The substantial changes that were made to Workers Compensation Legislation in 2012 included provisions that an injured worker is only entitled to a lump sum payment for impairment if that worker has permanent impairment that is greater than 10% and the worker can only make one claim for that lump sum payment for permanent impairment.

It was generally considered that this change to the law only effected those workers who had not made a claim for permanent impairment prior to the amendments in June 2012. However, the Court of Appeal in a recent decision of Cram Fluid Power Pty Ltd v Green [2015] NSWCA 250 (made on 27 August 2015) has delivered a decision which bars an injured worker who received a lump sum payment for permanent impairment prior to June 2012 from making a further claim if the worker’s condition has deteriorated, such as by way of surgery or development of arthritic changes caused by the initial injury.

What is of particular concern is that some injured workers would only have accepted a lump sum payment for permanent impairment prior to June 2012 as a consequence of an offer made by the insurance company and did so under a belief that a further claim could be made if the condition of that injured worker deteriorated.

This decision has generated some press coverage, including an article on ABC  News. The NSW Labor Party has also introduced a bill in parliament to remedy this issue.

Those injured workers who did receive a lump sum payment prior to June 2012 should refer back to this website from time to time as Adams & Partners Lawyers will continue to monitor this quite unfair outcome as a result of changes made to workers compensation law in this State.

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