New Workers Compensation Changes
In June 2012, the NSW Government passed legislation that will result in significant changes to the NSW workers compensation scheme.
While some of the workers compensation changes resulting from amendments made to workers compensation legislation in June have already commenced eg; new provisions for journey claims, lump sum payments, nervous shock, heart attack and stroke and new rules for disease claims, the major changes, that is those relating to weekly benefits, work capacity and the time claimants can remain on benefits are soon to commence.
There has been a progressive rollout of the new reforms and from 1 January 2013 – all workers injured before 1 October (other than seriously injured workers who previously transferred) will begin to transition across to the new arrangements.
What Will the Changes Mean for Injured Workers
Workers who make a claim on or after 1 October (as well as those who have not lodged their claim forms by that date) will move straight onto the new scheme arrangements.
That will mean they will be covered by the new benefits arrangements which will generally mean higher weekly benefits for the first 13 weeks they are on weekly benefits.
After 13 weeks they will be subject to a step down in benefits unless they are partially incapacitated and working at least 15 hours a week. There will be a greater emphasis on return to work and more attention paid to work capacity.
To assist workers following the reforms to the workers compensation scheme in 2012, there are a number of new or updated publications and forms.
Publications for workers
The Workers compensation changes: Information for workers fact sheet outlines the reforms to the Workers Compensation Scheme.
The Seriously injured workers: fact sheet (claiming prior to 1 October 2012) outlines changes to seriously injured workers’ workers compensation benefits and entitlements that came into effect from 17 September 2012.
Forms for workers
The Worker’s injury claim form is for new claims made on or after 1 October 2012.
The Other work related injuries claim form is to be completed by a worker where the injury occurred away from work where the incident is related to work, and for an injury involving a motor vehicle in the course of employment.
The Claiming Compensation Benefits: Application for Review by Insurer is an application form to request the review of a decision made to dispute a workers compensation claim (or any aspect of a claim).
The Work capacity – application for merit review by the Authority is to be completed if you wish to seek a merit review by WorkCover of the insurer’s work capacity decision regarding your claim for workers compensation.
Call 13 10 50 for more information on changes to workers compensation for workers.