PANSW helps members get what they need!
A former police officer who sustained injuries during the 2000 Sydney Olympics deployment has come forward to expose a two-decade-long injustice. The officer, who wishes to remain anonymous, recently discovered that misinformation provided by insurers led to significant underpayment for nearly 20 years, sparking a call for accountability and awareness among the PANSW membership.
The injured officer, unable to return to work after the incident in Sydney's Central Business District during the Olympic deployment, embarked on a challenging journey through the bureaucratic maze associated with serious hurt on duty injuries. Seeking guidance on what constituted a dependent, the officer was incorrectly informed by the insurer at the time that a spouse earning any income rendered them ineligible as a dependent.
Despite the misinformation, the officer accepted the terms and lived with the financial consequences for almost two decades. The revelation came when the officer, still grappling with the aftermath of the injury, sought advice from the PANSW who referred the member onto Tony Cardillo of Cardillo Gray Partners in Newcastle. Tony, one of the Police Association's panel solicitors, reviewed the case and promptly submitted a compelling argument to rectify the situation.
The insurers initially rejected the submission, but undeterred, Tony persevered and successfully negotiated a full repayment of the correct entitlements owed to the former officer. The undisclosed amount, a substantial sum, served as a long-overdue acknowledgment of the error that had persisted for two decades.
Total payment owed exceeded well over fifty thousand dollars.
In an emotional response, the former officer expressed the difficulty of comprehending that they might not be the only one misled in such a manner. The officer, who faced financial struggles while raising two small children, emphasised the importance of bringing this issue to light, ensuring that others who might have been similarly affected can rectify the situation.
The former officer stated, "It is small consolation that I am now being correctly paid, as the funds would have been a significant help when I was struggling financially with two small children. I find it difficult to believe that I am the only person that was misled in this way. I would like to make all members aware of the behaviour of the insurers at that time and let them know it is not too late to have it rectified."
This case raises questions about the transparency and accountability of the insurance processes in place for injured police officers. It serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of seeking legal counsel when facing complex and life-altering situations, ensuring that individuals receive the correct entitlements and are not subject to misinformation that could impact their lives for years to come.
The former officer's courage in coming forward sheds light on a potential systemic issue and advocates for justice within the law enforcement community.
The Police Association of NSW is always ready to help out members in need, and provide whatever support required. If you or anyone you know have questions about the medical process, or various insurance involved, give the Information Organising Centre a call on 92656777.