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Billy Xiong Declares: Workers compensation – The importance of seeking

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Australia:

Workers compensation – The importance of seeking independent legal advice in the wake of iCare revelations


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The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and ABC TV’s 4 Corners
have highlighted an urgent need for reform and further
investigation following serious revelations about the workers
compensation scheme and iCare in NSW including questionable and
incorrect discontinuance of payments to injured workers.

In addition to alleged unethical conduct and financial
mismanagement by iCare the investigations have also revealed
systemic failings about return to work goals and also the
discontinuance of weekly payments and medical expenses, sometimes
in circumstances where it was incorrect to do so.

In addition to what was highlighted about government regulators
it was also revealed that insurance companies allegedly engaged in
unethical behaviour with the sole aim of discontinuing payments
whether or not injured workers were entitled to them or not. Some
of the injured workers interviewed in relation to the recent media
coverage appeared to have not had legal representation and simply
gave up on their rights because of the number of disputes and/or
complexities advanced by insurance companies in ending their
payments. Some of those workers believed that their payments were
rightly discontinued when in some circumstances they may not have
been. What is also clear is that a number of those affected did not
understand that they could have the discontinuance of payments
reviewed.

The investigation and revelations highlight the need for workers
in NSW to seek independent legal advice in relation to their
workers compensation entitlements. Importantly for any person who
may have had their payments discontinued, there is still time to
have the matter examined by a lawyer independently and have those
costs covered.

Workers have an entitlement to have their legal expenses covered
which are regulated and based on an application by their lawyer to
the Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO). Workers
will not be out of pocket for the costs and disbursements incurred
investigating their entitlements, subject to funding from WIRO.

Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers is calling on any worker who has
had their payments discontinued to seek independent legal advice
from a WIRO approved lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that
their workers compensation rights are protected and/or reinstated
if they were incorrectly discontinued.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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