Radical changes were made to workers compensation legislation in June 2012. Importantly, this included a provision that weekly payments of compensation will cease to be paid to an injured worker after 5 years of such payments unless the injured worker is assessed, or is accepted by the insurance company, in having over 20% permanent impairment.

The Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO) estimates that there are about 6,000 injured workers who are likely to be effected by this. Many of those injured workers are likely to see the end of their entitlement to weekly payments of compensation by the end of 2017.

There will be many injured workers who have not been assessed for permanent impairment or have not had an up to date assessment of their impairment following further surgery or a deterioration in their condition. There will also be many others who were injured prior to 1 January 2002 and have not been assessed for whole person impairment because the concept of whole person impairment was only introduced by changes to workers compensation legislation in January 2002.

It is likely that many injured workers will be receiving correspondence from an insurer during the course of 2017 informing them that their entitlements to workers compensation benefits are likely to cease or be drastically reduced in value. WIRO will provide legal funding for workers to be provided with advice in regard to correspondence received from an insurer that will result in a change to an injured worker’s entitlements.

John Isaksen of Adams Partners & Lawyers, has Specialist Accreditation in Personal Injury Law and is an Approved Lawyer under the Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service (ILARS) operated by WIRO. John can provide advice and assistance to an injured worker who receives correspondence from an insurance company which puts their entitlements to workers compensation benefits in jeopardy.

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