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14-02-2017-Southport

Date

14 February 2017

Charges

2 counts of fraud (pursuant to s.533)
2 counts of providing a false statement (pursuant to s. 534)
1 count of providing a false document (pursuant to s. 534)

Court

Southport Magistrates Court

Plea

No plea (ex parte verdict – Defendant convicted of all charges)

Case

For failure to notify of return to work or engagement in a calling

Facts

The worker lodged a claim for compensation on 26 August 2013 for psychological injuries arising out of workplace bulling and harassment on 3 July 2013.

WorkCover accepted this claim on 26 September 2013. Benefits were paid to the worker from 26 August 2013 through until 21 February 2014. The claim was finalised on 21 February 2014 after the worker's primary psychological injury was assessed. A Notice of Assessment was issued and the worker's injury (Adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood) was assessed at 7.50%.

On 26 February 2014, the worker sent an email to Workcover demanding that her alleged “secondary injuries” be assessed. The “secondary injuries” referred to weight gain caused by medication and further psychological injuries as a result of the weight gain.

The claim was then “re-opened” by WorkCover after the secondary injuries were ultimately accepted.

WorkCover ultimately accepted that the worker was unfit for work and paid weekly benefits from 22 April 2014 until 30 January 2015. On 16 July 2014, the worker emailed WorkCover and stated that she did not perform any work after the Easter weekend (18 April 2014 to 21 April 2014) and also stated that she did not complete any paid work from 5 May onwards.

The claim was suspended on 30 January 2015 due to non-compliance with rehabilitation obligations. The worker then served Workcover with a Notice of Claim for Damages dated 9 April 2015 (commencing the common law claim).

On 17 November 2015, McInnes Wilson Lawyers (acting for Workcover in relation to the common law claim) received information from Verifact Pty Ltd which indicated that the worker had been engaged as a consultant for the period 18 February 2014 to 2 June 2014, and relevantly, had invoiced Verifact for work done for the period 23 April 2014 to 29 May 2014.

Penalty

$2,000.00

Restitution

$5,001.93

Costs

$10,146.00

Common Law rights extinguished? Yes
Conviction

Not Recorded

Consideration for Prevention

A worker should notify the insurer if they continue to work or return to work while in receipt of benefits.