Changes to workers compensation laws take effect next week


The Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2010 received Assent on 16 November 2010 and will be proclaimed to commence on 1 February2011.

ln summary the changes in the Act will:

  • align the maximum age for determining future economic loss under Work lnjury Damages to eligibility for the aged pension under the _Social Security Act 1991 _(Cth);
  • clarify that the maximum statutory cap for weekly benefits for partial incapacity under section 40 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 applies to the benefit entitlement only (exclusive of any wages the claimant receives for performing work);
  • provide for reimbursement of the cost of obtaining a permanent impairment medical certificate as part of the worker's permanent impairment compensation claim;
  • restrict appeals in the Workers Compensation Commission to cases where there is some "legal, factual or discretionary error";

  • clarify arrangements for the admission of fresh or additional evidence in appeals;

  • enable certain matters to be reconsidered by the commission as an alternative to formal legal appeals or challenges;�
  • give the commission discretion to hear appeals of an interlocutory nature prior to the finalisation of the primary matter; and make other administrative amendments.

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**24 January 2011 **

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