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Have you been Injured at Work? You may be Eligible for a Lump Sum Payment / Impairment Claim

If you have been injured at work and required medical treatment or time off to recover, you will be aware that you are covered by insurance which your employer pays in case of an injury at the workplace.

What you may not be aware of is that depending on the level of your injury, you may also be eligible for further compensation by way of a lump sum payment / impairment claim.

When your injury is certified by a doctor as being of maximum medical improvement (MMI), you may be eligible to have your injury assessed for whole person impairment (WPI). MMI means that your condition has stabilised and is unlikely to change substantially in the next year with or without treatment. WPI is a determination of the seriousness of your injury based on a percentage of the whole person.

Injured persons with injuries of 11% WPI or more are eligible for a lump sum payment, as well as your weekly benefits and medical treatment determined also by your level of impairment. A workplace injury does not have to be a physical injury. You may have sustained a psychological injury at work. If this is the case, you should seek legal advice about obtaining a WPI assessment. The threshold to make a lump sum claim for a psychological injury is slightly higher at 15% or more WPI.

Below are the links to the relevant legislation in relation to workers compensation in NSW:

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How much is my lump sum payment / impairment claim worth?

The benefit that you will receive will depend on the determination of your WPI. Each percentile entitles you to a certain benefit. You will find a table of the benefits payable for each percentile for injuries which occurred on or after 5 August 2015 on pages 85-87 of the SIRA Workers Compensation Benefits Guide.

It is important to seek legal advice from an Approved Legal Service Provider (ALSP) about when you should make your lump sum claim. You only get to make one lump sum claim and it is important to ensure that your injury is not going to get any worse (or further surgery may be required in the future) before you finalise a lump sum claim.

Who pays for the legal costs of my lump sum payment / impairment claim?

The Government operates WIRO, which stands for the Workers Compensation Independent Review Office. WIRO is the governing body which oversees most workers compensation claims and assists injured workers during the process of making a claim for either weekly benefits, medical expenses and/or a lump sum claim. 

One of the functions of WIRO is to act similarly to that of legal aid. WIRO overseas the Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service, or ILARS. ILARS provides funding to lawyers to act for injured workers in disputes with the insurer about weekly payments or medical treatment as well as to make lump sum payment claims.

If you obtain a lawyer who has ILARS funding to represent you, you do not have to pay for legal fees to make a lump sum payment / impairment claim. Your lawyer is paid by ILARS.

Not all lawyers are eligible to obtain funding from ILARS. A lawyer must be an Approved Legal Service Provider (ALSP) in order to act on your behalf with a grant from ILARS. The Principal of Ardent Lawyers is an ALSP.

Legally your employer cannot discriminate against you for making an impairment claim. The claim is generally handled by the workers compensation insurer's lawyers and you and your legal representative.

If you have been injured in the workplace, and you are not sure whether you are eligible for a further compensation by way of a lump sum payment, contact our law firm on (02) 4444 6808 or to discuss your eligibility. We are experts in personal injury law and are happy to assist you with any enquiry or question you may have. 

If you would prefer a home visit, we are more than happy to come to you! Servicing the Illawarra & Shoalhaven districts.