workers compensation entitlements you need to know

Entitlements available to an injured worker are many and varied. Beyond weekly payments and reimbursements for medical expenses, there are other entitlements which all injured workers should be aware of.

This blog highlights three entitlements that you should know about, lump sum compensation, home assistance and restoration services.

Lump Sum Compensation

If your injury is causing you a permanent impairment you are entitled to request a whole person impairment (“WPI”) assessment. You are entitled to elect an independent specialist to perform the assessment.

If your injury has stabilised and is causing you at least a 5% WPI assessed by the specialist, you are entitled to receive compensation for economic and non-economic loss. The economic loss compensation is not intended to be for pain and suffering, but instead for the percentage of your permanent impairment and for economic loss caused by your work injury.

For example, if you suffered an injury in 2018 and suffer a 5% WPI, you are entitled to non-economic loss compensation fixed at $12,564.

In addition, economic loss is payable and the amount is determined based on three factors;

  1. the prescribed sum for a 5% WPI,
  2. whether or not you are working fulltime and
  3. your age.

In general, economic loss compensation will be higher for someone working fulltime hours pre injury, and a younger as opposed to an older person.

You are entitled to only one WPI assessment and if you suffer from more than one work related injury your individual impairments may be combined. It is important that you seek legal advice before requesting a WPI assessment to ensure that your entitlements are protected.

Home Assistance

The entitlement to claim reasonable medical expenses is broader than claiming the costs and/or reimbursement for pharmaceuticals, physiotherapy and other medical services. In appropriate circumstances the insurer will also pay for home assistance and associated services, including:

  • Mowing, gardening and other outdoor services.
  • Cleaning and other domestic services.
  • Home modifications (e.g. installation of rails in a bathroom and toilet).
  • Assistance with shopping and other similar services, including provision for transport.
  • Car modifications (e.g. conversation to automatic transmission).

If your activities of daily living (“ADL”) are affected by your work injuries you are entitled to request an assessment of your home assistance needs. Recommendations made by an assessor will form part of your rehabilitation.

Restoration Services

In some circumstances, it may be appropriate for an injured worker to seek restoration services as part of a rehabilitation plan. Restoration is directed at encouraging and facilitating an injured worker’s engagement or participation outside of a return to work.

Restoration may include:

  1. Assistance facilitating an injured worker’s involvement and participation in their cultural community.
  2. Assisting and funding life skill courses, such as in computing or advocacy.
  3. Facilitating engagement in volunteer opportunities, for example at a local library, a non profit organisation or in a cultural group.

Turn to Turner Freeman

It is important that you seek legal advice in relation to your entitlements. Limitations apply in relation to the nature and extent of entitlements that can be claimed, including medical expenses and compensation.

Our workers compensation lawyers can provide specific advice in relation to your claim. Should you wish to speak to one of our lawyers please telephone our office on 8213 1000.