Support for injured workers
Injured workers are not problem people, we are people with a problem!
Set up in August 2011, aworkcovervictimsdiary is a popular blog, run by seriously injured workers, whose primary aim is to assist and offer support injured workers by means of offering peer advice in gaining the benefits and services they are legally entitled to.
However, it is very important that you remember that the Authors, Co-Authors and Contributors of this blog are themselves (mostly very seriously) injured workers. This means that they are not (always) in any position to offer personalised support. We are not lawyers and we are also not counsellors nor therapists.
aworkcovervictimsdiary is also not an organisation, it does not have funding nor external “resources”. It is solely run by volunteer work from injured workers, like you and me.
We are therefore not always in a position (mentally and/or physically) to personally respond to injured workers’ emails.
Doing so will enable many other injured workers to read your question and help guide you, or help find an answer based on their own experience(s). In addition, we do receive many similar questions and it is very useful to have all questions addressed on our site for (future) reference.
Support for injured workers
Dealing with workcover can be extremely stressful and overwhelming.
Below are some useful tips on how to get general, personal and professional support, and what type of support is available for injured workers. We have also included some useful (emergency) support lines and injured workers support groups in various states.
Support for injured workers on Diary of a Workcover Victim
Help with your workcover claim
If you need help with your workcover claim or have a particular question, you can post it on our “I need help” page. Chances are that the Authors, Contributors of this blog, our readers, frequent visitors and fellow injured workers may be able to answer your question, or at least offer you some guidance.
Injured Workers Forum
Our forum was (crashed in Jan 2014) and will again (soon) be a great place to meet and interact with fellow injured workers who understand you and what you are going through. You can seek (and offer) support, get to know people, and make friends. All you’ll have to do is register with the forum and off you go.
Share your story
You can also share your story or experience with workcover and we’ll publish your story on our site and comment on it This is not only good for our cause (showing the world what the real workcover is really like), but it can also be very therapeutic! It also gives other injured workers an opportunity to, in turn, share their experience(s) or to offer commentaries and additional useful information.
We believe that psychological counseling is important and that the sooner you get it the better. It will help you “deal” with your “situation” and help you cope and it’s also very good for the purpose of documenting the impact workcover has on you (i.e. harassment, bullying, intimidation by workcover agent, case manager, rehab provider, employer etc.)
General: If you can’t wait for approval from your workcover insurer for psychological counselling, please consider asking your treating GP for a referral under a Mental Health Care Plan which will entitle you to a certain number of counselling sessions (6-8) at no cost.
In Victoria, WorkSafe can pay the reasonable costs of psychology services to assist a worker in the rehabilitation of a work-related injury or illness, following the provision of a written referral from a medical practitioner.
WorkSafe considers psychology to be a referral service. A referral from a medical practitioner (your GP) must therefore be provided prior to commencement of psychology services.
What WorkSafe will pay for
WorkSafe will pay the reasonable costs of psychology services that meet all of the following criteria:
- A medical practitioner has provided a referral for initial treatment (excluding family counselling)
- A medical practitioner reviews the service regularly
Further services remain subject to regular review of the injured worker’s progress by a medical practitioner. The service is in line with the principles of the Clinical Framework for delivery of psychology services to injured workers.
WorkSafe can also pay for group consultations by psychologists. Group consultations may consist of between 4 and 10 workers receiving a face to face service.
WorkSafe will pay for the reasonable costs of family counselling services up to a maximum statutory amount (currently $5000 per claim):
- incurred in Australia
- provided upon prior approval from the agent/self insurer
- provided to the family member/s of a worker who has:
- died as a result of a work related injury
- sustained a severe injury under s99 of the Act.
A family member is a partner, parent, sibling or child of the worker or of the workers partner. Parent of a worker includes a person who has day to day care and control of the worker.
What is a severe injury?
- A severe injury which:
- was incurred on or after 1 July 2006
- required immediate in-patient treatment at a hospital
- meets the definition of severe injury under the Act, being:
- amputation of a limb
- amputation of a hand or foot
- severe head injury
- severe eye injury
- separation of the worker’s skin from an underlying tissue (eg de-gloving or scalping)
- severe burns
- severe lacerations
- severe injuries arising from electric shock
- any other work related injury giving rise to an imminent risk of death.
NEW SOUTH WALES
For those with a claim there is , in NSW -counselling available of 8 sessions without any questions asked so long as you get a referral from your nominated treating doctor.
If you are under the assistance of a return to work case manager – in NSW- they should recommend this, if not get the GP to call the insurer direct.Those who have claims in dispute can access free counselling again via the GP under a mental health care plan.
If you have a GP mental health treatment plan your GP may refer you for Medicare-subsidised sessions with a psychologist, or an appropriately trained doctor, social worker or occupational therapist. A psychiatrist may also refer you for Medicare-subsidised treatment with a psychologist, an appropriately trained social worker or occupational therapist. You may receive up to 12 sessions of individual therapy in a calender year (in NSW). An additional six sessions may be available in exceptional circumstances.
Please refer to your state’s workcover authority for information on eligibility criteria. (see workcover legislation by state.)
Injured workers support groups
New South Wales
Injured Workers Support Group (NSW)
The Injured Workers Support Network (IWSN), holds regular injured workers support group meetings in Sydney, Newcastle and Bathurst -meetings are listed on the IWSN website. These meetings provide a decent environment where injured workers can come together for some peer support from people going through similar issues and we try to provide a speaker on a topic of interest as well.
“The Injured Workers Support Network is a community based organisation and covers NSW Australia only. The Workcover systems in each state are different (but just as unhelpful) so any advice on Workers Compensation must by necessity relate only to the NSW Workcover system.”
The IWSN is run by the ‘Workers Health Centre‘, which is NSW only non-for-profit Health and Safety & Rehabilitation service provider for unions and its members. It provides a range of services including workcover accredited Occupational rehabilitation, return to work/injury management programs.
Work Injured Resource Connection (SA)
Work Injured Resource Connection (WIRC), run by Mrs Ferguson-McKenzie.
P.O. Box 17
South Australia, 5007
Ph: 08 8410 0121
Crisis (emergency) support lines
- LIFELINE: 131114 a national 24 hour telephone counselling service for the cost of a local call
- BEYOND BLUE: info line 1300 22 4636
- SUICIDE CALL BACK SERVICE : 1300 659 467 – telephone support for those at risk of suicide ,their carers and those bereaved by suicide.[popup url=’http://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/ ‘]Please visit their website.[/popup]
More help is available
beyondblue info line
- Phone: 1300 22 4636
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The beyondblue info line provides information on depression, anxiety and related disorders, available treatments and referrals to relevant services. You can call the info line for the cost of a local call or send an email. If you require a translator, the info line operator will request one through the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS).
If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment, call through the National Relay Service:
- TTY: Ph 133 677 and ask for 1300 22 4636.
- Speak and Listen (SSR): Ph 1300 555 727 and ask for 1300 22 4636.
- Internet Relay: connect to www.relayservice.com.au and ask for 1300 22 4636.
MensLine Australia is a professional telephone and online support, information and referral service, helping men to deal with relationship problems in a practical and effective way.
1300 78 99 78 Available 24/7
Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health (ACPMH)
Information on post-traumatic mental health problems and general advice about treatment
The Australian Psychological Society
www.psychology.org.au or 1800 333 497
Find a psychologist, information on psychological services and the APS
Multicultural Mental Health Australia
Mental health information for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
Information and internet-based education and treatment programs for people with depression and anxiety
1800 242 636 or www.carersaustralia.com.au
Family carer support and counselling in each state and territory
Brain Injury Australia
Information and advocacy for people with an acquired brain injury and their families
Spinal Cord Injuries Australia
Information, support and advocacy for people with a spinal cord injury and their families
Injured workers are not problem people, we are people with a problem!