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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 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.
First things first. If you have a work-related injury that is a significant injury, your insurer must establish an injury management plan. You’ll have a significant injury if it is likely to result in you being incapacitated for work for more than seven consecutive days.
The insurer develops the plan in consultation with you, your employer and your treating doctor.
The plan should set out each party’s rights and obligations, and outlines the preferred communication approach between you, the insurer and your employer. It should be specific to you and be tailored to your goals – so, for example, if you have a psychological injury, the plan must take into account your psychological capacity.
The plan should also set out specific dates at which the plan will be reviewed. However, it is important to note that the plan should be reviewed in any case when a significant event occurs. This might include: a change in case manager or nominated treating doctor, a change in your goals, a medical event (for example, undergoing major surgery), or the approval of a new treatment.
Ideally, the plan should be put in place as soon as possible, given that for many people, the first weeks of their recovery are the most important.
If you have current work capacity, the plan will make clear that you’ll need to make reasonable efforts to return to work in pre-injury employment or suitable employment. You’re also required to
· participate and cooperate in the establishment the plan
· comply with obligations imposed under the plan
· nominate a doctor who is prepared to participate in the plan. This could be your GP, and
· authorise your nominated treating doctor to provide relevant information to your insurer.
Important: Insurers may suspend weekly payments if you don’t comply with a return to work obligation.
Employers and insurers also have obligations in relation to the establishment of an injury management plan, and comply with obligations imposed under the plan. Importantly, an employer is obliged to provide suitable employment to a worker who is able to return to work.
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.