On 3 September 2014 the NSW Government introduced a number of changes to workers compensation entitlements. These changes are said to better support injured workers to return to work, with the commencement of the Workers Compensation Amendment (Existing Claims) Regulation 2014. These changes do not apply to workers injured after 1 October 2012, the New South Wales Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2012 then applies.
These regulations, in effect restore the situation for workers injured prior to 1 October 2012 her situation had changed following the the 2012 Amendment act.
Those eligible workers will now receive weekly payments for a maximum of 12 months after reaching the retiring age and if they have an impairment of greater than 20% they have continuing access for medical, hospital rehabilitation expenses until retiring age and for certain expenses they have continuing access regardless of their percentage impairment.
The recent changes only apply to those workers who made a claim for compensation before 1 October 2012.The changes made in respect of these entitlements allow:
a) is directly consequential on earlier surgery
b) affects the same part of the body affected by earlier surgery
c) is approved by the insurer within two years of approval of the earlier surgery
d) is reasonably necessary treatment as a result of the injury and is pre-approved by the insurer.
Insurers have been instructed to identify relevant claims and contact workers who may have an entitlement that is affected by these changes.
There is a Questions and Answers fact sheet and a Workers Compensation Changes fact sheet. These fact sheets and general information about the regulation are available on the WorkCover website at www.workcover.nsw.gov.au.