What are my options if a work injury left me disabled?
Published 06 Nov 2017
Workers compensation provides essential financial support for people who suffer injuries associated with their employment.
But what about injuries that continue to have an impact after the initial recovery? Permanent disabilities can hamper your work and private life, as well as incur an ongoing financial cost in terms of medical bills, treatments and aids.
Fortunately, lump sum compensation is available for those diagnosed with a permanent impairment.
How do I know if I have a permanent impairment?
In order to be eligible for lump sum payments, your permanent disability needs to meet a certain threshold of impairment.
Medical practitioners will examine you to determine if you meet this minimum limit, which is currently 10 per cent permanent impairment for physical injuries and 15 per cent for primary psychological disabilities.
The maximum payments allowed for permanent impairment depend on when the accident occurred. According to the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), the largest possible payouts are:
- $200,000 for employees hurt between January 1 2002 and December 31 2006;
- $220,000 for injuries sustained between January 1 2007 and August 4 2015; and
- $584,580 for people injured on or after August 5 2015 (with indexing occurring annually since July 1 2016).
There is also a 5 per cent additional payment for people with permanent back impairments.
Can I receive compensation for pain and suffering?
Most employees cannot receive extra compensation for pain and suffering. However, there are various exempt categories of profession that entitle workers to make a pain and suffering claim, with a maximum of $50,000 compensation available.
- Police officers;
- Fire fighters;
- Volunteer bush fire fighters; and
- Emergency rescue services volunteers.
You must meet a minimum threshold of 10 and 15 per cent permanent impairment for physical and psychological injuries, respectively, to receive this compensation.
Furthermore, separate total and permanent disability claims under a superannuation or insurance policy may entitle you to compensation in addition to your workers compensation payments.
Pursuing a workers compensation claim
If you require assistance with pursuing a workers compensation claim, or have already been rejected and feel the decision was unfair, you should contact experienced personal injury lawyers in NSW.
Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers offers a no-win, no-fee structure and we have nearly three decades of experience operating within the workers compensation space.
Contact us today to learn more about our services.