The Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO) is a Department, set up by the Government, which provides grants of funding to lawyers who investigate workers compensation matters on behalf of injured workers.
WIRO also has a team of lawyers who provide free legal assistance to injured workers.
In many workers compensation claims, insurers direct workers to attend various Independent Medical Examinations (IME), medical appointments, as well as appointments with rehabilitation providers.
As a result of this, injured workers are required to travel to Sydney based appointments, which can be quite costly, especially for those who live in regional and remote areas.
It can also be difficult for severely injured workers to travel to appointments, especially where they are unable to drive, and have to rely on public transport.
It has come to our attention, that many injured workers are bearing the cost of travel related expenses, to and from appointments arranged by the insurance company.
We wish to advise all injured workers that you are entitled to claim your travel expenses for appointments arranged by the insurer. If travelling by car, you will be reimbursed $0.55 per kilometre. Further, if travelling by public transport, or by Taxi, you will be required to keep a copy of your receipt, in order for you to claim your travel expenses from the insurer.
In addition, sometimes your lawyer at Gerard Malouf and Partners will arrange for you to be examined by a medico-legal doctor to comment on a combination of either your incapacity to work, your need for medical related treatment and/or your Whole Person Impairment. Furthermore, we may also require you to attend a Conciliation or Arbitration Hearing in the Workers Compensation Commission in Sydney.
Whilst we try our hardest to arrange medico-legal appointments close to our client’s residence, we do appreciate that some of our clients are required to travel longer distances to attend such appointments that we have arranged.
In addition, we also appreciate that many of our clients are regional and remote based, and are required to travel long distances to attend the Workers Compensation Commission based in Sydney.
WIRO has agreed to pay for the cost of travel related expenses for injured workers who are required to attend medico-legal appointments arranged by the worker’s solicitor, and where injured workers are required to attend a Conciliation/Arbitration Hearing at the Worker Compensation Commission.
In the case where an injured worker travels by car, WIRO will reimburse the injured worker in the amount of $0.55 per kilometre.
Further, where an injured worker travels by taxi or by Uber, where public transport is not the most convenient mode of transport, WIRO will pay for the cost of such travel, provided that the injured workers retains a copy of the receipt.
In cases where an injured worker travels by public transport, WIRO will reimburse the cost of such travel, so long as the injured worker keeps a copy of the receipt.
As mentioned above, we acknowledge that we also have many regional based clients who may be required to use air-based travel to attend appointments.
WIRO have agreed to reimburse clients who travel to appointments via aeroplane on the basis of the “best or average economy fare for the day” on a reliable carrier.
In addition to that, where an injured worker is required to stay overnight in relation to attending a medico-legal appointment or Conciliation/Arbitration, WIRO will reimburse the injured worker for accommodation costs, up to $200.00 per night, depending on the location of the hotel and availability. WIRO will also reimburse injured workers for meals purchased if they are required to travel in excess of four hours, or overnight, in the amount of $35.00 per main meal, limited to $70 per day.
If you require assistance about claiming any travel or other associated costs from WIRO, call Gerard Malouf and Partners for free legal assistance.