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Lump Sum Compensation for Permanent Impairment

Am I entitled to lump sum compensation for my permanent impairment?

An injured worker will only be entitled to lump sum compensation if their level of permanent impairment is assessed at 11% whole person impairment or more for physical injuries and 15% whole person impairment for psychological injuries.

This does not apply to police officers, fire fighters, paramedics and volunteer emergency services workers who only require 1% whole person impairment before being entitled to lump sum compensation for physical injuries. Police officers, fire fighters, paramedics and volunteer emergency services workers still require 15% whole person impairment in order to make a claim for a psychological injury.

Am I entitled to pain and suffering?  

Pain and suffering was abolished by the NSW Government in 2012. Workers who make a claim for lump sum compensation after 19 June 2012 will not be entitled to pain and suffering regardless of their date of injury.

This does not apply to police officers, fire fighters, paramedics and volunteer emergency services workers who are entitled to pain and suffering if they have 10% whole person impairment or more.

If I receive lump sum compensation am I still entitled to weekly compensation?

A claim for lump sum compensation will not prevent a worker from receiving payments of weekly compensation. In situations where the worker settles a claim for lump sum compensation for 21% whole person impairment or more, it will actually increase the workers entitlements to weekly compensation.

This does not apply to police officers, fire fighters, paramedics and volunteer emergency services workers who are entitled to weekly compensation under a different scheme.

If I receive lump sum compensation am I still entitled to medical expenses?

A claim for lump sum compensation will not prevent a worker from receiving medical treatment. A successful claim for lump sum compensation will actually increase the length of time a worker can receive medical treatment.

This does not apply to police officers, fire fighters, paramedics and volunteer emergency services workers who are entitled to life-time medical expenses.

Different Types of Compensation Work-Related Injuries

Can I make more than one claim for lump sum compensation?

Workers who made a claim for lump sum compensation after 19 June 2012 are only entitled to make one claim for lump sum compensation.

Workers who made a claim for lump sum compensation prior to 19 June 2012 can make one further claim for lump sum compensation.

Who does the assessment of permanent impairment?

The assessment of impairment must be done by a medical specialist who is a trained assessor of permanent impairment.

When can I be assessed for permanent impairment?

A worker cannot be assessed until they have reached maximum medical improvement. This means that the condition has stabilised and no significant treatment, such as surgery will be needed in the future and the condition is unlikely to deteriorate.

Due to the limit on the number of lump sum claims that can be made workers need to ensure that their condition will not significantly deteriorate in the future prior to making a claim.

How do I claim for permanent impairment?

In order to make a permanent impairment claim you will need to be assessed by an accredited medical specialist familiar with personal injury law. Your Taylor & Scott lawyer can arrange the medical examination on your behalf. In order to determine that the impairment is permanent, several factors are taken into consideration.

  • The duration of the impairment;
  • The likelihood of the condition improving;
  • Whether all appropriate medical treatments have been undertaken;
  • Any other matters relevant to your specific physical or psychological injuries.

What is permanent impairment?

Permanent impairment relates to a work-related injury that has stabilised, with ongoing injury or illness symptoms expected to remain unchanged during the next 12 months. Permanent impairment injuries can impact physical or psychological abilities. NSW compensation guidelines are applied by a medical specialist impairment assessor for determining the percentage of whole person impairment.

In order to be entitled to receive lump sum compensation for permanent impairment caused by a work-related injury, you will need to prove you have suffered at least 11% physical impairment or 15% psychological impairment. Physical and psychological injuries can’t be combined, with only the primary injury subject to compensation.

What is a permanent impairment claim?

A permanent impairment claim can be made if you have suffered a serious workplace illness or injury resulting in an inability to return to work. It is designed to cover any economic loss associated with your injury. A lump sum payment can be approved by your workplace insurer, although it is highly recommended to utilise the services of an experienced and accredited workplace injury lawyer to maximise your claim’s potential.

Making a claim for a workers compensation impairment benefit while trying to recover from serious injuries is difficult, and insurers are likely to reject any claim that isn’t backed up with the appropriate claim form, medical reports and additional documents. Taylor & Scott Lawyers understand all laws and policies related to compensation for permanent impairment and can ensure a fair assessment of your claim, without you having to suffer undue stress during this difficult time.

At Taylor & Scott, ‘We Care For You’.