Dear Daniel Andrews MP,
It’s wonderful to see that your recovery is going well.
As a 52-year-old person, I like to think that I live and learn from life experiences. I imagine someone in your position would take that sort of approach also and that with your own living and learning and the experience of Victorians you gather realistic references for your ongoing decision making.
Taking this terrible recent accident you have had into account (whether a work injury or not), a horrific pandemic and two reports by the Victorian Ombudsman, I have hope and the expectation that you might be in a position to relate far more to Victorian injured workers (of which I am one) than ever before.
Being more specific, can you please consider how you would feel:
– being questioned about your injury
– being told by an insurance company that the reports about your health from your own medical team do not suffice
– having investigators photograph you around your home and day-to-day
– being sent to an ‘independent medical panel’ to be reassessed and to prove your injury
– undressing for the purpose of insurance (not care), time and time again
– having to defend (not explain) your injury and the impact on your livelihood
– being sent to numerous independent medical examiners to defend (not explain) your injury and impact on livelihood
– having to be at home without support until you defend your situation
– receiving a report from the official body assigned to assess you report that you have a 0% impairment ‘according to their guidelines’ (you know well this is untrue)
– having to go without support when your ongoing illness may be invisible
– having tried all you can to make a living and struggled due to the ongoing issues due to your injury
– having presented and fronted the insurance system to defend and lost all your entitlements
– being at home, in pain, unable to work and feeling there’s no way of supporting yourself
– having presented to a medical panel only to have the insurer reject their ‘binding’ opinion
– having fronted Accident Compensation Conciliation Service to further defend your situation only to have the insurer use means (far greater than those for an injured worker) to escape liability
– ultimately having to use your home to finance a way forward
– having to write to ministers to seek support for your situation (most ignoring you)
– seeing the effects of your injury on your family
– facing the rest of your life and ageing with your ongoing injury and the damaging effects from your affected livelihood
– facing the stigma of being injured at home and seeking support
– having this injustice verified in an investigative report by the Victorian Ombudsman who used your personal case as an example for damning evidence against WorkSafe Victoria, and yet still be unable to do anything about it
– learning that WorkSafe Victoria cannot help you and are the authority and regulator of their own system
– if you were a self employer and paid premiums to WorkSafe Victoria and found yourself unable to receive the help you paid for
Minister, I would like you to further imagine how you would feel living with this injustice and without your rightful compensation. How would you plan to live the rest of your life without the years of wage and treatment support?
I very much doubt your financial situation will relate to mine and that of many Australians who are/were injured at work but I do hope your experience is giving you a very clear picture of what it’s like to be unable to work and have your entitlements taken from you.