25 March 2015
One charge of fraud
One charge of the worker failing to notify return to work or engagement in a calling
Two charges of false or misleading information or documents
The worker sustained an injury to her right wrist/forearm. The worker applied for workers' compensation with a worker's compensation insurer. The claim was accepted and the worker was paid compensation. A notice of claim for damages was served on the insurer.
The worker worked as a support worker during the period of her compensation and did not notify the insurer. At the time of undertaking this employment, the worker was certified fit for suitable duties only.
The worker made false or misleading statements to medical providers to the effect that she hadn't worked since the injury.
The total amount of compensation paid during the offence period was $30,846.78.
Fraud charge: 9 months imprisonment (wholly suspended for 18 months)
Failure to notify of engagement in a calling charge: convicted (not further punished)
False or misleading statements charges: 2 months imprisonment for each charge (wholly suspended for 18 months)
Workers' Compensation Regulator costs - $5,031.95
Recorded for all charges
|Consideration for Prevention|
A worker should notify the insurer if they engage in a calling. That is, they 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.
A worker should be honest about his/her symptoms and capacity to work when speaking to the insurer and/or medical practitioners. This includes the worker's capacity to perform work which is different to the work they were performing when they injured themselves.
If the worker believes they are able to engage in another calling (i.e. not the employment at which they injured themselves) then the worker should notify the insurer. If the insurer has a true understanding of the worker's capacity then they can properly manage the worker's claim.
It may be possible to arrange for the worker to engage in the alternate calling under a host employment arrangement. This allows the worker to perform the alternate calling while still receiving weekly benefits. Alternatively, if the worker notifies the insurer that they intend to engage in an alternate calling then they may not be entitled to receive weekly benefits, but they might be entitled to receive compensation for medical and rehabilitation expenses.