New dispute resolution process for workers compensation in NSW

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The NSW Government has announced plans to reform the workers’ compensation dispute resolution system following an extensive review.

Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello said the proposed reforms will help improve support services, simplifying claim processes and removing duplication.

“A Government review found that there are a number of ways in which we can improve the claims process for injured workers by enabling faster resolution of disputes,” Mr. Dominello said.

“We are committed to building a sustainable system that is more user-friendly and better supports claimants in their return to work and good health. The proposed changes are supported by a broad cross-section of stakeholders and will deliver a one-stop shop for resolving disputes.”

The proposed reforms include:

  • All enquiries and complaints from injured workers, not resolved with their insurer in the first instance, will be directed to the Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO) for assistance;
  • All enquiries and complaints from employers and other system participants will be referred to the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA); and
  • The Workers Compensation Commission (WCC) will undertake all dispute resolution once an internal review is completed by an insurer, removing these functions from SIRA and WIRO.

The NSW government said WIRO will continue to administer the Independent Legal Aid and Review Service (ILARS), providing legal support to injured workers.  Further information is available at www.finance.nsw.gov.au.

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