*The contents in this blog relate to New South Wales legislation.
Many workers are not aware that they are able to claim a lump sum payment for the permanent impairment they sustained in respect of their work-related injuries.
This claim can be made in addition to weekly benefits and medical/treatment expenses that a worker may receive.
The Workers Compensation Scheme allows for a worker to make one claim for lump sum compensation, unless the worker is an exempt worker (police officers, paramedics and fire fighters). However, if the worker has made a lump sum claim prior to 19 June 2012, they may also be entitled to make a one further claim for the difference between their current whole person impairment, and the amount that they were previously assessed as having.
In order to successfully make a claim, a worker’s physical injuries must be assessed as being greater than 10% whole person impairment (i.e. 11% or greater). If the claim relates to a primary psychological injury, a worker’s psychological injuries must be at least 15% whole person impairment. The assessment of physical and psychological injuries cannot be combined. However, if a worker suffers from multiple work-related physical injuries, these injuries may be able to be combined to create a greater assessment of whole person impairment.
The assessment of whole person impairment is assessed against a set of guidelines issued by the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) called, “NSW workers compensation guidelines for the evaluation of permanent impairment”, which are based on the “American Medical Association’s guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 5th Edition”.