Workers’ compensation has changed significantly for a lot of workers since the change made in 2012 and it has made a profound impact on NSW workers and families. The changes mean that thousands of injured workers have lost medical cover and only a small percentage of workers receive weekly payments after five years. On workers’ compensation you are entitled to 95% of your PIAWE, or “pre-injury average weekly earnings” …and it goes down from there. Payments are reduced or even cut off based on what an insurer determines an injured worker could earn – even if no work is available. An insurer can make that WCD or “work capacity decision” based on what they have in their file.

Medical procedures are approved or denied by a case manager – not a treating medical professional. Even compensation for being injured travelling to work has been impacted and a new regime applies to journey claims. Not being able to work seriously impacts on a workers mental health because it creates anguish and stress. This often leads to a severe impact on both the worker and the families that rely on the income; and care about the wellbeing of the worker. If you have been injured in a workplace accident and you do not have assistance from a union or a lawyer the entitlements will be confusing. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help because even lawyers struggle with the complex legislation unless they deal with the changes every day.

Construction Workers — District Court in Macquarie, NSW
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