Benefit reforms for injured workers were made law in August 2015. The benefit reforms focus on three objectives: helping injured workers with the highest needs, assisting those with injuries to return to work, and applying benefits equitably for all injured workers.
The following benefits took effect on 16 October 2015:
- Increased maximum lump sum compensation for permanent impairment up to $577,050
- Increased death benefit lump sum amount up to $750,000
- Increased maximum for funeral expenses up to $15,000
- Weekly payments extended for 12 months beyond retiring age
The following benefits took effect on 4 December 2015:
- Extended the medical benefit cap for:
- 2 years from when weekly payments stop (or from the date of claim if no weekly payments made) for all workers
- 5 years from when weekly payments stop (or from the date of claim if no weekly payments made) for those with 11-20% permanent impairment
- Life for those with more than 20% permanent impairment
- Provided lifetime compensation for artificial aids, home and vehicle modifications for all approved claims
- Increased the minimum weekly compensation payment for injured workers with highest needs to $788.32
- Removed the need for injured workers with high needs to work a minimum of 15 hours and earn a minimum amount (currently $176.00) in order to receive weekly payments after 130 weeks
- Made secondary surgery available. To be eligible, secondary surgery must:
- Be directly consequential to an earlier surgery, and
- Affect a body part affected by the earlier surgery, and
- Be approved by the insurer within two years of the earlier surgery being approved (or later if the claim is disputed).
- Suspended work capacity decisions pending the result of a review.
This prevents the insurer from taking action based on a work capacity decision (such as reducing weekly payments) until a review of the decision has been completed, provided the worker requested the review within 30 days of being notified of the decision.
CGU are continuing to identify and contact workers who may be impacted by these changes. This will take some time. In the meantime, if you believe you are entitled to further benefits, please contact us on 1300 666 506.
For further information, please refer to the following link: http://insurancereforms.nsw.gov.au/benefits-for-workers/