A gap in weekly payments of workers compensation

In 2012 the NSW Government made significant changes to the workers compensation system. For injured workers who made workers compensation claims prior to 2012 their weekly payments ceased on 25 December 2017, if they had not been assessed at greater than 20% whole person impaired. If injured workers later went on to be assessed at greater than 20% whole person impaired the workers compensation insurer was not reimbursing payments to the injured worker for the period they went without receiving weekly payments of compensation.
However, new case law decided on 17 June 2020 has now overturned any misconception that weekly payments were not payable for the period that the weekly payments stopped up until the assessment of greater than 20% whole person impairment.… Read More

New employee? New information and the latest law on personal/carer’s leave

As every new employee commences work their employer must provide them with certain documentation and the documentation from the Fair Work Commission has recently been updated. The Fair Work Commission publishes the Fair Work Information Statement, which is available online. This document must be provided to every new employee in Australia before they commence work or as soon as possible after they commence work.

For employees this document provides information about Australia’s employment laws and what governs them. It provides the minimum entitlements to workers known as the National Employment Standards or NES, and also lists the minimum wage for adult permanent and casual employees.… Read More

Coronavirus – can you claim Workers Compensation?

Coronavirus is the hot topic on everyone’s mind but what happens if you contract Coronavirus as a result of your employment, can you claim workers compensation?

For every Workers Compensation Claim there needs to be an injury and contracting Coronavirus would certainly qualify as an injury. Coronavirus as we have been made aware, currently requires at least a two week quarantine following the end of symptoms to prevent the spread of the virus. Therefore there is an incapacity to work not only while you are sick with the virus but also two weeks following the end of the symptoms.

Some people may simply choose to take personal leave and will have that amount of accrued leave available, while some employers may also pay to have the worker remain in quarantine to prevent other workers being infected.… Read More

The Timeliness Of Surgery

One of the disputes workers compensation clients will encounter with insurance companies is whether treatment is reasonably necessary following a workplace injury. The relevant section of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 NSW is section 60. If the dispute is before an Arbitrator in the Workers Compensation Commission they will need to consider the following before deciding on whether treatment is reasonably necessary or not, as noted in Rose v Health Commission (NSW) (1986) 2 NSWCCR 32:

a) The appropriateness of the particular treatment;
b) The availability of alternative treatment, and its potential effectiveness;
c) The cost of the treatment;
d) The actual or potential effectiveness of the treatment; and
e) The acceptance by medical experts of the treatment as being appropriate and likely to be effective.… Read More

Journey claims and Christmas parties

With the festive season in full swing and enthusiastic employees awaiting a party to unwind from their work responsibilities, employers should be aware that liability for workers compensation claims is still applicable. This is regardless of whether the annual Christmas party is held privately or publicly, at a location or premises different to their usual place of business.
In the case of Suzanne Elizabeth McCoy v State Super Financial Services Australia Limited [2018] NSWWCC 77 which was decided in 2018 the applicant worker was planning to attend her work Christmas party at a local hotel in the same town as her employment.… Read More

Section 38A of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 – a bonus for workers with Highest Needs

Under the NSW Workers Compensation system a worker is assessed, once they have reached maximum medical improvement, based on a percentage of whole person impairment. This percentage then equates to varying levels of compensation. If a worker is assessed at greater than 30% whole person impairment the worker is then considered a worker with Highest Needs.

Section 38A of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 then comes into play as it provides a special provision for workers with Highest Needs. Provided the worker has some level of incapacity, the worker has access to a minimum weekly payment of compensation. Under section 38A the amount is $788.32 indexed, and is currently $840 per week.… Read More

What happens if you die as a result of work?

In NSW each year there are approximately 100 deaths that occur at work or as a result of work. The Workers Compensation Act 1987 NSW provides specific provisions for compensation to families who have a loved one who dies as a result of work. Section 25 of the 1987 Act entitles dependents to a lump sum death benefit amount which is currently $798,100 (as at 26/03/19). Dependent children are also entitled to a weekly benefit of the current rate of $142.90 per week (as at 26/03/19) under the age of 16 years, or if they are student up to the age of 21 years.… Read More

Workers compensation – work capacity decisions – Mark Grady

MKG-newFurther to Libby Campbell’s article last week in regards to hours of work and the calculation of pre-injury average weekly earnings (PIAWE), for work capacity decisions made on or after 1 January 2019, there is a new regime.

Work capacity decisions include decisions by the workers compensation insurer in respect to a worker’s capacity to work and their PIAWE.

Decisions in respect to PIAWE, which are generally mathematical calculations, require review of wages material in the 12 months prior to the worker’s injury and will be in the large part resolved by a review of the insurer, or failing that by an arbitrator of the Workers Compensation Commission.… Read More

The extra hours do count – Libby Campbell

The extra hours do count – Libby Campbell

The payment of weekly compensation for workers compensation matters are calculated based on the workers pre-injury average weekly earnings (PIAWE) prior to the injury date.

Generally the insurer will review the amount the worker has earned in the 52 weeks prior to the injury. The total amount is then averaged over the 52 week period and the weekly amount is known as the PIAWE figure.

For the first 13 weeks of the claim the worker will receive 95% of the PIAWE amount and from 14 weeks onwards the worker will then receive 80% of the PIAWE amount if they are totally incapacitated to work.… Read More

The law is tough when it comes to being an “existing recipient” – Libby Campbell

Many injured workers are faced with having their weekly payments stopped due to a change in workers compensation laws that was introduced in 2012, limiting the amount of weekly payments a worker could receive to 260 weeks (5 years) under section 39 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987. The section does not apply to an injured worker if their injury has been assessed as greater than 20% whole person impairment.

As part of the legislative changes there was a saving grace piece introduced to cover worker’s injured prior to the changes being implemented, so that the changes did not apply retrospectively.… Read More