A MACQUARIE University report has concluded WorkCover needs to be reformed to properly support injured workers, promote their recovery and help them return to work.

Launched at a Unions NSW event at the Joan in Penrith on March 6, the report indicates the 2012 changes to workers compensation have left 20,000 long-term injured workers without medical entitlements.

The report said 260 injured workers had their income entitlements cut following a work capacity decision, despite not having suitable employment.

Ray Markey and Dr Louise Thornthwaite, from the university's Centre for Workforce Futures, delivered the report.

Professor Markey said one of the alarming findings was that "terminations" were being reported as "returned to work" under the new policies, meaning people were falling through the cracks.

He said the policies forcing people off workers' compensation payments and medical treatments were a form of cost shifting.

Many people are now simply being pushed onto disability benefits or dole payments because the system isn't working.

"People are giving up and dropping out and they aren't able to get legal assistance," Professor Markey said.

"The power imbalance means injured workers are at a double disadvantage in the system."

Professor Markey said the current policies weren't protecting injured workers and helping them adequately recover and get to work, which is what the work cover system was devised for.

Rowan Kernebone, who co-ordinates the Injured Workers Support Network, broke down in tears as he described injured workers who fell through the cracks.

"This must start the campaign for a fairer workers' compensation system," he said of the report.

Mr Kernebone said the paperwork was too much for most people, with 17,000 injured workers who haven't put in a review of their circumstances. The former president of the Law Society of NSW said she's had hardened truck drivers sitting in he office in tears because they've been let down.

"One person had four operations but after 12 months was cut off from benefits," she said. "He lost his family, home and is under mighty pressure."

She pointed out that WorkCover has amassed $2 billion since the polices were enacted and that money should be spent on injured workers.

 

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