In 2012, amendments to the Workers Compensation Act introduced a limitation to the amount of weekly workers compensation benefits an injured worker may receive.
Generally, an injured worker may only receive weekly payments for a maximum of 260 weeks.
Injured workers who were in receipt of weekly benefits as at the 1st of October 2012 are known as “existing recipients”. Calculation of the 260 week period for existing recipients did not begin until the 1st of January, 2013.
For existing recipients, the end of the 260 week period is fast approaching. Many injured workers will cease to be entitled to benefits by the end of 2017 or early 2018. It is estimated that over 6,000 injured workers will be affected.
To avoid this, you need to have at least 21% permanent impairment.
The Workers Compensation Law allows for only one Medical Assessment Certificate to determine permanent impairment. However an existing recipient who has previously received an impairment rating of less than 21% is allowed to have one further assessment.
If the further Medical Assessment Certificate assesses at least 21% permanent impairment, the 260 week cut off will not apply and the injured worker may continue to claim weekly benefits.
Injured workers are now receiving letters about this from insurers. The letter generally advises workers that they are under 21% permanent impairment, they are reaching the 260 week limit and that weekly payments will come to an end after that time.
If you have received a letter like this from the insurance company, please contact Anthony Frisina at Frisina Lawyers on 9602 4999 as soon as possible. We may be able to help