As most of you are aware, John McPhilbin, the Injured Workers Support Network and ourselves (aworkcovervictimsdiary.com) have been receiving numerous emails and calls asking for clarification and assistance with claims surrounding the new WorkCover NSW laws. John kindly asked WorkCover NSW for some clarification…
WorkCover NSW response to the legislation changes
John McPhilbin’s inquiry to WorkCover NSW
I’ve been receiving numerous calls asking for clarification and assistance with claims surrounding the new WorkCover laws. Could you please provide me with contact details that will help aid many of the distressed callers we are attempting to help? Kind regards
WorkCover NSW reply
Thank you for your enquiry regarding the changes to the workers compensation legislation in New South Wales.
The Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 and the Safety, Return to Work and Support Board Bill 2012 were passed by Parliament on Friday 22 June 2012 and assented on Wednesday 27th June.
The new workers compensation laws change the way workers compensation benefits claims are assessed and paid.
Some of the changes have already taken effect. These include arrangements for journey claims, lump sum payments, nervous shock, heart attack and stroke and disease injuries.
The remaining changes will come into effect gradually over the next 12 to 18 months.
Special arrangements will apply to people who are already receiving weekly payments immediately prior to commencement of the new arrangements.
The changes depend on the length of time people have been receiving payments and their level of work capacity. Some features of the special transitional arrangements are:
- during the first 26 weeks of incapacity payments, the amount paid will be the same as under the existing rules;
- claimants who have already received 26 weeks of payments, and have an ongoing entitlement, will be paid according to a transitional rate (subject to a work capacity assessment) that is significantly more than the current basic rate of payment; and
- existing weekly payment rules will continue to apply until the person has undergone an individual work capacity assessment.
Injured workers will be given three months’ notice by their Scheme agent of any changes to their weekly benefits due to the new laws.
The most seriously injured workers will not be subject to work capacity assessments unless they wish to have one.
A brochure, fact sheet and frequently asked questions are available on our website, www.workcover.nsw.gov.au.
Further information will be posted as it becomes available. Regards, D. Henley
on behalf of Contact mailbox WorkCover Information Centre phone 13 10 50 WorkCover NSW
As John points out, according to this response, injured workers are currently protected until they undergo capacity assessments – which is also likely take some time to comp.