Section 39 is going to start cutting off injured workers from weekly payments in 2017.
Have you gotten a letter from your insurer, telling you your payments of weekly compensation are going to stop later this year?
You’re not the only one. Around 6500 injured workers across New South Wales are about to be affected by changes to the Workers Compensation scheme, which were put in place in 2012. The right to get weekly payments after a person is injured at work was once an ongoing entitlement – that is, you would be able to get weekly payments for as long as you needed it. Under the 2012 changes, a limit of 260 weeks was introduced. After a worker has received 260 weeks of workers compensation wages, they would be cut off. This limit would not affect payments already made, so in essence the 260 week “countdown” started in 2012. If you do the math, that means the first wave of permanently injured workers are about to reach 260 weeks later this year.
Can I get weekly payments past 260 weeks?
There are ways an injured worker can still get weekly payments after 260 weeks. The law says payments will continue where the worker can show they are over 20% whole person impairment. The “whole person impairment” rating can only be given by a doctor who is certified by the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (“SIRA”) to give such an assessment. If you’ve received a letter about section 39, chances are your insurer has already arranged for you to see one of these doctors. Even if the insurer’s doctor has given you a whole person impairment rating of less than 20%, it is important that you speak to a lawyer, as you may be able to challenge this decision.
There are other complicating factors which may affect your situation. For instance, if you are about to have surgery for your condition, or have recently undergone surgery, you may be fall into a special kind of category where you do not need a rating of 20% whole person impairment. These are important things to discuss with a lawyer.
What can I do?
Talk to a lawyer for free. Workers about to be affected by section 39 are entitled to receive free legal advice about their options. If it appears likely that you will be able to challenge the insurer’s determination, or if you have a claim to other workers compensation benefits, Brazel Moore Compensation Lawyers will be able to investigate and run your matter free of charge. Contact Brazel Moore Compensation Lawyers on (02) 4324 7699 for a free, friendly and confidential chat about your workers compensation matter today.