Workers Compensation

Workers Compensation

In New South Wales, the Workers Compensation Scheme is governed by the Workers Compensation Act 1987.

For employees who are employed in

If you are employed in the New South Wales Police Force, New South Wales Fire Brigade, New South Wales Ambulance as Paramedic or in the Coal Mining industry you are able to make a claim for compensation if you suffer an injury occurring:

  • whilst working
  • on your way to work
  • on your way home from work
  • during any travel you do for your employment
  • during a work break

For all other workers employed in New South Wales, Workers Compensation is governed by Workers Compensation Act 1987 and Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2012 and are able to make a claim for compensation from injuries which may have occurred:-

  • whilst working
  • during any travel you do for your employment
  • during a work break.

The Benefits which you may be eligible for, depending on the particulars of your case, can include:

  • Weekly compensation;
  • Medical and related expenses;
  • Lump sums for permanent impairment;
  • Vocational rehabilitation and retraining;
  • Home care and domestic assistance.

Injuries caused could be physical or psychiatric and also can include diseases such as skin cancers from sun exposure at work, occupational dermatitis and industrial deafness from noise.

There are however certain thresholds which must be met, and the degree of permanent impairment required to make a lump sum claim differs between regular workers and workers in the NSW Police, Fire and Ambulance and the Coal Mining Industry. The degree of permanent impairment required for regular workers is higher than those in the latter categories.

We note further that recent changes in Workers Compensation Law now dictate that a person may only have one further lump sum claim ie only two claims for that injury in their lifetime, regardless of whether the condition has worsened following the second claim.

The system has complex rules governing who can claim, when and how a claim can be made.

For some people, benefits can be claimed long term. There are also various cases which limit how much people can claim.

Insurance companies also do not always let people know the full extent of their rights. It is therefore important people know and understand their rights in this complex and often baffling system.

Leading Cases

Pevy v Traffic systems (Australia) Pty Limited and others [2007] NSWWCCPD 101 (30 April 2007)
Miller v NSW Police Service (No 2) [2007] NSWWCCPD 216 (26 October 2007) 
Dawson and others t/as The Real Cane Syndicate v Dawson [2008] NSWWCCPD 35 (19 March 2008)
ACQ Pty Limited v Cook; Aircair Moree Pty Limited v Cook [2009] HCA 28 (5 August 2009)WorkCover Authority of New South Wales (on behalf of the Workers Compensation Nominal Insurer) v Sadler [2009] NSWWCCPD 127 (9 October 2009)
State Rail Authority of NSW v Cowles [2010] NSWWCCPD 114 (3 November 2010)
NSW Police Force (Western Region) v Smith [2011] NSWWCCPD 8 (22 February 2011)

Comcare, Seacare and Military Compensation 

Comcare is a scheme run by the Federal Government that compensates public sector workers for injuries incurred at work.

A similar scheme covers Armed Forces personnel.

You are covered if you are employed by a Commonwealth Government department or by a company owned by the Government such as Australia Post. Some privately-owned national companies are also covered by the Comcare system.