Truckie jailed for fraudulently claiming workers compensation


Truck driver given a nine-month sentence after fraudulently receiving $40,000 in workers compensation

October 25, 2011

A truck driver found guilty of fraudulently receiving $40,000 in workers compensation benefits has been hit with a nine-month prison sentence.

Robert Hocking, 57, of Epping in Victoria confessed to obtaining payments under the Accident Compensation Act 1985 after injuring his knee in May 2006 while working as a car rental depot manager.

The Heidelberg Magistrates Court was told Hocking submitted certificates of incapacity and received direct payments. However, WorkSafe Victoria received tip-off last year that Hocking had been working as a truck driver in Bendigo for two years, earning $640 a week.

Hocking's doctor was not aware he had returned to work, believing he was re-training in security and office work. On each doctor’s certificate, Hocking had signed a declaration saying he had not engaged in any form of employment.

Magistrate Susan Wakeling described Hocking’s actions as significant dishonesty which undermines the integrity of workers compensation scheme.

WorkSafe’s injury support and service division executive director Len Boehm says WorkSafe takes fraud seriously.

"Apart from someone getting something that they are not legally entitled to, it undermines those with legitimate injuries by perpetuating the idea in the minds of many that those on benefits are bludging," Boehm says.

"In most cases they are not and actually return to work quickly, but while it is possible to keep receiving some benefits and work, claimants must advise their claims agent so many adjustments can be made."

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