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Work Comp disputes – legal support available

Sep 26, 2012News

The NSW Government today announced a new legal assistance and review service to help resolve disputes between injured workers and insurers.

A statement issued by the Minister for Finance and Services Greg Pearce says the new Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service (ILARS) is designed to provide a “free, independent and quick process to address matters otherwise dealt with in the Workers Compensation Commission.”

It goes on to say that, “this will mean workers can have their matters reviewed without going through the stress of a full hearing before the Workers Compensation Commission or the associated legal expenses.”

The statement also indicates that workers may be given free legal advice to pursue their claim in the workers compensation commission if an insurer rejects the outcome of the review.

Loco Division Secretary Bob Hayden said the announcement is a band-aid cover up for the horrific changes the O’Farrell Government has made to the Workers Compensation scheme.

“They’re an improvement on what the State Government had proposed, but these new arrangements are still inferior to what existed prior to the Premier’s attack on workers’ comp,” Bob Hayden said.

“They’re certainly not endorsed by the RTBU.”

Any claims lodged before 1st October will be dealt with under the old scheme, which allows injured workers to have proper independent legal representation. The new arrangements for costs and access to ILARS will immediately take effect for new claims made on or after 1st October 2012.

Any potential new claims should be lodged immediately but in any event, prior to 1st October 2012.

See the government’s full statement here