Workers are now at the receiving end of having their payments ceased in December 2017. What a sad Christmas these workers will face. There are over 8,000 matters seeking grants from WIRO at this present time.
Section 39 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW) is the cessation of weekly payments for workers compensation claims after 5 years. If a workers injury is not great than 20% whole person impairment (“WPI”) they will not qualify for continuing payments under the Act.
This has increased the pressure on workers to either seek Centrelink benefits or undergo further assessment to ascertain if they reach the threshold. The problem with undergoing the further assessment is that workers only have “one more lump sum” claim under this regime and this could provide a substantial injustice if they have not stabilised or that they are likely to deteriorate in the future.
Section 322A of the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 (NSW) states that there can only be one assessment made of the degree of permanent impairment of an injured worker ie one more lump sum.
It also states that the medical assessment certificate that is provided following this assessment is the only medical assessment certificate that will be considered in relation to any further medical disputes regarding the degree of permanent impairment that occurred as a result of the injury suffered by the worker.
Workers are entitled to seek legal advice and WIRO have set up a grant for these workers. You need to act quickly so that we can try and keep your rights or look at alternatives under legislation that may assist with your ongoing payments.
If you receive a letter from the Insurer arranging a medical appointment, please seek legal advice prior to attending it.
It is important that you come and see one of our team to make sure you are receiving your entitlements and understand how s39 affects you.