Workers’ compensation schemes are designed to compensate you if you need medical treatment, rehabilitation or time off to recover after being injured at work. It also covers the costs if you get sick from your work.
All employers in Australia are required by law to have workers compensation insurance for their employees. Even if an employer fails to have insurance, the Authority will continue to cover the worker who was injured and seek recovery against the employer.
The legislation is intended to provide early treatment of workers injuries to assist injured workers to return to employment as soon as possible.
If you have suffered an injury at work, then contact Longton Compensation Lawyers for the help you need to get your maximum entitlements.
Overview of the workers compensation system
If you are a worker or a “deemed worker” and injured in the course of employment you will receive workers compensation benefits.
Workers and deemed workers
A deemed worker may be able to claim workers compensation benefits even though you may not be an employee for tax purposes. For example, if you have an ABN and work exclusively for the deemed employer but have no discretion of the work you perform you may be able to claim workers compensation benefits.
Physical and psychological injury
The most common workplace injuries are physical in nature, that is if you are physically injured, i.e., you fracture your arm or injure your back as a result of an incident at work. These workplace injuries are obvious. There are however physical injuries that are not so obvious and have been the subject of disputed claims.
Injuries include physical and psychological injury. It is important that your nominated treating doctor record all injuries on the workers compensation medical certificate (certificate of capacity).
Work injury damages claim
If your injuries are assessed at greater than 15% WPI, you may have a work injury damages claim against your employer if your injuries occurred as a result of an unsafe system of employment or negligence.
The Guidelines for workers compensation
The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) is the government organisation responsible for regulating and administering workers compensation (and other insurance claims). A principal objective of SIRA in exercising its functions is to provide for the effective supervision of claims handling and disputes arising under NSW workers compensation legislation.
Notification of injury
Under 266 of the 1988 Act notification of injury can be made in writing or verbally. Details of injury must include the date of injury for the period over which the injury occurred, the time of injury, how the injury happened and what capacity for employment has been caused by the injury.
Once the insurer has received the initial notification of injury, the insurer must:
Making a claim
The minimum information for a claim of compensation must be provided insurer includes the following:
Accessing medical treatment
Under the legislation unless you are an exempt worker, the insurer will not approve medical services unless preapproval is given. An exempt worker is a police officer, a firefighter or a paramedic. Workers can claim reasonably necessary medical treatment and expenses. Section 59 of the 1987 act sets out the definitions of hospital and medical treatment as follows:
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