Important Workers Compensation Entitlement Changes
In 2012 the NSW Government introduced a number of changes that affect workers’ rights in NSW.
As part of those changes, the Government sought to limit a Workers entitlement to receive weekly payments to a maximum of 260 weeks unless a Worker has a Whole Person Impairment (“WPI”) of at least 21%.
That limit is now particularly relevant to Workers who made a claim for workers compensation prior to 1 October 2012. This is because the weekly count towards the 260 weeks commenced on 1 January 2013 and will (in most circumstances) result in Workers who do not have a WPI of at least 21% having their weekly payments stop indefinitely by December 2017.
If you made a claim after 1 October 2012, the 260 week limit commences from the first date of your incapacity and we would encourage you to do your own calculations as to when your weekly payments may cease. If you are unsure, we would happily assist you with this calculation.
Any entitlement to weekly compensation may cease sometime in December 2017 if you, or someone you know:
- Made a claim for workers compensation entitlements prior to 1 October 2012; and
- Received an aggregate of 260 weeks of weekly payments of compensation since the claim was made; and
- Do not exceed the 21% WPI threshold.
You may have been contacted by your case manager for the purpose of advising you of an upcoming medical appointment, to determine the cessation of your weekly entitlements, or if you have been assessed as being greater than 21% WPI, to determine the length of continuation of your payments. Regardless of the outcome, we urge you to contact our office and speak to one of our workers compensation lawyers. As approved Legal Service Providers with the Office of the WorkCover Independent Review Office (“WIRO”), we are able to assist you in understanding and if relevant, challenging an Insurers decision at no cost to you. WIRO is currently providing grants of funding for us to assist Workers such as yourself.
If your WPI has not been determined and your payments are terminated, you may not be able to recover the amounts of those weekly payments even if you successfully challenge the Insurers decision. Accordingly, we recommend that you contact us well before the cut off date so that we can have an opportunity to assist you before the changes take affect. To assist, please find enclosed a copy of a FAQ Sheet prepared by icare.