Accidents are unanticipated occurrences; no one is ever ready for them. It is, therefore, crucial that you are cushioned at all times against such incidences. Getting an insurance cover is vital to help you through any catastrophic happening. There are different kinds of insurance covers, including workers’ compensation insurance.
What is Meant by Worker Compensation Insurance?
It refers to an insurance cover that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to workers injured at the course of their duties. Employers are obligated by the law to take reasonable care and assure their employees a safe working environment. Accidents do happen, and worker compensation insurance offers coverage.
Workers compensation insurance serves a dual purpose;
- Assures the injured employee of medical care and compensation
- Protects employers from lawsuits by injured workers
In every state and territory in Australia, workers’ compensation is a compulsory statutory insurance type for all employees. The insurance is a form of protection to workers or employees in an instance they are injured or sick while on duty.
When it comes to nsw, insurance providers operate as scheme agents working on behalf of the government authority. The compensation system is not limited to supporting individuals injured at work, but it also assists with recovering and resuming work. The support and assistance come in various forms including;
- Compensation for lost wages
- Medical and rehabilitation treatments
- Resuming to work
- Compensation for non-economic loss.
Workers’ compensation in nsw is regulated by a government agency, the State Regulatory Authority (SIRA).
Types of Insurers in the NSW Workers Compensation System
IcareIt is a government agency that seeks to provide insurance and care services to statutory authorities. It also offers the same services to employees with injuries under different compensation schemes.
Being an authorized agent, it manages the Treasury Managed Fund (TMF). TMF provides workers compensation coverage for several public sector employers. They, however, delegate duties to external insurers to manage the claims on their behalf.
Refers to employers that SIRA approves them to manage their worker compensation claims. It implies that the employer can manage and administer their claims without obtaining the policy from icare. Some of their responsibilities include;
- Direct management of workplace and workers compensation risks
- The experience, progress, and outcomes for the injured employee
- Workplace relationships.
- Specialized Insurers
As the name suggests, such insurers deal with a specified industry. They are licensed by SIRA to provide and manage workers’ compensation insurance covers and claims for employers in a specific field.
All specialized insurers have the responsibility to support your patient through recovery and return to work regardless of who they are. They also manage claims to make sure that the injured employee receives correct compensation and entitlement.
Who is Covered Under the Worker Compensation NSW?
All employees in NSW are covered for work-related illnesses and injuries under the law. It doesn’t matter whether the worker is insured or not.
It is a statutory requirement for all employers in nsw to have a worker’s insurance policy. If you are working in a company that doesn’t have one, you can notify a claim through the uninsured liability scheme. It becomes a safer option for you since it under the management of icare.
Workers Compensation Cover for Volunteers
Volunteers with a state government agency are at times entitled to workers’ compensation. The volunteer does receive benefits and levels of cover similar to that of a worker injured with paid employment. Some of the agencies covered include;
- NSW Rural Firefighters
- NSW State Emergency Services
- Marine Rescue
- Surf Life Saving
- NSW Volunteer Rescue Association
To be covered;
- Your illness/injury must have occurred while on an authorized or an assigned duty as a volunteer
- Must not have been receiving rewards or remuneration
- Must have been working voluntarily with no obligation whatsoever.
To make a worker compensation claim, you need to notify the agency that you have been volunteering for.
What Injuries Are Covered?
- Injuries sustained in the workplace or anywhere else at the course of duty.
- Injuries from accidents that may occur while working, e.g., workplace violence, natural disasters
- Certain illnesses and occupational diseases contracted as a result of employment.
Types of Worker Insurance Payments
There are various forms of receiving compensation, depending on the circumstances surrounding the claims and the injury’s nature.
Some of the payments you may be eligible for include;
- Weekly payments to compensate your lost earnings
- Medical and rehabilitation payments
- Property damage payments
- Funeral expenses and support payments
- Work injury damage
- Lump-sum payments in cases of permanent impairment.
Eligibility for Workers Insurance Claim
Any worker that has been injured at work is eligible to claim worker compensation.
The system is meant to help affected workers get full participation in both work and life. It, therefore, comes with various benefits geared towards your recovery.
The support that you receive depends on the claim that you filled for, the type, nature, and severity of the illness or injury.
When injured at work, you need to notify your employer promptly. They are the ones to inform the insurance provider and commence the claims process on your behalf. If your employer hasn’t acted, you can lodge a claim with the insurance provider.
Time Limits for making a claim
To receive the right support, ensure that you make a claim as soon as possible.
You can claim within six months, starting from the date of your accident or injury.
There are, however, exceptional cases of illness that arise after the end of your employment. The fact is that there are work-related illnesses that have delayed onsets. Take, for instance, hearing impairment. You can still make a claim as long as the injury is related to your employment.
How Are Workers Compensation Insurance Premiums Set?
Premiums are defined by the employers’ industry classification code and payroll. Industries that are considered high risk and dangerous like trash hauling and logging have higher premiums than friendly industries such as accounting firms.
Other factors, like the location of the company and the experience rating of employers, do impact the premium set.
What are the costs of Worker Compensation Insurance?
The costs include;
- Insurance premiums
- Payments made under deductibles
- Administrative costs of handling claims
- Costs of making reports to your insurer
If your injuries are not work-related, require extensive medical care, are lengthy, or lead to permanent disability, you should consider hiring worker compensation lawyers. Injured workers with straightforward claims do not need lawyers.