An injury sustained at work can have a significant impact on your financial stability, particularly if the incident results in a prolonged absence from your job. Fortunately, workers’ compensation payments are designed to help you cover a range of costs and economic losses that are often associated with workplace accidents.
The amount of money you receive will typically depend on the type and severity of the injury you suffer, as well as your individual circumstances and pre-injury average weekly earnings.
Figures from Safe Work Australia show there were 117,815 serious claims in 2012-13, with agriculture, forestry and fishing deemed the most hazardous industry.
This article will outline some of the payouts for which you may be eligible in NSW and the different ways you could receive your compensation. However, you should contact an experienced injuries compensation lawyer for more comprehensive guidance on how to proceed with a claim.
Loss of earnings
Your primary concern following an injury is likely to be the potential of lost earnings. This may be due to taking time off work entirely or an inability to maintain full hours or perform your previous job role. Based on these and other factors, the insurer will calculate an appropriate weekly payment based on your pre-injury average or current weekly earnings.
A work-related injury or illness in the workplace could prevent you from returning to the workplace for a prolonged period of time.
Medical and rehabilitation expenses
If you have been left out of pocket due to hospital and medical bills, your workers’ compensation may allow you to recoup the costs. In fact, your payments can cover a range of potential expenses, including domestic assistance services, medical supplies and artificial aids.
Successful claims could also result in compensation for specialist treatment from medical practitioners, such as psychologists, physiologists, occupational therapists and chiropractors. These experts can provide essential support services that facilitate your mental and physical recovery.
Various workplace rehabilitation services are also available. For instance, you could benefit from a return to work and case management guidance, job analysis and modification, and multiple assessments to ascertain your suitability for employment.
As a worker, you could be eligible for compensation to recoup the cost of clothing and artificial aids damaged in a work-related incident, whether you suffer an injury or not. You can claim the reasonable cost to replace or repair a damaged item (s). Common examples include broken or missing spectacles, artificial limbs, crutches and artificial eyes or teeth.
Unless special recommendations are made, the maximum payouts for artificial aids and clothing damage are $2,000 and $600 respectively.
Commutation agreements could allow you to access workers’ compensation as a lump sum.
In some situations, you may receive your workers’ compensation insurance payments in one lump sum providing your insurer and employer agree to this form of payment arrangement.
The official name of this agreement is a ‘commutation’ and under these terms, you are eligible to accept a single lump-sum payment compensation payment to cover all of your agreed entitlements including hospital, medical, and rehabilitation expenses.
A commutation agreement also replaces any future weekly payments you may be eligible to receive. But while commutation agreements may allow you to access workers’ compensation as a lump sum rather than weekly payments, you must meet several criteria to secure these arrangements, including:
- A 15 per cent permanent whole body impairment
- The insurer and employer need to agree with the commutation
- WorkCover NSW must provide approval
- You need to have already received compensation for the impairment and any pain and suffering
Furthermore, you must be entitled to ongoing weekly payments and have received compensation regularly over the last six months. You cannot make a claim for commutation until two years have passed since your first payout.
You are also required to seek independent legal advice, which is why getting in touch with an experienced injury compensation law firm such as PK Simpson should be your most important next step. Our no-win, no-fee service means we absorb the upfront costs of pursuing a claim so that you don’t have to pay any expenses until you receive a successful settlement.
When can you apply for workers compensation?
If you’ve been injured at work or fall ill in your workplace, or if your work has had a deleterious effect on your psychological health, you may be eligible to claim a lump sum compensation payment or claim weekly payments of workers’ compensation at 95 per cent of your pre-injury average weekly earnings.
Where to apply for workers compensation
If you suffer a work-related injury, you must report it to your manager or employer. Workers compensation law is very complicated and you will need the guidance of expert lawyers such as those at PK Simpson to maximise your entitlement to weekly payments and compensation.
How do workers compensation payments work?
The government organisation in charge of the NSW workers compensation system is the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), which assumed the insurance regulatory functions of WorkCover on September 1, 2015. SafeWork NSW regulates workplace health and safety in NSW.
Do you get paid if you are on workers comp?
The amount of payments employees receive on workers compensation will depend on the state or territory. The employee is paid:
- The insurer pays you directly
- The insurer pays you through your employer or
- You are paid by the workers’ compensation regulator.
Do I get full pay if injured at work?
If you’re injured at work, you may be entitled to provisional weekly payments for up to 12 weeks, and the payment of your medical expenses of medical expense up to $10,000 may also be paid while your employer’s insurer decides on liability.
If your work injury means you cannot work for a certain time, you may be paid up to 95 per cent of the pre-injury average weekly pay. The amount is based on your pre-injury weekly earnings and any benefits – including shift allowances and overtime for the first 52 weeks, or if you reach the maximum amount of weekly compensation payments.
From April 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020, the maximum amount payable is $2,224.00, indexed on April 1, and October 1.
How long do payments last?
If your claim has been accepted after a work-related injury, you are entitled to weekly payments for the 130 weeks following your injury if you can demonstrate you are unfit for your pre-injury duties.
At PK Simpson, we use professional medical experts who will work with you and our lawyers to ascertain your eligibility. Contact us today to discuss on 1300 757 467.