The New South Wales Government has established protocols for dealing with all types of compensation claims, including workers compensation claims. The legislation is overseen by the workplace health and safety regulator, SafeWork NSW, with the power to enforce safe work laws and investigate incidents. The laws are binding on both employers and employees to create a safe environment for every worker and legal recourse should an accident or incident occur.
In situations where the employer doesn’t hold valid insurance, Insurance & Care NSW (icare) can assist with the claim. Taylor & Scott Lawyers can make an application to WIRO on behalf of the claimant to cover all costs associated with undertaking a claim. Workers compensation claims time limits are an important consideration for people wanting restitution after suffering from a work-related injury or illness.
Q. Who can claim workers compensation?
If an injury is work-related, or is a pre-existing physical or psychological injury aggravated in the workplace, a workers compensation claim is justified. Workers compensation also covers diseases where work is a significant contributing factor, such as asthmatic conditions. Other situations include industrial deafness caused by unsatisfactory workplace health and safety measures established by the employer. Injuries caused by an accident while travelling to or from work are exempt from workers compensation claims, unless the journey undertaken included work-related activities along the way.
Q. What are the time limits for compensation claims?
There are time limits on making a workers compensation claim. There are also limits on the length of time insurers are required to pay for medical treatment, loss of earning capacity and other forms of assistance supported by compensation payments. The time limits are linked to both weekly payments of compensation and to whole person permanent impairment lump sum payments.
Time limits for claiming compensation: Workers compensation claims should be made within six months of the injury occurring or after symptoms of injury or illness caused in the workplace manifest. However, due to the nature of workplace injuries there is a degree of flexibility and the time limit can be extended in some cases, including:
- Honest oversight
- Absence from the state
- The worker was not aware of the injury at the time the incident took place
- Other factors granting time limit extension from the State Insurance Regulatory body
- Permanent injury claims involving at least 11% whole body impairment
Time limits for receiving compensation: There are time limit stipulations for insurers who are required to pay compensation. If your whole person impairment is medically assessed to be between 0% and 10% then the insurer is obliged to pay medical treatment for a period of 2 years after weekly payments of compensation cease. If your impairment is between 11% and 20%, the period is 5 years. If your impairment is 21% or greater your medical expenses are payable for life.
Assessment of impairment levels is undertaken by a medical specialist trained in compensation claims evaluation, in consultation with other medical professionals where required. In the event that medical expenses are no longer payable by the insurer, you would need to turn to Medicare and/or your private health fund for payment.
Q. Are other accident and injury compensation claims treated the same way?
All compensation claims types are evaluated according to the evidence provided. However, workers compensation is a specific area of law with its own unique guidelines. Fortunately, Taylor & Scott Lawyers, with more than 110-years’ experience winning claims for clients, have all angles covered. When we decide to act on your behalf you can rest easy knowing that you have a dedicated compensation specialist in your corner. Taylor & Scott Compensation Lawyers expertise covers the full range of workers compensation claims types, including:
- Weekly payments
- Medical expenses and further treatment
- Non-employer (third party) negligence claims
- Lump sum permanent injury claims
- Industrial deafness claims
Q. How do I commence a workers compensation claim?
Because of the complexity of workers compensation laws in New South Wales, it’s worth discussing your situation with highly qualified professionals. Not all compensation claims are successful, and skimping on legal assistance isn’t a wise move when significant monetary payments and living assistance is at stake. If you are injured at work we recommend that you contact Taylor & Scott Lawyers, the experts in workers compensation, for a free case assessment. If we act for you it will be with a grant of legal assistance from WIRO which means you pay no legal costs at all in your workers compensation claim. We are committed to securing a better future for you and your loved ones.
Is there a time limit on workers compensation?
If you have suffered from a workplace injury or illness, including injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident while carrying out work-related duties, you should make your workers compensation claim as soon as possible. Time limits for workers compensation claims apply in NSW, with most claims required to be made within 6 months of the accident. However, you can make a workers compensation claim up to three years after the injury occurred if you can show reasonable cause for the delay. To make a valid claim you should:
- Notify your employer as soon as possible after an injury is sustained;
- Obtain a certificate of capacity for performing work tasks from a medical practitioner;
- Give your employer the certificate of capacity, medical bills and workers declaration.
- Make reasonable efforts to return to work by following a back to work plan.
How long does workers compensation last?
Workers compensation benefits in NSW are designed to facilitate ongoing quality of life comparable to that enjoyed prior to the workplace accident or illness. Weekly compensation payments for loss of income are available for up to 130 weeks, unless a medical assessment determines the injured person is still unable to work after this time. In this case, benefits are paid for up to five years (260 weeks), with exceptions made for persons suffering more than 20% permanent impairment.
Persons injured at work can claim ongoing compensation payments beyond these timeframes if a qualified medical assessor determines the worker is partially disabled, with some ability to work. The situation can become complex and confusing, particularly for people who need to focus on recovery, making the services of experienced and dedicated Taylor & Scott Compensation Lawyers the best approach for optimal claim outcomes.
Can I make a workers compensation claim after 3 years?
In cases of serious personal injury to yourself resulting in long-term permanent impairment, or the death of a loved one, a claim can be made after the 3-year time limit if reasonable cause can be proven. There are also occasions when a worker is not aware of a work-related injury or illness until many years after the fact. Situations include hearing loss, lung cancer and other medical conditions caused in workplace environments. In these types of situations, the time limit for making a workers compensation claim commences from the moment the worker becomes aware of the injury or illness symptoms and their cause.
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