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Independent Review Office (IRO) Guide - Injured Workers NSW

IRO is an organisation or scheme representative involved in both the NSW Workers Compensation and Motor Accident Scheme.  

This guide offers an overview of the Independent Review Office (IRO) for injured workers in NSW. It covers the IRO’s role, funding assistance, application process, and stages of claim support, concluding with information on legal fee management and expert advice avenues.

What is the Independent Review Office (IRO)?

The Independent Review Office (IRO) provides legal funding to injured workers in NSW who are pursuing workers compensation claims. This funding can be used to cover the costs of legal advice, representation, and disbursements, such as medical reports.

The 3 Purposes Of IRO are

  1. To assist and find solutions for injured Claimants in response to complaints made against Insurers servicing the Scheme.
  2. IRO manage and administer legal grants for Workers Compensation claims and disputes.
  3. IRO conducts enquiries into matters arising in connection with the Personal Injury Commission Act and provides reporting and regulatory services for the Commission.

I have been injured at work, how can the IRO help me?

The IRO can assist in two (2) major ways;

  1. IRO can assist with complaints about your Insurer, for issues such as late payments, failure to pay, failure to release documents and or conflicts issues with Case Managers. The IRO can investigate the complaint by contacting the representative or insurer involved to follow up on exactly the cause of the delay. In the event the complaint is substantiated, then the IRO representative will take further action to insist things are done within certain timeframes and report back to you about what you can expect moving forward.
  2. IRO provides funding approval, for the costs of legal representatives to act in Workers Compensation disputes to injured claimants. These funding grants include coverage and payment of the medical disbursements (Report fees) that are needed to pursue any claim or dispute. IRO can provide funding for injured workers to attend medico-legal appointments organised by either party, which is a valuable service in the event the Claimant needs specialised transportation to and from an appointment.

When can I apply for IRO funding?

You can apply for IRO funding if you are an injured worker in NSW who:

  • Has received a Section 78 notice from your insurer, which means that they are disputing your claim: or
  • Is seeking advice on your entitlements under the Workers Compensation Scheme, particularly those associated with Whole Person Impairment (WPI).
  • Need legal help to pursue a claim for Whole Person Impairment (WPI)

What can I claim with IRO funding?

IRO funding can be used to cover a wide range of expenses, including:

  • Legal fees
  • Disbursements such as medical reports, clinical note requests, and claimable evidence
  • The cost of a barrister to appear at any hearing scheduled by the Personal Injury Commission

What stages of my claim does IRO funding cover?

IRO funding can cover the following stages of your workers compensation claim:

  • Stage 1: Obtaining legal advice and determining if you have a valid claim.
  • Stage 2: Investigating and pursuing your claim with the insurer.
  • Stage 3: Pursuing dispute resolution through the Personal Injury Commission.
  • Stage 4: Appealing or reconsidering decisions made by the Personal Injury Commission.

How do I apply for IRO funding?

You cannot apply for IRO funding directly. You must instruct an IRO-approved lawyer to act on your behalf. Your lawyer will then apply for funding on your behalf. Every lawyer at Garling and Co is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law and IRO approved.

How are legal fees and disbursements paid?

Once your lawyer has been granted funding by the IRO, they will be paid for their services and disbursements directly by the IRO. You will not have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses.

Contact Garling and Co for expert advice and representation

To find out more about IRO funding and whether you are eligible, contact Garling and Co today. We are IRO approved lawyers and can help you to get the legal support you need to get the best possible outcome for your claim. Should you have any further questions, please contact our office at (02) 8329 9500 or complete a free case assessment here.

Professional woman typing on laptop at work.

Emma Perkins

Joining Garling and Co in 2019, Emma brings to the team a deep knowledge and understanding of Personal Injury Law. Since her admission in 2009, she has specialised in the fields of workers' compensation, victims' compensation, public liability, motor...
Kimberly B.
23:14 14 Feb 24
Mathew is very knowledgable and has been of great assistance to me. All the staff are friendly and helpful. I'm so happy I found this firm.Thank you Mathew and team for your great work in my case.... I am 100% happy with what you achieved for me.read more
Julie M.
10:16 16 Jan 24
My last stage of Workers compensation claim was managed by Emma Perkins, Natasha Stojanovic, Rebecca Dunshea and Kelli Robinson at Garling and Co. Lawyers who went the extra mile with their service... from the beginning to the end of 3 years of my case. I have become very anxious with almost everything after a workplace injury and a lot of times I probably ask more questions than I need to, but Emma Perkins always finds clear answers to my questions in a short time and explains to me patiently even using her mealtime or between her meeting and make me feel that I have been very well take care and supported. I am so grateful and extremely satisfied. The excellent service, attitude, and culture of Metthew Garling and his team are second to none with a very high success rate. If you going to battle with your workplace injury for a short or long period, you are better off with Garling and Co. lawyers who are able back you up every step of the way. I strongly recommend it to anybody who needs their service like me. Julieread more
patrick P.
01:46 19 Dec 23
I like to say that I had a very wonderful experience,And the support, and also understanding with all my requests,I could not ask for a better team!Thank you Emma and also her assistant Rebecca... thank youread more
Kazi H.
13:38 13 Dec 23
Work cover fund is GOVT’S money but insurer think that it is from their 14th generation. So only they can have it. Not only that, people from the work, IME doctor from insurer, back to work... coordinator from work, Rehab provider from any side push the worker as hard as possible that the worker (doesn’t matter how the workers mental or psychical condition) either go back to his pre injury duty or leave the job.More over on that very bumpy any difficult journey some of them only treat the worker as a MONEY MAKING MECHINE .in some point worker feels like, no rooms to breath. On that moment need someone to support legally, someone to care, someone to relive.On my case I believe that, somehow, I manage to make my God happy. That’s why God sends me to Matthew Gerling and his team Allison, Rebecca and Nathan, and all of GARLING & co Lawyers.I am not good enough in English, can’t express my gratitude.Matthew, Allison, Rebecca and Nathan, please accept my appreciation and pass it to others.read more
Carol L.
01:32 29 Nov 23
Professional, understanding and friendly
Sean G.
23:21 14 Nov 23
Matthew Garling and everyone I spoke to at Garling and Co were kind, caring and compassionate. They were sensitive to my psychological condition and were patient in explaining everything to me, so... that I clearly understood the legal process. I am exceptionally grateful for the settlement outcome that Garling and Co obtained for me. Many thanks.read more
waqas A.
08:33 13 Nov 23
Great Experience with Garling & Co. Matthew explained everything in detail during the first appointment. Allison, Nathan, Rebecca and the staff have been extremely helpful. Thank You to the team and... lawyers at Garling & Co. for making the long process easy for me and getting an excellent outcome for my compensation claim.I would highly recommend Garling & Co. Lawyersread more
Saskia L.
21:42 08 Nov 23
The world of workers compensation is long, hard and confusing, but Emma and Rebecca at Garling & Co always treated my case with kindness, respect and understanding. No question was ever silly and... they always had time to make sure I knew what would happen next and how we could best prepare. I am so thankful for their expertise and could not have chosen anyone better to represent me.read more
Antonio P.
08:46 06 Nov 23
Thank you Matthew and his team for taking care of my case couldn’t ask for a better results and couldn’t have better team to do that thank you
Julie M.
00:40 06 Nov 23
Garlic & Co Lawyers have been wonderful, supporting me through some difficult times. With their assistance, positive outcomes were achieved. Many thanks to the Team.Julie
READ ALL TESTIMONIALS

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Alternatively, we are available to talk through phone and email. Please contact our experienced workers compensation lawyers to find out how we can help.

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Kimberly B.
23:14 14 Feb 24
Mathew is very knowledgable and has been of great assistance to me. All the staff are friendly and helpful. I'm so happy I found this firm.Thank you Mathew and team for your great work in my case.... I am 100% happy with what you achieved for me.read more
Julie M.
10:16 16 Jan 24
My last stage of Workers compensation claim was managed by Emma Perkins, Natasha Stojanovic, Rebecca Dunshea and Kelli Robinson at Garling and Co. Lawyers who went the extra mile with their service... from the beginning to the end of 3 years of my case. I have become very anxious with almost everything after a workplace injury and a lot of times I probably ask more questions than I need to, but Emma Perkins always finds clear answers to my questions in a short time and explains to me patiently even using her mealtime or between her meeting and make me feel that I have been very well take care and supported. I am so grateful and extremely satisfied. The excellent service, attitude, and culture of Metthew Garling and his team are second to none with a very high success rate. If you going to battle with your workplace injury for a short or long period, you are better off with Garling and Co. lawyers who are able back you up every step of the way. I strongly recommend it to anybody who needs their service like me. Julieread more
patrick P.
01:46 19 Dec 23
I like to say that I had a very wonderful experience,And the support, and also understanding with all my requests,I could not ask for a better team!Thank you Emma and also her assistant Rebecca... thank youread more
Kazi H.
13:38 13 Dec 23
Work cover fund is GOVT’S money but insurer think that it is from their 14th generation. So only they can have it. Not only that, people from the work, IME doctor from insurer, back to work... coordinator from work, Rehab provider from any side push the worker as hard as possible that the worker (doesn’t matter how the workers mental or psychical condition) either go back to his pre injury duty or leave the job.More over on that very bumpy any difficult journey some of them only treat the worker as a MONEY MAKING MECHINE .in some point worker feels like, no rooms to breath. On that moment need someone to support legally, someone to care, someone to relive.On my case I believe that, somehow, I manage to make my God happy. That’s why God sends me to Matthew Gerling and his team Allison, Rebecca and Nathan, and all of GARLING & co Lawyers.I am not good enough in English, can’t express my gratitude.Matthew, Allison, Rebecca and Nathan, please accept my appreciation and pass it to others.read more
Carol L.
01:32 29 Nov 23
Professional, understanding and friendly
Sean G.
23:21 14 Nov 23
Matthew Garling and everyone I spoke to at Garling and Co were kind, caring and compassionate. They were sensitive to my psychological condition and were patient in explaining everything to me, so... that I clearly understood the legal process. I am exceptionally grateful for the settlement outcome that Garling and Co obtained for me. Many thanks.read more
waqas A.
08:33 13 Nov 23
Great Experience with Garling & Co. Matthew explained everything in detail during the first appointment. Allison, Nathan, Rebecca and the staff have been extremely helpful. Thank You to the team and... lawyers at Garling & Co. for making the long process easy for me and getting an excellent outcome for my compensation claim.I would highly recommend Garling & Co. Lawyersread more
Saskia L.
21:42 08 Nov 23
The world of workers compensation is long, hard and confusing, but Emma and Rebecca at Garling & Co always treated my case with kindness, respect and understanding. No question was ever silly and... they always had time to make sure I knew what would happen next and how we could best prepare. I am so thankful for their expertise and could not have chosen anyone better to represent me.read more
Antonio P.
08:46 06 Nov 23
Thank you Matthew and his team for taking care of my case couldn’t ask for a better results and couldn’t have better team to do that thank you
Julie M.
00:40 06 Nov 23
Garlic & Co Lawyers have been wonderful, supporting me through some difficult times. With their assistance, positive outcomes were achieved. Many thanks to the Team.Julie
University of Technology, Sydney
Member of Law Society of New South Wales
Law Society of NSW Specialist Accreditation
University of Sydney
Legal Profession Admission Board of New South Wales
The law society of nsw professional standards scheme logo.
University of Technology, Sydney
Member of Law Society of New South Wales
Law Society of NSW Specialist Accreditation
University of Sydney
Legal Profession Admission Board of New South Wales
The law society of nsw professional standards scheme logo.
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