A former Canberra public servant found guilty of defrauding the Defence Department has lost her workers' compensation case against the Commonwealth.
Kylie Catterick was claiming compensation for domestic help and medical expenses for injuries and ''psychogenic pain'' she claimed to have sustained on the job in 2007.
The compensation case came despite Catterick pleading guilty to using her Defence travel card to improperly obtain money from her employer during several weeks in late 2006.
The former Defence Materiel Organisation worker had been receiving compensation payments since she hurt her neck in March 2007 while picking up a case full of official papers after a military flight from Victoria to Canberra.
In September that year, a claim for ''adjustment reaction with mixed emotional features'' was approved and another one for ''psychogenic pain'' was accepted in June 2010, both conditions found to be related to the original neck and thoracic sprains.
But the Administrative Appeals Tribunal has backed federal workplace insurer Comcare's decision to cut off its financial support to the 38-year-old, finding her physical injury had largely healed and if she was suffering pain from a psychological condition, it could no longer be linked to her stint at Defence, which ended more than five years ago.
The tribunal made its decision after considering evidence from 14 doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, pain specialists and physiotherapists.
In the tribunal's written decision, senior tribunal member Robyn Creyke noted that ''Ms Catterick's Defence travel card was
misused to obtain cash between 22 October, 2006 and 15 November, 2006''.
''She ultimately pleaded guilty to the charge but maintained that she was not responsible for the misuse of the card and had only pleaded guilty to protect the culprit,'' Professor Creyke wrote.
''Ms Catterick said in evidence that the processes involved in this prosecution, which lasted some 2½ years, were stressful and that, for a period in 2009, she was overusing alcohol.''
Catterick received incapacity payments until October 27, 2011, household assistance until August 30, 2011, and other medical payments that officially ceased in September 2010 but were reimbursed until November 2011.
Appealing against Comcare's decision to cut off Catterick's payments, her lawyer argued in front of the tribunal that she had an ''organic problem'', which responded to treatment, but she developed psychological conditions triggered or initiated by her injury, which were consequently employment-related.
The tribunal accepted that psychogenic pain is a pain disorder and a recognisable psychiatric condition.
But Professor Creyke found that Catterick's psychogenic pain had receded by early 2010 and that the former public servant was no longer ''suffering a diagnosable mental health disorder''.
The tribunal also noted, in dismissing Catterick's appeal, that she had held part-time jobs at retailers Target and Carpet One during the period she was being compensated for the injury she sustained at Defence.