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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.

My injury has been going on for 2 years and I didn’t know what to do. When I first went there, they spent the time to help me, instantly I was clear about what to do next. I have now received my compensation payout and I am happy with the outcome. I have referred them to my friends who have personal injury claims.read more
Jim Keo
Jim Keo
2018-10-31T15:35:41+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
Explained my workers compensation very well. Very experienced and knows what to do. I am happy with the good time frame. I appreciate your good job with your team thank you.read more
Deklinsman Nkemjika
Deklinsman Nkemjika
2018-10-10T09:16:57+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
Just received my settlement check in time for Christmas. I couldn't thank Christian enough for his assistance with my injury claim. There lots of factors made my claim difficult but Christian and Foyle Legal team dealt with professionalism and understanding. I am happy with my settlement outcome, and would definitely use them again for my future injury claims.read more
Anthony Daniels
Anthony Daniels
2017-12-21T08:56:31+0000
I was injured at work and had a workers Compensation claim. Foyle Legal Were very helpful and always got back to me about my queries in a relatively short period of time which I think you would not get in a larger firm. They advised me about the settlement of my case and help me to get the most out of itread more
Vijay Sourinathan
Vijay Sourinathan
2017-12-20T02:53:28+0000
I had a bad work injury to my knee and needed surgery. The insurer refuse to pay for the cost of my surgery and I had to go through WorkCover WA for an acceptance of liability to pay for the surgery. Foyle legal helped me to get the medical evidence that I needed to take the matter towards a finalisation of my claim.read more
Roxann Campbell
Roxann Campbell
2017-11-14T08:27:49+0000
I went to another lawfirm before I went to Foyle legal. At the other lawfirm I was treated like a number, but it won't legal they help to pay for my medical expenses to get the most out of my work is compensation claim and I answered all of my questions.read more
Daniela Colantropo
Daniela Colantropo
2017-10-23T02:32:55+0000
I had a workers compensation claim and the insurer wanted to fight me about whether I was entitled to weekly payments of compensation. Foyle Legal helped me to get medical evidence regarding my case, they were quick and very helpful and provided excellent service in relation to my personal injury claim.read more
Suman Thilak
Suman Thilak
2017-09-22T05:29:20+0000
Christian from Foyle Legal was very helpful given my lack of knowledge of the law in respect of workers compensation claims and I ended up with a better result than I ever expected.read more
Paul Beard
Paul Beard
2017-07-13T08:58:07+0000
Christian Foyle and Foyle Legal helped me a lot with my workers compensation claim and the doctors report they obtained was really helpful. If it was not for them i dont think I could have pushed my claim as hard.read more
Ajak Kuer Ajak
Ajak Kuer Ajak
2017-03-29T03:51:32+0000
I had a workers compensation claim which Foyle Legal helped me with. They helped me with the medical reports i needed and gave me emotional support and I am happy with the outcome.read more
Lucinda Hogan
Lucinda Hogan
2017-03-29T02:02:07+0000
Christian Foyle from Foyle Legal helped me out with my workers compensation claim a lot. He was very professional, polite and courteous and very approachable. I am happy with the way Foyle Legal handled my claim and I got a fair outcome. Christian is one of the nicest people in legal services I have ever met.read more
Theresa Southam
Theresa Southam
2017-02-23T03:03:41+0000
The service I received from Foyle Legal was second to none. Christian was well informed and quick to reply. Very happy how the case progressed and with the settlement I received. I would highly recommend Foyle Legal.read more
Brendan Arthur
Brendan Arthur
2016-12-20T00:56:43+0000
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