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Old May 8th 2012, 2:17 am   #1
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Default workers compensation question

I am an international student in Australia and do not have medicare here. I have had an injury at my part time job which is fast foods. However it is not the injury that happens all of a sudden. It is the kind that one aquires over a period by repeating the muscle stress of that part of the body thousands of times. So it was not recorded as an injury but people know that I have been getting treatment for it. It is called a repetetive muscle syndrome or something like that.

Every time I go to the physical therapy, I get charged money and it doesn't seem to help in the long run. It seems that it might require a bigger cure. The physical therapist has advised that taking some time off from work might help but I can't do that as I depend on the money.

I had brought this to the attention of my employer when it first started happening but I was told that unless the injury had been reported when it first happened, there is nothing the employer can do. I was told by him to take pain relievers and it should help. I know this was told to me just to avoid responsibility. I am sure that what they are doing is not legal but I do not want to involve a lawyer as it would be embarrassing. I am not looking for any damages but only the proper treatment.

I am looking for some advise. I don't know what to do. I am embarassed to bring this up at work as this might affect the hours I get there. I can't afford to lose my wages. But it seems that I cannot go on without doing something about my injury. Can someone tell me the options that are available to me? I will greatly appreciate it.
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Old May 8th 2012, 3:50 am   #2
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Default Re: workers compensation question

You have medical insurance right?

Work cover is what you need to look into if you need time off. As you shouldnt be working more than 20 hours a week i wouldnt have thought you could argue as convincingly that it was caused just by work
Personally, as someone who was on a student visa and is now on a 485, there is NO WAY I would be costing the Australian people any more than I had to until I had my pr.
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Old May 8th 2012, 4:11 am   #3
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Default Re: workers compensation question

What is a medical cover? I have medibank which pays a little part of it every time I go to the physiotherapist. However it isn't much and I will reach the cap soon and have to pay 100 percent for every visit.

In the US, we have something called the workers compensation in which the company pays for the treatment. I wanted to know if there is any such thing by the company that I could contact directly.

I am not looking to sue or get time off even though I have been advised it. I want to keep working and at the same time want a treatment that doesn't cost me so much.

Pumpkin blossom I am still on a student visa and not on a 485. (don't know what it is).
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Old May 8th 2012, 9:56 am   #4
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Default Re: workers compensation question

As I said, work cover is the equivalent to workers comp here. Google it. From what I can gather here though work cover claims are a big deal. Employers are not keen to employ people who have made them.

Medibank is medical cover. After you spend so much on medical a year ( not sure of the figure) you can get tax relief on it. You will have to google that too I'm affraid.

Are you planning on trying for pr at the end of your time as a student?
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Old May 8th 2012, 10:38 am   #5
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Default Re: workers compensation question

No not really. Why?

It seems that if I don't really want to make a big deal of it I will have to just suck it up and continue spending from my pocket. Especially since you said that employers make a big deal of it and may not want to act as a reference later on. What to do?
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Old May 8th 2012, 10:44 am   #6
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Default Re: workers compensation question

Quote:
Originally Posted by kramvi View Post
No not really. Why?

It seems that if I don't really want to make a big deal of it I will have to just suck it up and continue spending from my pocket. Especially since you said that employers make a big deal of it and may not want to act as a reference later on. What to do?
I am kind of not sure what you are looking for. Yes your employer is going to have some cover of this kind, but you are going to have to bring it up and ask them if you want to benefit from it. You say you have already asked and they pushed back on you, well you then need to decide are you prepared to argue the case or not. That is your choice and it is a difficult one.

Are you a casual or a permanent (but part time employee)? Of course if you are a casual then maybe they would decide to take it out on you by cutting your hours or stopping them altogether. If you are an employee, then talk to HR or any other employee body that may exist in your place, we have an employee council for example.
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Old May 8th 2012, 10:54 am   #7
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Default Re: workers compensation question

Just asking about pr as Australia doesn't look favourably on having to spend lots of money on people. I would avoid it at all costs if you were planning on staying.
It is a hard situation to be in. Your employer could argue that as you are not working full time that your repetitive strain injury could have come from something else (like your full time course). I believe work cover does look into it imparcially. They of course might tell you to stop work too. Have you thought what would happen if they told you to stop your course too if something on there was making your RSI worse (such as writing). You have to attend 80% of your classes to stay in the country.
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Old May 8th 2012, 12:00 pm   #8
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Default Re: workers compensation question

Will Medibank pay for some acupuncture? Should work better than physcal therapy (not sure what that consists of to be honest)
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