The Government system run by private money hungry insurance companies and the evil corrupt people they employ to work for them, where the Government can’t be held accountable for any illegal or unconscionable and unethical acts by their champion the shameless insurance company and its cronies.
Think of the insurer as the fixers the government has hired so they can hold up their clean hands and say we had nothing to do with or didn’t know what was going on when injured workers are treated like common criminals after an injury.
These are some of my experiences after having a serious injury whilst at work in long term employment.
I believe the system is only designed for people with short to medium term injuries where they recover fully or enough to go back to work or be retrained in another position or something that is available to you.
The rehabilitation providers I have had the displeasure of going to don’t actually do any rehabilitation they are a job / employment matching service, not one has given me any physical or mental rehabilitation in these places and they often don’t have staff qualified in rehabilitation from what I have been exposed to. The best they have done is providing some job search counselling and attempting to write or spruce up your resume but not much more.
The Governments WorkCover appointed insurance company
The WorkCover insurers’ aren’t there to help you, all they want is you off their books ASAP so forget any help you need as it is either non-existent or very short term.
My first experience with the insurer was while I was still trying to stay at work on greatly modified duties, I then had the misguided, ignorant opinion that a person could get through an injury / illness and WorkCover was for bludgers.
The insurer sent me to an IME (Independent medical examiner) it should be called ‘Insurers medical examiner’ as they are highly motivated to write a report that pleases the insurer. If they don’t please the insurer enough they receive fewer referral’s to them.
The WorkCover insurer had an insurance assessor contact me to have an interview (interrogation?) which my union strongly advised against at the time, I was very naive about the whole WorkCover thing back then. I later found out this assessor had contacted some of my previous employers to ask questions about me and my work history and anything else that was of interest to them.
After my injury became too much for me to work I was forced onto the WorkCover (Workover) system and I was put through hell with weekly payments regularly being stopped for whatever reason the insurer could think up. On one occasion my payments stopped because the insurer claimed they had not received my WorkCover certificate of capacity and I would have to wait for them to clear their mail in 28 days’ time; I contacted the then WorkCover minister and told them personally what I had been told and they had someone from WorkCover contact me to sort things out. Within an hour of me speaking to them the insurer found my certificate!
I believe I was cut off payments 5 or 6 times in the first couple of years with this insurer, the last time I went to conciliation back then it was thrown out straight away because the insurer’s representative didn’t know why my payments had been cut?
Not long after the last attack on me my partner received a phone call from someone that worked for WorkCover (not the insurer) asking some details about me and what my injury was, she called back later to let us know they had found my case file in a locked cupboard with a dozen more. I thought that was really odd, I later received a letter telling me that I had a new insurer. Since then I have had to request conciliation several times, I can’t remember all of them now but all the conciliators have been quite fair and unbiased.
If you need to go to conciliation consider having someone from union assist or WorkCover assist with you as they have been very good at helping me when I have been at my most vulnerable. You might find the insurer representative wants to negotiate with you, usually dodgy under the table tactics to gain some advantage like not back paying you for the time you went without payments or similar.
One of the conciliation meetings I went to I was all prepared to show some of the lies and proof of these lies from the insurer but was taken aside by the conciliator and the workcover assist person before I said anything to be told to not say anything because the insurers would cut my payments and medical as soon as they got out of the meeting! (The ACCS and workcover assist knew what the insurer would do and had no power to stop this)
My last conciliation was terrible for me because I was in such a bad way mentally but I was able to ask for the matter to be referred to the ACCS Medical panels for their opinion.
The insurers representative seemed very unhappy I hadn’t gone for an under the table deal and they’re face was screwed up like a Cats bum. I was subsequently cut off payments again for 6 weeks this time! I had to apply for conciliation again as my calls and letters to the insurer were not returned or replied to. The conciliators office called me before booking the next conciliation to tell me they had been in contact with the insurer and they would pay me as it had all been a mistake!
(This is one way they Bully and intimidate injured workers under stress)
God help you if you are paying a mortgage, loans or rent but the insurer know that because they have done an extensive financial and credit check on you (They did it to me) if the insurer decided to start paying you again staff would sometimes say that they would be reinstating and back paying me so I wouldn’t be without financially! Yeah the Bank, landlord or whoever won’t care that you’re months behind in payments. Be prepared to visit your local Salvos or food bank to feed your family while the insurer messes with you a bit longer.
After what the insurer put me through in the first couple of years’ I was in such a hateful state I actually started planning on breaking into the insurers offices with a sawn off shotgun, getting all the staff together in a corner turning my back to them put the barrel in my mouth and pulling the trigger, spraying them with brain and skull fragments so they might realise what they did to people with their sick games.
On a later occasion I had been cut off payments not long after a family member had become terminally ill, during this time I had to apply for conciliation AGAIN! Wait for that then wait to be seen by the medical panels AGAIN! Then wait for their opinion, in this time I was put on Centrelink payments for many months to survive so could not afford to be with my dying family member as much as I needed.
To this day the feelings of what that insurer put me through are still very raw, I will never forgive or forget what they took away from me by denying me time with my dying family member.
After the decision of the medical panels was made the insurer was told to reinstate payments and I was able to see and be with my dying family member as they passed on.
I missed most of the time they were conscious and able to speak all because some evil rat working for the insurer on behalf of this states Government found pleasure in making my life living hell again.
IME Independent (insurer) medical examination
You must remember the insurer is paying the medical examiner so some of them are highly motivated to write what the insurer wants if they want more patients to be referred to them.
WOW I was so naive when I went to the first medical examiner; I used to think a Doctor or medical professional was someone who is honest, trustworthy and pretty stand up kind of person, well not always in the WorkCover insurer business!
The first dodgy medical examiner I attended was very friendly and nice to begin with but was quite rough and caused a lot of pain while examining me, he asked me to go for an x-ray in a building close by ( I didn’t know any better at the time) I got talking with the x-ray technician and discovered we had both lived in the same place at different times; as they were quite friendly I asked if they could tell me if anything was wrong and they said yes no worries. At the conclusion of the x-ray’s the technician told me to ask for the medical examiner’s report and see my treating Doctor ASAP when I got home.
Once my Doctor received the IME report I made an appointment to see them and told them what the technician had told me, when they read the Specialists medical report it said nothing was wrong?
Several months had past and I was not getting any better doing physiotherapy etc. My physiotherapist decided to look at the area I had pain with an ultrasound machine, she left me and brought in another senior college who also looked at the screen and told me I needed to see my Doctor about a scan on the area and they were going to write to the Doctor asking for this. Long story short I went for a CT scan that showed up severe damage to the area , the damage had been done and was now permanent.
I managed to obtain the original IME x-ray films which I took to one of the later medical panels with real specialists who were able to see some damage on them, the opinion of the insurers IME Specialist was useless, they had either not been able to read the x-ray or lied about it.
I was sent back to this same IME and was stuck in the waiting room for 1.5 hours past my appointment time! (over 2 hours waiting!) When I spoke to staff they said he was only going to be another 30 mins but by then I would end up missing my ride home. On another occasion I was again sent to the same IME this time he was very rude and short with me, he was answering questions the insurer had sent him about me without even asking me?
Another old IME I was sent to kept nodding off during the appointment, I thought they were taking the piss with me but no they were just old and tired.
Yet another IME (Psychiatrist) came out of their consulting room looking under chairs and behind plants saying out loud “Oh my patient has gone missing where are they” (I had chosen to stand up after the travel). I thought it was kind of bizarre but shrugged it off and went in, he started off by telling me about his qualifications and that the session would go for 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes at most. During the exam the IME asked me at least 4 times if I wanted to see a video surveillance of me and seemed to get quite annoyed I didn’t want to see it, I told them I had seen it before and it wasn’t me in it. This really upset them and they went on to tell me “It was my job to tell the insurer if it wasn’t me on the video” the session ended between 35 and 40 minutes not the 1 hour they said. This IME certainly needed a psychiatrist!
One of the key questions the insurer asks the IME ‘is the injured worker fit enough to have a vocational assessment’ if the IME says yes the insurer takes this as the injured worker can now visit a rehabilitation (Job search) provider to find suitable employment even if the IME is a psychiatrist and you have a physical injury! Not all IME’s are corrupt though, some are decent and honest in their reports to the insurer and the treatment of you but there have been more corrupt or incompetent ones than honest ones in my case.
The WorkCover paparazzi (contracted investigator)
Where do I start on this subject? Some things that come to mind: One evening my partner came back into the house to tell me there was someone on the road near the house talking on a mobile phone and saying ‘He’s (Me) still using the computer’ the person eventually disappeared off down the road after our blinds were shut fully. There were some odd things happen including someone entering the house in the early hours of the morning through an unlocked sliding glass door and exiting through the locked front door, we couldn’t see anyone and the Police that were called couldn’t find anyone in the area.
You might think that sounds a bit over the top or delusional?? One of the mental health clinics I went to at some stage thought this until I showed them some of the investigators reports, they told me they had no experience with that type of thing and the only thing like it they had heard of was the paparazzi following and spying on actors and the like. They told me if I felt threatened at any time to seek refuge indoors and not go outside which is what I do now if I am followed although if I am in shops etc. Anxiety and panic takes hold for the time it takes me to find a safe place or get home.
The same house and at the time we were in the middle of moving to a new residence, I had stayed at the house overnight as I was too ill to go to the new one. The next day around mid-day when I was able to start moving around again one of the neighbours came over and asked me what the two men were doing around the yard and trying to look through windows earlier that morning? I had a look around and found footprints in the garden beds in front of the windows. I didn’t think too much about it as I was leaving that day; later that afternoon I had a phone call from my then case manager ‘Just a courtesy call to check everything was OK and I didn’t need to ask anything’ then they said Oh and while I have you on the phone I’ll check your contact details so of course I let them know I had moved to a new residence not thinking anything of it back then.
A couple of days later while in the new house my young child came running into me screaming that a man had come to their bedroom window and was looking at them whilst they were playing! By the time I got up and outside the person had disappeared.
Sometime later I had requested by mail any reports and surveillance footage of me as I had previously asked this by phone to a case manager who told me there was no reports or any surveillance done, which I now know was all a lie.
When I received an envelope full of reports and photos amongst other papers I was shocked to find a report documenting how an investigator went to the old house mentioned above and as there wasn’t any activity they went closer to find a blind partially open and were able to peek in and see the room was empty! The report also stated they had been contacted by the case manager to tell them I had moved to a new address and they had begun surveillance there.
The investigators had documented people and cars coming and going from the house and had done registration checks on these cars to identify the people who owned the cars see if any were registered to me. On one occasion they had documented they followed my partner and children leaving in a car to go to shops and back home again, it said they did this to see if my partner was picking me up from somewhere.
On another later occasion I had gone out in the car and suddenly there was a large four wheel drive come up behind me at speed, I didn’t know what this person wanted and I didn’t know them and started to panic so I turned off onto a side street and they kept going along the road I had turned off. As I turned into another street the vehicle appeared again in front of me on the other side of the road then did a fast U turn to pursue me again, I had started to really panic badly. I got onto a highway and it was still following me at over 100km/h, I got off the highway and went to a nearby Police station and when I got out of the car I saw they had seen where I was and they disappeared.
Some days later I thought I saw the vehicle parked in a nearby neighbor’s driveway, I went over to their house the next day and mentioned I was going to come over yesterday but saw you had visitors, I can’t remember what they said but thought it was odd; they were a little different with me after that and would later ask a lot of questions about what I was doing or where I was going when I spoke to them. I suspected the person’s’ may have been insurers investigators and a later report confirmed this.
The neighbors had spoken to people around the area I lived and told them that I was a WorkCover recipient and was under investigation by WorkCover as a recipient cheat. Some people were now very short with me or avoid speaking at all.
These neighbours had a couple of men in to do some gardening which I thought was odd as they prided themselves on what they had done in their garden, I noticed the two men weren’t doing much that I could see but were very interested in me when I went to check the mailbox.
I took note of the date and sure enough in a later report from investigators it said they had only seen me once outside of the house on that same day. I gave these neighbours a bit of false information about me earning some money and the next IME I was at just happened to ask if I had any other income or investments! Very odd question from a medical examiner? I was then sure the neighbours had been watching and listening and passing information onto the investigators or insurer.
One of the men that had been gardening at the neighbours followed me around a large hardware store at another date and as I was leaving he fumbled some items he had been holding and dropped them at my feet. The same person has turned up at one of my IME appointments also, what a coincidence!
I have been followed around shops and restaurants’ by some of these creeps but all I can do is leave and come back another day. I have been at IME appointments and had them waiting for me then following me, even standing watching me eat lunch! I’ve had them masquerading as sales people to try and get information from elderly family members by starting a conversation about family.
On another occasion at an elderly family members House a man was found looking in windows after the door was not answered straight away, he said he was selling window blinds but it didn’t make sense as the house already had window blinds and the pamphlet they gave was from a business in another state that when called on the phone only did window blinds in their own state and area.
I have heard of them going to peoples door making out theyre looking for a Mr/Mrs Smith (example) to deliver papers from a finance company, summons or legal firm then ask the person to prove they are not Mr/Mrs Smith by showing some identification with a photo like a driver’s license; as they have a hidden camera on their person they have now identified you as proof for the insurer as well as gaining more information that you just have provided.
Another occasion an elderly family member received a phone call asking if it was them that owned a rural property when they said it was another family member (Me) the person said they would be really interested in buying the property and would do me a great deal on it (enticed with the offer of money), they then asked for my phone number and where I lived! Fortunately my family member thought it was odd and didn’t give any information (The property was not for sale or advertised)
I read another report that the investigator wrote saying they watched me running around kicking a Football with children near a family members home when I wasn’t near the place on that day, not surprisingly they had no video footage or photos on another occasion they said they had observed my partner drive off and return in a family members car even though my partner was not there at all.(I had separated from my partner)
On an occasion one of my children left my house to go home only to be followed on a highway for 40 minutes, when my child turned off the highway the person following pulled alone side trying to look into the car then continued on further up the road. My child had called me several times on the way home to tell me they thought someone was following them and then called me to say the person had continued along the highway when they had turned off; As my child got out of their vehicle they saw the person come back down the highway and turn into the street they were in and slowly drove past looking into the yard, the person then disappeared back out of the street.
The first one I went to didn’t have much of an idea of what work I might be able to do with my injury, they had been speaking to colleges’ in offices around the state for advice and couldn’t recommend anything suitable. On one occasion when I went for an appointment there they had an in house physiotherapist suggest they show me some exercises, again being naive I agreed to this but the exercises they had me do and positions the physiotherapist had stretched me had caused my injury to become aggravated so much I was bed ridden for over a week! During this time they had called and wanted me to meet at a place that may have a possible job position, when I told them I had been bed ridden after what the physiotherapist had done to me and I couldn’t make the appointment the rehab consultant threatened me by saying the report they were going to write to the insurer would make things very difficult for me if I didn’t cooperate! (More bullying and intimidation)
Another provider I met with had trouble understanding me as English was they’re second language and they were only learning it, they managed to write a report suggesting I could drive trucks and other heavy equipment jobs, it was as if they had mixed my file up with someone else as it was the complete polar opposite of what I capable of.
One of the worst rehab providers I had the displeasure of dealing with suggested to the insurer I join in a group job search skill course they ran. At the time I was going through severe depression and dealing with mental issues arising from my injury so was not saying very much during this first or second meeting preferring to listen; I had discovered after the second meeting this rehab provider had written to the insurer saying that I was not cooperating during the group meetings. At the next group meeting after finding this out I asked the person who had written the report to explain to me why they had written these lies?, I asked this in front of the other people in the group and the person I questioned went red in the face with embarrassment (after being found out?) and told me it had been a mistake and they would contact the insurer to withdraw the report which of course never happened.
On another occasion with this person talking to the group we were told not to tell a prospective employer if we had bad blood with a previous employer and to leave it out of our resume. The person used themselves as an example telling us they had previously worked in a call centre for a large Telco and was sacked for being late to work often and then telling their supervisor to get *#cked when being warned about their performance!
Thankfully that person at the rehab provider was replaced with another person who wasn’t a feral and was honest.
I had previously asked that I now receive copies of reports that were sent to the insurer after the one mentioned above; I noticed one of the reports I had received was later replaced with another dated the same? When I asked why there were two reports with the same date I was told my insurers case managers team leader had contacted them and told them to change it to what they wanted it to say! (I still have both reports in storage)
This latest rehab person told me they were leaving the company because they were being told by the insurer what to do with and write in clients files ‘They say jump and we say how high’ Before this person left they warned me my case managers team leader was out to get me!
After yet another IME said I could go to a rehab provider for a vocational assessment (Insurer takes this as being fit and job ready) I went to yet another rehab provider who told me I wasn’t able to be employed with my injury so suggested I do some sort of skill gaining course, they suggested a course they thought might be helpful in the future if my injury ever miraculously resolved itself. My Doctor did not think I’d be able to do the course or the job it was supposed to enable me to do because of the nature of my injury but I filled out the paperwork for it and sent it back to them anyway; I still have not heard anything back about the course and the rehab provider didn’t return my calls. I expect the insurer wasn’t happy that the rehab provider didn’t say I could do xxxx job and start immediately.
What the insurer and its cronies have done to me
I now live each day hoping I will die, I wish every night that I won’t wake up the next morning. I had previously considered suicide (death by Train) as I no longer had access to a shotgun, I tried several times to put my head under the wheels of midnight freight Trains wagons but didn’t have the guts to do it; If I had access to the assisted dying euthanasia drugs I believe I would use them.
I now struggle to go out and speak to (non family) people after dealing with corrupt, untruthfu land deceptive people associated with the Government and it departments (WorkCover) I find I cannot trust anything that I am told or people I speak to after having been exposed to what people are capable of, I think all people are like this now.
I am always checking to see if I am being pursued if I do leave home (If you have ever seen the TV show filmed in the UK called ‘Hunted’ where the people are stressing, out always looking over their shoulders being paranoid about being pursued that is what it is like). My own family and medical professionals are the only ones that know a little of why I can’t deal with people and now have to live life as a recluse.
If you have had a serious permanent injury expect to have life as you know it destroyed by these evil people that work for these insurance companies on behalf of the Government. Be aware if you don’t lie down or if you make a complaint or elect to go the medical panels you WILL be punished like I have been several times in the past.
I lived with nightmares and would wake with a fright/jump for many years after my injury although not being able to remember the incident or much of what happened after it, my memory was triggered by meeting a person that I had worked with and the consultations with a mental health professional over several months/years. During the time everything started to come out about my injury I thought I was going insane as I was prone to erupt in a violent way (usually smashing things) then I would flip and be crying for no apparent reason.
I once thought I was being watched and took a large bladed tool from my shed to “let them have it” but it wasn’t an investigator luckily! This was one of the prompts that made me seek out a mental professional.
I have seen the Victorian ombudsman’s office investigating these insurers but be warned if you make a complaint against the insurer ‘You will be on their hit list’ and will be punished at a later date.
In a perfect world, rather than having to go on dealing with the corrupt Government WorkCover system I would love to have access to the black box that would enable me to self-euthanize. The idea of ending my evening with a non-violent painless death would be beautiful, drink the last bottle of a solution and I would be at peace in 10 minutes, no more suffering at the hands of the evil, ugly unethical people of WorkCover. No matter how many times someone goes through the corupt workCover system the rotten core stays the same “Same as it ever was same as it ever was”
Don’t give your Telephone number to the insurer, use a Phone box or a prepaid phone to contact them if needed and turn phone off at the end of calls.
Record the conversation as the insurer usually has a prompt when calling their call centre that says ‘The call may be recorded for quality and training etc. Try to deal with them in writing where possible.
If you have and are on good terms with neighbours ask them to mention if they see any suspicious cars or people around the area, People bird watching, doing surveys or sales people who may bring up the neighbour (you) in conversation.
Close blinds/curtains at night or when you leave the property especially ones that face public areas like streets or parks.
Shred or burn any documents or mail with any names or information on them rather than putting them into the rubbish bin.
Lock vehicle doors, gates, house, shedding at night or when you go out.
Use hidden security camera’s’ to keep a check on property and any suspicious cars/people in the area.
Consider having your name and address taken off the electoral roll.
Be careful what information you volunteer to neighbours or people coming to your door (also keep flywire shut) you can also tell family members about this.
Be careful what non medical or injury specific information you tell the very friendly IME and don’t volunteer anything more than the answer to a question.
Look up the IME you are being sent to on online sites like Rate my MD (Google this) the dodgy ones usually have a long list of poor ratings and are commonly used by insurance companies (sold their souls to the devil)
Keep away from people that are trying to defraud the WorkCover system, I have only run into one person who asked me ‘What to do to get onto WorkCover payments’
Another person was once telling me if I went to an IME to take little children with you so the IME would feel sorry for you! What the hell.
Its best to be totally honest with anyone you have to see about your injury and if you are seeing a medical professional about possible surgery get several opinions and definitely don’t go on the IME’s advice if they give you any.
Don’t take any offers the insurer might make like a lump sum payment without speaking to a solicitor, it pays to seek the advice of a legal professional about your WorkCover claim as they may be able to tell you if the insurer is taking liberties and should be doing things differently.
Keep all paperwork and copy everything sent to the insurer, if possible send everything via registered mail.
Fixing the Workcover system?
Run by non profit non bonus / incentives department
Surveillance Oversight- justifiable reason for surveillance like evidence of person committing fraud before having them pursued by investigators, Not going to cause more harm to the injured person by treating them like a criminal.
All conversations between injured worker and insurer, IME, Rehab providers should be given the option to record or obtain a copy of the conversation for future reference.
IME appointments to be organised by third party oversight and no contact between insurer and IME.
Rehab providers be not for profit organisations.
If insurer / provider is found to have lied, done something illegal, unconscionable or unethical, caused further harm or stress both physically or mentally, cut payments or medical entitlements without good reason heavy financial fines should be applied and continue if the provider does not stop the above actions.
Proof from the Victorian Ombudsman’s office.