WorkSafe Victoria warns workers’ compensation fraudsters to beware
WorkSafe Victoria recently released the 2022–2023 data in relation to fraudulent workers’ compensation claims.
According to the regulator, in 2022–2023 it terminated 37 fraudulent claims with a combined projected lifetime cost to the workers’ compensation scheme of $20.64 million. In addition, 25 people were prosecuted on fraud-related matters, with restitution, fines and costs totalling almost $1 million.
WorkSafe Executive Director Insurance Roger Arnold said, “Fraud is proportionally very low within Victoria’s workers’ compensation scheme, but there’s always a shifty few who think they’ll get away with breaking the law.
“While advances in technology continue to assist us in identifying these fraudsters, one of our best sources of information are people disgusted with the illegal behaviour – often it is a friend, family member or colleague who gives us the information.
WorkSafe highlighted several cases, including the following:
- A 58-year-old man claimed to be injured while stepping out of his truck at a job site. However, a WorkSafe investigation found that the day before the claim was lodged, the man had twice called an ambulance for intense hip and leg pain as he returned from a V8 Supercars event at Phillip Island. He was convicted and placed on a 2-year Community Correction Order to repay $143,982 in compensation and perform 180 hours of unpaid community work.
- A man was convicted of two fictitious claims of falling off a ladder and being hit by a falling beam using the names of employers he didn’t work for. He was ordered to repay $134,925 and placed on an 18-month Community Correction Order with 300 hours of unpaid work.
- A machine operator and business owner was ordered to repay $110,920 and placed on a 24-month Community Correction Order with 240 hours of community work after he continued to work while receiving benefits for a crush injury to both feet.
WorkSafe Director Investigations Peter Collins said, “Make no mistake, those foolish enough to try [to] rort Victoria’s workers’ compensation scheme will be caught by WorkSafe’s ever-increasing arsenal of fraud detection measures.
“Fraudsters not only face financial punishment, but also the prospect of a conviction, which can affect all facets of their life, including future job opportunities and overseas travel.”
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