Your Stories

Injured workers’ stories

Why do we take the time to search out these stories about Workers Compensation from all around the country? Simply put, we want you to understand that this workcover (aka work-over!) epidemic is a national problem. Employers and workcover insurers will simply stoop to the lowest of levels to try to beat an injured worker out of his lawfully mandated and guaranteed benefits.

Workcover insurers and employers lose sight of the fact that this safety net was created to catch occupationally injured workers and assist them back to productivity or help them find another vocation (job) where they can support their families once again.

Understand the reality; workcover is no longer about taking care of the injuries of injured workers and getting them back to work as it is supposed to be, it’s about money and power and who has it and who uses it to influence state legislators to do their bidding.

It’s about those who don’t think twice about convoluting and bastardising this system to meet their goals. It’s about unfeeling, uncaring corporate entities who care about only one thing; their financial bottom line.

We have the power to get the truth out there where all can see it. Help us get it where all can see.

helping-exposing-workcover

Share your workcover story/experience and help us expose the workcover insurers for what they really are! You don’t even have to provide your real name or and can use an anonymous email address (i.e yahoo, Gmail). We guaranty you 100% confidentiality!

You can email us directly via ‘workcovervictimsdiary@yahoo.com.au’ or use the anonymous form below which does not even require your email address.

Note: when you use the below share-your-story’s form, this means that your story will be sent anonymously via email to aworkcovervictimsdiary.com, who may then publish your story (unless instructed otherwise) as an article/post without any identifying features. .

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Many injured workers like you and me have shared their workcover stories, and in doing so help us prove that there is a systematic pattern of abuse by the workcover system, which is unacceptable.

Please conduct a search using the keyword “stories” to find all shared stories prior to 16 May 2012 and those not published on this page.

Silence is not an option

Selected injured worker’s stories

Injured worker “L” – 28 Mar 2015

The following story, shared by “L”describes the all too familiar feeling that, once on the workcover system, many of us become a prisoner of our own body and are being driven to what “L” can only describe as a “spiraling emotional unhealthiness and depression….”Read the story

Injured worker “I” – 27 Feb 2015

Truck Driver denied compensation for PTSD – The following distressing story highlights the difficulties injured workers face in proving negligence on the part of the employer – for causing a foreseeable psychiatric injury – and, ultimately for successfully litigating psychiatric injuries by means of common law.Read the story

Injured Worker “X” – 17 Feb 2015

The following psychologically injured worker has been working as an emergency medical dispatcher. His/her is one of the voices callers hear when they dial 000 and ask for an ambulance. No training can fully prepare a dispatcher for the stress of taking calls from emergencies and people in desperate situations. Sometimes the outcome is traumatically evident: the casualty dies while still on the line… But what if that casualty is your own son or daughter? Read the story

Injured Worker “A” – 10 Feb 2015

I want people to know that these [IME] ‘examinations’ are sheer TORTURE!Read the story

Injured Worker “S” 1 November 2014

I am just sharing part of my journey. I am robust but I can see how a physical injury can, through the machinations of the (workcover X) insurer, trigger psychological injury…Read the story

Injured Worker “X” 30 October 2014

Another brave injured worker decided to share his/her workcover story nightmare, again highlighting the abuse inflicted upon injured workers by the adversarial workcover system.Read the story

Injured Worker “A” 6 August 2014

After having visited our site, another brave injured worker decided to share his/her workcover story ordeal, again highlighting the reason(s) why our workers compensation system is extremely dysfunctional on multiple levels.Read the story

Injured Worker “T” 20 April 2013

By far the worst workcover story we have ever heard of! A lawyer who lied, a doctor who made a mistake and an injured worker crippled for life.Read the story

Injured Worker “X” 16 April 2013

“…Late in 2011 I was verbally attacked and physically chased to the toilets by the General Manager and a senior Manager whilst my local manager sat there and let it all happen….”Read the story

Injured worker ‘C” 27 March 2013

“….Also the case managers who were rude, hardly ever return my calls or emails and rejecting treatment that I wanted to get in order to get back to work and to get better of course. Went to claim for my shoulders and of course they rejected it. And this was because of an IME doctor that said it was all in my head and he wasn’t even a psychologist..funny that…”Read the story

Injured worker Johnny 16 March 2013

I used to work for a manufacturing company before I had to stop due to getting carpal tunnel syndrome. I had to have a small operation after which kept me off work for a few weeks, I tried to return on partial hours but my doctor said I was only able to supervise, I wasn’t able to do any work.after doing this for a week my employer sent me home in front of everyone, I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t return there, I was off work for two and a half years because of an adjustment disorder I developed from this traumatic experience, …Read the story

Injured worker “C” 7 March 2013

I am glad I stuck to my guns – an injured workers stress-full story, inspiration, courage and some invaluable tips when lodging a claim for stress and undertaking legal proceedings.Read the story

Injured worker “M” 18 November 2012

“I have wanted to tell this story for a long time, and having now pretty much explored every legal avenue I am more confident in doing so”, writes an injured worker who experienced sickening bullying in his workplace….”Read the story

Injured worker “X”10 November 2012

In this horrible story, an injured worker was called “a fat, lazy female” in court!…Where do I start. Well I was working as an Administration Assistant in 2005 I had a workstation made from an old desk and a desk return at my feet under the desk I had open Telecom cables and to my left a large hard drive box on the floor. I had a little room …Read the story

Injured worker “X” 22 September 2012

Another very brave injured worker shared his disturbing story with us. He was severely bullied in his workplace to the point where he was shot with a staple gun by a fellow employee! His workcover claim was initially denied, courtesy of a very biased ‘investigator’s report’. With the help of a law firm he finally managed to have his claim accepted, only to discover that his lawyer had coerced him to sign an “agreement” and since then the poor and exasperated injured workers has been going through an all too familiar nightmare of insurer’s bullying tactics, delays and denials…Read the story

Injured worker ‘X” 13 September 2012

Recently we all received a welcomed bonus with a letter that stated again our obligation to keep accidents low and even made reference to a few doctors’ visits that occurred but could also be avoided. Clearly, it inferred that our bonus might be bigger, if only we all could meet safety targets… Read the story

Injured worker Carl 11 September 2012

We recently received a plea for help from Carl, via the IWSN, who is an injured nurse.  We expect, like Carl, that many seriously injured workers will now be subjected to the same hostile and unfair treatment by insurers under the new WorkCover laws in NSW. A must read! Read the story

Injured Worker “X” 17 August 2012

A severely psychologically injured worker kindly shared a letter she wrote to the Victorian Ombudsman. It’s one of many complaints that she took to many bodies that are touted as protectors of the little guy”, she writes. “Guess what, none of them measured up”. Again this story highlights the impact that adversarial workers compensation systems has on the mental health of injured workers.Read the story

Injured Worker “I” 12 August 2012

Injured Worker “I” found the courage and strength to share his painful story with us. Again, this story highlights the blame mentality taken on by so many employers (in a no-fault system!), and the endless frustrations a severely injured worker typically faces with his/her workcover case manager. Note that this injured workers was told by his case manager that “if he feels depressed he can ring her for a chat” (WTF).Read the story

Injured Worker “Screwed” 7 August 2012

We received a painful email from an American seriously injured worker who states that the system of Workers Comp is [also] so screwed up in his state its unreal. He says he feels raped and that if it wasn’t for his fiancee, who sadly was diagnosed with MS but who is still working, he would be living in a card board box under some bridge.Read the story

Injured Worker “X” 5 August 2012

MUST READ: In this true and most shocking story, a well known despicable and evil case manager from Xchanging, took it upon her uneducated self to illegally downgrade a severely injured worker’s serious injury certificate, accusing the injured worker – who is currently literally facing “sudden paralysis from the legs down as well as urinary and fecal incontinence” of malingering! Read the story

Injured Worker “P” 4 August 2012

From 1998 to 2003, I was employed by a Community Legal Centre. In the latter years of my employment, I was bullied at work over a long period. Initially, I did not recognise the bullying for what it was. I developed severe back pain and moderate depression. I took my annual leave to try to recover. During this time, I was made aware of the bullying meted out to a colleague and friend. I assisted my colleague in writing a complaint. I was further emotionally devastated by this process both by the distress of my colleague and because her complaint signaled to me that my workplace was losing its integrity. Subsequently, I made a Workcover claim to cover what eventually became six months absence from the workplace…Read the story

Injured Woker “R” 3 August 2012

Injured worker “R” kindly shares his story with us. Whilst he has undergone three surgeries and is doing all he possibly can to return to work, he has been told by his employer that they want him back only when/if “100% mentally and physically fit”. Now that the injured worker’s injury will take a long time to heal and recover, his rude and bullying employer appears to be making a sly case for constructive dismissal…Read the story

Injured Worker “X” 1 August 2012

an injured worker who made a complaint to WorkSafe about bullying in his workplace. The response he received from WorkSafe left him beyond shock. Repeated exposure to this bullying has left him expecting nothing less than total corruption and typical “cover up” for the bully and no enforcement of Worksafe’s OHS Act. Bullies are just encouraged to bully even more…Read the story

Injured worker “L” – 27 July 2012

In this story, injured worker “L” kindly shares her painful workcover journey with us. L sustained a permanent back injury which, most unfortunately, means that she is no longer able to do the job she so much loves. Her employer was unable to provide her with a new administrative based job, and without formal retraining, she found herself working elsewhere in an admin-based job she finds overwhelming and where she does not feel welcome or appreciated. On the way to work, L sometimes feels like not turning the wheel and thinking all her troubles would be over if she kept going straight…Read the story

Injured Worker “Pauline” – 20 July 2012 and 28 July 2012

“a workplace bullying victim me, bullied even more by Workcover, the legislation and all those trough slurpers who suck at the Workcover purse”, says P, who is sharing a rather nauseating verbatim transcription of a question and answer session that was conducted at Worksafe Week 2009 by QBE, and a most enlightening letter she wrote to the then workcover Minister Tim Holding.Read the story

Injured worker “Pauline”, who shared her story with us last week and who suffered a whopping 30% psychiatric injury in 2006, and was “compensated’ out of the system with barely two years income to support me was blocked at all attempts to get retraining. In her story, she shares a copy of one of her letters rounding up her effort on this front. Pauline is now homeless and deeply impoverished living on the disability pension.Read the story

Injured worker “X” – 18 July 2012

an injured worker, who suffered a very serious psychological injury including very real suicidal ideation, following relentless bullying and harassment in the workplace [The Nepean Hospital in NSW], eventually recovered enough for pre-injury duties. With a medico-legal certificate of capacity, clearly stating the injured worker fit for pre-injury duties, the Nepean Hospital’s [then] Human Resource Manager literally forbid him to return to work, based on the completely outrageous, unfounded and sickening statement that “the Area Health Service continues to have serious concerns about the injured worker’s [mental] wellbeing…” and that they would need to obtain “medical evidence”. [WTF!].Read the story

Injured worker “X” – 14 July 2012

an injured worker who has been bullied at work and who wishes to remain anonymous for obvious reasons tells us that a bullying manager, who had been “off work for 6 months” and who had been responsible for over 100 resignations (!) and had at least 10 formal complaints about bullying against her, would be returning to work shortly. As s/he rightly states, “it’s a joke in about the lack of severely disciplining managers as they are still considered untouchable…”Read the story

16 July 2012: The horrible story continues and the bully manager is still vilifying current and former staff, even before she has officially returned to work!Read the story

Injured worker “A” – 8 July 2012

I recently requested a copy of the circumstance investigation report from my work cover claim. After the usual delays from the insurance company I finally received it. I wasn’t that surprised to find out that all of my work colleagues had not supported me, and had protected the person who had harassed and bullied me. I was shocked though, to find that included in the report were comments from a post I had made on my Facebook page around the time of the investigation..Read the story

Injured worker “G” – 8 July 2012

a sickening story from an injured NSW fire fighter’s friend. Her fire fighter friend suffered a workplace injury which left him with long term permanent impairment, but -as a result of his inhumane modified duties- he also suffered severe psychological injuries. After 25 years of loyal service protecting lives and properties, this man found himself without any retraining or rehab and … sacked! Read the story

Injured worker “A” – 5 July 2012

a sickening story from a bullied worker who, rightly, complained to WorkSafe about the bullying experienced at her workplace. The WorkSafe OHS inspector’s own behaviour, however, was truly frightening, hostile and nothing short of bullying! Read the story

Injured worker “G” – 4 July 2012

the story from injured worker “G”, who has suffered agonising arm and shoulder injuries from doing repetitive computer work and find himself in an -unfortunately all too common situation – where his boss “is just too busy” to “deal with his return to work plan”. His boss makes no effort to contact him and it looks like they do not want him back at work. His elusive case manager is of not much help either…Read the story

Injured worker “J” – 1 July 2012

an injured worker who developed debilitating, lifetime post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after he was required, as part of his job, to investigate pretty gruesome heavy machinery accidents. His  case differs in that there was an extended (20+ years) period of time between exposure and diagnosis, which caused much debate as to the date of injury and under which WC Act it should be considered…Read the story

Injured worker “R”- 29 June 2012

injured worker “R” shared his gut-wrenching story with us. R, who suffers a severe back injury, is now living in a dark boarding room [a box] and relies on the Salvos for food parcels. He can’t walk to the bathroom down the hall without soiling , he sleeps rarely and he can’t fill a script from the chemist cos he can’t walk there. And, worst of all, he was let down by his very own GP, who – undoubtedly after being pressurised by the insurer, suddenly certified him “fit” as a fiddle.Read the story

Injured worker “Kim” – 27 June 2012

“Kim”  kindly found the courage to share her story with us. Whilst Kim initially suffered a relatively “minor” back injury at her first workplace, she had not been treated properly by her then employer (and insurer) and was consequently forced to seek alternate employment, where she suffered horrendous abuse to be only pushed into another position where she was further exploited by another greedy and cruel employer. The domino effect of one injury is crushing, and we can see now how the original physical injury actually created a psychological injury also, which made her very vulnerable to further injury….Read the story

Injured worker “Kris” – 26 June 2012

Injured Worker “Kris” shares his/her story and clearly shows that the workcover “paperwork”  has not only caused life-threatening complications but also extended his/her recovery time by months, and has made things much much worse . As Kris writes: ” the “system” itself that is bureaucracy at its worst, has wasted a lot of my time and money”.Read the story

Injured worker “Troy” – 25 June 2012

Yet another nightmarish story from “Troy”, a SA based injured worker who is spiraling into complete isolation and who is really, really desperate for help. He says no lawyer will help him without cash upfront and he feels like he is left to rot…”I pretty much have 1 foot the grave already and EML has a backhoe to dig faster…”Read the story

Injured worker sent to lying geriatric IME – 22 June 2012

A harrowing story about a Victorian injured worker, whose claim is managed by CGU, and who was sent to an all-too-common- despicable, geriatric independent medical examinator exterminator (IME). This most unethical “doctor”, a disgrace to the profession really, dared to state that there was nothing wrong with the injured worker, despite clear MRI evidence of a lumbar disc protrusion with nerve compression. He had the guts to state that the injured worker is”fit for 40 hour per week” normal duties, and in doing so is just about to destroy a person’s life and livelihood! Disgusting! Read the story

Injured worker “Grathom” has nowhere to go –  19 June 2012

@grathom is an injured worker who has been battling the workcover system for over eight years now, and who is constantly being sent from one IME to another by Allianz under the false pretext to “diagnose” his injury correctly (after 8 years, WTF!), who has to fight for every legit payment, who has been unable to find a job, and who is now facing financial ruin with the proposed O’Farrell butchery. Like so many injured workers, he has nowhere to go…Read the story

Injured worker “D” – 17 June 2012

another gut-wrenching story and plea for help and support overnight from an injured worker, who sustained a brain injury after a car accident, and who has been abused in unimaginable ways by an employment agency, preying on disability subsidies. This man, and his carer are not only disillusioned with our society, but they are utterly desperate for help, support and advice…Read the story

Injured worker “P” – 7 June 2012

I started at my dream job in 2010 and I was really happy to be with this government organisation and thought I would end up working there until I retired. Boy was I wrong, within three weeks my new manager was bullying me. She would not train me, ignored me, isolated me and would talk to everyone in the office but me…. Read the harrowing story of an worker who was psychologically injured at work, had his/her claim denied and who has not been paid and is paying for all medical expenses. S/he is facing a Hearing at the Magistrates Court… Read the story

Injured worker “C” – 30 May 2012

aworkcovervictimsdiary received a very compelling story from an injury worker today. He is basically left with a severe respiratory disease, a skin condition and sight problems and, two and a half years later he is still waiting for justice. His wages are about to be cut and he relies on his family to buy his medication…all the whilst he’s feeling like he is breathing through a straw! Shame on you workcover, shame on you! Read the story

Injured worker “S” – 18 May 2012

I was injured in 2010. I was rejected by WorkCover after the case officer verbally told me on the phone in front of my partner that he was approving my claim but said please don’t tell anyone until he issues the letter. Then for months he denied my numerous attempts to send him more supporting evidence whilst giving my employer a million extensions for example to go away for the weekend boating!

While I am really sick, and not being paid and all my savings were going going gone now… then he denied my claim. This man is a serious worry as he was actually conniving about the way he rejected my claim…. Read the story

Injured worker “V” – 18 May 2012

I am an injured worker and my file is currently managed by Xchanging.

My treating GP has made requests to the insurer for assistance with home help and garden upkeep.

This is slowly happening but not at the level I require, of course. After two ADL’s this year, we are now in debate about the possible recommendations an upcoming report ‘Workable’ can produce for the Insurer…. Read the story

 

 

 

55 Responses to “Your Stories”

  1. sorry about the spelling mistakes my dictionary is having a fit lately

  2. hi all im not sure where to post this but im seeking some advice on what to do i met my employer worked for around two months cutting domestic fire wood he had us standing on piles of wood in the rain cutting wood with chainsaws among other things that were in breach of ohs regulations i had an accident sustaining injury to lower back minor l5/l4 disc bulge and what can only be descibed as a soft tissue injury to my right hand almost like a bit of bone sticking out so i reported my employer to worksafe who told me to go to the doctors as i was still trying to work at that stage and apply for workcover as he had scammed me he told me i was subcontract but as all of the duties and work undertaken im am deemed an employee.
    So i applied they sent an ivestigator who spent three hours with me and was shocked and disgusted in my employer futher so when he phoned him while he was sitting in my dinning room and wanted to meet him to conduct his appoinment at a local mc donalds car park wtf? so anyway was aproved on july 30th this year my claim accepantce manager as she called herself rung me to tell me id been accepted but it would take a week or so to pay me as of papper work involed no worries i said she also stated i would be back paid as i had done eveything right and ket up date medical certs it has been 11 weeks of the 12 to 1 week first period on workcover and ive been left unpaid still my employer was abusive towards them and me to the point they said they would make me a direct payee and writ him of but yet still wont pay me as they calculated my paiwe but say the employer must verify it and wont make payment untill then or i have to lodge a tax return which i cant as he cant and wont supply me with a group cert so im now missing medical appointments and my health is failing and to top it of im going to be displaced over this as i pay 700 privet rent then expense after exspense then bills i tried to report them to the ombudsom for providing false and missleading i nfomation being allianz the insurer and for breaching thier duty of care my lawyer seems to being doing nothing much at all she has issued it to conciliation but im left standing there injured sick and at risk of losing my whole life down the drain so what do you do???? it is a long complicated story and there is a lot more that im not including like forged documents and the indepentant med exam we argued but when i requested the report it showed up not anything like the day the exam took place oh he was fully agreeing with me and my injurys and said no one attended the appointment but my mum drove me to melb and come in so im confused as to where to go from here they say conciliation but ill be lucky to have a rooof over my head by then. any comment or advice is much appeciated thanks.

    • That’s a really bad situation to be in. I’d try submitting a Stat Dec if your employer won’t give them paperwork about your wages. Did he take tax out and did u get any pay slips? What State are u in? Unfortunately these are all pretty typical scenarios with IME’s and WorkCover. Did ur employer give you a Separation Certificate? If so, perhaps go and sign up with Centrelink until you can get to Concil and get your back pay. Once they accept that part of your Claim then they will back pay Centrelink first and you will receive the balance. Get your Mum to fill out a Stat Dec about attending the interview and both you and her write down what actually occurred and highlight what is not true. Then you will need to make a written complaint to both the Insurer and WorkCover. The Ombudsman is a toothless Tiger and can’t do much but it’s good to have reported it to them. I bet all they told you was to go back and make another written complain to the Insurer and/WorkCover. Allianz are a “special kind” of nasty when it comes to Insurers. Don’t trust them at all, they will screw you over in the blink of an eye. record any verbal conversations, bc they record you and make a written request under FOI for a copy of all of the documents in your claim. Be specific, they won’t just give you”all” e.g reports, claim forms, investigations, system notes, conversations, etc PIAWE means ur average weeklyincome from the previous 12 mths, they do need to know this to make payments, that’s why they ask for Tax documents (or u may have bank records etc).

    • @Anonomous
      You can go to good tax agent and they will be able to help with your tax return.. You can do 1 of 2 ways, if you have your hours and pay rates, you can estimate your income (add all the income for the financial year, received from this employer), or you can lodge your return as a Personal Services Income return. This is similar to a business return, but you are not able to claim some expenses. This will also protect your claim to being an employee, as you wont meet the rules to enable your income to be declared as a business. Your ABN will be needed on the return and the return will cost more than a basic individual one. The cheque payments are sufficient proof of earnings, they can be traced to your account as deposits and I think the bank has to scan them to their system.
      If at all possible, next time you were going to be in Melbourne, H&R Block in Brunswick is a major office, and they have staff upstairs that would be able to help sort this out for you. You could enquire at the Ballarat office too, see if they have a senior manager…

  3. Hi @Talita,

    I’m sorry to hear of you constant pain.

    Regarding finding closure? I guess it is a personal thing. I thought settlement would be closure for me – but it wasn’t.

    What settling a claim can do is relieve you of the constant denial of treatment and harassment of the insurer.

    After a few months, I have started getting proper treatment for my injuries. It is a bit scary that I am still not well enough to work and I hope the settlement funds do not run out before I can start to get conditioned for trying a bit of casual work or it’s sell up and apply for the Disability Support Pension.

    So a settlement is a kind of closure, but it also opens up other shit that you haven’t had time to think about, because fighting the insurer takes so much time and energy. But I still reckon it’s better out of the system, than in it

  4. I had a injury a year and a half ago when I slipped at work on residue thee abets had left on the floor without signs.

    The day of the injury I had to catch a bus to a dr, after being told if have to pay cash to see my own dr I agree to see there’s who I ended up paying for.
    After seeing a couple of Drs and was not happy with the verdict. Being a ex addict many years ago I was told addicts tend to make more pain up in the head. I started to think I was going crazy as I’d never had back pain in my life.
    I had ppl at work, managers and everyone telling others I was a hypercondriac. Then my Physio ask finally for a MRI three months after. Which showed a disc prolapse after trying many other thing prior to taking the surgery root.
    I ended up having surgery 6 months ago with no relief but it was my choice. I have been pressured many times to step down from my position as a manager many times including my first week back after surgery.

    I have serve depression with suicidal thoughts. Which there reluctant to add to the case as they don’t believe it’s is part of it.

    I hardly sleep as I can’t sleep in a bed I’ve slept between a armchair to lounge since the injury.

    My workercover has been reduced as how long I’ve been on it. I’ve had Physio cut as wc don’t pay for maintenance only progression. Well that don’t help me pay for Physio as I can’t afford it.
    Right now I’m trying to access super to buy a $10,000 bed to help me sleep.

    I try to push myself to work as I can’t afford to stop so I’m dammed if I do or don’t.
    I try keep a smile on my face as when ppl can’t see the injury they don’t believe you and think u whinge.

    I really just won’t it all over and to start to rebuild my life and family as it’s taken it’s strain on them to.

    Worse thing is I still see water ect on the floor even thou I reported it prior to my accident and after. The cleaners don’t understand English so trying to explain to them they need signs up is impossible.
    I take pictures nearly everyday at work and have reported many times with nothing being done.

    Does anyone find closure when everything has been settled.

    • Due to your back surgery and being incapacitated/unfit for work, get 2 doctors to sign the claim forms from your super fund which you are entitled to. It saved my life as it does enable you to purchase things for bad backs (I have had several back surgeries the last being a multi level fusion) still get nerve pain yay.
      its a process but contact your super asap.

  5. Hi Anxious, personally I wouldn’t agree to see the same IME that gave you a negative report. The Act states you must attend an IME and not unreasonable refuse to go. The fact that the IME doctor has already written a negative report about you means they are biased and you should see a different IME. It’s VERY likely the IME doctor will write the same conclusions as your first report because after all, to write anything different would mean they are contradicting themselves. As you have a lawyer, its probably worth a quick 5 minute phone call to see about getting a different IME from your insurer.

  6. Yes, we are all in the same or familiar boat! Having had my weekly income reduced by 75% and No partner…I wait In Limbo for a work capacity assessment! Surgery has not been successful unfortunately, I’m in so much more pain and with so many different diagnoses. I never thought a back operation would disable my feet and legs, pain 24/7…I have had no multidisciplinary care and even though I am over the 20% impairment rating my 5 years is nearly up soon. ( i worked nearly 2 years in pain in fear of losing my job before my op but that counts towards the 5 years and it shouldn’t) So I know what’s going to happen! I’ve gotten myself in so much debt, just to survive!

    Firstly, I had medicare mental health care plan put in place by my GP and my social worker who did care when I was still working in pain and unable to even sit because of them i am still alive today. They were finally w.c approved and completely ignored by you know who because they had reported that i wasn’t fit for work. The bill was thousands and my large company rehab consultant told me it wouldn’t be paid. Whilst talking to the workcover claims assistance line about another matter I brought up the fact that I now owe this person X amount of $$$ and suddenly it was paid, thank-goodness! I now see a pain psychologist who is sometimes helpful but I know her main aim is to recommend jobs and focus on my RTW to a different workplace, this conversation comes up often. I was medically terminated from my much loved position because of no suitable duties within my restrictions and hours (bullshit, they wanted a full-time RTW) …..now I am totally unfit.

    They the insurance company want results from these sessions so unless the psychologist is working in your favour with your restrictions, be aware! Because their focus is on RTW no matter how restricted or disabled you are… that’s what they’re being paid for! You can agree to disagree with me however, this is my personal experience. I would still highly recommend seeing one by yourself or as a couple! They have helped my sanity and kept me alive! So to this day I am very grateful.

    If a partner is in denial about the fact your in pain I think its because they feel so helpless and hopeless and probably just as scared as you with everything including the future! My friends don’t understand and that’s all right because until they’re in this situation they won’t and they were not the friends I thought they were anyway! That’s why I’m here on this very helpful sharing, caring website. Knowledge is power…get in formed, know your rights plus do your own research. I was so naive about this roller coaster ride but there’s got to be a light at the end of the tunnel!

  7. Hi Anxious, I am so sorry to hear of your dreadful injuries, and can relate to everything that you are saying. I found the same similiarity with my partner but was trying to survive myself and it was not until we both had psychological counciling to help us through this unbearable time, that a greater understanding of work place injuries was understood. Your GP would be able to give your psychologist a mental health plan and you can have this under Medicare, this might help you and your partner. Relationships are very tested and just pretending that you are fine will not help you. I would write to the ombudsman if your insurers will not give you an answer as to repairing your injuries this is disgraceful but to uncommon for all of us, however, just by having this on notice does help. As to your financial situation I am looking at homelessness as well after having medical/medication /weekly benefits cut off and have been pursuing other avenues when I am well enough, however, just feel like a beggar in between, so I am not much help there. Take care of each other.

    • Hi R,

      Thank you for your advice, I am currently under the care of a psychologist & have been for some time now due to this. Unfortunately my partner is not the sort of guy who would see someone for any sort of counselling I’m afraid, I have broached the subject before but he wasn’t interested.
      I am sorry for your situation too, and I wish you the best of luck for your journey 🙂

      • Hi anxious: Just adding to what everyone has said – we all are in the same or at least, a familiar boat!

        It is really hard, I know in my situation that our workcover payments are quite a bit less than our cost to live. I believe it is all part of the insurer tactics. You have been through them “Stalling” your are now in the “Starve” phase (Stall, Starve Settle).

        With regards to your partner not wanting counselling, I understand how one can form that opinion. It not a guy thing.

        HOWEVER, if it wasn’t for the extensive psychological assistance I received, I would have taken myself out. So I have a very different view of counselling because it really did save my life.

        I wish you well on your journey, and hope you and your family get all the help and assistance to get through this nightmare called workcover.

  8. Hi Anxious, So sorry to hear what you are going through. I can’t advise about financial help, unfortunately, just wanted to wish you well. Maybe your super might offer weekly payments if you’re unable to work?

    • @Anxious, if you’re receiving weekly payments from workcover, it will be very difficult to obtain assistance, but at times, as itHurts mentioned your super may release some funds if you can prove hardship. You may also have an income protection policy hidden in your super? Worth checking. A total disability claim may be possible, but you would need to check with your lawyer as usually you are not allowed to access those funds (if successful) until you are off the system. If you’re not getting weekly payments, then that’s another story, you could apply for Centrelink, early super release, or a TPD claim. It sucks, we’re all in the same boat, rest assured, living in utter poverty. Some of us are homeless, the “luckier” amongst us have a partner/spouse who can help feed us and maintain the bills, however many of us have had to sell our homes, car etc.

      workcovervictim3 August 30, 2013 at 7:34 pm
    • Hi Anxious, sorry to hear of your story. You should try to find your local community centres as they offer many services that may help you during this time. It is difficult the first time you visit or make contact as I always felt there was worse off than me- but because of WC playing games I wasn’t able to pay my bills or buy food- so I was now 1 of those that I thought I would never be! I was happy to be able to give back when WC had been reinstated & I was able to survive – for now!
      Depending on your situation you may find that Centrelink may be able to help you, so you should at least contact them to find out. Some states have an energy relief scheme, where they will pay 1 energy bill in a 2 year period. Anything & everything a should be considered, as your WC agent is holding out hoping you will give up & get the public health system to pay for your injury. If you haven’t had legal advise yet, you should at least find out if you are likely to need it in the future. Sometimes a call from a lawyer is all it takes to get that approval signed- imagine that!

      • Hi Ithurts,

        I did contact Centrelink when they cut my WC but then when they reinstated it I didn’t actually think that I could get anything more after that. I do have a lawyer at Slater & Gordon & have had to get them to make a call when my WC payment has been missed or late, they have been pretty good to jump in and do that.
        I know that they will definitely be hoping that I will give up, but the longer they drag it out the more determined it makes me!!
        I have another IME this month, after waiting 6mths for the appointment, and it’s with the same dinosaur I saw for my first exam! He never even touched me or did a proper exam, so I am taking along my friend who came to the first one and she will be taking detailed notes, as the insurer said I can write in a complaint if it is the same.
        Thank you for your reply 🙂

    • Hi Pauline,

      I do still get my fortnightly wage from my work, but as it is now only 80%, it doesn’t cover all of our expenses between the both of us.
      Thank you so much for your well wishes 🙂

      • I think that 20% loss of income is a huge imposition on injured workers. Many of us live on our incomes fortnight by fortnight, paying mortgages, bills, and the like and supporting our kids through school. How can we be expected to absorb a 20% cut in income like that. How they get away with calling it a “no fault” system while they strip the most seriously injured of their lives through that punitive measure just beggars belief.

  9. Hi everyone,

    I have currently been on Workcover 2 1/2 yrs, & unable to work for 18 mths now. We are now financially desperate, have applied to bank for Financial Hardship break on our mortgage but they seem to take forever to give an answer!

    Does anyone know of where to get financial help from? We need something to help us until November when there will be some money coming, & we are drowning!! There must be something out there for those of us who really need it??

    I am awaiting on approval for a major operation on my neck to remove one of the damaged discs & have a metal plate fitted. I slipped at work in Jan 2011 & face planted & broke my nose, have 2 bulging discs, one of which has gone so long because they can’t seem to give approval before the next Ice Age, it is now impinging on my spinal cord causing problems in my limbs. I have recently had a corticoid injection in my left rotator cuff, which was great for the first week & now I can’t even lift my arm it is excruciating!

    I am finding that the constant waiting & stress of finances is now making my depression & anxiety flare again & don’t really know where to turn. My partner doesn’t really understand how it is as he never gets sick or thinks that I’m just always sick or in pain so he switches off. I now try to act happy & ok on the outside, even when I feel like I’m crying inside.

    Any helpful advice someone could offer I would be extremely grateful.

    Thanks 🙂

    • anxious
      contact your superannuation fund and ask for forms so that you can apply for a release of money under grounds of hardship. apra is the regulator of super and banks so you should contact them as well.
      http://www.apra.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx

      • Hi At A Loss,

        I did contact my super fund, and they told me I was unable to borrow money from my super as I was not on Centrelink benefits! I thought at the time how ridiculous it was, as if you’re on Workcover it’s almost the same!
        But I will contact the website you gave me to check again, thank you so much 🙂

        • Hi anxious, definitely contact APRA if they are unwilling to help release your money it is not borrowing it is what you have in the preserved benefit which you are entitled to access under the terms of hardship/ compassionate grounds.
          The Conditions of Release are
          1.Retirement
          2.Preserved amount of super benefits is less than $200
          3.Reaching the age of 65
          4.Decision to start a transition-to-retirement pension (TRIP)
          5.Severe financial hardship
          6.Compassionate grounds
          7.Non-resident leaving Australia permanently
          8.Permanent disability
          9.Temporary incapacity
          10.Death
          11.Decision to take your benefit as lifetime pension or annuity
          12.Cease employment and have certain pre-1999 super benefits

          I hope this helps you and all that see this site.
          In fact perhaps workcover victim can post as many injured suffer financial hardship.

          below is a link which explains if you still encounter problems I would suggest contacting your lawyer and if your lawyer cant help contact a superannuation law specialist.

          http://www.superguide.com.au/accessing-superannuation/accessing-super-early/12-legal-reasons-to-cash-your-super

  10. Hi,

    July 12, working like any other day doing my deliveries for my employer. I deliver Bakery Goods to very well known franchises. While i love my work it is quite physical and i can come home with little aches and pains, but this day was different. I knew i had done something to injure my shoulder but couldn’t quite pick it. I arrived back at the warehouse and i reported my injury in the book, spoke briefly to my manager about a possible injury and continued to work my day in the warehouse. Late in the day, while loading for the next days run, i was lifting a 25kg sack of flour to load in the truck when it hit. The searing sting, which was my tendon tearing off the bone, was enough to drop me to one knee. The two other lads i was working with heard my shout of pain and asked what was up. i said i just had the shooting stabbing pain in my shoulder but it seemed to have passed. My manager come over to me and handed me a late delivery which was 980kg of goods to be hand unloaded to a bakery with a very difficult delivery entrance. i mentioned the pain and he suggested to try and free someone up to take with me, which never happened. i ended up doing that delivery on my own and all by hand.

    Next day my shoulder was on fire. Went to the doctors with the symptoms and he immediately had me in for scans. the scans showed an 8mm x 7mm tear of my supersparatis? tendon and swollen bursa. Surgery with Sportsmed SA is being booked to repair the damage. I cannot for the life of me see how i can go from fit and healthy one day to being all but void of my ability to use my shoulder in just a few weeks. and the pain…oh my lord the pain. it is relentless and medication is futile. I have no idea what to expect from the surgery, how long my recovery will be or weather i can even go back to doing what i do? Not that i want to go back to this particular company, lets just say since the injury they have been very different toward me, again another surprise.

    thanks for the chance to vent a little, any advice people may have for me would be most welcomed.i really dont know what the future holds for me and my young family.

     

    • @ Troy: sorry to hear about your painful injury. I sincerely hope you put in a workcover claim, as it’s pretty clear the lifting (repeated) has cause your rotator cuff tear (suprasinatus). Rotator cuff tears are notoriously painful, especially at night and when lifting your arm. The “good” news is that your tear appears partial and fairly small – that is: only a part of the tendon is torn. This is easily fixed with arthroscopic surgery, but would mean at least 6 weeks off (in a sling) and then return  to work with some lifting restrictions and avoidance of repetitive use.

      I have personally undergone 8 surgeries on my shoulder, incl 2 rotator cuff repairs. Unfortunately in my case just about the entire shoulder was damaged (capsule, labrum, ligaments, cuff, tendons, bone) and I am now left with an irreparable shoulder in debilitating pain, awaiting a special reverse prosthetic. The most important thing after surgery is that your employer abides by your restrictions, otherwise the rotator cuff can get further damaged, leading to more “itis” , serious pain and possible failure of the repair. In my case I have no doubt that being forced to continue (heavy) work by the insurer and the employer, without ergonomic aids as prescribed and even with certificates of total incapacity has led to the ongoing damage to my shoulder, requiring 1-2 surgeries per year, to the point where it is now totally destroyed.

      So please look well after yourself and stand your ground – your health come first and you have a right to refuse work you believe is aggravating your injury (such as lifting).

      workcovervictim August 7, 2013 at 5:39 pm
      • @ Workcovervictim

        I thank you for your words of advice and encouragement. I have lodged a workcover claim, but they seem to have misplaced some of my paperwork from the surgeons office, which has pushed my surgery back another 3 weeks!.

        My case manager only found out about this because i was eagerly waiting for a reply from Employers Mutual to say my op was approved…3 weeks and nothing. I made some calls to Employers Mutual and found out nobody knew about the reports or my surgery!!! I asked Sportsmed SA to re send all the info, next day i got a reply from my case manager saying it will be another 3 weeks before i know whats going on.

        Now i have also had my pay reduced by 10% because they are dragging their feet. I told the case manager point blank i thought the process was flawed and that their office dropped the ball… I got this response “well, its YOUR injury, you should be following up on things” LOL. i know where this is going…I will be speaking to a lawyer very soon. And just think, i was prepared to go through all of this without a whimper on my behalf, just happy to get my shoulder fixed. NOT NOW, NO WAY. assholes.

        I understand now, just how hard it would be for others to endure more serious and painful injuries and to be properly looked after by the scheme. Workcover is massively flawed and the only people that seem to do any good from it are the fat cats who run these schemes. Not the workers who are meant to be protected by it.

        Again, thank you for your words of wisdom. Take care all.

        • @Troy D- You’re most welcome, and undoubtedly we’ll hear from you again, now that you are part of our workcovervictims’ family! If you have any questions along the way, please don’t hesitate to post them, we’re here to support you and guide you as best we can.

          BTW it is “normal’ that the insurer is delaying your surgery approval request – they do this all the time, under any pretext. We have come to call the workcover insurer’s modus operandi “SSS” – STALL (the claim, requests for treatment etc), STARVE or gaslight you (delay and deny just about everything, forcing you to lodge dispute after dispute, wearing you down) and then “SETTLE” – when you have been broken, mentally and/or physically they will throw scraps at you in the hope you take them (i.e. settlement offer) because by then you are so desperate.

          Keep strong and good luck with your surgery approval and actual surgery. X

  11. Who do you report Judges to for failing to apply the ordinary rules of statutory construction in relation to the Foi Act, the WorkCover confidentiality sect. 112 and the Whistleblowers Protection Act. Ex Judge Mark Griffin ruled against me, presided over a matter where WorkCover failed to pass information onto the Anti-Corruiption Branch oppressed me into closing my case unwillingly, left me sprawled across the table crying, as my sugar levels were between 22-29 and would not let me go home, He Handed down his decision on the Friday. Just Hiw happy was I when I saw his face (which haunts me) on the front page of the Sunday mail and on television. REVEALED JUDGE AND THE SEX WORKER,  Hang in there guys, Karma is a bitch. Don’t forget the Police are releasing info to WorkCover without your knowledge or consent.

  12. Im new to this site but I do not know what to expect. I have been treated for the past 3 years for severe ptsd and depression with ocd features etc and have just had my IME for permanent pyschiatric impairment. But NOW THAT THE EXAM IS OVER, the independent examining dr is ringing my treating doctors wanting them to call him back. I do not know the reasons why. Is this normal?? <y solicitor already requested files from my treating DRs which were provided to the IME prior to the exam. Now the IME has directly contacted my Dr’s. Just wondering if anybody knows if this is normal and what might be the cause?

     

    • Hi Pet – welcome to our “family” – glad you found us! To answer your question: The independent medical examiner’s report may include advice on accepting a claim, insurer’s ongoing liability and the worker’s level of capacity for employment and ongoing treatment.  If they consider some other type of treatment might assist the worker, they will mention it in their report and may contact the worker’s treating doctor to discuss treatment options….

  13. Karma will get them or their loved ones in the end. I have been around a long time and I have witnessed that.  I hope O’Farell and a few other will get their Karma soon.

  14. Injured Workers pay their lawyers so much money, unaware that they are in partnership with WorkCover. Read the Workcover Act and find out for yourself what your entitlements are. Be aware WorkCover Managers make Foi requests to police about you and are granted information without your knowledge or consent.Why does injured workers put up with this crap from their lawyers and Workcover, who are partners in crime. DON’T PUT UP WITH THIS CRAP. CHECK OUT THE SCHEME CRITICAL LIST. THE BASTARDS I HOPE THEY ROT IN HELL. KARMA IS A BITCH, THEY WILL GET THEIRS.

     

     

  15. We receive a steady stream of gut-wrenching stories from injured people like you and me, which is fabulously encouraging (remember the more real stories we have the better chance we have at making a real difference!). This also means that it may take a couple of days – at least- before we publish your story/experience and/or documents. Patience 😉

    To all those who have been brave enough to share their stories with us,a big big thank you to YOU!

    workcovervictim3 May 28, 2012 at 7:35 pm
    • Hi I tried to post a story through but was unable to find the gopcha code. I did manage to get in the quick message. But what great web site.

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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