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Everyone has the right to go to work each day, knowing they’ll come home safely. If you’ve been injured or become ill at work – or on the way to work – you may be entitled to make a claim for workers’ compensation to cover lost wages, medical and rehabilitation costs, retraining expenses or a lump sum payment for permanent injuries.
There have been a lot of changes to arrangements in NSW for seeking workers’ compensation in recent years. You could be forgiven for being a little confused about where to start. After all, workers’ compensation laws and entitlements are already a little hard to keep up with because they vary between states and territories and may be known as WorkCover, CTP or WorkSafe. Compensation and benefits can vary greatly depending on your injury and on the law you’re covered by.
If you’ve been injured on the way to work in NSW, Littles has you covered. This blog explores the rights of older workers when it comes to making a workers’ compensation claim.
We know that more Australians are working for longer, often into their 60s and 70s.
However, recent media reports indicated that “(d)espite the fact many Australians are working for longer, NSW laws slash the amount of assistance they get once they pass their official statutory retirement age of between 65 and 67.”
This means that while there are not age limits on workers that can make a workers’ compensation claim, workers older than 67 may only be entitled to 12 months of wage support from the date of their accident – a limit that doesn’t apply for younger workers.
As many of us know, it can take some time to obtain specialist appointments and identify treatments that are required. This 12 months can elapse quite quickly – so that even if a specialist recommends treatment, such as surgery, your support may be terminated before you can have it.
A younger person in the same circumstances would be able to obtain the surgery and receive ongoing weekly wages assistance while they recover.
Clearly, the system is unfair. The age cut-off is premised on an assumption that older people won’t go back to work and limits the support they get because of their age – despite the fact that they may have worked hard their whole lives, and have been seriously injured at work through no fault of their own.
This is also out of step with the reality of people working longer, and doesn’t appropriately recognise the experience and knowledge that older Australians bring to the workforce.
Yes, you can. However, the 12 month limit will remain unless the NSW Government makes changes.
The article quotes the State Insurance Regulatory Authority as saying that: “Anyone injured at work regardless of their age is encouraged to contact their NSW workers compensation insurer to ensure they receive compensation and support.
“Under NSW laws, if a worker receives an injury before reaching the retiring age, weekly payments of compensation are payable for one year after they reach retiring age.”
“If a worker receives an injury on or after reaching retiring age, weekly payments of compensation are payable for 12 months after the first occasion of incapacity for work as a result of the injury.”
Clearly, the workers’ compensation system can be complex, which is why it helps to seek quality legal advice as soon as possible. At Littles, we are experts in workplace injuries, and can help manage the process to ensure that you receive all appropriate entitlements and support. With Littles on your side, we can ensure that you get the fair treatment you deserve.
If your workers’ compensation claim has been rejected, or you would like to understand how to claim benefits to support you and your family while you are injured or ill, please get in touch for a no-obligation chat.
IMPORTANT: There are strict time limits for making and disputing a claim, so take advantage of our FREE initial consultation and get in touch. You have nothing to lose by speaking to one of our compensation law experts. The sooner we determine your eligibility to make or appeal a claim, the sooner we can help you to obtain or continue getting funding from the insurer so your rehabilitation can proceed smoothly.
Not only do we offer a FREE initial consultation we handle most insurance claims on a no win, no fee basis.
The Head of our NSW team, Jessica Cheung, is an expert in NSW workers’ compensation claims. If you think you might have a claim, reach out to Jessica and her team for high quality legal advice
Please note that this information is intended to provide general guidance only. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of such information. Appropriate professional advice should be sought based upon your individual circumstances. For further information, please contact Littles.