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.

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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).

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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

2,628 Responses to “I need help”

  1. @Bunny :Hi Mate, it is indeed very frequent in my 4 years so far they have used this excuse 5 times…yeap….I complained to everybody under the sun about this practice but no one care responding … this is very unfortunate but you just need to accept it and hope the crooked IME won’t be too biased (which I truly doubts as it is his bread …repeat business from insurances if he give them a nice report).

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  2. AMP what can I say…..my advice and this was given too me from nice staff member from Human Services is change your super fund to a user friendly super mob…AMP make life extremely difficult have idiots as team leaders in the admin side of their super…I am only trying to access my super under severe hardship….my goodness these clowns make sure severe hardship of access to your funds is severe hardship. The clown assigned to my claim leaves msgs on my phone and then when I try to return call makes it impossible…This clown expects me to mediate thru their call center to communicate with her…Divulging my private info to call center staff member is a breach of my privacy and how rude and unproffessional of AMP to expect me to use call center as the meat in sandwich to get answers to my problem….As soon as I threatened legal intervention bingo amp’s clown took my call….This clown is incompetent to state the least…it contradicts itself thank goodness I record these interventions….so all I can say is hang in there and look for a user friendly super to change over too…AVOID AMP AT ALL COSTS!

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  3. Quick question: are travel expenses to the Chemist claimable?

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    • Quick answer is YES I claim the travel to a Chemist as it comes under medical an like expences although some insurers may refuse to start with.. Cheers hope this helps 🙂

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      • Your lucky then Jo, I’m sure I have read that trips to the chemist are not claimable, but InVictoria, I’d put it on the list of travel and see… if they do they do and if not you can dispute it…. 🙂

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        • Ah there you go then, I am in Victoria. Sorry I didn’t realise it was different elsewhere.

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        • I’ve put it in and they pretend not to see it and did not rembuiresed me for that.

          They emailed and said it’s not covered.

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          • Never heard that trips to the chemist are covered for mileage, nor taxi transport for that matter. At least not in Victoria. They are not considered medical and like services for the purpose of travel.

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            • I get paid for trips to the chemist and post office and I put in my receipt for stamps and photo coping of documents and they pay me,this was given advice from my lawyer.

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              • Ask your insurer for a ‘Travel reimbursement Form’ fill the form out with the dates, mileage, service Doctor Chemist etc and ask them to initial or sign it while at the service; remember to double the mileage as you will have a return trip Home. I also claim the travel to and from the rehab provider.
                When you have filled the Form up copy it and send it in with your Certificate of capacity; If they get the Workover cert they got the Travel Form! just in case it goes missing in the mail.
                Always keep copies of EVERYTHING!

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            • I am taken by Taxi to my IME appointments (some distance) as I cannot drive that far and don’t have other methods of transport available; I usually have to ask my Doctor to write/fax the insurer once a year to tell them I am unable to drive that far and they organise the referred transport.
              I used to get Ambulance patient transport to take me but if an Ambulance took me it was absolute agony due to the hard Truck like suspension.
              If you’re having problems with driving or using other transport ask your Doctor to write to the insurer about it.

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              • Hi Jo,
                You have to be extremely careful when asking your doctor to write to the insurer saying you cannot drive long distance.
                I have 2 lumbar discs and one cervical one crushed and I can only drive sometimes when in a “good day” just to go to pick up/drop my kids to local station 5/7 minutes drive or get to shops about same.
                When I informed the insurer I could not drive to IME appointment 30 minutes away they wanted me to contact the RTA , with my doctor reports, to have my driving limitations assessed and placed on my driving license. The case manager was a bastard then and I had to pay for the taxi to attend the IME but I didn’t contact the RTA as they were likely to revoke my license as anyway I am constatntly under the influence of high dose of morphine therefore, as per their rules should not drive. So be carefull what information you are providing…anyway the case manager was replaced, as they all are after few months (so far in 4years and 4 months I had 9 case mgrs), and I was able to have my doctor tell her that I was able to self manage my short driving but that anything over 15 minutes was not advised, note he told her driving more increase my pain which distract me from the driving….do NOT admit you have permanent limitations if you see what I mean!. She accepted it .As for the taxi fare I waited the following years and about 3 case mgrs and I got all my travel eexpenses listed and sent them for reimbursement- over $1700 with about $1200 in taxi to attend 4 IME visits.
                Hope this will help any one having issues with travel expenses and driving limitations.

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  4. Hi, I’ve recently been told that my occupational rehabilitation consultant, which I had the choice of 3 to choose from around 5 months ago, is no longer going to be helping me due to a late report to the insurance company.
    I was notified by a phone call and told he was no longer my occ rehab provider and they have organised another one for me.
    I argued the point that I wasn’t consulted in this change and I should have had the choice on another provider. The reply from my insurance case manager was that if I don’t comply with this new rehab provider my payments would cease?
    I can’t understand why the insurance company has no accountability for their actions, they stopped my payments 3 weeks ago after I told them I had a fall at home due to my damaged knee, she told me this is now a new injury and until I have a ime my payments will be suspended.
    After reading the act and contacting a lawyer my payments were reinstated but the insurance case manager ends up with a slap on the wrist?
    This means war

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    This means war June 17, 2014 at 1:47 pm
    • Don’t know what state you are in but it seems the CM is just bullying you into compliance so they can get you to one of their own to dispute your claim. I would contact WorkCover in your state and ask if you can choose your own rehab providers as I believe is the case. Also tell WorkCover/WorkSafe about the harassment. Each time my CM did something to me I wrote an email directly outlining exactly what they did and how it has effected your mental health and when they did not reply. I found out who their supervisor was and forwarded the original complaint to the supervisor saying how the case manager was not complying with customer service standards or WorkCover guidelines etc and that you now need psychological assistance to cope with the bullying. If the reply is not satisfactory then go higher. Each time you email ask for the contact details of the person’s supervisor.
      You have to fight back but you also have to let them know they are bullying you and how it affects you as this is evidence for when you can’t take it any more when you will need approval for psychological support!! I have had a heap of case managers and know few who are honest. Good luck with your fight.

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      How many other ways can they FU! June 17, 2014 at 2:05 pm
    • With decisions like that from the CM (Case Manager/Mismanager) you would be well within your rights to request a new CM be appointed by the insurer. It may not improve overall service, but it will show the insurer you aren’t just going to be stuffed around and held hostage to their incredibly unreasonable demands.

      I suspect OCC Rehab provider choices may differ from state to state too. I didn’t have the choice at all when I was injured in the ACT and one was appointed, failed to report in time (like yours) and was replaced all with no input or involvement from me. I just suddenly had strange people contacting me about my injury. By comparison, another case I’m party to in Victoria allowed the choice-of-three OCC Rehab providers.

      It does seem strange that they will give you the choice once, but then refuse to let you choose again after they terminate the first one. I’d start asking questions, and if your CM doesn’t answer them, ask for his or her manager.

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      • Sorry I should have mentioned I’m in Victoria, I rang ans spoke with worksafe vic and was told by them to put a complaint into the insurance company complaints department?
        Did that and they said they’d get back to me, so I’m still here holding my breath.

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        This means war June 17, 2014 at 2:18 pm
        • Ask the insurer to send you a copy of their customer service policy that gives a time frame for replies so that will be the next complaint!

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          How many other ways can they FU! June 17, 2014 at 7:33 pm
  5. Quoted:
    However, you must remember to roll over any TPD (total permanent disability) benefit into an approved fund to avoid the preclusion period regarding weekly payments as set out in section 96 of the Act!

    could someone explain this further? don’t quite get it

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    • @InVictoria- I refer to “Will a claim on my Super fund affect my WorkCover payments?” – in our recent article How to access super and TPD insurance for injury compensation
      The answer is: Generally, YES.
      If you are paid a lump sum by your Super fund, your weekly WorkCover payments may (will) stop for a period of time. How long they are ceased/suspended will depend on the size of the lump sum you received, the amount of your WorkCover payments and when you were injured.

      To avoid the risk of having your weekly pay stopped/cut off, don’t withdraw your superannuation benefits until your workcover claim or entitlements has finalised. Some lawyers will be able to set up a “trust fund” for you where the Super money can be held until such a time.

      This basically means that if you are receiving weekly payments for workcover they will STOP if you access your super or TPD. They will generally stop for a period of time. Lawyers will ususally advise you, if you make a super claim, to put that money in a trust fund (and NOT touch it) until your claim is resolved, if you want to keep your weekly payments. It does not make much sense given the insurance (super/TPD) money is YOURS… but that is hoe wokcover “thinks”.

      Section 96 of the Vic Act explains it in legalese

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  6. hi, my statutory claims with workcover have now ceased yet I am still technically employed by my employer who refuse to terminate my employment. My legal advice is NOT to resign my position with them. My questions is do they have to pay me wages now that workcover has stopped and they still employ me ? I do not have a clearance to return to work and am still incapacitated. Please note that I am currently recieving no income and cannot claim benefits as I am “technically” employed ??? please help settle my nerves ? Can they keep me employed but not pay me wages ?

    any help would be greately apprecited 🙂

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    • @Julz – first of all I am not sure in which state you reside (workcover laws are different in each state/territory). Secondly I don’t know why you are no longer entitled to weekly payments (i.e. past 130 weeks in Vic? Not unfit for work for the “foreseeable future”, did you finalise your claim (settlement)? etc).
      The sad fact is that you can be ‘technically employed’ for years and years whilst unfit due to a workplace injury/illness. Many of us, seriously injured workers, have not (been able to) returned to work for over 4-5 years and are technically still employed by our pre-injury employer, even though they do no longer have a “duty of care” (in Vic they only have a duty of care for 12 months from the date of injury, in NSW it is 6 months, but in SA for example it is indefinite).
      If you can’t return to work due to your injuries/illness, your employer will NOT pay you, as you are not working and as it is their workcover insurer which pays you the weekly payments. So, for some reason you are no longer entitled to weekly pay by the insurer (it may help to explain their reason, as sometimes you can dispute that decision).
      So, basically this means that unfortunately you will not get any payments, unless workcover reinstates your pay.
      Resigning is usually not a good idea.

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      WorkcoverVictim3 June 19, 2014 at 7:59 am
      • Just out of curiosity does anyone know for those of us that are “technically employed” by our agencies beyond the 12 months in Vic, are we still entitled to some of the benefits that all employees are. I’m thinking of things like long service leave if we are still employed at 7 years, paternal leave, maternity leave etc.

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        • @Porsche47 – there is some valuable info about leave on our workcover employment issues page(under resources).
          I am aware that some injured workers got their annual leave paid out years and years later while still technically employed (and had accrued that leave whilst still working, but had not taken it). I don’t think long service leave accrues, nor annual leave whilst off work. No idea about parental leave but I suspect we would not be entitled …

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          Worcovervictim3 June 19, 2014 at 6:18 pm
      • Thank you very much. The reason I’m no longer eligible for wc payments is because IME said my injuries were stable …. They weren’t I now need a second major surgery. But I also want to try alternatives before surgery. I’ve also suffered psychological injuries as a result (injury date oct 2012) I’ve recieved payments for 18 months …. But this last part confuses me … So they can technically keep me employed but not earning a wage ?

        I wanted to thank you guys for this site too !!! It’s amazing to be able to talk freely to ppl 🙂 thank you xx

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        • Have you seen your Lawyer about the non payment and the IME report?
          You can go to conciliation for a “review” about payments and treatments. Not knowing what state you are in its hard to give the correct information.
          Centrelink will pay sickness benefit with certificates from your GP.

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    • I’m in qld

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    • Hi julz

      I had the same thing if you have had an IME you will probably find one line buried saying you are fit to do your pre accident work from one point of view, ie surgical, there is no surgical reason for you not to return to your previous duties, that is all WorkCover QLD need to cut you off even if the rest of the report says you can not do your job. If your gp still says you can not do your job then your employer has to abide by that but because your WorkCover case is closed then it is just like having the flu you are sick in there eyes but its not there responsibility. If you still have the medical situation 12 months after the accident and WorkCover have stopped payments, the employer will contact you and ask you if you can return to your job as you were before your job, if the restrictions are still in place they will declare you are unfit for tasks and can legally make you unemployed. There is not much you can do about your weekly payments but I would recommend you start a dialog now with your employer because if they do let you go you must make it amicable between you and them. As after all you will need them in the future for a reference and how they terminated you is important for centrelink if they fill in your leaving employment form as left voluntarily you will not immediately get benefits make sure it says for medical reasons.
      Also remember that if you return to another job they can request your WorkCover file so tread carefully if they cover your file with internal memos that say worker was being difficult out of spite to you a future employer may see it. Talk to a lawyer before getting it to a muck throwing contest.
      Its probably not what you want to hear but I have just been through the same thing and trying to get my weekly payment reinstated ended up with my total body impairment pay out being delayed for 3 months so WorkCover could get more information.

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      befuddled in cairns June 23, 2014 at 8:41 am
  7. Hi all, I’m in Victoria and have to deal with obviously ahhhlianz. I need to know if anyone has had a problem where their case manager and vocational rehabilitation case manager tried to tell them to get a stay at home job? At first I felt railroaded that they tried to make out that a questionnaire they asked my gp if I had capacity to work and he said “light office work maybe @ 6mo ? maybe @ 1 year?. (when I asked him about it he said “we will review it in 6-12mo) I have no office experience as I have been manual labour all my life heavy diesel mechanic. Due to my injury I can’t sit long or stand long have periodic incontinence issues and suffer from excess pain for which i’m on many pain meds as well as depression and anxiety. Due to the meds I’m not always lucid enough to do much when I am sitting. Due to periodic incontinence I never know when I’m going to need to be at the toilet. Considering my issues even if I can make it through some sort of retraining program I might be able to do from home working in my current state would be very tedious at best and massively stressful. Oh yeah and now after speaking to my psychologist they have labeled me unwilling or something because I questioned the fact that at first the vocational consultant said “your back to work” wtf are these people thinking? I’d love to be back at work but would like to do something I like, hmmmmm no offence but that doesn’t involve being behind a desk. I’ve been teaching people to drive boats and sailing/racing most of my life now 95% of my day is inside specially because the cold has started to really kill me. Oh yeah and I can only drive 10-15 min now before loose feeling in my leg and unable to control brake and accelerator. So travel is out as well. So there’s my happy ray of sunshine. If anyone could let me know the legality of what they seem to want to do that would be great. Thanks so much….

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    • As someone who retrained after RSI 23 years ago, office work needs a clear head and the ability to sit for periods of time, I am trying to think of other jobs I may be able to do as I can’t survive on thin air… Problem is I have a sit/stand restriction and no fixed position of neck. also problems using mouse and keyboard… Teaching is not an option due to stress/anxiety.
      I rely on my Dr’s advice and insight, they usually know how to play the game VWA want to play… My original prognosis was 3 to 6 months, and be back at full time hours, even had me bluffed and I pushed myself to do so, but fell big time, now nearly 3 years later I am unable to work and keep on top of the demands of keeping the Insurers/Legal team happy… Any RTW plan has to be approved by your GP, if he say’s no then its no. If any RTW plan is given to you take it to your GP/Treating Health Professional before signing.
      I have come off Avanza and am on Valdoxan, the heads much clearer, feel nearly normal on good days, and can have a laugh with the kids… There are many different anti depressants around and if the one you’re on is giving you problems let the GP know.

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    • You sound a bit like me but maybe a little worse? Be careful of these dodgy rehab places, I could tell you stories about some I’ve seen in the past. I’ve even been threatened by one who told me if I don’t do everything they say they’d tell my insurer I had been uncooperative and have me cut off! (CRS) Have they tried recommending you do Call centre work yet? That seems a favourite for them 😉 They usually say you can get up and walk around, have a stretch etc and think that takes all the pain away F#@kwits!

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      • I got recommended for call centre work as they do no admin???

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        • I guess in some regards I am lucky as I live remote rural which was a fight originally as I had my injury occur in the city and then moved and they even asked me did I have permission, WTF they even tried to say where I could live. But we have had many arguments as my nearest town is 1 hr drive away.

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      • Yes call centre was the first thing. It’s all to much some days!!!

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  8. Hi there,

    I need some advise. I went to my latest lawyers meeting and he told me that they had granted me a serious injury certificate, however he STRONGLY recommended that I do not accept it and that I go to court instead.
    He was adamant that i dont take the cert, so much so that he said if I wanted to take the certificate I would have to sign a statement that said i acknowledge that I am going against his recommendations..

    My question is, has anybody been in this position before? I feel like it is a huge decision but have no idea what to do!?

    Thanks 🙂

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    • I’d be going back and asking him to explain the procedure… My lawyer is after a serious injury certificate so we can go on to claim pain and suffering and loss of income.

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    • @Mitch, can you tell us in what state you reside? It may help us better understand your question.

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    • @Mich – if you’re in Victoria, I am not sure why your lawyers would ask you not to sign a serious injury certificate. Are you not talking about a “notice of assessment”? A serious injury certificate is a gateway to allow to commence common law, provided there was negligence. You can obtain a serious injury cert in 2 ways in Vic – under the quantitative test (30%or more WPI needed) or in court under the qualitative/narrative test (which is more difficult).

      What is a common law claim?

      Some work related injuries are caused due to someone’s fault or negligence. This can be because of your employer’s failure to provide a safe workplace, although it can include the acts of another party with no connection to your employer. A claim seeking compensation for an injury where negligence is involved is called a common law claim. The compensation sought in a common law claim is called damages.

      A common law claim is separate and in addition to your entitlements under the WorkCover system.

      Damages

      There are 2 main categories of damages sought in a common law claim:

      – Pain and suffering, or general damages – this is compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured and will continue to endure, and your loss of enjoyment of life;
      – Past loss of earnings and future loss of earning capacity – compensation for wages lost because you have been unable to work, and/or are unable to work into the future.

      Even where your injury was caused by your employer or another person’s fault, you do not automatically have the right to sue for damages. You must first establish that you have suffered a serious injury.

      What is a serious injury?

      You must have a serious injury to be able to bring a common law claim. This means either receiving an impairment assessment of 30% or greater in a lump sum application under your WorkCover claim (this is what we refer to as a Deemed Serious Injury), or qualifying under one of the definitions of serious injury in the Accident Compensation Act. These are:

      Permanent serious impairment or loss of a body function
      Permanent serious disfigurement
      Permanent severe mental or permanent severe behavioural disturbance or disorder
      Loss of a foetus

      Whether you meet any of the above definitions involves an assessment of the injury itself and the consequences of the injury to see if these consequences are ‘more than significant’ when compared with other cases.

      The Victorian Workcover Authority (or WorkSafe) through its lawyers, may issue a certificate confirming you have suffered a serious injury. If your application is denied, then a case can be issued in the County Court of Victoria seeking a certificate, where a judge decides whether you meet the serious injury criteria (this is known as the qualitative/narrative test)

      Does the serious injury certificate entitle me to sue for both types of damages?

      No, a certificate can either be granted to allow you to sue for both pain and suffering and loss of earnings, or just pain and suffering. It is very difficult to get the right to sue for loss of earnings. Unless you have a deemed serious injury, you can only claim for lost earnings if you can prove that your present and future earnings have dropped by at least 40%, and that this drop will be permanent. A detailed analysis of your earnings and the medical reports would need to be done to see whether you establish this loss. It is a particularly onerous requirement because the analysis of your future earnings does not look at whether you are actually working or can get a job, but whether your medical condition allows you to work, and if so, how much money you could theoretically earn.

      What happens when I get the serious injury certificate?

      If a certificate is granted, you then have the right to sue for damages. There are steps that must be completed before you can issue your court case, such as a settlement conference and written offers from each party. If your case does not settle during this negotiation stage, a Writ would then be issued in the County Court or the Supreme Court. This is the case where negligence and damage has to be proven and the outcome is usually determined by a judge and jury of six.

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      Workcovervictim3 July 10, 2014 at 8:42 am
      • Hi Workcovervictim3, thanks for your reply.
        I am in Victoria. From my understanding, we applied for a common law claim and they had 120 days to respond. My lawyer said that they had offered a serious injury certificate and that if i were to accept it we would go straight to a conference and a settlement would be decided. If i were to not accept it, we would apply for a court hearing and in roughly 12 months we would go to court and a judge would decide on the settlement. I beleive it is so I can sue for loss of earnings as well as pain and suffering. My lawyer seemed to be confident in the decision and was very persistent. (p.s please excuse my lack of knowledge on the subject, I honestly have no idea how all this works :S)

        Thanks!

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        • @Mich, is it possible for you to see the solicitor again, and take someone with you? Sometimes all the legal talk makes it hard to take in everything that is said, having someone else there means you have someone to talk about it with after. And make sure at least one of you understands what has been said before you leave.
          Also now having Workcovervictim3’s information above you would be better armed with the requirements of serious injury claims.
          I wish I’d found this site sooner… 🙂

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        • @ Mich, here is just about all the info you need to understand the process
          http://aworkcovervictimsdiary.com/2013/12/common-law-damages-claim-victoria/
          http://aworkcovervictimsdiary.com/2013/02/how-long-will-it-take-for-my-workcover-common-law-claim-to-settle/

          I am wondering whether in your case, you were perhaps granted a serious injury certificate only for pain and suffering and no economic loss? Were you deemed seriously injured (30% whole person impairment or more?)

          If you trust your lawyer, listen to him/her. If unsure, seek a second opinion by going for a free first consultation, or go for free legal advice in your local legal community centre. You can also ask your lawyer (and his/her boss if applicable) to talk this through with you again, as suggested. Legal mumbo can be hard to understand. Hopefully after reading the above 2 articles you will have a deep understanding of how the process works and can then ask targeted questions.
          Keep us posted.

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          Workcovervictim July 10, 2014 at 8:11 pm
    • Mitch, seek another lawyers advice as I was represented by a law firm given advice to drop my common law claim and had to sign a statement saying that they had advised e for this reason etc and to protect them basically and now all I have is my work injury damages claim and the saddest part of it all is I won the last arbitration in the WCC which gave me the green light for my Supreme Court case but because I signed this b.s I have a claim reduced by at least 50% and the get this the firm sent a bill to my new lawyer who has been great chasing me for $140k when it was a no win fee etc agreement. What a hide, so be careful, you’re first consultation is free so ask away.

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  9. Now guys I need help in regards to the blood sucking lawyers.
    I had to let go my first one after 2 years Coz she was meesing up my case, not filing papers, forgetting to write stuff/contact people etc….so it ook me a whole year to find another one as no one , after looking at my case wanted to take it as apparently the first lawyer really messed it up! anyway that new lawyer doesn’t want me to contact him unless to submit new doctors reports?he doesn’t want to be informed of anything happening with the insurer /employer etc…. he Wrote to me in an email that if I send another email he will terminate our agreement?!?!?! WTF!? I though you are supposed to inform your lawyer if the insurer send you a letter to attend new IME or is saying that despite 7 specialists saying I cannot work their othopedic bitch told them I am fit for sedentary work despite the fact I cannot seat more tahn 20/30 minutes / stand 10/15 / walk more than 150 m and need to stay on the recline position to alleviate the pain a bit.

    my question finally: Are all relationship with your lawyer the same?
    Don’t are they supposed to be informed of changes and info such as the insurer denied a medical test despite a specialist saying it is needed?
    please advise as to how you are interacting with your lawyer.
    Thanks
    I am in NSW

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    • Sadly the solicitors for injured workers are also being screwed by the new legislation. In order for them to take on your claim they must now apply to ILARS under WIRO for the funding of your case. I have heard ILARS are knocking back claims therefore the injured workers are ending up with no ability to have their matter taken on as no solicitor can afford to pay the costs involved. When someone disputes the insurer there are fees to be paid to the WCC to have your matter heard. Your solicitor may also want you to see an IME and they have to pay for it themselves. Basically solicitors can’t take on a case unless they get the funding from ILARS which is limited as far as I am aware. If you have a solicitor they will now spend less time on your case as they can’t make enough money to run the case. If it is a work capacity decision there is no legal funding at all allowed so workers are just being kicked in the guts over and over. The insurer on the other hand can use in house solicitors for advice. The WIRO annual report pointed out this disadvantage. The whole thing is a disgrace. My advice is to put complaint after complaint to the insurer and WorkCover and WIRO in regard to anything the insurer does to you. I would also contact WIRO and have a chat about your solicitor to see how your case is being funded. Ask them about what you stated above.
      If you are having trouble with approval of treatment ring WorkCover 131050
      to ask for advice on what you can do.
      The only thing to do now is to get onto the opposition politicians and ask them for help. Tell your story and ask them if they will repeal the changes if they are voted in because that seems to be the only hope left. David Shoebridge for the Greens in NSW is also willing to listen and may give you advice. Sorry to be so pessimistic at a time you need support. If you have a chat with the people I noted they may help you or if in NSW you can also contact the Injured Workers Support Network for advice.
      Good luck!!

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      How many other ways can they FU! July 14, 2014 at 9:43 pm
    • Not all lawyers are the same. My union recommended one and although it meant that I have to travel 150 k to see him, it is worth while as he is very efficient and explains things in terms I understand without being patronising. I suggest that if you are a union member, seek advice.

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  10. Thanks for your reply.
    Unfortunately I contacted WIRO about my solicitor and all they did was to forward my entire email I sent them straight to my solicitor, who then got the shit and asked me if I wanted them to still represent me and that one more email/complaint to WIRO and they ll be done with me! So I emailed WIRO and asked them about their privacy agreement and why they forwardded my complaint straight to my solicitor, and if there are any confidentiality in regards to info sent to them. Their answer was that they are professionalas and know what they are doing and that if I am not Happy the General Manager of WIRO can call me back to discuss the issue??????so basically they are above the privacy law and confidentiality (all my email have clear confidentiality statement at the bottom etc ….) so they did breach confidentiality of information and their own privacy guidelines.
    As to contact members of the Government, I tried that already and only shoebridge replied that he was supporting changes in legislation to roll back new laws. others didn’t bother to reply.
    I have conatcted workcover so much in regards to the insurer and employer for various reasons from benefits withdrawal to case managers not doing their job to conciliation in regards to my surgery and so on that they are tired of me! yes their answer are not translating “leave us alone”….which is not on but is the mere reality to the world we are living in.
    Injured workers are alone and won’t do the basics to stick together to press for changes. So we are really really screwed. I am now awaiting with anticipation the 5 years limit on my case as it will release me from the workers compensation grip and I ll be able to go on the public system to get my treatment , denied by the insurer.

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    • I am so sorry they have done that to you. That is disgusting! I would ask to speak with Kim Garling about the matter (head of WIRO) and I would definitely give the Privacy Commissioner a phone call to find out if you have a case. I would think they would have to make some determination on that. As for your solicitor, you might look for a new one. I know that is going to be hard for you but it might be something you may have to do. The five years is meant to start from the time of the new legislation as far as my understanding so that is something you need to ask WorkCover and it is their job to know that.
      My solicitor was pretty good. They were a big firm in Sydney. Do a ring around a couple to see if they will give you an appointment and ask about costs before you go.
      WorkCover has just started a new complaints system only about six months ago so if they muck you around then go on their website and either make a complaint about them mucking you around or put your complaints about the insurer very specifically as dot points and ask for a response to each point.
      It is also worth complaining to the operations manager of the insurance company if it seems the case manager is not complying with any of the WorkCover guides.
      I have made a lot of complaints and have been blocked a few times but then I accuse them of covering up or incompetence and have been unblocked.
      It is very important to read all the guidelines on the WorkCover website relating to your issues. You can ask WorkCover to tell you which guides apply to your questions. Definitely ask about the five year thing as I am fairly sure it is from 2012.
      If you do go to a new solicitor get out all your paperwork and put in chronological date order -all WorkCover medical certificates, all treating doctors/specialist reports, all IME/IPC reports from any assessments you have been to from both your solicitors or from the insurer, a chronolgical description and the dates of your injury/ies including what occured in factual language and how it impacts on you, a list of treatment and medications you have had or are now on.
      If you don’t want a new solicitor tell them you want a meeting to clarify your complaints and the processes involved in the management of your claim as you are feeling there is a miscommunication you want sorted out. You instruct them and they are there to give you the correct legal advice so if they are bullying you you can make a complaint to the Legal Services Commissioner and they know that. You can get advice from the Legal Services Commissioner over the phone as well.
      Good luck!

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      How many other ways can they FU! July 15, 2014 at 5:32 pm
  11. Thanks for your reply. I am going to follow on your advices. will let you know how it goes, Thanks again

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  12. I have been bullied and discriminated by bosses in school. I am now at the stage of a RTW plan. The first step is a mediation session with the bully and the principal that ignored my emails and verbal requests for help ( and for it to stop). Mentally I am a lot better, but I am on 4 medications for stress, depression and anxiety attacks etc.
    MEDIATION
    My question is- What types of questions should I ask? Is it appropriate to ask why they did not provide a safe worksite, why they ignored emails and did not reply in writing. I am dealing with my psychologist and would like additional comments from others that understand and have been through this process.
    MEDICATIONS- do they affect my ability to drive and stay awake. I feel tired all the time and can fall asleep during the day anytime.

    PLEASE HELP
    mediation
    bullying
    discrimination

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    Public school teacher July 20, 2014 at 3:01 pm
    • I was asked to mediate with a bully and I stated very firmly mediation is a process where there is power equality and as I was the victim I was not going to mediate from a position where I would again be disempowered as this would only make my psychological state worse. My complaints were also ignored as was my RTW plan and it ended up with me having another breakdown. What you need to do is to talk over with your NTD and psychologist whether the anticipation of having to deal with the bully and the principal in mediation is going to make you worse. If it is then get your doctor and psychologist to write saying this meeting could exacerbate your condition therefore it would be better if your bullying complaints were dealt with through the departmental policies ie proper investigation and disciplinary action for the bullying and principal who did not act on your complaints. To do this you need clear documented evidence and diarised notes of all the bullying incidents. Have the names of any witnesses as well and note any complaints you made to anyone including the principal and other staff. I kept all notes filed as well as that I also had parent complaints regarding the bully as she bullied the children as well. I had to go over the head of my principal in the end and then there was a massive cover-up causing me another breakdown, PTSD, depression, anxiety and not being able to work at all so you must have it all documented before acting. I had enough info to make a claim in the end to get out of the system, but it is not to say I came out OK because it has totally F..d up my whole life and I have attempted suicide due to the insurer’s bullying actions toward me. Make sure if you do have mediation you have a support person from outside the department who can be a witness because if it is someone inside they will be told the Code of Conduct will not allow them to go out of the department. Get your doctor to say you will not be allowed to attend without support as there is a duty of care involved if it all goes wrong. If you are in the union then you can have a union rep but get someone higher than your local member as there can be conflicts of interest. What state are you in? I am in NSW where there are clear policies. Get your evidence clear and up to date before doing anything as these things can be messy. A friend of mine was ambushed in a mediation where she had her rehab person as a support person. In the meeting they started saying she caused the problems and she got upset and they wouldn’t her leave. This caused her a massive breakdown and more time off. be very careful as they use such meetings to say they did something about the bullying when they know they have not acted previously.
      Good luck and someone once told me “always have a good paper trail as you never know when you are going to be Fu…d over.” I personally would not meet and would ask for a written apology from the bully with an undertaking saying it will stop saying you need it so you will not be always anticipating bullying. Don’t think the bullying will stop either particularly as the principal knows they have not acted so there will be moves to make you look bad so be aware that you will need to be performing above expectations and make sure there are no situations where you can be made to look bad or where you are alone with either the boss or the bully. I surrounded myself with good parent helpers who knew I was a good teacher. I also got all complaints from parents and children about the bully in writing with witness statements as well and i documented my complaints to the principal.
      Good luck.

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      How many other ways can they FU! July 21, 2014 at 9:06 am
  13. TO :AJ/ Thanks unfortunately I cannot travel more than 15kms. Being in a vehicle worsen my condition and ony way to beat that is to go high on medications which mean I wont remember shit about any meeting and I won’t be any good to him either. Anyway Thanks

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  14. Maybe they can come to you consdering that you need to meet and have injuries that preclude you from travelling. With some of my appointments I have made them in my country town, rather than in the city. They have tried to say why don’t we meet in head office (they have no travel) but gave. In as I contacted case manager and explained I really wanted to meet, but….. Hope this helps.

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    Stop bullying me July 29, 2014 at 9:30 am
  15. I am really frustrated with the insurer. I am currently on workers compensation. They assigned me a rehabilitation officer to help me to search for employment. Instead of searching for employment in the field that I am expertise in, the insurer asked them to seek any job for me. I was a research engineer and now they are looking for an administrative assistant, import/export clerk position for me. I tried to fight for it but they said they will take my benefits away from me.

    On top of that, they are unwilling to pay for my medical expenses. I suffered from psychological injury and they are only willing to pay for 6 sessions. With the additional stress that they pose to me, how am I going to recover?

    I am lost as to what I should do and how I go about with all these. I felt like I had enough of all the shits that the insurer gave me! Any advice what I shall do???

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    • What state are you in? In NSW they are meant to find you a job you are suitably qualified for. Check out the WorkCover website and search for the information relating to rehab and return to work. Do the same if you are in another state. If they have denied your treatment it is for the purpose of saying they no longer have liabilty for your claim so be prepared for them to deny your whole claim next. They are just finding a way to do it. Get as much medical evidence as you can now before they attack. Get a referral to a psychiatrist and psychologist and see them under a Medicare mental health plan if you have to. Discuss this with your treating doctor as well as the negative effects from the bullying you are receiving in relation to your claim’s management. Tell your case manager you feel you are being bullied to get work that is demeaning and below your level of qualifications as well inform them if they continue it will make you worse as you are already becoming more anxious and depressed. If you have any thoughts of suicide or any worries that you might hurt yourself let your doctor know so all the facts are on file. If you hold back with the truth about how this effects you in the end they say there is nothing wrong with you. If they think you have a case against them for making you worse sometimes they are reluctant to upset you more. Make complaints every time your insurer treats you badly and if you don’t like your rehab person contact WorkCover and complain they are making your psychiatric state worse. Ask for a new rehab person. Look one up in the phone book and have a conversation about the treatment you are presently receiving to sus out their attitude. If they try to persuade you you are not hard done by then try someone else.
      In the meantime I would also start reading any cases where people have their treatment denied so you will have some idea of what you are going through and how cases are overturned at the WCC (NSW). You may soon need legal advice. Get all your documentation in order in relation to all aspects of your claim including a statement of how you were injured with attached evidence that supports you. Lots of supporting treatment evidence will be required to support your claim. Also expect an IME from the insurer so read what you can to prepare for it.
      Good luck. I wish I could say it will all be OK but that has not been my experience. Hope you will be OK.
      Unfortunately you will find more bully is to come. The whole thing is so unethical but you will help yourself with good medical care if you can find a good psychiatrist who is willing to support you. Mine was so good the case managers usually ended up worse of than the injured worker he was standing up for.

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      Bashed and bullied July 30, 2014 at 9:07 pm
      • Thanks for your response. My workcover is based in NSW. I am trying to have a well-defined definition of ‘suitable employment’ so I can argue with them in regards to employment. The first rehab provider that they got me insisted that he will be looking for jobs for me in my area of expertise. I think the insurer wasn’t happy about that and a few months later, they stop sending me to him and asked me to go to a new one. This lady was asked to do whatever to just get me a job. She asked me to be an administrator assistant in industry and then maybe I can move up to be an engineer. How demeaning is that??? I was very upset. The worst thing was the second comprehensive vocational assessment report was written by someone that I never meet! I think she got all information from this lady that I saw and then write it up. This is ridiculous! Am I able to make a complain to workcover or shall I bring it up to the insurer? They want to send me to see an injury management consultant but they can’t provide me with a good reason why. All they said was to help me to return to work. It is all b**s**t!!!

        I am aware that they are trying to take the claim away from me. They are doing whatever they can now to take the benefits away from me. They are just adding more stress to what I have to go through. It does makes me more depress and anxious. I hardly can get myself out of bed nowadays!

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        • You can get assistance from WorkCover 13 10 50 and ask for a contact person to forward a copy of the complaints you are making to the insurer. They should be able to give you some advice. If you get any grief from any WorkCover staff you can make a complaint about them as well on the WorkCover website but I think you will get some assistance if you can explain what is going on and how it is making your injury worse. I am pretty sure you can also still choose your own rehab provider so advise your insurer you are not happy with the one who has bullied you and that you will be moving back to the one who supported you. Make a complaint about how they have handled this aspect of your claim to the insurer and send a copy to WorkCover and let the insurer know you are doing it. Ask your case manager for the name of their supervisor so you can cc your email to them as well. In the end I only communicated via email so there was a record of everything and as I now have a copy of my file I know they record their own version of events. State in your complaint that it appears to be fraudulent for someone to be carrying out a vocational assessment without even speaking to you and that this unethical behaviour has impacted on your injury making you worse because you can’t tolerate unethical behaviours.
          They are bullies and will lie and cheat behind your back and will tell you anything to get you off your claim so every time they do something to you such as what they have been doing, make another complaint via email to your case manager telling them you perceive their actions as bullying and you are now worse so you want a new case manager who can demonstrate they have the skills to manage someone with a psych injury. Build up a case against them if they are making you worse as you can use this as evidence for your claim. They are meant to support you, not undermine you.
          I kept up my treatment and my psychiatrist bulk billed me under Medicare so when the insurer tried to manipulate him stuck it up them and told them they could cause me to take my own life. They could not manipulate him by bullying him into agreeing with them. Keep up your own treatment under Medicare as arbitrators look at this as evidence you need the support.
          They are trying to make a work capacity decision that says you can work over 15 hours a week and if they do this they can then deny your claim if you are not working this much. It is pretty bad when it comes down to the situation being one where you have to be totally unfit just to maintain your claim and where your are punished by the system if you make the effort to get a little bit of work. With work capacity decisions you cannot get legal assistance so if this is the case a person is better off without any work capacity at all which shows how truly f…ed this system really is.
          I just found out they also had an private investigator sit up the road to see if I was fraudulent but as I was so unwell I couldn’t leave the house so they spent money for nothing.
          In some cases it is actually best if they deny your treatment and you get worse so you can take it the the WCC and an arbitrator can make the decision. It is pretty bad that they are contemplating taking away treatment for a psych claim as this can place you at much greater risk so remind them of that!!
          You can also contact the Injured Workers Support Network in NSW. The contact details are on the web and there are support meetings you might be able go to.
          Good luck. It is better to fight them than to let them win by walking over you so don’t let the bastards get you down!!!

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          Bashed and bullied July 30, 2014 at 11:02 pm
          • I have just spoken to workcover. I complained about the job options that the rehab provider come out with but she said that is the nature of it. When doing the assessment, they are looking at what sort of jobs I can do, not if I am over-qualify for the job or it is not my interest. They did asked me to speak to the case manager about the dispute. I don’t trust speaking, so I am going to write an email like you said. I mentioned that the report was completed by someone that I did not meet or speak to but work for that company but they did not say anything. I am going to raise this up with the case manager. I will request for change of provider and one of my own choice. I seriously have enough of all these! Thanks for your help, Bashed and bullied. I really appreciate it.

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          • Bashed and bullied, anyway I can contact you? Would like your help in something. Thanks.

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        • @Frustrated
          If you are unable to take their crap anymore, seek legal assistance and advice… You can request for your legal representative to handle all contact with the insurer as you are not in a fit state to cope with it all anymore…

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          • Hi Woowoo
            I did thought about getting legal representative. Do you know roughly how much it costs for me to get them to deal with the insurer on my behalf? I need to take that into account. Thanks.

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            • @Frustrated
              You would need to discuss costs with the firm you chose to use, most will give a free 30 min consult, I have a good one in FAR western suburbs of Melbourne… He doesn’t charge an arm and a leg for outgoings. Most will also do a no win no fee… But be cautious… Shine Lawyers seem to work well, mention the site…
              The bigger firms are usually more expensive but have the staff to deal with most issues..
              You may be able to use work cover assist (http://www.workcoverassist.vic.gov.au/contact-us) for conciliation’s but not sure about ongoing issues..

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