WORKERS COMPENSATION LAW IN PORT MACQUARIE
If you have been injured in the workplace, suffered a work related injury or an injury that has been made worse over time- you may be entitled to weekly payments. You will get those payments if that work-related injury has resulted in a loss of earnings because you have reduced or less capacity for work. You can claim for workers compensation whether you are employed casual, part-time or full-time. If your employer is uninsured (or you can’t identify your employers insurer), you can still make a claim for workers compensation. Many small business owners who operate as contractors or sub-contractors might not be aware they may also have rights to claim for worker’s compensation, lump sum compensation, and work injury damages. Getting advice on your workers compensation claim is both confidential and free which simply means you won’t have to pay any legal costs, whatever the result
We are an Approved Legal Service Provider so we can make a confidential application to the Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO) and if that is approved all the legal costs investigating your claim, including payment of any medical report fees will be paid through the Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service. WIROs Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service (ILARS) will grant funding to enable Approved Lawyers to represent injured workers in relation to their rights and entitlements to seek compensation under the New South Wales workers compensation legislation.
WIRO recognises that the current workers compensation scheme is complex and injured workers require access to assistance and legal representation from lawyers in order to understand and pursue their rights and entitlements. WIRO supports early cost-effective resolution of disagreements and disputes to direct the focus of workers, insurers and employers on the restoration of a worker’s health and return to meaningful work.
A workers compensation claim covers injuries and accidents that were caused by the negligence of your employers or co-workers, but you do not necessarily need to prove negligence to be compensated for your injury.
Workplace injuries can be physical or psychological; they include a range of situations from serious illness, injury or damage through to strains and sprains. The workers compensation legislation covers injuries that result from a sudden injury, called a frank injury and Workers compensation is also available for psychological injuries that may arise from witnessing a traumatic event at work, as well as events like bullying and harassment.
You can bring a lump sum claim for work injury damages if you’ve suffered a psychological, physical or psychiatric injury that is assessed at 15% (or more) of your Whole Person Impairment (WPI).
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.
The first step in claiming compensation for a work-related injury or illness is to notify your employer and the insurer of the injury. After the insurer has been notified of the injury, they will contact you to discuss the notification and support available.
To demonstrate this reduced capacity, you must provide a completed SIRA certificate of capacity to your employer or the insurer. Watch this short video to find out more about the certificate of capacity. Once your injury has been notified to the insurer (by phone, in writing or claim form submission), within seven days they must:
• commence provisional weekly payments for up to 12 weeks, or
• delay commencing provisional weekly payments due to a reasonable excuse and notify you of the reason(s) for doing so, or
• determine liability.
Where the insurer has issued a reasonable excuse, they will give you the following information:
• what the reasonable excuse is;
• details of how you may make a claim for weekly payments.
If the insurer has issued a reasonable excuse, you may complete a claim form. Once the claim form is received by the insurer, they have 21 days to:
• accept provisional liability for weekly payments for up to 12 weeks, or
• accept liability, or
• dispute liability.
If the insurer has accepted your claim for weekly payments, they must advise you of your weekly payment amount. The amount of your weekly payment is based on:
• your pre-injury average weekly earnings
• whether you have current work capacity or no current work capacity
• how long you have received weekly payments for
• whether you have been able to return to work
• your ability to earn in suitable employment
• whether your income includes non-pecuniary benefits from your employer.
You may receive your weekly payments directly from your employer or the insurer within your usual pay cycle