Welcome to the October 2012 issue of the Edwards Michael Lawyers eBulletin.

A Guide to the 2012 Workers Compensation Amendments

On 27/06/12 the NSW Government commenced the most drastic legislative reforms to Workers Compensation in this State for 25 years. Wholesale amendments have been made to entitlements and the manner in which claims are managed and administered.

All but the most seriously injured workers (20%WPI) will be limited to weekly compensation for a 5 year maximum, and all partially incapacitated workers will have to return to work for at least 15 hours per week to be entitled to weekly compensation after 2.5 years. The jurisdiction of the Workers Compensation Commission has been removed in relation to Work Capacity Decisions of insurers.

Time limits have been imposed on entitlement to medical expenses. There is no entitlement to permanent impairment compensation unless Whole Person Impairment is assessed at greater than 10%. The entitlement to compensation for pain and suffering has been abolished.

Certification and Injury Management obligations have been tightened, as have provisions relating to journey claims, Disease injuries, injuries concerning heart attacks and strokes and damages for nervous shock. Workers are now required to pay their own costs, even when claims are successful.

For more detail in relation to these changes click here to view our guide to the Amendments (PDF, 803kb).