Providing false or misleading information about a WorkCover claim is an offence. It is also an offence to fraudulently obtain or attempt to obtain any payment.
If a WorkCover insurer suspects an individual is abusing the scheme, they will refer to the Enforcement Group for investigation.
These matters are very serious and can include prison time.
A 36 year old worker, who was receiving WorkCover benefits, has been sentenced to 9 months jail and ordered to repay $113,000.00. Why?
He was working as a painter while he was receiving payments as well as using fake certificates to continue to receive payments.
His injury occurred in May 2015 and he received payments until August 2017, citing no capacity for work. However he was not entitled to these payments as he did have capacity, as demonstrated by his commencement of work as a painter ten days after his claim was accepted.
He got caught after an independent medical examiner called his GP to discuss a potential return to work only to discover that the worker had not consulted his GP in 18 months.
A 34 year old worker employed in a warehouse had an accepted WorkCover claim for a shoulder injury.
The worker was found to be working as a handyman under a registered business name and a number of witnesses confirmed that they hired the worker to conduct home maintenance and renovation works. This work was completed whilst the worker was in receipt of weekly payments of compensation from WorkCover.
The worker pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay $28,525.50. He was also given a 12 month Community Corrections Order with a condition to perform 100 hours of community work.
A 31 year old cook at a restaurant made a WorkCover claim for neck, shoulder and back injuries sustained in the course of her employment. Her claim was accepted and payments were paid to her.
It was subsequently discovered that she was working at a supermarket whilst in receipt of weekly payments.
The worker was ordered to pay $6,421.60 and was placed on a good behaviour bond for 12 months.
The WorkCover system provides support and assistance to injured workers. While we acknowledge that the system can be challenging at times for injured workers, it must not be exploited.
There is no excuse and workers who cheat the system pay the price. So our advice to you is, don't do it.
If you require advice regarding your WorkCover rights and responsibilities, we invite you to contact Adviceline Injury Lawyers on (03) 9321 9988 to speak directly to a lawyer.