The Queensland Parliament passed the Amending Bill on 17 September 2015, which will make some significant changes to the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (WCRA).

Entitlement to Damages

Section 237 of the WCRA has been amended to remove the Degree of Permanent Impairment (DPI) assessment threshold of greater than 5% for injuries sustained on or after 31 January 2015. Workers will therefore no longer need to have a DPI impairment greater than 5% before being entitled to bring a claim for damages at common law.

Lump sum payments by WorkCover

A new Section 193A provides for additional lump sum payments being available to a worker who has suffered an injury on or after 15 October 2013 but before 31 January 2015. This is the period that the threshold requiring an injured worker to have a DPI impairment greater than 5% before being entitled to bring a claim for damages at common law was in place. There are a number of preconditions for Section 193A to apply the most important being that the worker has not already accepted or rejected an offer of lump sum compensation from WorkCover.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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