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Disputed Workers Compensation Stress Claims

In Western Australia it is common for stress claims to be denied by workers compensation insurers. The claims are often denied on the basis that:

  1. there is no evidence that the worker has suffered / is suffering from a mental illness;
  2. the stress claim relates to relationship breakdown or factors external to the work; or
  3. the stress claim is excluded by Section 5(4) of the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 which includes:
    • the worker’s dismissal, retrenchment, demotion, discipline, transfer or redeployment; and
    • worker’s not being promoted, reclassified, transferred or granted leave of absence or any other benefit in relation to the employment; and
    • the worker’s expectation of a matter; or  a decision by the employer in relation to a matter,  referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).

The Approach of Workers Compensation Insurers to Stress Claims

From a practical point of view a workers compensation insurer’s first port of call will often be to send you to one of three psychiatrists in Western Australia who more often than not will state that workers are not suffering from a mental illness, the claim relates to circumstances outside the work or the factors stated above in Section 5(4) of the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 are the main reason for the claim – this will lead to the claim being disputed by the workers compensation insurer.

In most cases workers compensation insurers will initiate a factual investigation which involves collecting statements from relevant witnesses. If those witnesses are not favourable to you then it will often be the case that the witnesses are not asked to sign a statement. It is often difficult for workers to obtain statements from other workers as they fear that their job may be in jeopardy.

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What can I do to improve my prospects of success in a Western Australian stress claim?

To improve their prospects in a personal injury claim workers should immediately contact witnesses to obtain a brief statement from them on friendly terms if this is possible. The statement should testify that the events the worker alleges caused the psychological condition actually happened and any observations about what the worker said or did at the time of the events.

Workers should immediately move to obtain additional medical evidence to counter that of the psychiatrist engaged by the insurer. Foyle Legal can suggest a suitable psychiatrist, in addition you should obtain your general practitioner notes and notes from any psychologist or counsellor you have seen concerning your symptoms arising from your work.

WorkCover Applications

Foyle Legal has seen several clients who lodge their own WorkCover Conciliation Application and do not include enough documentation for a discussion of the claim. Thankfully the recent separation of WorkCover’s Conciliation and Arbitration functions make this easier to rectify. A lot of workers compensation stress claims are settled at Conciliation allowing workers to move on with their lives, other applications proceed to Arbitration where a final decision is made.

This article is general information based on the experience of the author and should not be taken as legal advice applicable to your specific situation. Should you wish to discuss your workers compensation stress claim please call Foyle Legal for an obligation free discussion.

christian foyle

Foyle Legal

Protecting your interests!

Foyle legal is a Perth Law firm specialises in compensation law. It is one of the most trusted and fast growing personal injury law firm in Western Australia. The firm offers No Win No Fee legal representation for all personal injury claims. If you have made a personal injury claim, contact Foyle legal for an obligation free claim review. We help you to maximise your injury compensation payout.

christian foyle

Foyle Legal

Protecting your interests!

Foyle legal is a Perth Law firm specialises in compensation law. It is one of the most trusted and fast growing personal injury law firm in Western Australia. The firm offers No Win No Fee legal representation for all personal injury claims. If you have made a personal injury claim, contact Foyle legal for an obligation free claim review. We help you to maximise your injury compensation payout.

Sending a big thank you to Christian Foyle! - Such friendly & professional service.....Sorting legal documents is not a few of our favourite things! All of our questions were clearly answered, great advice given , so we confidently left with the documents signed, sealed & delivered in just one appointment- an extremely pleasant surprise. Happy to recommend Foyle Legal to everyone 😊read more
Cheryl Lennox
Cheryl Lennox
2019-05-23T12:43:11+0000
Christian Foyle was extremely helpful and helped me to get the best result in my workers compensation claim. Foyle Legal helped me at a WorkCover WA conciliation conference and I would have had a hard time doing it myself.read more
Chris Stevens
Chris Stevens
2019-05-13T02:50:16+0000
Foyle legal is by far the best legal service I have ever come across they went above and beyond for me. I had an extremely complicated case and they were there by my side the whole way. I had the best outcome with EXTREMELY fair prices!! Look no further then foyle legal. A++++++read more
Chloe Teresa
Chloe Teresa
2019-04-13T02:54:17+0000
I found Foyle Legal to be very professional and they met what I expected. I would be happy to recommend them to anyone I know who needs a personal injury lawyer. The workers compensation process was not what I expected and they helped a lot.read more
Teresa Culpin
Teresa Culpin
2019-03-19T06:04:59+0000
I came to see Foyle Legal because I was not sure how much my workers compensation claim was worth. They helped me to negotiate a settlement of my claim and I think I am sure the best possible outcome. These guys are worth contacting if you have any queries. Iread more
Brian Heberley
Brian Heberley
2019-01-14T03:32:30+0000
I was very happy as Foyle Legal got me almost double the amount I was expected for my foot amputation work injury.read more
Tim Martin
Tim Martin
2018-10-31T08:11:34+0000
I did not know what to do with my stress related Workers compensation claim. Foyle Legal helped me to get reports from my GP and a psychiatrist. They provided me with as lot of help preparing statements. I am happy I had their representation as i was very stressed and i am happy with the way things turned out.read more
Liliana Andri
Liliana Andri
2018-09-26T04:16:01+0000
I underwent several years of being abused by passengers as a bus driver. Foyle legal helped mw to get the medical reports i needed in circumstances where my gp was slow in providing a report.read more
Karen Nevard
Karen Nevard
2018-08-30T06:49:54+0000
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