UPDATE: September, 2016

Investigation into the management of complex workers compensation claims and WorkSafe oversight.

View the pdf

Workers compensation frustration again

The horrid treatment toward injured workers has to stop. Two neurostimulation devices in my body are not there for the fun of it. My treatment is not ‘irrelevant for my psychological condition‘.

And the fact this system provides no appropriate measures for me to be assessed fairly for neuropathic pain is appalling.

But I’m glad to hear there is an Own Motion investigation with the Victorian Ombudsman (twitter:@VicOmbudsman).

For those fortunate enough not to encounter this monstrous system, imagine you have a health issue and you are forced to visit a specialist who was unqualified to assess you properly. You wouldn’t go right? Injured workers have to go. I had to go. So the reports from the Orthopedic surgeons I was forced to see obviously state; ‘I can’t see anything wrong with this woman’.

And they’re right – I don’t have that kind of issue. I need to see a neurosurgeon or a pain specialist.

The system has never sent me to this kind of Independent Medical Examiners (IME). The system has no way of rating injured workers with invisible pain.

I’m thinking this is really convenient for the system.

Not for the injured worker thought who is held back from finding appropriate treatment and the help they need to get on with their life in the best way they can.

In actual fact, the system uses this scenario to make the injured worker look like they’re dishonest. There’s no where to go but to the Victorian Ombudsman. There’s court too… if you can afford it.

In 9+ years, this system has always sent me to IME’s who have no means of assessing my neuropathic pain.

It’s shameful! It’s unfair. It’s how the system avoids paying me my rightful compensation.

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The Victorian Ombudsman has commenced an ‘own motion’ investigation into the management of workers compensation claims in Victoria. The investigation will look at whether WorkSafe agents have unreasonably denied liability or terminated entitlements for people who have suffered injuries in the workplace; and whether agents did this for financial incentives offered by WorkSafe. The investigation will focus on agents’ use of Independent Medical Examinations. Whether WorkSafe is providing effective oversight of agents and their claims management will also be reviewed.

The investigation is the result of many complaints about WorkSafe agents to the Ombudsman: 370 complaints in the 2014-15 financial year. The most common related to claims decisions and processes, including failures in decision making and failure to consider evidence. The second most common complaint related to payments, with complainants registering dissatisfaction with issues around decision making.

The WorkSafe agents include Allianz, CGU, Gallagher Bassett Services, QBE and XChanging.

The Accident Compensation Conciliation Service annual reports for the last three years have shown increases in the number of requests for conciliation of 13.6 per cent (2012-13), 5.2 per cent (2013-14) and 0.2 per cent (2014-15).