I know many of you have been waiting for this post. I have been waiting to post it myself but one guess what was in my way? A response from my WorkSafe Agent... and I'm still waiting for it! I received my Medical Panels opinion and they agreed with the capacity I had presented. I was honestly stunned. My opinion read: Question 1. Whether the worker has a current work capacity and, because of the injury, is, and is likely to continue indefinitely to be incapable of undertaking - (ii) further or additional employment or work ; or (ii) further or additional employment or work that would increase the worker's current weekly earnings and, Answer: (i) yes (ii) yes Question 2. If not so incapable, what further or additional employment or work the worker capable of undertaking? Answer: Not Applicable Further to, the report that followed bewildered me, tears streamed down my face. I actually didn't want Theo to read it to me, I was too fearful I'd read another limiting opinion, like the previous one that has me bound to a 'Chronic Pain Disorder' that no one understands. Or, worse still, it was going to be like the Impairment Assessment where the Neurosurgeon on that panel wished me 'a miracle' on the way out whilst contributing to the decision of: '0% whole person impairment... The degree of impairment is permanent'. Theo began... he read mostly accurate details that I had voiced to the Medical Panel, I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
You know that feeling before something great is going to happen, like just arriving at the airport and knowing you're off on a great holiday? It's a great feeling isn't it? Makes your insides really happy, the body and mind get a lift, and troubles seem to slide away, everything feels like it's going to be alright. Well, I couldn't feel more the opposite right now. I have an appointment with the Convenor of Medical Panels on Tuesday and I'm feeling more like I'm facing a funeral.
Doing my bit again for injured workers and hoping that sharing my story will bring positive change to the primitive Workers Compensation system in Australia. Both Theo and I attended today's live broadcast with Kris Vanston, Simon Toppin and their [...]
My rants are plenty in regard to the WorkCover system and my efforts to express the limitations and lack of support I’ve experienced as an injured worker for almost 7 years have been endless. All efforts have led to the [...]
the PELVIC PAIN report “Pelvic pain, while common, is often a hidden burden to the lives of many women. With emerging national and international knowledge about pain and the heavy toll it poses on individuals and society, it is timely [...]
Singer/Songwriter Sami Vanston spent the day in the studio as The Scheme Project brainstormed ideas for their documentary soundtrack. This song was written in dedication for a victim of bullying who took her own life because of the pressures of [...]
Surfing the many ‘pain’ forums you eventually get to ‘cyber’ know the regular contributors. One of my favorites to bump into is the highly accredited and regarded, John Quintner. I give full attention too John, he is a great support [...]
After speaking with Kris Vanston I now know that injured workers do have the Victorian Ombudsman to turn too for unfairness issues within the WorkCover system. I had my doubts about contesting my impairment score of 0% (that was deemed permanent I might add), as I am very well aware and have ranted aplenty about Chronic Pain NOT being acknowledged in the guidelines that are used to assess injured workers. That means there is Australian legislation (I'll rephrase; it is legal) for WorkSafe practitioners to ignore Chronic pain, thus Pudendal Neuralgia. No where within the system will any WorkCover practitioner be able to assess an injured worker's Chronic pain. I'm experiencing the result of this, I've been living this ignorance since March 2007. I wrote a letter that was ignored for a few months by our WorkCover Minister, WorkSafe and SafeWork Australia. The Victorian Ombudsman employee informed me not to use the 'info' email address but rather the 'enquiries' one when I'm writing to WorkSafe. Ridiculous but he was right and I eventually received a response. (Enter sarcasm) I now feel completely healed and completely relieved with the empty response I received. It managed to 'acknowledge', 'agree', 'assure' and confirm all the points relating to this outdated system that I initially made in my letter. I'm also more at ease knowing everyone who assessed me ignored all my symptoms and inabilities and that was legal. I'm also proud of the staff at WorkSafe who are happy to abide by ignorant and narrow-minded measures that would also apply to them in the event they injured themselves at work. Above all, I'm in awe of the WorkSafe staff and all related employees and practitioners who's reports are so loyal and discerning of these out-of-date AMA4 guidelines (with pain chapter removed), and The Accident Compensation Act 1987. This template response clearly indicated to me that anyone with chronic pain and with any of the following symptoms/limitations, as a result of a workplace accident will not get compensation: affected toilet function, spasms where you really don't want them, sensory pain (in my case throughout the pelvis), toothachey nerve pain, weakening legs, burning, zinging, if you have limited sitting ability, if you are limited in walking, standing, working, lifting, bending, exercising, if you have an implant as a result of pain (or even if you need one for that matter), if you rely on daily help, if you can't drive, shop, sit and type this damn email in one hit etc etc...! Well thank you WorkSafe for the 'quality' protection you promise. And Heidi just one question, would this letter have been acceptable for you if you were in my shoes?
You can all imagine why The Scheme Project caught my attention and you can all understand why my pledge was not only made in seconds it was supported (and increased) by my husband Theo who equally saw the benefits in Kris's project. As frustrating as it is being left without any income and medical support after my workplace accident and having my fair share of rants to expose, I actually appreciated Kris's professional approach to his project and his intent to make the documentary up front but not personal. He's not looking for tantrums, witch hunts, singling out of fraudsters and unethical behaviour but rather aiming at exposing the realities in hope of making a change. At the end of our conversation we both agreed that life's great knowledge of 'health first' doesn't seem to be part of WorkCover's culture. The support just isn't there, not in treatment, not in standards, not financially and certainly not in return to work. What does Kris need? Your signatures and your pledge (pledges are not collected unless Kris reaches his target). 'You' may be an injured worker, family member of an injured worker or employer, a treating practitioner, medical examiner, conciliator, lawyer, investigator, WorkSafe agent staff member, Minister, anyone associated with the WorkCover system in fact any worker or employer, we all deserve better quality protection.
For those subscribed to this Fair Assessment For Compensation post, I have had a reply and it is posted here! AN OPEN LETTER TO WORKSAFE AUSTRALIA (CC’d The Hon Gordon Rich-Philips) SUBJECT: FAIR ASSESSMENT FOR COMPENSATION? My name is Soula [...]