Because of the amendments to the Workers Compensation Legislation in 2012, Section 39 of the Workers' Compensation Act states that injured workers who have been receiving weekly benefits since 1 October 2012 must have an assessment of greater than 20% whole person impairment to continue receiving weekly payments beyond the end of 2017.
Under Section 39, the workers' compensation insurers are presently arranging for all workers in this position to undertake medical assessments to determine their whole person impairment and whether they will exceed 20% whole person impairment.
Such an assessment is the insurers' opinion only and you do not need to accept that assessment.You are entitled to obtain your own assessment of whole person impairment from a doctor of your choosing.
To obtain your own assessment of whole person impairment you need to obtain legal assistance from an accredited specialist in personal injury law.The lawyer will then obtain funding to proceed with your claim from the WorkCover Independent Review Officer (WIRO).Your lawyer can then arrange for you to be medically examined and have your own assessment of whole person impairment.
You should never accept the insurance company doctors' assessment of whole person impairment.This is not final and binding.
If you obtain your own assessment of whole person impairment which exceeds 21%, then the matter is referred to an independent doctor appointed by the Workers' Compensation Commission. The independent doctor will then assess the whole person impairment and this assessment is final and binding on both the insurer and the injured worker.
It is crucial therefore to obtain the highest assessment of whole person impairment possible. As if you do exceed 21% whole person impairment you are entitled to weekly payments of compensation until retirement age and medical expenses for the remainder of your life.
Otherwise your weekly payments could stop at the end of 2017 and your medical expenses paid for a maximum of a further five years.
Should you require any assistance with Section 39 under the Workers' Compensation Act, please do not hesitate to contact us on Ph: (02) 8518 1120 or email@example.com.
About Matthew Garling.
Matthew Garling, Founder of Garling & Co is a NSW Law Society Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law. He specialises in compensation law and has acted on behalf of thousands of injured people in work accidents, motor vehicle accidents and negligence cases over the last 20 years.