If you are suffering from a work related injury, be it physical or psychological, and not making progress with your recovery or if indeed with the claims process itself, please feel free to attend for a second opinion. In my experience the workcare claims process can break down, due to the complexity of Workcare. This may result in injured workers unknowingly accepting outcomes that are below what their entitlements actually are. This applies to complex injuries, injuries where the most appropriate specialist advice has not been sought and where employers actively dispute an injury claim. Psychological injuries as resulting from bullying or from other inappropriate behaviour in the workplace are becoming increasingly common in my experience.
Problems are more likely to occur where injury has resulted in chronic pain or loss of function, in my experience. Examples include chronic back pain, neck pain, or injury to the hip or knee. Tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome are other claimable conditions that can be problematic. Stress resulting from bullying or from just a plain lack of support from management can also result in less than desirable outcomes for injured workers.
If injured, please ensure that a Worker’s Injury Claim Form is given to you to complete and sign. It should then be sent to your employer’s insurer (referred to as the ‘Agent’) for further assessment. If you do not promptly receive one from your employer, I advise you to download one from the Worksafe website and complete it. Then submit it to both your employer and your employer’s insurance Agent*. Note that it is not the same as the ‘Employers Injury Claim Report’. Once the insurance Agent is in receipt of the Worker’s Injury Claim Form, a process begins to determine your eligibility for wage and medical payments, beyond what the employer is initially obligated to pay.
Note also the fine print on the Injury Claim Form, ie by signing it you ‘authorise and consent to the collection, disclosure and release of any personal and health information … in connection with an injury/condition to which this claim relates’. This means you are agreeing for your employer or his insurance Agent to have full access to any recorded information as disclosed by you to any doctor or for that matter, any health care worker, in relation to the injury (but not to other information). Conversely, note that you have the right to obtain a copy of whatever information you believe the Insurer may be holding about you, be it from Health Professionals they may have directed you to attend, or from any other source.
*Ask your employer for the name of their insurance Agent, or ring each of the insurers until you confirm the one concerned. The main ones are CGU Workers Compensation, Allianz Workers Compensation and Gallagher Basset.
I believe my background in working for an Industrial Clinic and a University based Business Qualification (Masters) provides additional skills in guiding injured workers through the workcare maze.