Archive for December, 2018

The Shock of Section 39 Continues

Posted on: December 19th, 2018 by Development

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Thousands of injured workers continue to experience the devastating effect of Section 39.
Section 39 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (as amended) provides that the vast majority of injured workers will have their entitlement to weekly compensation payments terminated after 260 weeks (5 years) of compensation.   The only class of injured workers who are able to continue to receive payments of weekly compensation after 260 weeks, are those who have been assessed with at least 21% whole person impairment.

One supportive part of the legislation, is that for workers who were injured before 1 October 2012, the insurer cannot count the payment of weekly benefits before 1 January 2013 toward the total 260 weeks.

The first round of workers were cut off their weekly payments on or about 26 December 2017. We have however, seen Section 39 continue to affect workers since that date and unfortunately, many of them have no chance of ever getting back on payments.

If you have received a letter from the worker’s compensation insurer that discusses Section 39, or you believe you will be reaching the 260 weeks in the next 6 months and are yet to seek advice from a lawyer, you should do so immediately.  It can take months to reach an agreement with the insurer or have the Workers Compensation Commission confirm that a person’s whole person impairment is 21% or above, so the sooner you start this process the better.

If you are worried about how much it is going to cost you to see a lawyer about Section 39, then don’t be. The WorkCover Independent Review Office (WIRO) provides lawyers a grant of funding to provide advice to injured workers affected by Section 39 and will also fund us to send you to an independent medico-legal doctor to have your whole person impairment assessed.

It is also important to know that workers being cut off by Section 39 may be entitled to apply for Centrelink benefits up to 13 weeks before weekly payments cease. In order to apply, you will need to provide a letter from the insurer confirming the expected date your payments will cease, your latest Certificate of Capacity, and any updated treatment information relating to your injury.

Please don’t wait until just before your payments cease before you begin to gather the required information for Centrelink or before you lodge your application with Centrelink. There are thousands of other injured workers in New South Wales who continue to lose their benefits, and I would expect Centrelink will continue to be inundated with applications for months to come. The best thing you can do is begin getting organised now, so that you are ready for the transition.

The information in this blog is not intended to be legal advice, and should not be taken as such. If you have any queries, phone us now to discuss your specific circumstances.

Contact us now!

TPD Claims

Posted on: December 13th, 2018 by Development

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TPD Claims – As at 30 June 2018, a data overview conducted by the ATO reported that over 15 million Australians have a super fund account, and approximately 39% of those people have more than one super account.

While there are certainly benefits to consolidating your super fund accounts (paying fewer fees and having less paperwork to deal with is always a good thing), the benefit you may not realise in having more than one super fund account is that you could have more access to benefits (including TPD Claims) if you become unable to work due to injury or illness.

How does this work you say? Read on!

Most super funds offer insurance policies, such as TPD (Total and Permanent Disablement), which will pay a lump sum benefit to you if you become seriously disabled and are unlikely to be able to work again. Each fund has its own definition of TPD claims, and the definitions can vary from policy to policy. If you have more than one super fund, it is very likely that you hold a default policy for basic TPD coverage with each of those funds.

You may think you have just the one super fund account.

However, just by changing jobs or addresses, without telling their super funds, people can often end up with a number of super fund accounts that they don’t know about. As at June 2017, the ATO recorded over 6 million lost and unclaimed super accounts.

If you think you might have more than one super fund, the ATO can help you to search for lost super, or you can conduct your own search via your myGov account. You could hold a policy of insurance that you aren’t even aware of!

If you have more than one account, you may have more than one TPD policy upon which you can claim. These payments aren’t affected by any other claims you may have for the same injuries, nor are they affected by any other TPD claim you may make.

The value of a TPD benefit can range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you are able to make a TPD claim on more than one policy, you could end up with a considerable lump sum, as well as any other compensation you may be entitled to claim arising out of the same injury or illness.

The information in this blog is not intended to be legal advice, and should not be taken as such. If you have any queries, contact us now to discuss your specific circumstances. If you would like to know how long you have in making a claim, check this out.

All initial consults are free of charge and all of our services are No Win, No Pay, with the exception of NSW workers compensation claims, which are funded by WIRO and therefore free to all workers covered by the NSW workers compensation scheme.

Contact us now!