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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Frequently asked questions

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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

2,731 Responses to “I need help”

  1. Hi I’m a newbie
    Hoping someone may be able to answer my question.
    I was injured at work 2 yrs ago but thankfully I have been able to return to work. I still suffer everyday from my injury although I no longer receive treatment GP said I would have pain forever & had to just come to terms with this. The insurance company has contacted me to close my claim does what does this mean?

    • I guess it depends on which State you are from and which Scheme. In Vic I think you would still be entitled to medical and like , even if your weekly payments cease bc you’re back at work and earning more than what you would be entitled to. If you are in pain and have any type of treatment i.e. GP, physio, Acupuncture, pain meds etc, then you should remain entitled and your Claim should remain open. If you are not claiming anything anymore then they will most likely close the Claim. I would keep something open if I was you. Once it’s closed, if you have further issues down the track it will be difficult to either make a new Claim or re-open the old one as they will send you to IME’s and try to say that what you are suffering is no longer the sequalae of the original Claim. Perhaps have your GP write a report stating that you require ongoing supervision, treatment and/or meds. Email the Agent and make it clear that you do NOT accept them closing the Claim. Even if you need panadol or something, keep claiming for them, keep the Claim open if you are still having issues. Good luck.

  2. I hurt my back when I was able too do light duties I injured my back again whilst meant to be doin light duties then held 40.6 hours from my pay only payslip leave without pay is that even legal fractured my ankle another company but this is first time I’ve been on WorkCover in Australia so angry I used to like my manager so greatful for this website gotten a brydens lawyer my managers work place bullying me Im backed upon corner please someone help me

    NZ descendent of all black

  3. In NSW, where I am based, one has the option to declare it to the new employer but doesn’t have to. It is unlawful for parties other than the pre-injured person to disclose this information, per the NSW WC Act.

    Victim of illegal WC disclosure July 12, 2018 at 8:46 pm
  4. Hi,
    Can anyone recommend a lawyer who is experienced practicing in personal breach of privacy matters where reputational damage has been caused? In this instance, the breach relates to illegal disclosure of information about a workers’ compensation injury.

    I had a workplace injury from an employer a couple of years ago in NSW. They were unable to place me in another role as part of Return-to-Work. Independently, without direct help from any parties, I was successful in getting a new permanent job outside of the employer. On the day before I started work, I phoned the HR Recruitment at the new employer to ask of time, place, and whom to meet. They confirmed my background check came back as ‘fine’. Then, they asked if there are anything else they need to know, for example something that might have happened to me in [they specified a month and year]. That happens to be the time of my injury! I stonewalled with, “what do you mean?” Eventually they said don’t worry about it and to start. I was re-traumatised by the above, and also subsequently didn’t get the prescribed workcover psych support while at the new workplace. My employment was terminated by the new employer after a couple of months.

    I’ve been told this area of law is still ‘evolving’. And, a lawyer who is experienced in personal matter privacy breach and reputation damage is what is needed. Not a general lawyer or a workers’ compensation claim lawyer.

    I would be very grateful if you can recommend a lawyer who fits the above.

    Victim of illegal WC disclosure July 10, 2018 at 12:38 pm
    • Unfortunately it is not unlawful to notify an employer of a previous workcover injury. In Victoria, you must declare it. I think you are wasting your time. You also can’t expect psych support for something that you did not disclose openly. It might be better served if you pursue the avenue of discrimination based on a disability if that was the case.

      • In NSW where I am based, a workercover-compensated worker has the choice to declare or not to declare, the previous injury to the new employer. It is illegal for parties other than the worker to disclose the injury information, per the NSW WC Acts.
        Psych support, I was referring to the claim, not the new employer. RTW proves in the claim provides this support.

        Victim of illegal WC disclosure July 16, 2018 at 11:44 am
        • You need to ring the Office of the Privacy Commissioner in NSW to ask what to do about your situation.
          Also remember, if you do not withdraw from having all your medical records on the federal government e-health then your records may be accessed by unethical means. Also in NSW you can get copies of any Health Record or WC records under the GIPA (Government Information Public Access) and you can have your medical records amended under the Health Records Act (NSW) if they are not accurate or if you have contrary medical evidence you can have a note made that the dodgy record is disputed by your own doctors, specialists etc. who have a duty to ensure your health under the Medical Practice Act (NSW). Under the Medical Practice Act (NSW) IME’s are expected to perform to the same standard as any treating doctor and if they do not you can report to the HCCC or the like in other states. I have gone some way down the track in this type of thing and will be going further as one IME mentioned as unethical wrote a report on me completely contrary to the medical information I gave him in writing. He crossed out my own words and manipulated them to mean something different. My husband also has had his medical records manipulated and misrepresented and we are going through the Information Commissioner (NSW) to get this looked into.

          Complainers of the world make a difference August 28, 2018 at 10:02 am
  5. Can anyone recommend a psychiatrist in Victoria for ime? I need a second opinion.

    • My solicitor referred me to a consultant Psychiatrist called Justin Lewis whom I saw in Caulfield South. Not sure if solicitor referral is necessary or not.

      VictorNotVictim June 25, 2018 at 12:20 pm
  6. I agree. I had a condition that had been accepted (liability) for over a decade and ruled permanent, when Allianz (acting for Comcare) took the word of a rogue Occ Physician that it was not work related, or permanent. This was the only physician in roughly 20 that thought so and now its at the AAT. There is full expectation that this decision will be reversed but now I will have to pay legal fees etc. There needs to be some sort of formal investigation into insurers in the workers compensation arena, both at state and federal level. I am afraid however that we are too few in number to matter and I am not holding my breath that this will happen soon. In the meantime however, I will not let them ruin my life out of sheer spite lol. This is exactly what they want, people to become despairing and give up.

    VictorNotVictim June 20, 2018 at 6:51 pm
    • I have a condition that Comcare’s IMExaminer has said is work-related and permanent and still they’re trying to deny liability! They absolutely hate paying out on PI claims almost as much as they hate IMEs who don’t give them the reports they want.

      This won’t even get past their solicitors I’m sure but in the meantime I have to sit out reconsideration which in itself can take months before you can even take it further to the AAT as you would know. It’s absurd. This is the worst episode of ‘spite’ that they’ve put me through. I’m enraged and I’m determined this time to expose their tactics to whomever they answer to because they can’t be allowed to get away with this.

      Good luck at the AAT. I will never give in to them but it does wear you out at times.

  7. I’m absolutely fed up with this dirty trick that Comcare employs all the time in their decision-making and that’s to initially deny liability forcing the injured worker to seek a reconsideration and then to take the matter to the tribunal. I have a longstanding claim with them and I’m about to go through this delaying tactic with them again making it four times now. Each time the matter has been clear cut that they are liable and each time the matter has not progressed to a hearing ie it’s been determined in my favour through mediation.

    Why are they allowed to do this and suffer no consequences for their poor and wrong decision-making? The injured worker is forced to wait out the process which can delay payments for months and months and gets no compensation whatsoever for Comcare’s dirty tactics. They need to be held accountable.

    • Attn: Injured Workers of W.A. – CLASS ACTION. Insurance companies have been failing to comply with the act and regulations. They “dispute” liability without ever lodging the statutory regulations form 3B (insurers notice that liability is disputed) they don’t lodge this form because they can’t reasonably do so.. It requires an insurer to have grounds/reasons to dispute s claim and when they haven’t got any they don’t lodge one.. Yet workcover, unlawfully, have been taking the claim as disputed without it being. So legit claims are going on for YEARS as “disputed” without the proper stat form being filled and despite mountains if evidence in support of their claim and nothing against it. Contact via twitter.. Unlawful Conduct – Work cover and insurance companies.

  8. Hi There, I am a founding member of The Bullied Teachers Support Network. If you are or have been a Teacher in NSW please contact us on our Facebook Page – Bullied Teachers Support Network. We are Based in NSW. NOTE That The Fair Work Act does NOT Apply To State Government Departments as advised by the Fair Work Commission.
    Thanks
    Paul Johnson
    Coffs Harbour NSW

    • Return to work question. The RTW planning is about to start but I cannot go back. I was bullied and I was planning to resign before I was injured. The bullie contributed to my physical injury. I have guessed that my physical injury only accounts for capacity so with my Refusal to return…..what will happen now?

      • Hello Tobis,

        Just to clarify, what state & industry are you in? Also, I assume that since you’re under a RTW plan you haven’t fully recovered & in the rehabilitation phase.

        Typically there’s an expectation injured workers return their pre-injury job if they can. There’s also an obligation to participate in rehab however it’s not always necessary to go back to the same employer if there are good reasons not to.

        The insurer will want to see a medical certificate &/or approved plan that has been signed. Otherwise any ongoing compensation for wages & medical expenses may cease.

        If you have concerns one option is to speak to a doctor about your mental health. Another option is to approach employer to see if you can create some distance & be redeployed elsewhere in the organisation (if possible).

        I have a low to no tolerance of bullying. So chin up & the best of luck to you.

  9. Can you for job interviews if you are stressed and on sick leave? Is there any precedent to say that I was fit enough to attend a 1hour interview before returning to work.

    I am worried that this might come back to bight.

  10. I have heard the rather loose term “traits of aspberger” described to me by psychologist and psychiatrist. They were unable to define it and said if I wanted to know if I had aspbergers to get a formal diagnosis.

    I feel it is a loose statement and not sure if it is defined in the Diagnostic Statistic Manual (version ??).

    Traits of a condition would not count as a condition? I find it offensive that pyschiatrist would refer me back to GP with those comments after reporting stress.

  11. Is bullying or adverse action (non-dismissal) submission a notifiable incident to Comcare?

    I have tried all avenues with HR and other relevant branches to try and resolve bullying, discrimination and what I feel is work place bullying towards me.

    I don’t want to go on worker’s comp (comcare) as I don’t want it on my record.

    I noticed that bullying is a risk to health and safety. Is lodging an Adverse Action (F8C – Non Dismissal) or (F72 Stop Bullying) form with FWC a comcare notifiable incident?

    What reasonable protections are in place until this matter is resolved i.e. transfer or use up of sick leave?

    • @Charlie-You are best off reading and even contacting FairWork as laws are slightly different in each state. https://www.fairwork.gov.au/employee-entitlements/bullying-and-harassment

      • That was a rubbish response. I mentioned Comcare implying the national Workers Comp system.

        Fair Work won’t assist – they will refer you to the bench books for bullying and adverse action.

        I was looking for more insight based on cases or personal experiences. I will contact a lawyer as this free advice is rubbish.

        • That was a bit harsh in response. The administrator/s aren’t know-it-alls. Employment law as you appear to know is unlike state/federal workers compensation.

          Qld (personal opinion): WH&S only addresses the policy & procedures of bullying. They do however have workplace entry & enforcement powers. WorkCover Queensland handle the administration of claims for workers compensation arising out of unreasonable management action (Psychological Injury). The FWO don’t have much of a roll (if any) & I see there are comments below about the pros & cons of the FWC.

          I’ll leave it at that since I don’t know much about the inner workings of federal dept’s & Comcare. I will say the new President of the AAT, Justice Thomas, is reasonably good.

    • I was on Comcare and when I was still with my employer, I notified of any kind of incident that may relate to my compensation or any potential future action (non comcare or otherwise). This was called an Incident Report. These notifications were then entered onto my HR record. You are not compelled to to seek compensation unless you choose too. I find that if you have at least got a paper trail so to speak that you have notified the employer, if the situation does blow up legally later, there is some proof you brought this to your employers attention. I do not know which federal dept you work for but if its one of the bigger govt depts, you should have scope to record incident reports.

      VictorNotVictim May 16, 2018 at 10:12 pm
      • Thanks for the insight.

      • Thanks heaps for that insight

        • You are welcome 🙂

          I did in fact record an Incident Report of Psychological Injury more than once (most of us compensation recipients inevitably deal with bullying at work). In the IR I put basic details about the bullying. It was not until my third IR on Psychological Injury that I notified Comcare by lodging a claim. However now, more than 15 years after the first IR on Pysch Injury and with AAT action pending, NO ONE can deny that the employer was notified.

          VictorNotVictim May 20, 2018 at 2:08 pm
          • I just had a query about visiting psychiatrist.

            I have read a lot of negative reviews about psychs turning face and supporting insurer even when client pays for it.

            Any tips or would lawyer have a good list of preferred psychs?

            Is it better to just use up sick leave until you need to use workers comp for financial reasons?

            • There are two issues here, a Psychiatrist/Psychologist for treatment and the same for medicolegal reasons. If you get your own just for treatment purposes they cannot really act for Comcare, in fact it would be a conflict of interest per se. Regarding this you can get what is called a Treatment Plan that Medicare pays for from your GP, for a Psychologist. Medicare pays for 10 sessions per treatment plan per yer, so there is no cost to you, and you can start to get your bearings on what a Psychologist thinks about your circumstances.

              For medicolegal reasons, it is best to go with a solicitors referral/recommendation. I wanted to represent myself in the AAT but found that most medicolegal personnel would not deal with me unless I had that referral. I was actually about to complain to the AAT about it when all they could offer me was well maybe the Solicitor acting for Comcare could give you a list and organize an appointment. Of course this then makes the medicolegal think they have to answer to Comcare and not to you. So, in the end I just retained a Solicitor to refer me.

              I am over 15 years down the track of my injuries though, (which also led to secondary Psych Injuries) and had already passed through many procedures, specialists, rehab etc etc.

              If you want to first just dip your toe in the water before committing money to this, get the Treatment Plan referral from you GP. It won’t cost you anything.

              With regards to the sick leave, you can use it at this time but later if you are granted a Comcare liability you can back claim the Incapacity Payments (comcare speak for compensation payments for lost wages) and get your sick leave re-credited. It does depend on your Enterprise Agreement, but the one I was under allowed me to back claim all leaves used for the eventual accepted condition EXCEPT LONG SERVICE LEAVE. So depending on your EA you can even claim Rec/Annual Leave as long as the GP will provide the medical certificates to prove you were absent due to your accepted medical condition.

              VictorNotVictim May 21, 2018 at 1:43 pm
              • Already got a health care plan and seeing a second doctor without disclosing prior history to avoid being seen as an existing pre-condition.

                I want out and the process you have described to me of going on for 17 years is not something I could handle.

                My issue would go away with a simple transfer from one team to another team. They are that inflexible they won’t consider it.

                I want out and at a relatively cheap settlement agreement. I would take a couple of months pay after lawyers fees and taxes (for non-damages component) that i have to pay are factored in to the total cost.

                I am this close to quitting and taking up casual work.

                I can’t get a referee from current manager even though performance is sound and not on Performance Improvement Plan.

                I know that the no-win no-fee by Lawyers is in the hope of getting a settlement. It sounds like psych injuries aren’t as simple as a broken leg due to wet floors or a black / white case.

                It sounds like Comcare’s plays hardball with settling?

                Can’t you pursue a common law claim for damages as a result of negligence?

                It sounds more stressful going through that process than going to work and putting up with the same old stress.

                Putting in an adverse action claim for a non-dismissal case in hope of settlement sounds pretty risky as the hourly rate for lawyers is $550+ and then at least over $10K if it goes to Federal or Federal Circuit Court.

                What about income protection (I know the amounts and time limits vary) but say a psychatrist say’s it was preexisting condition i.e. you were prone to stress and anxiety or are on the spectrum.

                What would be your odds of getting income protection from default Income Protection Insurance super provider?

                • You can avail yourself of the right to not settle under the SRC 1988 and go common law instead, but the risk of doing that is that you can’t return to the scheme administered by Comcare afterward if you lost at common law. I too considered this option but there are aspects of Comcare’s scheme which are a lot better than what you could get in common law. So it depends on what your goals are. Also you cannot pursue damages (punitive) under common law unless you have a permanent injury ruled at least 10% impairment and that would be something that would need assessment. So its not just a case of proving negligence, its a case of proving permanent injury and loss. Saying your condition may improve with a change of environment may make it difficult to then argue permanent injury. With regard to the super questions, well it does depend on the scheme you are under so I won’t attempt to answer those questions. Sorry, its too complex.

                  VictorNotVictim May 22, 2018 at 12:54 am
              • You mention the treatment plan sessions not costing anything. The only bulk-billed psychologists I’ve been able to find stipulate that you must be on Centrelink benefits to qualify but that may differ from State to State. The out-of-pocket costs are not insubstantial at $100 a session. Paying $600 to $1000 (depending on whether you ask for the additional four sessions) is out of reach for a lot of people.

  12. Advice needed: At the 6 yr time on WC. My lawyers want to sign off but I have been left with a crippling pain syndrone (CRPS) which is a life sentence for me. Jusst co pleted IPT implat trial $60k and didnt work. Can my lawyers force me to sign? I m still receiving wages and medicals (9 conciliations to get this far) cant afford to loose thses payments. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    MadChef

    • Hi MadChef
      It’s been a while.
      My ex has ongoing wages now until retirement. He’s over 60 so not too much longer for him. I do know they will be going back to court for the next xtended retirement age, if that makes sense..
      so even if the solicitors sign off I don’t think it means your ongoing support finishes. But ask the question.. are they suggesting a lump sum, and can you still have the ongoing wage support..
      I still have nothing, seems crazy thatsurgery is a precursor to being able to have a lump sum claim for pain and suffering.. I’m told surgery may not help my problems, but ongoing radio frequencies and injections are going to be my life.. having to plan my life around the expected length of benefit.. pft..

      • @MadChef, nice to see you here! (well… in a way that is!). With re to closing your case (signing off), rest assured that medicals are life long, this includes medication, surgery, rehab, physioetc. So you won’t loose any of that. You would loose weekly pay if you are still on it and depending on lumpsum or compo you may be precluded from Centrelink for x years (depends on sum received).

        • Thanks very much for a such quick reply. Medical is my biggest worry, like many of us. Hope you are having a better day. Cheers MadChef

      • Hi Woowoo nice to se the same faces but criminal that we are all still here. Thanks for your post, much appreciated

    • I looked into it at length recently. It is a federal scheme ie a Medicare initiative. I’m in a major capital city and rang around heaps of psychologists and all had a gap unless you were on some kind of Centrelink benefit and even then most had a very limited amount of appointments set aside for those patients. The Medicare rebate is only 80 something dollars and the consults range from $185 to $225.

  13. @Anita, I can persoanlly vouch for Stuart MacLeod, a wonderful lawyer specialised in workcover, based in QLD. You can email him anytime, let him know I referred you and you will be treated like a queen.
    smacleod@zaparaslaw.com.au

  14. Hello Anita..Which state do you work in?

  15. Hi my name in Anita and whilst on a return to work I was reinsured but involved my C6-7. GP delayed sending me to a surgeon as stated by her it was in my head and to forget about it. A new GP had me referred immediately to a neurologist who did nerve conduction studies and MRI which confirmed the diagnosis. To make this quick referred to surgeon who felt as I was improving we should treat conservatively which has left me with a numb index and middle finger on my dominant hand. I am a medical secretary so cannot do my job. I now have been off 1 year but returned and increased working up my hours till inteinjured myself and now I have been off two months. Saw one IME who ruminated about being sent to him as he couldn’t assess me and had it gone to the tribunal would have been sent home for a month till the next hearingwith a proper IME. So second IME performed. Saw my surgeon as the first IME listed me at 5% permanently disabled. He my surgeon was furious and rang workcover as in the report they had suggested my injury wasn’t substantiated by the radiology and as my surgeon stated questioned his and the neurologists findings. I think I’m going to need a good lawyer to fight this or do I go to tribunal. I don’t know who is good but don’t want to hand lawyers 50% of my entitlement as I only have 9 years to work and probably won’t get another job. My career is over so I need to find someone who has a great track record of securing large sums but doesn’t take half ur entitlement.

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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