WorkCover Queensland has published information relating to three recent prosecutions of workers’ compensation frauds to highlight how seriously workers’ compensation fraud is addressed in Queensland.
The cases are:
- A worker was found guilty of fraud for making false claims for reimbursement of travel costs to attend medical appointments. The worker was sentenced to 5 months’ imprisonment (wholly suspended), ordered to repay $5,863.13 to WorkCover and to pay the prosecution’s expenses of $23,908, and a conviction was recorded.
- A worker was found guilty of fraud after lodging a common law notice of claim for damages in which they stated they suffered ongoing symptoms from a back injury. Surveillance of the worker showed they were exaggerating their symptoms. The worker was sentenced to 6 months’ imprisonment (wholly suspended) and lost their entitlement to continue with the common law claim. A conviction was recorded, and the worker was ordered to pay the prosecution’s costs of $28,330.17.
- A worker pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud, one charge of failing to notify of an engagement in a calling, and five charges of providing false or misleading information, after returning to work while receiving compensation. The worker was sentenced to 6 years’ imprisonment, which would be suspended after serving 6 months in custody. They were also ordered to pay $228,774.43 in restitution and a conviction was recorded.
Defrauding or attempting to defraud WorkCover carries a maximum penalty of 5 years’ imprisonment or 500 penalty units ($68,925 in 2021–2022).
Find out more at worksafe.qld.gov.au.