A compilation of discrimination against people with psychiatric injuries in the various schemes in Australia and new Zealand

February 6, 2014

Discrimination against people with psychiatric injuries in various schemes used in Australia and New Zealand.

 This is going to be in the nature of a running blog as there are frequent changes leading to further discrimination.

In South Australia there is no lump sum payment for any permanent psychiatric injury in their WorkCover scheme.

In Queensland following a review significant changes were made effective from 29 October 2013.

Employment is to be ‘the major significant contributing factor’ for psychological or psychiatric claims. For physical injuries the definition remains unchanged stating ‘Employment to be ‘a major significant contributing factor’ for psychological or psychiatric claims’. Note the term ‘ the major significant contributing factor’, this is a much more stringemt test than a major significant contributing factor.

In Victoria in the WorkCover system the threshold for a permanent injury is 10% but 30% for any psychiatric injury. Similarly for a civil injury claim (Wrongs Act) claim to proceed it must exceed the threshold of 5% for a physical injury but more than 10% for a psychiatric injury and the psychiatric injury cannot be secondary to a physical injury.

In New Zealand  by contrast with the system in all the Australian states a person only has cover for a mental injury (defined as a clinically significant behavioural, cognitive, or psychological dysfunction):

because of physical injuries such as death of a person, physical injuries suffered by a person including  those arising from an accident, treatment, treatment for another physical injury and under certain circumstances gradual process, disease or infection or from cardiovascular or cerebral vascular event.

Crimes involving sexual assault that lead to a mental injury are compensable.  Suicide is excluded  suicide unless  the suicide was the result of a mental injury arising from a physical injury.

I will keep adding to this as I further examples of discrimination




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