LUMP SUM PERMANENT IMPAIRMENT
WORKERS COMPENSATION LAWYERS SYDNEY UPDATE
Antony Mastrogiannis is Principal and Solicitor at AM Legal Compensation Lawyers. Antony is a Workover Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service approved legal services provider. His experience and expertise has helped build a solid reputation amongst personal injury lawyers sydney and he is renowned for attaining quick positive results for his clients.
We confirm that workers compensation law was reformed in 2012 by the then Barry O’Farrell State Government. Among the changes to the workers compensation legislation were changes to the lump sum permanent impairment workers compensation provisions. We confirm that they included the following:
- There can only be one claim for any one injury;
- The impairment must be greater than 10% in order for the claim to be successful;
- Additional lump sum compensation for pain and suffering is abolished.
Subsequently, there has been much litigation in the Workers Compensation Commission, New South Wales Court of Appeal and High Court of Australia regarding these provisions, the definition of “one claim”, when the provisions apply and to whom. The cases of Goudappel, Caulfield and Cram Fluids are among those pieces of litigation. The outcomes of those cases varied and temporarily changed the law to the benefit or detriment of injured people from time to time. The decision in Cram Fluids in September 2015 was not positive for injured workers. The Court of Appeal held that in circumstances where an injured worker has received lump sum permanent impairment compensation prior to 19 June 2012 (a date on which the new law commenced according to the 2012 amendments to the Legislation) seeks to make a “further” claim for increased permanent impairment that occurs after that date, they may not do so because they are caught by the 2012 legislative amendments. Following that decision the Legal Aid that was provided by the Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service (“ILARS”) to injured workers that fitted into that category was cancelled which was a disappointing but understandable reaction given the change to the laws as a result of that decision.
It is not all doom and gloom. The Government sensibly later in 2015 introduced a Regulation that assists some injured people. The Workers Compensation Regulation now provided that if a worker had made a claim for lump sum permanent impairment compensation prior to 19 June 2012, then the worker will be entitled to make one further claim for lump sum compensation in respect to any increase in the degree of permanent impairment arising from the same injury. Moreover, the greater than 10% whole person impairment threshold that applies to new claims (for new injuries that occur after 19 June 2012) does not apply and does not have to be met by people that were originally injured prior to 19 June 2012.
We encourage anyone who was injured prior to 19 June 2012 and received lump sum permanent impairment compensation for same, and has increased restrictions and physical limitations now to ring to discuss their options. You may be entitled to a further claim.
”AM Legal Compensation Lawyers was borne out of a desire to provide honest, timely and accurate advice & compensation claims assistance.”
Antony Mastrogiannis –Compensation Lawyer Sydney has expertise across numerous areas of law, compensation services in workcover claims sydney, dust disease claims, public liability claims, tpdc claims Sydney and car accident personal injury claims.
This publication is not legal advice. It is intended as a source of information only. No reader should act on any matter without first obtaining professional advice.