My passport got damaged during transit to and from Immigration and now they are saying that i need to get a new passport before they will endorse it.

I rang my case manager; although i don't have a physical copy of my permit I do have the letter saying i have been approved. Would i be able to start work again? He said i would be able to but I rang the immigration call centre and they said that i can't work.

So which is true? Thanks for any help.