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17-08-2018-Brisbane

Date 17 August 2018
Charges

Charge 1 – Section 533 (via section 535) Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) (WCRA) – Fraud

Charge 2 – Section 136 WCRA – Failure to notify insurer of engagement in a calling

Charges 3 - 5 – Section 534(2) WCRA – False or misleading information or document

Court Brisbane Magistrates Court
PleaGuilty
Case For engaging in a calling without notifying the insurer
Facts

The worker made an application for compensation for a work-related back injury sustained on 19 October 2016. At the time of this injury the worker was employed as a fitter for a fabrication company.
WorkCover accepted the worker's application for compensation and paid him workers' compensation benefits from 25 October 2016.

From 14 February 2017 the worker was employed by another fabrication company. He did not inform WorkCover when he commenced this new employment.

On 16 March 2017 the worker sent an online message to WorkCover where he expressed frustration at a past employer dangling work in front of him and then delaying it. The worker also stated to WorkCover that he had not worked at all.

On 10 April 2017 the worker attended an appointment with an independent medical examiner, at the request of WorkCover. In this appointment the worker stated to the doctor that he had not returned to work.

On 22 June 2017 the worker had a telephone conversation with WorkCover where he stated he had a new job as a powder coater and he had started on Monday.

The worker's claim was closed on 27 July 2017. The following day the worker lodged a new claim for a further back injury sustained during his employment with his new employer. The insurer requested wage details for the defendant from his new employer so it could properly calculate his entitlement to weekly benefits. The information provided by the company showed the defendant had worked for them between 14 February 2017 to 15 March 2017 and 31 May 2017 to 2 August 2017, during which time he was also in receipt of weekly benefits.

The worker was sent an overpayment notice by the insurer and he had repaid the amount he received on account of his return to a calling prior to the prosecution being commenced.

A complaint was filed in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on or around 5 July 2018 charging the worker with fraud, failing to notify the insurer of his engagement in a calling and for providing false and misleading information to the insurer and a registered person.

Penalty

The worker was ordered to pay a fine of $1,500.00.

RestitutionNil
Costs$4,973.20 - Workers Compensation Regulators Costs
Common Law rights extinguished? Yes
ConvictionNot Recorded
Consideration for Prevention

A worker should notify the insurer if they return to work in another job.

A worker should notify the insurer if they perform any activity giving rise to the receipt of remuneration or reward including self-employment or the performance of an occupation, trade, profession, or carrying on of a business, whether or not the person performing the activity received remuneration.