Until 1 October 2011, Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 (the Act) used to prescribe that workers would only receive benefits until the age of 65, and if the worker was over the age of 64 at the time of the injury then the worker only has an entitlement to one year of weekly compensation.
The Parliament has recognised that for a lot of Australians, retiring at the age of 65 is not desirable or financially possible, and have amended the Act. The new amendments to the act state that:
- remove age-based limits on workers compensation entitlements;
- extend the workers’ compensation safety net to enable workers employed by uninsured employers to receive common law entitlements; under certain circumstances. The amendments also make it mandatory for all. employers to have insurance covering both statutory and common law liabilities;
- restructure the dispute resolution system; and
- address legislative anomalies and inefficiencies.
It is worth noting that the changes to the act only apply to injuries after the amendments, and the effects are not retrospective to older injuries before the amendments to the Act.
The amendments to the act are clearly positive news for workers, but workers should beware that insurers’ are always looking for ways to limit your liability. In older Western Australian workers this often means sending you to a doctor used by the insurance company who will say that your ongoing symptoms are being caused by a condition you had earlier in your life.
It is common for workers to be served with a document called a Notice To Worker of Intention To Discontinue or Reduce Payments. This is a very important document, and if you do nothing your weekly payments will be cut off. It is likely that there will be other evidence (such as evidence from your General Practitioner or other Specialists) you can use to dispute the notice and you will need to lodge an application with WorkCover.
If you have a query concerning a workers compensation matter call Foyle Legal for your obligation free consultation. At Foyle Legal we offer a no obligation free consultation for personal injury matters and we take your matter on a no win no fee basis. This means that if you are not successful, you do not have to pay us but if you lose your case then you may have to pay the other party’s legal costs.