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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.

Last updated
30 August 2017

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