What You Need to Know About Workers Compensation Claims
If you get injured while you are working or if something in your work environment makes you ill, you may face a variety of stressors. Besides the health issues, your household may be financially strained if you lose wages because you can’t work for some time. Your future ability to earn a living may be impaired by permanent total or partial disability. Understanding how does workers compensation work in NSW is essential to protecting yourself and your family.
What Is Workers Compensation?
Workers compensation is a kind of insurance coverage that protects the people who work for the company if they are injured at work or get sick from exposure to something on the job. Employees are covered whether they are full or part-time, casual or permanent. Anyone defined as a worker is covered, even the self-employed, and it does not matter whether the accident was the worker’s fault or not.
Employers, especially small businesses, may not understand all the ins and out of workers compensation coverage. Here are some of the common questions employers may wonder about workers compensation.
- Do I need workers compensation insurance NSW? The answer is yes, as it is legally required unless you qualify as self-insured.
- Who pays workers compensation? While the employer pays the premiums, the insurance carrier pays claims to the extent outlined in the policy.
- What does Workcover cover? Workcover covers lost wages and medical expenses for injured workers. While it is a government initiative, it is self-funded.
- How does workers comp work? Employers purchase an insurance policy that pays when a worker makes an approved claim for workers compensation benefits.
What Is Workers Compensation Claim?
A workers compensation claim is the legal process workers go through to assert their right to benefits under NSW law. Injured workers should file their claims immediately after an injury and consider hiring an attorney to help them through the proceedings. Workers compensation claims often require significant documentation, testimony, and other legal requirements that make them difficult to manage on your own.
What Does Workers Compensation Cover?
Depending on the specifics of your situation, workers compensation may cover medical expenses, lost income, rehabilitation, and other services. The insurance benefits may cover long-term care or even lifelong assistance in cases of permanent disability. The ultimate goal of workers compensation is to restore, to the extent possible, what you have lost due to a work-related injury or illness. An attorney with experience in workers compensation cases can help you determine what you may be eligible for and safeguard your rights.
How Is Workers Compensation Calculated?
The amount of workers compensation benefits you qualify for depends on various factors, including the nature of your injury, your working conditions, the levels of training and supervision, and how much liability your employer has for the illness or injury. The calculation can be complex. For example, in weeks 0 through 13, you may receive up to 95% of your pre-injury pay. However, beginning in week 14, benefits may go down and up again, depending on the specifics of your case.
To determine your weekly benefit amount, consult the latest Workers Compensation Payout Guide NSW version.
How Long Can You Be On Workers Compensation NSW?
Under the workers compensation laws in NSW, you can receive weekly payments until:
- You can return to work.
- You reach a negotiated settlement for your damages.
- You reach the retirement age plus one year.
- You receive five years of payments. This rule doesn’t apply if you are certified as unable to return to work indefinitely.
- You receive the maximum weekly compensation limit.
In addition to your weekly payments, you may also qualify to have your medical bills paid, rehabilitation services, and reimbursement for travel to treatment appointments. Workers with a permanent impairment may also negotiate a lump sum payment for damages along with the weekly benefits as part of compensation claims.
What Is the Wages Definition for Workers Compensation?
The definition of wages in terms of calculating workers compensation payments includes what you would expect, such as your base salary or wages, overtime pay, shift differentials, and other similar forms of premium pay. However, the definition also includes bonuses, commissions, sick pay, holiday pay, superannuation contributions, termination payments, and the grossed-up value of fringe benefits. A knowledgeable attorney can help ensure you get credit for all the appropriate forms of payment for your benefits.
How Do I File a Workers Compensation Claim?
If you get injured at work, the most critical first step is to get emergency medical help if you need it. As soon as possible, notify your employer of your injury. Keep documentation of all the medical services you receive in case you need to prove that your injury was related to your job. Follow your employer’s policies and procedures for filing a claim with the workers compensation insurance.
Getting your claim filed as soon as possible is very important. Waiting or delaying may cost you benefits. Deadlines apply at each phase of the claims process, and missing those deadlines may forfeit your rights. Because the process is complicated, the best way to preserve your rights is to contact a knowledgeable workers compensation attorney immediately after your injury.
How Long Do I Have to File Compensation Claims?
In NSW, you must file your claim within six months in most cases. However, in some circumstances, you may get an extension for up to three years. Cases that result in death or permanent disability may continue beyond the three years. If your injury happened more than three years ago, you could appeal to the State Insurance Regulatory Authority. SIRA governs the administration of workers compensation claims in NSW and may allow you to file your claim anyway.
How Long Does It Take To Receive Workers Compensation Benefits?
Under the laws of NSW, workers compensation claims processing may take up to two years, depending on the nature of your injuries, your treatment plan, and how long your recovery will be. How long the process takes depends on how quickly you complete each series of steps; if you miss a deadline or make errors in your claim, you may miss out on benefits or even be disqualified altogether. To get the best results in the shortest time possible, seek the services of an experienced workers compensation attorney.
What Is Workcover Insurance?
Workcover is the former name of the government workers compensation program in NSW. This initiative provides employers with workers compensation insurance policies at affordable rates. Employers with Workcover also get help with claims management, customer service, and payment of benefits. If you work for a company with Workcover, it’s essential to understand how does Work Cover work as it protects you against lost income and medical expenses. If you are an employer, you need to know how Workcover protects you against the cost of workplace injuries.
Where Can I Find Help With a Workers Compensation Claim?
Many people may wonder what is the purpose of workers compensation. However, if you’ve suffered a severe injury on the job, you understand why it’s so important. The experienced legal professionals at Barwick Boitano Lawyers can help you with every step of the intimidating process of filing a workers compensation claim. If you’re facing an injury or illness caused by your job, contact us today and let us help protect your rights.