after your health first and foremost and we can all chip in where we are able. The information on this site is invaluable so I think if we can speak with WVC and ensure that there is a back-up kept and if she will permit we may ask to transfer some of the information. I used to have her details many years ago but lost them now so if you can organise contact it would be greatly appreciated. We can identify ourselves if required and bring a representative from VTHC if necessary to meet with her to ensure she understands this is all legitimate as I know there has understandably been trust issues in the past because of the Insurers and PI’s. Pls email to: workcoverorg@gmail.com and we can take it from there. Thanks again, Admin.

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  10. I know how to upload and install wordpress and have some intermediate knowledge of IT. I would be happy to donate my time to sorting this new site out.

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    victornotvictim December 5, 2017 at 1:10 pm
read-before-u-commentThis is a statement pointing you to our seriously injured but esteemed and honourable Social Networking Sites Warning and our comment policy. A must read in the context of a very adversarial workcover system! Remember to mention in which state you reside if you seek advice.

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