Changes in NSW WorkCover legislation

Changes in NSW WorkCover legislation

September 22, 2014

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.

Key reforms

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:

  •  workers injured before reaching retiring age to be entitled to receive weekly payments for a maximum of 12 months after reaching retiring age providing they have an incapacity that gives them an entitlement.
  • workers with a degree of permanent impairment greater than 20 per cent to have continued access to ongoing reasonably necessary compensation for medical, hospital and rehabilitation expenses until retiring age.
  • workers requiring the following types of medical and related expenses to have continued access until reaching retiring age regardless of their percentage of permanent impairment:
    • – Home and vehicle modifications-
    • Artificial members (limbs, eyes, teeth)-
    • Crutches
    • Other artificial aids (including spectacles, hearing aids and hearing aid batteries).
  •  Insurers to approve secondary surgery as long as the surgery:

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.

  •  a stay of a work capacity decision by an insurer, until a dispute relating to that decision has been resolved. This means that if a worker requests an internal review of a work capacity decision within 30 days after receiving notice of the decision, the worker will continue to receive weekly payments (as if the decision hadn’t been made) until the work capacity decision review process is completed or until the worker withdraws the application for review.

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


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