The By Lawyers Workers Compensation guide has received an extensive author review. The matter plan has been amended in accordance with the commentary updates. This reflects recent amendments to the Workers Compensation Act 1987. New precedents have also been added.
The following are excerpts from the updated commentary in our NSW Workers Compensation guide:
Interaction with the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017
For clients who have suffered injuries which require significant ongoing treatment into the future, or who have an established entitlement to payment of ongoing weekly income benefits, the value of ongoing and future benefits must be considered and explained to the client so that instructions to finalise the MAIA claim and therefore finalise all future workers compensation benefits are given on a fully informed basis. The advice given and the instructions received must be fully recorded in a file note and the client required to sign a written authority to settle on that basis.
There is a precedent Authority to settle available on the matter plan.
Entitlement to weekly benefits
The extent of any entitlement to weekly benefits is assessed with regard to the capacity of the injured worker to undertake some form of employment and is reviewed by a twenty-eight-day cycle. This entitlement to weekly benefits cannot be regarded as fixed and final until retirement age even where the worker has suffered a serious injury.
An injured worker is required to provide to the insurer a Certificate of Capacity from the treating doctor. This certificate is required to contain the opinion of the doctor about work capacity even where work which is stated to be within the capacity of the injured worker is not available.
The insurer is not required to accept the treating doctor’s opinion and may adopt the opinion of its own doctor.
The insurer is required to make a Work Capacity Decision based upon available, proper information.
Precedent letters to the client’s treating and specialist doctors, requesting the doctor’s opinion about work capacity, are available on the matter plan.