It is important to understand that the workers compensation scheme in NSW is a no fault scheme. That is to say any injury to a person that occurs at work is compensable in all but exceptional circumstances. The injury does not have to be occasioned as a result of any fault on the part of the employer to give rise to an entitlement to benefits.
There are 4 main benefits available under the workers compensation scheme:
If the injury causes you to be absent from work you are entitled to be paid benefits for the time that you are off work. These benefits are paid at 95% of the pre-injury earnings for the first 13 weeks. After same the amount payable is reduced to 80% of the pre-injury earnings. Make up pay can be paid where an injured worker returns to work undertaking suitable duties for less hours or losing overtime as a result of the injury. Make up pay is paid up to 95% of a worker’s pre-injury earnings.
Weekly benefits of compensation are generally paid for 21/2 years. There are exceptions to this rule. If the injury is a serious one and meets a particular threshold then weekly benefits of compensation will be paid longer.
Medical Treatment Expenses
The injured worker is entitled to have the insurance company pay all of their medical treatment expenses which arise from the injury which includes seeing a GP or specialist, surgery, rehabilitation, etc. The injured worker is also entitled to be paid travel expenses for travel to and from treatment providers. Such treatment must be paid for two years from the date of the injury if the injured worker does not have any time off work. If there is time off work then the two years commences to run as from the time that weekly benefits of compensation were last paid. There is also provision for the payment of treatment expenses for the balance of the worker’s life if the injury is severe enough.
Lump Sum Compensation
If the injury suffered by the worker results in a whole person impairment of at least 11% then there is an entitlement to recover lump sum compensation. For a psychological injury the lump sum compensation is only payable where the degree of impairment is at least 15%.
If the degree of impairment resulting from the injury is at least 15% the injured worker is entitled to be provided with domestic assistance by the insurance company. This can include help around the home to perform household tasks. The injured worker may also be entitled to rehabilitation assistance in the event that they need to be retrained to find alternative and suitable employment.
Brydens Lawyers are the experts in the successful prosecution of workers compensation claims on behalf of injured workers. To ascertain whether you have any workers compensation rights contact Brydens Lawyers today
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