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

2,624 Responses to “I need help”

  1. Hi I had been on work cover since May 2016 and also under light duties at work ever since I got injured at work. The preliminary report was that I had a previous injury and it 6 years ago and it has aggravated at work. They accepted my claim and I was given physio therapy for about an year and never was allowed to take time off from work. Now that my back pain has become severe and I am suffering from nerve root impingement and numbness on my leg but still have to go to work otherwise I won’t get paid. So yesterday my GP told my store manager that I am in a serious condition and would need specialist’s consideration where I haven’t been improved after a year from the injury. Something really bad can happen to me if It goes like this. Then about two hours later my case manager from EML called and said according to the recent independent assessment Report They can’t provide work cover anymore as it is not a workplace injury because it had a previous injury related to it. What I had in 2010 was a minor back pain which I mentioned when I was applying for the claim last year. But this lower back disc slip happened at work.
    My question is can they deny my claim after a year I had been under the claim?
    Thank you appreciate any advice on this

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    • Welcome to the work over merry go round..
      My suggestion is to seek a no win no fee lawyer.. an aggregation of an existing injury is still compensable and you will need an opinion on what percentage is related to the pre existing..
      Nerve root impingment is possibly an indication surgery is required. The concern from your GP is that if you don’t get treatment and continue working you could be permanently injured. Nerves can recover from injury up to a degree. Hydrotherapy is a good treatment with the advice of a good physio and proper treatment you may not need surgery. Fingers crossed. Your next step though is to see a lawyer. If you are a member of a union, the union may represent you.
      Good luck..
      I’ve been 5 1/2 years and still on the merry go round.. the caseworkers will sound like they want what’s best for you, but generally they just want the pay cheque.. with minimal outgoings.
      What state are you in?

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    • There would be quite a few tricks they can try.
      – have you declared your previous injury during the employment process or was that injury whilst employed with the same employer.
      – if you have, they need to pay for an aggravation of the injury only (this is under QLD WorkCover).
      – I suggest you do the following:
      – get a complete copy of your entire claim.
      – go through it with a fine tooth comb as it is highly likely you will find a few problems in there.
      – with problems I mean things such as you may not have given the authorities WorkCover claim you have. Such as to get a copy of your entire medical history when you have only agreed to medical history relevant to the claim.
      – Another trick is your application form may be completed with bogus information or information from other sources such as the employer. Then your name is attached to it claiming to be your statement.
      – There should be verbal and unsuccessful communications report as well that have all your correspondence recorded – check it as it may be false also or it may be able to provide the required evidence of what you have provided to them.
      – Read, and get to know the WorkCover act and fight them all the way if you believe you are correct.
      – Do not get scared if WorkCover start threats of financial nature if you loose your case.
      – Get legal representation if you can, however not many good lawyers out there and they are not interested in taking on the government unless there is a BIG pay packet at the end of it for them.

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      • CAN WE PLEASE GET SOME NUMBERS/CASES
        Queensland WorkCover

        – Are there anyone else out there that have had a breach of privacy during WC claim?
        – Specifically letter send to their doctors requesting full medical history including complete copy of practice notes, tests etc. both related and unrelated to their workcover claim…
        – Claims of a SIGNED WRITTEN AUTHORITY when there were none, only electronic authority for related information only.
        – Workers’ claim for compensation form completed with information provided by the employer and not what you have provided them.

        This is only the tip of the iceberg, more to come. Busy with a massive complaint at the moment.

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        • I had those low down dogs try that with me…but my Dr told them to subpoena my file…the judge only allowed access for certain amount of years not my 25yr old file…make sure you discuss these requests/breaches with your Dr and let them know that they work cover have no authority to request your complete medical file without a court order…I think my file was accessed for the last 7 or 10 years cant remember what and it had to be specific for my claim.ie medical for other claims etc..not irrelevant stuff such as common flu etc…they had to request and list what they were wanting to access..hope this helps…however i am not in QLD

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          • They had access to all my health records..was asked about some compression stockings going back go 2002, a fine…. I said what… I should have said which one.. but wtf does a fine have to do with a medical serious injury claim…

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        • Hi KVDB,
          I’m in Vic but your medical history is opened to ensure you aren’t claiming for a pre existing injury that hasn’t settled.
          I have pre existing that was non symptomatic and was aggregated by my last accident. I was upfront and told them what was affected just had a medical panel which has accepted my injury is related to this incident. If they hadn’t had access to my compete file they wouldn’t have seen that I hadn’t had treatment on an ongoing basis.
          That includes an incident just 2 years prior and another 27years ago, there was no medical information available from the first though as they don’t hold our records that long if your not an ongoing patient. I had moved from Brisbane in 89. The accident up there was in 84.
          Good luck with your claim..

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          • The declaration that one has to agree with actually states that you give them access to your medical history as far as it relates to your claim. Other authorities asks for information relevant to your claim.

            Have no problem if this is the case, but asking for more information than what is needed in the performance of duties for WC is in fact a breach of privacy and the privacy commissioner agreed with this. WC also admitted they had no right to request the info they had, but blamed it on an apparent honest mistake… Yet hard to believe an honest mistake takes place more than once on different dates…

            As I said tip of the iceberg – lots and lots more of this type of stuff happened.

            No medical panel involved, WC staff made medical decisions. Specialists said work related, WC claimed specialist could not definitively proof work related, however statutory claim so should be balance of probabilities and not definitively etc., etc. etc…

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  2. Anton,

    I don’t know anything about work cover or workers comp but I have been on income protection for the last 18 months with sciatica. Check with your super fund you might have some sort of cover. Sounds like you’re having sciatic pain, if it gets really bad your doc will send you for a nerves root block (epidural), if that doesn’t work it’s surgery. Good luck mate. I know your pain.

    Jud.

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    • If work cover is claimable it’s best to do work cover first. If you claim income protection then claim workcover the income protection is repaid.
      However, I believe that income protection will top up your pay after workcover payments are calculated.

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  3. Hello! I have been searching and searching and can’t find any answers to my questions. Backstory: Earlier this year, I slipped at work (I am a Chef) and went down like a tonne of bricks. After 2 weeks of pain (and being told it was “just a sprain”), I finally got an MRI and surprised everyone with major ligament tears and a small fracture. Surgery. Work cover have been great, paid for the surgery with a private specialist, have been paying my % of my weekly pay (granted not as much as I was hoping) and I have just had the 2nd surgery (pins and screws had to come out). I have also been going to weekly physio appointments to get mobility back in my foot/ankle (I wasn’t walking for 3 months). Surgeon says it’s a 12-18 month recover in a ideal world, and even then it will never be “normal”.

    I will continue to do physio until I am strong enough to stand for longer than 10-20 mins before needing to sit. I also, at this stage, can’t drive (it’s my right foot/ankle). As optimistic as I was, the past couple of weeks it has finally hit me that there is a very high chance I will never be able to work in a kitchen again. Even if I could stand for a few hours, I am sure the turning, slippery floors, will pose a risk – and lets face it 10 hour shifts at a stove is not going to happen. Not only that, there is NO “light duties” in a kitchen, so unless I can go back to work and stand for a full shift, then I won’t be going back anytime soon. (nor can I afford to go back part time – I have a family to support).

    So I am faced with figuring out what I want to do with my life. I have only ever known kitchen work. I have a couple of things that I think would be right up my ally, but they require some kind of study. Of course, the sooner I get the education done, the earlier I would be able to get a job. If the course I want to do is 12-24 months, staring now, while I am at home incapacitated seems the best option.

    So my question is: Am I allowed to study while on Workcover payments. My foot/ankle would be fine sitting at a desk, I just can’t walk/stand for long – not a problem to study.

    Thanks for your help. Im in QLD.

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  4. Hi Brett,
    There is a Chef member, but not sure if he still checks how things are going..
    I believe you will need to see an occupational physician for an assessment and your insurer may be able to cover the cost of your retraining. If you are a union member you may be able to get some free legal, otherwise you can generally obtain a first consult free through most legal firms and representation on a no win no fee basis.
    Good luck, it can be a long hard road..

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  5. Hi,
    Accepted NSW claim, now suspended. Just wondering if anyone has experienced anything like this and how you had it resolved. TIA

    *Ordered to attend an IME
    *The appointment details did not meet restrictions (or preferences as Allianz calls it)
    *Psychiatrist sent a letter to Allianz advising of restrictions
    *Psychiatrist calls me to tell me letter has been sent (mailed #oldskool) and I don’t need to attend the IME until restrictions have been taken into consideration.
    *I received an email from Allianz to explain my absence
    *Advised that I was told that i did not have to attend by psychiatrist
    * Provided copy of letter. Psychiatrist’s letter sent to 12 instead of 2 at street address (vertical slash mistaken to read 1 by new receptionist)
    * Claim suspended due to non attendance
    * Next IME that meet restriction 4 months away, claim suspended till then.

    As far as I was aware i was following my psychiatrist, so how can they have reason to suspend the claim?

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    • Hi Fedup.. best thing to do is seal legal assistance. Most Workcover related visits are covered by Workcover. The solicitor will be able to let you know what steps to take and if it’s something they can assist with, in Victoria we have conciliation procedures.
      IME appointments are compulsory, you could go back to your psych and ask for his assistance seeing as it was under his advice that you didn’t attend.

      Good luck..

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      • Thank you @woohoo for your response. I will contact both my psychiatrist and lawyer tomorrow. It will be good to know if NSW has conciliation procedures too, it would certainly facilitate this. I highly doubt that my visits with the lawyer will be covered but would be great if they were. thanks again

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  6. I have a meeting court ordered with the other side, the company I worked with at the time of armed robbery have been nothing short of ——. My question is!
    If we settle out of court for pain and suffering only will l be taken off my disabil pension and have a preclus period. I have been scared for many years and made to jump every hurdle by my past employer, who by the way is claiming that l let the robber in without seeing her as a threat! She was in a puffer jacket done up to her nose, cold night, had a huge knife under her jacket” I contributed to the armed hold up” omg the other side has given me hell,.. but I just really need to no if my payment for pain and suffering will mess with my pension…????? Thankyou everyone, needing quick answer as meeting in 10 days!!

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    • Hi Tayru,
      Yes your centerline pension will be affected and you face a precision period. Your lawyer should be able to explain this or call centerline and discuss. They have a financial service advisor that would be able to advise.

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  7. When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever
    a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment.
    Perhaps there is a means you can remove me
    from that service? Thanks! – find a book online

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  8. The person that started this site has been unwell for a long period of time. I don’t know if anyone else can do anything to help you. Maybe if you didnt tick the box this time it may stop, apart from replies to your comment .. I didn’t get notifications for a long time, it’s only started up again more recently.

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  9. Hello
    Thank you for this invaluable site.
    My wife has had an IME, June 2017, with Dr. Graf of Mount Martha, a psychiatrist, l could not find any information about him.
    He is a hired gun it turns out.
    Could he be included on your list please.

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    ohforanhonestime July 20, 2017 at 3:39 pm
  10. Hello, From Tasmania
    My Insurance work cover person keeps booking independent medical review appointments whilst i am completely unable to attend.. and they know that..
    I have an appointment on the 8th.. at 10am.. in Hobart
    6 times i have emailed them and said that it is not a mutually agreed time and i cannot attend.. I am flying back to Hobart that day from Melbourne at 2.15pm from another appointment made 6 months ago..
    All i get is “cant you change your other appointment?”.. my response is simply “NO”.. because i cant..
    what do I do?

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    • Hi Tim, it’s really god your emailing, make sure you keep all emails as evidence. If your insurer isnt doing the right thing, you have a few options, 1 is to make a complaint to the supervisor, 2 is to report to Workcover directly and 3 is to request a conciliation. I would also look at legal representation if you don’t already have it as they tend to do a little better when your represented.
      You can also advise your case manager that you will take further steps if they aren’t going to be reasonable.
      Explain your prior appointment and all the time it’s taken to organise. You can also call, note the time and date and the question/answer.. doesn’t have to be word for word.
      Sorry your on the merry go round, I’m 6 years end of October, not worked for 3 years and on disability pension… the system isn’t fair, it provides employment and profits to insurers and little for employees..
      good luck with your journey

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  11. Hi There, I just need to know, does Physio, Occu and Hydrotherapy get counted as “working hours” and does this have to done during business hours for WorkCover in Victoria.
    Cheers

    Jason

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    Jason Henderson July 25, 2017 at 4:09 pm
  12. Hi Jason, your employer doesn’t have to pay you for time spent at medical appointments, but if you receive Workcover top up payments you would be reimbursed for that time.
    You can choose whatever time best fits with your circumstances for your appointments and also with operating hours of the provider.

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  13. Hi. This is a great resource. There doesn’t seem to be much info around. I have been on workcover since march and had surgery in June. Recovery is slow and is still probably a few months away according to my physio. I have a new case manager who called me and said my employer has some admin work I can do until I’m recovered enough to go back to my courier job. I’m happy to go back to work when I’m fit and will do whatever work they give me. Before my injury my job description was courier/admin but i often had nothing to do if there were no deliveries. I am worried my employer says that there is work, but I will just be sitting for 8 hours a day twiddling my thumbs with no work. Do they have to give me actual work to do or are they allowed to just have me sit there doing nothing all day. Also can they make me go back to work before I’m recovered or do they have to abide by the doctors certificate? I’m in Victoria. Thanks

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    • Hi Wendy
      Don’t agree to any work unless approved by your treating Dr. If you have a review scheduled with your surgeon, say that you will put the availability of work to the surgeon for their consideration. Admin work isn’t necessarily light work,
      They are not to be giving you demeaning work, and I believe it states in the legislation that they cannot call you in just to have you sit around. Your GP at the least should approve any return to work plan, but as you have recent surgery your surgeon should be giving the all clear for work.
      There used to be a whole heap of experienced folk on this site, but there was a problem with commenting for several months. It seems to be back up to some degree, but I haven’t seen many of the regulars commenting or replying like they once did.
      The lady that set this site up has a serious injury and had been unable to continue monitoring the site since last year.
      There are plenty of articles on this site, sometimes it’s just a matter of clicking on some tabs and scrolling through.

      All the best..

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  14. Any help on my first IMR .. In hobart with Dr Alison Drewry? set up by Alianze ..
    What should or shouldn’t i say?
    My treating Doctor has done so much to help my injury, I feel I have a long way to go as yet though..
    Just feels like a set up…
    Regards Tim

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    • Hi Tim,
      It will more than likely be a series of questions and a physical examination of your injury.
      Keep your answers concise, to the point, if your not sure or don’t remember tell them. Throughout the physical side of the exam, if something hurts, say so. Don’t push beyond your normal boundaries. If you were able to things before your accident and not now be prepared to tell them, they will be checking your symptoms against the injury.

      All the best

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  15. hi
    I am seeking advice as I injured my spine at work and now on work cover.
    I have supplied with a certificate of capacity,
    they then asked for a second doc option and his was the same
    I’ve had two ct scans one when first injured and a recent one
    now they are sending me to there doctor.
    they also booked an appointment with my doctor for next week and told my boss and a bloke who is from a rehabilitation centre who asses my job. can I refuse this appointment as I feel like they are ganging up on me?
    if I refuse will it stop my payments?
    I have valid certs of capacity stating I still am unfit for any work duties?

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