Below is an article submitted to SafetyAtWorkBlog as a comment several days ago. After much deliberation I have decided to publish this as an article for the consideration of readers and in the hope that someone may be willing to provide some practical assistance to Daniel.
Daniel has provided a phone number and email address to SafetyAtWorkBlog. Please contact the Editor if you are able to help.
“This is my story. I have tried different other government departments last year to get some help all I have got is the runaround so I thought I would try here. I really don’t know how to word this or where to begin so I’ll start from 2003. I was working for a company here in Adelaide for about a year when I had an accident at work, a week later I was put on work cover my boss decided to get rid of me because I was no used to him anymore. I spent the next three years on work cover, setting at home and slowly going crazy I spent most of that three years fighting work cover to get them to do something to get me back to work but nothing ever happened. after losing my family and everything I had while I was on work cover,
“Finally I was offered redemption prayer out. It wasn’t much for the price I had to pay to be left with a permanent disability and plus I was suffering from depression from the time I spent on work cover I lost my identity as a person and felt completely demoralized. And feeling completely helpless, my biggest problem is I am left-handed and I have a permanent injury in my left arm, and I was warned by the doctors if I continue to do repetitive work with my left arm I could lose most of the function in my left arm permanently.
“The time I spent on work cover they traded me like a criminal for having an injury at work; it wasn’t worth any amount of money to have to spend three years of going through hell. I am thankful for what I received and the lawyers were happy to receive quite a big chunk of it. Anyway it gave me some hope to start over.
“Unfortunately after being on work cover it made it all most impossible for me to be able to get another job. After 12 months I was put on sentrelink disability payments where I stayed on up to 2009, then was put on normal centre link payments. In the beginning of 2010 I was made a stream4 where I am on now. Most of last year the job provider I was with just was not interested in helping me to get a job. I think probably because I wasn’t able to do very much with my left arm so they threw me in the too hard basket.
“I complained to the education Department because I wasn’t getting any help to find a job. A week later I was transferred to my job provider’s head office I explained to them I just want help getting a job the manager of the company promised me they will do everything they can to help me find a job. My case manager made appointment for me to see a job capacity assessor in the city the following week. When I had arrived to the appointment .she wanted to know about the time when I was on work cover apparently she was not a job capacity assessor she was a psychiatrist. And after the interview she told me that she was going to refer me back to center link. at that stage it was getting close to Christmas time and I was about to lose the place where I was living in.
“Just before Christmas sentrelink decided to make me 0 to7 capacity meant I could not get any help, I asked the lady at the center link office, why am I going around in circles, not been able to get a job, she told me that ever since you was on work cover the government put you in the too hard basket because they didn’t know what to do with you, and she also said I didn’t want to put you with another job provider because you have been on the system for over eight years, that’s why I am making you redundant so you don’t have to put anything on your unemployment form as far as looking for work for the next 12 months .
“Unfortunately I had to sell everything and moved out of my rental property two weeks before Christmas.
“I guess my West fear that now I’m facing having to leave on the streets. I spoke to centre link just after Christmas on 28 January this year .to try and get 0 to 7 capacity change so I can go to a different job provider to see if I can get accommodation and to get a job. Considering that I am a stream4, personally I think it’s a waste of time and it’s just like being on work cover all ever again. I spent one year with job prospects and they never bothered to try and help me to get a job. anyway I should be used to it by now, I have spent eight years of my life going around in circles with every government department and losing everything because of one stupid accident at work and I am still paying for that mistake, I find it hard to believe that my boss dumped me and never offered to even help me. He got a great deal from work cover he got to walk away from taking any responsibility for what happened to me. All I got was to suffer the consequences of not being able to go back to work and left with a permanent disability.
“Unfortunately no employer is interested in giving you a job if you have been on work cover and having a permanent injury. I am quite capable of working I do have a brilliant mind and I’m not bragging I do a lot of different fields of work from aircraft building to electronic engineering. I just want to get off this merry-go-round and get my life back.
“I have e-mailed the Prime Minister’s office to try and get some help and all so the premiers office and different government departments. But they are not interested at all; I got a call last week from somebody who claimed she was from the Prime Minister’s office and asked me how I was going with my new job provider. I said nothing has happened as yet, and then she slipped up, and said I spoke to you last year And then I realized she was not from the Prime Minister’s she was from the education Department, when I had asked her why did you just lie to me, she went quiet and ended the conversation, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised I’m used to hearing bullshit.
“So I decided to speak to the manager of my new job provider this week to see what my options are about getting another job, I don’t honestly believe I am going to get any help getting back to work from the job provider companies I can’t really blame them considering I have a permanent injury in my left arm and they just don’t know what to do with me, I mentioned to the manager that quite a few times over last couple years the job providers that I have been with have suggested that I should put claiming back into work cover, he thought that would be a good idea and it’s probably the only option you have got left.
“To be honest with you I am too scared to put another claiming to work cover I still have the bitter memories of what happened when I was on work cover. I do believe that work cover should be held accountable for the mistakes they have made in the past, and they should have tried Their very best to rehabilitate me to get back to work, instead of offering a measly redemption payout, to try and get rid of me, and expecting that it will last me for the rest of my life.
“I guess at the time I didn’t really have much of a choice, considering the insurance company that I was with QBE were no I longer handling my case and everything was moved back to work covers head office in 2006, and work cover did not want to deal with me anymore I didn’t have any choice I had to accept the redemption payout or I would’ve been kicked off work cover and put back onto unemployment benefits.
“We have all heard the horror stories of people being mistreated by work cover, I can promise you the stories are true. I was 37 years old when I went on to work cover I am now 45 years old and nothing has changed since. I am not asking for sympathy, and I especially do not want to hear just talk, actions will always speak louder than words, I still haven’t given up hope yet. So if there is anybody in this country who can actually help me would be much appreciative. I don’t have a fixed address because now I’m living in my car.”