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.
Workcover authorities in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia have confirmed the number of prosecuted (injured workers) frauds is very small – so negligible, in fact, it’s an almost incalculable fraction of the overall number of claims. Notwithstanding the evidence the media still tend to give a seriously skewed presentation on the fraud problems with the system.
We continue to find it interesting, and alarming that so many people in the community continue to question the “genuine” status of injured workers. The media obviously has a large role to play by reinforcing the stereotype of injured workers as fraudulent malingerers, even though research has proven over and over again that injured workers (employee) fraud accounts for less than 1% of all workcover fraud.
According to the recent Herald Sun’s – rather over-sensationalised- article titled: Revealed: The WorkCover cheats ripping millions from the workers compensation fund , listing a handful of fraudulent injured workers’ cases, one can easily be mislead (again) that injured workers’ fraud is rampant and extremely costly. But is it?
The Fair Work Commission has found an injured worker who was falsely accused of (workcover) fraud and dishonesty in relation to a WorkCover claim was unfairly dismissed from the company he worked at for more than 20 years. This case highlights again the “witch-hunt” culture of so many employers against injured workers.
Melbourne Magistrate Court has recently heard the case of a WorkSafe Vic employee’s $20,000 cab charge rort “due to bullying at work”!
WTF! The public service workplace insurer – Comcare- has moved to crack down on profiteering from its generous pharmaceutical benefits and on workers’ compensation claims being used to fund drug habits.
Workcover fraud is frowned on by all. Deepening the stereotype to those who sustain legitimate injury. Time and time again, it is important to remind readers that only 1% 9or less) of injured workers defraud the system. Media sensationalisation has tarred injured workers with an unjust false brush….
Sadly, we suspect that there are a few doctors who treat patients under the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme, less favouably than others outside of the ‘Scheme’. It is also interesting to note that Dr Mc Carten’s ‘questionable’ billing practices only seemed to have occurred when billing the ‘Scheme’. And it is injured workers who are accused of ripping off the system?
Is this rare or the norm?
WorkCover cheat caught out A woman who lost a leg below the knee in a workplace accident 27 years ago is being chased by authorities over more than $100,000 in benefits.