THE SAD REALITY ...
It's actually quite morbid and just a little unbelievable.
Irrespective of the degree of negligence or the culpability of the employer, WorkCover remains the only source of compensation for family. That compensation is only available to those completely dependent on the deceased...and even then, the organisation will do its mighty best to get out of paying.
I suspect most South Australian's would have no idea what the widows of killed workers are put through in order to get some assistance from WorkCover.
Try to imagine what it must feel like to suddenly be faced with the shock of losing a loved one. Then add to this the realisation that the safety net you thought was there isn't really there at all.
The mind and body goes through major trauma as the shock of death sinks in. The capacity to think in a straight line is severely disabled. The ability to prioritise and organise becomes increasingly perplexed and none of this disappears in a hurry...in fact it can gather some momentum as the weeks turn into months.
Enter WorkCover --- eventually...
The organisation is not concerned with such frivolous issues as grief, hardship or despair. Their primary goal is to reduce liability...not feel sorry for people.
We wish more South Australian's were aware of how grieving family members are treated by WorkCover / Employers Mutual. At a time when people are least equipped to cope, they are most abused..
At VOID we have yet to find a positive word said about WorkCover or Employer’s Mutual Ltd.
Widows are re-traumatised over and over again - having to hunt down lawyers just so that they can access what they are legally entitled to.
In 2008 the Office of the WORKCOVER OMBUDSMAN was initiated to oversee and examine the systemic problems that appear to have infiltrated the organisation. We sincerely hope this office is able to change the tide within and we urge families to make good use of this office should the need arise.
The truth is that very few would walk into this with ANY understanding of how the death claims process works. The only thing we can do here is try to prepare people a little better and hopefully offer some alternative to ‘going it alone’.