On the 4th of December 2015, icare (previously known as WorkCover NSW) announced further changes as a component of the NSW government ongoing NSW workers compensation reforms.
The latest reforms include benefit changes to injured employees in need of the highest benefits being those with a Whole Person Impairment (WPI) of >30%. In addition to this there were several other as well as additional changes.
ICARE REFORM UPDATE – Following the reform introduced by Icare in October’15 which has now increased a workers entitlement to whole person impairment (WPI), agents have now commenced reviewing claims with potential lump sum entitlements whole person impairment (including death and funeral expenses) as well as an additional year of weekly compensation payments following retirement age being reached. The amended regulation also provides that an injured worker who has lodged a claim prior to 19 June 2012 for WPI can make one further claim for WPI although the change in regulation does not allow for further Section 67 (pain & Suffering) claims to be made.
4 December 2015 Reforms – reforms to benefits include:
• minimum weekly amount of $788.32 for workers with the highest needs > 30% WPI (whole person impairment)
• minimum hourly requirement removed for workers with high needs > 20% WPI
• protection of weekly payments while a work capacity decision is under review
• increased entitlement periods for medical expenses for all workers
• medical expenses for life for all workers with high needs > 20% WPI
• secondary surgery for all eligible workers
• hearing aids and prosthesis for life for all workers
The insurers are working closely with icare to understand the practical application of these changes and identification of impacted claims, with December reforms retrospectively applied accordingly.
Workers Compensation Amendment for Lump Sum Compensation Claims – Workers Compensation Amendment Regulation 2015, Lump Sum Compensation Claims, was published on the NSW legislation website in November 2015. The revised regulation provides a worker who made a claim before 19th of June 2012 for permanent impairment compensation (under section 66) may make one further permanent impairment claim on or after 19 June 2012. The amendment regulation does not create an entitlement to make a claim under the repealed section 67 with respect to the further claim under section 66.
Implementation of October 2015 Reforms – Reforms introduced in October have commenced for increases in lump sum compensation for permanent impairment, death benefits, funeral benefits as well as entitlement to an additional year of weekly payments following retirement age being reached.
Lump sum compensation requirements have been applied accordingly and contact has commenced with workers who are entitled to weekly payments following retirement age.
Should you need assistance, please contact us to discuss.