Most common work-related psychological injury claims arise from toxic work environments where employees are subjected to workplace bullying, assaults, conflicts, violence or sexual harassment. Psychological injuries can severely affect a person’s mental health and have a negative impact on their life. Workplace trauma or bullying can cause a range of psychological conditions from either mild stress to major conditions such as crippling anxiety disorders and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD).
If you have sustained a psychological injury as a result of your work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation for permanent impairment. PK Simpson lawyers have a solid track record in helping psychologically injured workers overcome the 15 per cent threshold necessary to get the workers’ compensation they are entitled to receive. Get in touch today.
Psychological Injuries & Workers Compensation
Workers’ compensation schemes are government-funded programs that provide financial help to eligible workers who are injured or become ill at work, whether physically or psychologically.
Australia has 11 workers’ compensation schemes that connect injured workers to services and support from their employers’ workers’ compensation insurers. There are three Commonwealth compensation schemes and schemes in each state and territory governed by different laws and ways they operate.
In NSW you will receive weekly payments which partially cover your pre-injury wage. These payments can continue for up to five years.
To receive weekly payments after five years you will need to be assessed by a psychiatrist.
Psychological Injuries And the PIRS Criteria
To be eligible for workers’ compensation for a primary psychological injury or condition, you need to see your GP to have a Certificate of Capacity completed and submitted alongside a Work Injury Claim Form to the insurer.
See your GP or psychologist if you feel nervous or have some sort of emotional responses such as frustration, anger, or anxiety about your employment. Medical evidence is vital to any work injury claim.
If your injuries are such that you need medical treatment, it indicates the extent of psychological damage you endured.
In NSW, claimants who are assessed at or over 15% whole person impairment may receive weekly payments to replace lost earnings while they cannot work, and a lump sum payment for permanent impairment if they have not been able to return to work.
The psychiatric impairment rating scale (PIRS) is used by psychiatrists in NSW to assess your psychological injury caused by your employment. The criteria takes into account:
- Self care and personal hygiene
- Social and recreational activities
- Social functioning
- Concentration, persistence and pace
Whole Person Impairment (WPI) Explained
WPI is a measure of the severity of such psychological injuries and the level of permanent impairment they caused.
The results are based on various factors including the kind of psychological injury you have sustained, its extent, and how much of an impact it has had on your life and ability to work. Your lawyers can explain how the WPI guidelines apply in your particular case and how they will be followed.
How To Increase Your Chances Of A Successful WPI Claim
There are things you can do to increase your chances of a successful claim for WPI and a lump sum compensation payment for your psychological injury.
The most critical first step in claiming compensation for psychological injuries at work is to seek medical treatment and legal advice as soon as you can. Doctor’s notes document your need for treatment for your injury and its level of severity and show what impact it is having on your life and your ability to work. This information will be vital down the track when you make your claim for possible WPI permanent impairment compensation.
Increase Your Chances Of Reaching The 15% Threshold
Keep a record of all your medical and related expenses. This record will be used, along with your doctor’s notes and any other psychological injury-related health care, to calculate your Whole Person Impairment assessment and the amount of compensation for permanent impairment you may be entitled to receive.
Psychologically injured workers ought to also keep a record of their mental injury symptoms – in a diary or journal – since this evidence will help to support a compensation claim.
Gather As Much Evidence As You Can
Workers should be supported and prepared to provide evidence of how their psychological injury occurred. If they kept a record of what happened or kept happening, dates, times and how it affected them, it is good evidence. If you have suffered workplace trauma, excessive stress, bullying, sexual harassment or violence, here are some more tips to help you overcome the 15 per cent WPI requirements for workers’ compensation claims for psychological injuries.
- Don’t go it alone. Get legal advice from experienced lawyers such as those at PK Simpson as soon as you are able.
- Keep a detailed record of your symptoms and what impact they have both on your day-to-day life and ability to work.
- You also need written support from your co-workers, family and friends who can testify to the truth of the impact your psychological injury is having on your relationships, ability to work and your daily life.
- Be prepared to advocate for your rights and for yourself.
Contact PK Simpson Lawyers Today To Get Started On Your Permanent Impairment Claim
Our PK Simpson lawyers have access to medico-legal experts who can make a whole-person impairment assessment of the severity of your psychological injury and level of impairment and write professional reports for your case.
PK Simpson lawyers are compassionate and understanding and know how to help guide you through the claims process to reach the WPI threshold. Contact a workers’ compensation lawyer at PK Simpson today on the website or call 1300 757 467 to discuss your case and learn more about your rights.