It’s important for us to talk about mental health issues and psychological injuries in Victoria which appear to be on the rise.
As a workers’ compensation lawyer, I see workers across most industries who need assistance in managing the compensation claims process in circumstances where they have suffered a workplace injury.
Many of the injuries I hear about in the Dandenong area are often either in part or wholly psychological in nature.
Psychological injuries are a common cause of workers’ compensation claims in Australia. In Victoria, they account for 14 per cent of new WorkCover claims (2018-19) and this statistic appears to be growing.
When making a psychiatric injury claim, injured workers face challenging tests under Victoria’s compensation laws.
This was highlighted in Slater and Gordon’s submission to The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System in July this year.
We see many psychologically injured workers whose claim for compensation is rejected because they do not satisfy the criteria of a compensable psychological injury.
A rejected claim for psychological injury may only progress if the injured worker is prepared to challenge the decision through dispute resolution processes such as conciliation, mediation and litigation through the courts.
These processes can often aggravate an injured worker’s mental health further.
Unfortunately, many people who suffer psychological injuries at work, are still largely unaware of their compensable rights and entitlements under the Victorian compensation laws.
These workers are encouraged to seek legal advice as soon as possible.