Worker jailed for workers compensation forgery

Public news

A worker who forged medical certificates to claim nearly $113,000 in workers compensation payments has been jailed for nine months.

A carpenter had lodged a workers compensation claim for incapacity to work after he sustained an eye injury while working on the job site. Just 10 days after his claim, the worker started working as a painter.

WorkSafe conducted an investigation into the carpenters workers compensation claim after an independent medical expert approached his GP about a possible return to work, to then find out that his doctor had not seen him for 18 months.

The following day, the police arrested the worker on an unrelated matter and found a number of medical certificates of capacity to work in his possession. Some of the certificates had numbers cut out of them which were applied to existing dates on others with sticky tape.

The carpenter used the forged medical certificates to continue receiving workers compensation payments after his GP banned him for becoming aggressive and kicking in the surgery’s front gate.

WorkSafe said it was discovered that three of the medical certificates the carpenter had submitted had been illegally altered. The carpenter pleaded guilty in Magistrates Court to three counts of fraudulently obtaining compensation payments.

He was sentenced to nine months’ jail and ordered to pay back the $112,975 he received in compensation payments, plus $1,000 costs.

Workers Compensation benefits in Australia are there to assist, and the vast majority of injured workers do the right thing. It was clear here and is always the case that these workers payments are not to supplement income while working elsewhere and those who try and cheat the system for their own benefit will be held to account.

How would you deal with a suspicious workers compensation claim?

The MTA is always focussed on safety in the workplace, whether it is hazard identification or early return to work and rehabilitation following a workplace incident.

If you require any assistance in workers compensation matters, please contact Cos Lamberto WHS&RTW Coordinator at the MTA on (08) 8440 2628.