On 24 February 2021, the District Court of QLD refused to reduce a worker’s 2 year prison sentence for workers compensation fraud. The worker defrauded WorkCover in relation to this compensation claim. He was also ordered to repay the total payments received from WorkCover, which amounts to $261.524.21.
The worker had received WorkCover payments for one year due to his workplace injury. Surveillance subsequently revealed his fraudulent actions. He had provided false pay slips, failed to report his return to work to WorkCover, and knowingly made false or misleading statements to WorkCover as to the nature and impact of his ongoing injuries.
What is WorkCover fraud?
It is important to be aware of the workcover fraud provisions under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 QLD. It is not always obvious what is deemed to be fraud under this Act. It can include:
- Stating anything to the representatives of WorkCover, self-insurer, or a registered person that the person knows is false or misleading “in a material particular”;
- Giving a document to these entities which contains information that the person knows is false or misleading “in a material particular”; and
- Returning or engaging “in a calling” without informing the insurer. The Act requires you to tell the insurer of the starting or returning to “a calling” within 10 business days of starting or returning to the calling. A calling can be paid work, unpaid work or activities that could appear to be work-style activities. If you don’t let the insurer know of this work style activity within the 10 business days, it could be deemed to be an act of fraud.
What are the consequences?
- Imprisonment up to 5 years;
- Paying a fine;
- May lose your rights to common law damages;
- May be ordered to repay any compensation payment and treatment expenses;
- It can become a matter of public record;
- You could incur expensive legal fees with a criminal lawyer defending your claim.
The best protection against a fraud is to be full and frank with the insurer and your doctors and keeping the insurer informed of any work-related activities being performed (whether paid or unpaid). The risks of behaving in any other way can devastate your life. You do not ever want to put your workers compensation rights in jeopardy, so being transparent with the insurer and the doctors is the best shield to protect your integrity and your rights.
Do you want to know more?
If you want to learn more or require assistance with a personal injury claim, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced team of personal injury lawyers who can provide you with assistance on a NO-WIN-NO-FEE basis.
Posted in: Personal Injury
March 16 2021