Workers comp changes kick in (to injured workers) after 31 December 2013 - Public Service Association

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

As a result of the draconian changes to workers compensation introduced by the O’Farrell Government 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%).

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.


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