We receive a lot of questions re Comcare, particularly on how decisions can be disputed. Many Comcare decisions can be disputed, such as rejection of the claim, decisions to cease your benefits or a decision not to pay for certain medical treatment and/or pay you lump sum compensation for your permanent impairment, and even unreasonable decisions re your RTW.
You may remember the case of former PM Julia Gillard’s house keeper’s workcover claim for an injury she sustained to her back while straining to fit a sheet on Julia Gillard’s king-size mattress in 2012. The house keeper had initially some issues with her claim, also re-injured herself and now it turns out that she was accused of “fraud” by means of surveillance. However recently the AAT overturned the decision of Comcare to cease her claim for compensation. The article gives some worthy tips re surveillance.
Tony Abbott’s Government planned changes to Comcare, the national workers compensation scheme, simply means that workers of the Commonwealth public agencies will have their current benefits cut back and/or cut off.
The following Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) legal case found that an injured worker was not eligible for paid massage and chiropractic treatment because such treatment is transient and may work against the injured worker’s recovery from stress by fostering a ‘sick mentality’. WTF!
According to The Canberra Times, The Commonwealth’s 160,000 public servants are to be stripped of some of their generous workers’ compensation benefits as the government moves to end the “rorting and malingering” that has dogged the bureaucracy for years.
Federal government reforms to public service workers’ compensation – Comcare- are “harsh, unjust” and “gratuitously mean”, according to the federal opposition. However, the Minister says these reforms will help bring the Commonwealth workers compensation scheme into line with the rules under State schemes and will remove loopholes that can be rorted when injuries occur that are not the responsibility of the employer”.
An injured worker kindly shared an extremely well-written, to-the-point article titled “Justice imperative to protect injured workers” written by a decent, empathic and passionate Canberra Lawyer, David Lander.Whilst the article points the finger at the adversarial Comcare Scheme, it could well be applied to all workcover schemes and their agents…
An employer (Centrelink) ignored a bullied worker’s “clear signs of distress”, and then had the audacity to tell the psychologically injured worker to return to a role where her managers bullied her. Centrelink was found liable for the worker’s psychological injury.
According to Comcare, employers can decrease their premiums provided they too take measures to “eliminate” (rampant) injured workers’ fraud! These “measures” include checking injured workers’ social media pages!
As we all know by now, workcover insurance companies, selected IMEs and their defense lawyers will go to great lengths to find some (any!) cause of your problem (injury/illness) the workcover insurer won’t have to pay for, deny that your injury (illness) happened at work,or was caused in the workplace or even deny the existence of your problem. In this legal case, Comcare et al. tried to blame the worker’s wrist tenosynovitis on the worker’s love of deep sea fishing, and an IME (Dr Richard Gibberd) didn’t even believe the symptoms were organic in nature despite the obvious MRI imaging! Continue Reading…