Workers Comp NSW changes kick in after 31 December 2013

Workers-Comp-Butcher

As a result of the draconian changes to workers compensation introduced by the O’Farrell Government (NSW) on 19 June 2012, an injured worker’s entitlement to treatment expenses has been drastically diminished.

These changes impact upon every injured worker in NSW irrespective of when they were injured, unless they are an exempt worker (police officer, paramedic, fire fighter, coal miner, or suffer from a dust disease), or are a ‘seriously injured worker’ (that is, suffering from a whole person impairment of greater than 30%).

Workers Comp NSW changes kick in after 31 December 2013

Workers comp NSW changes kick in (to injured workers) after 31 December 2013

Pursuant to the new law:
1.     An injured worker must obtain pre-approval for treatment (or an order from the Workers Compensation Commission) before incurring such expenses. Otherwise, an insurer is not liable to reimburse the worker or to pay the service provider.
2.     An insurer is not liable for any treatment expenses (including treatment related travel, and domestic assistance) provided more than 12 months after the worker ceases to be entitled to weekly payments of compensation.
A worker ceases to be entitled to receive weekly payments if:
a.     They ceased incurring a wage loss after the incident
b.     The insurer denied liability to pay weekly payments
c.     The worker has reached retiring age after their injury
d.     12 months after an injury if the worker was injured after reaching retiring age
e.     If the insurer ceases paying weekly payments pursuant to a Work Capacity Decision.

If the above occurred prior to 1 January 2013, then the 12 months liability period for treatment expenses expires on 31 December 2013.

As such, if you require medical treatment, seek approval from the insurer as a matter of urgency and contact the PSA.

[Post kindly shared by our co author Trinny – link: http://psa.asn.au/workers-comp-changes-kick-in-to-injured-workers-after-31-december-2013/]

 



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2 Responses to “Workers Comp NSW changes kick in after 31 December 2013”

  1. Here is a possible scenario, I may be wrong but let us see what happens. At the moment insurance companies are clearing the books, they only want 30% plus injured workers as the amount of them is less than 1,000, easy to handle. As far as police, firefighters etc are concerned, as soon as their doctors were required to use Work Capacity Certificates instead of Medical Certificates, the rot set in and I bet soon these workers will be sent for Work Capacity assessments and also thrown off. This is all being done to privatise Workers Comp, it has happened in the UK, it will happen here. In the future, every employee will have to pay for their own work injury insurance (that is a tax folks) and of course premiums will go up and up (and because Insurance companies will be running the show, don’t think they wont harass you even more). I have been wondering why the government wanted Goudappel to go directly to the High Court and I think it could be timing (going to the NSW Supreme Court, then the High Court will take longer.) Once Goudappel is decided, O Farrell can yell and scream and use that as an excuse to revoke the whole WC act and implement the new act. There will be no WC. However he could have a problem if the High Court rules in favour of Goudappel as everyone who was on WC prior to July 2012 will have to have that act apply to them and there would be nothing he could do about it, except ensure insurance companies act like it did not happen, so challenges will be frequent. I hope my scenario is wrong, especially for newly injured workers as the future is quite bleak. Something to think about and I hope some of you can totally knock down this vision, please do

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  2. ive been through the new so called work capacity thingo to me it appears they have always had the power to this but in a different way and less complicated and i can bet the so called lobby group that met with the piss head said well save this state a mottza and like a fool toddled of to Boof they would not have given any thought to the implications for injured but only to get their melons on tele and say look at me .

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