Work Injury Guide: What You Need to Know about Work Injury Compensation

Work Injury Compensation

In New South Wales, injuries sustained while at work or in the course of your employment are covered by the statutory benefit scheme: WorkCover.

Made up of three parts, WorkCover is meant to promote health and safety in the workplace and provide invaluable compensation to those people who are unfortunate enough to get injured while on the job.

What Benefits can you Claim?

Some people are entitled to receive more generous compensations than the majority of the population; people who work in emergency services such as firemen, police officers, ambulance personnel, emergency service volunteers, and bushfire fighters. However, for the majority of New South Wales, five categories of benefit are available after a work-related injury.

  1. Weekly Payments: When filing a claim requesting weekly payments, you will need to first file a “Certificate of Capacity.” This certificate must be filled out by your general practitioner and sent to both your employer and the relevant insurer.It is important to be aware that under the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW), you are not entitled the entirety of your preinjury wages.We advise that the maximum amount you can recover within the first 13 weeks of week payments is 95%. If you have returned to work for any period of time, then your weekly payments will be reduced by the wages that you accrue.We advise that after 14 weeks from the date you first received weekly payment. Your weekly payments will be dependent upon a formula that takes into account your current work capacity (as assessed either your treating general practitioner or in accordance with a capacity decision made by the insurer) and how many hours per week you have returned to work after the accident.

    We advise that after 130 weeks of receiving weekly payments, the insurer will make a capacity decision to determine your entitlement to receive weekly payments after this date. You will not be entitled to receive weekly payments after this point unless you’ve returned for work for a period not less than 15 hours per week or the insurer assesses you as being indefinitely incapable of returning to work.

    It is possible for these weekly payments to continue for up to two and a half years after your injury occurs, depending upon how the Workers Compensation Commission decides to handle your claim.

    We advise that your entitlement to receive weekly payment cannot exceed 260 weeks. If you wish to receive weekly payments after this point, you must be assessed as having suffered 21% WPI.

  1. Medical Expenses: If you are injured at work, you may be able to claim the pre-approved (by the insurer) and reasonable costs of some or all of your medical expenses. This can extend to cover treatment from doctors, physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, psychologists, counselors, and exercise trainers.You may be able to receive compensation for physical artificial aids, such as crutches, prosthetics, and medications or prescriptions. Additionally, domestic services, such as homecare, cleaning services, or even home modifications could be included in your injury compensation claim.We advise that your entitlement to receive weekly payments is not indefinite.We advise that due to the application of Section 59A of the Workers Compensation Act 1987; you are not entitled to receive medical expenses after two years from the last date you received weekly payments.

    We advise that is important to know when this date occurs and make your clamp for any medical expenses prior to this date.

  1. Permanent Impairment: Unfortunately, establishing your medical condition and overall impairment may take some time, usually weeks or months, as some conditions take longer to develop or prove harder to treat.However, once your whole person impairment has been determined by a specialist doctor, you may be entitled to a lump sum for permanent impairment.It must be determined that your whole person impairment is at least 10% in order to receive a lump sum, and the total amount of impairment will affect how much you will receive in weekly payments, as mentioned above.We advise that you the application of section 66 (1A) of the Workers Compensation Act New 1987, that you can only make one claim for lump sum compensation.

    We advise that when making a lump sum claim it is important to liaison with your treating general practitioner and specialists to determine whether you require any further treatment and/or surgery.

  1. Death Benefits: If, in the terrible event, an employee loses their life in the course of their job, death benefits exist to help compensate their loved ones. When a worker receives a fatal injury, their lump sum benefit is calculated on the first of April and October each year. These will then be distributed between the surviving dependents in accordance with need.
  1. Work Injury Damages Claims:
    Lastly you will be able to make a work injury damages claim if you can prove two thing:
  1. That your injuries were sustained due to the negligence of your employer
  2. that your injury resulted in a 15% or more whole person impairment;These damages will be calculated through to retirement age, and will include your net past and future wage loss as well as loss of superannuation.We advise that to be entitled to bring a claim a work injury damages against employer that your lump sum claim must be finalized and that you must be assessed as having at least 15% WPI pursuant to 151H of the Worker Compensation Act 1987.

Time Limits

Pursuant to Section 151D of the Workers Compensation Act 1987; any claim for work injury damages must be commenced within three years from the date of injury.

We advise that section 151DA of the Workers Compensation Act 1987, specifies certain circumstances in which time does not being to run.

We advise that the best way to guarantee that your claim isn’t barred by missing a deadline is to contact an experienced injury lawyer who will guide you through the complex process and help you get the benefits you need.

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