Permanent impairment disputes

Sometimes a worker and an insurer disagree on the level of permanent impairment.

This is usually when the worker and insurer have both sought permanent impairment assessments but the two assessments do not give the same level of permanent impairment.

If you disagree with the level of permanent impairment, there are ways you can resolve the dispute.

Give us a call on 13 10 50 and we can also talk you through the process outlined below.

Request a review by the insurer

The first step is to contact the insurer and request they review the decision.

Generally this involves completing an application form that the insurer should have sent you when notifying you of the decision. If the insurer did not send an application form then you can request one from them.

On the application form, you should explain why you are requesting the review and include any other additional information that you think is relevant.

It's very important you include all relevant information now because you may not be allowed to introduce new material if you later choose to lodge an application to resolve the dispute at the Workers Compensation Commission (WCC).

The insurer must respond to you in writing within 14 days of receiving the request for a review. The insurer will either decide to accept the claim or maintain its decision.

Request a review by the WCC

If you are not satisfied with the insurer's decision you can lodge an application to dispute the decision with the Workers Compensation Commission (WCC).

The WCC is a government agency who helps resolve workers compensation disputes between workers, employers and/or insurers.

The Workers Compensation Commission will appoint an approved medical specialist to conduct an assessment of your level of permanent impairment and provide a medical assessment certificate indicating the assessed level of permanent impairment.

Any party to the dispute may appeal the medical assessment certificate on the basis of specific grounds which are set out in the legislation.

In this case, a medical appeal panel will review the assessed level of permanent impairment and make a determination.

Contact the WIRO

You can contact the Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO) if you are dissatisfied at any stage throughout this process.

The WIRO is an independent statutory office with a variety of roles, which include helping find solutions to disputes by contacting the insurer directly on your behalf.

Where disputes cannot be resolved, they can help injured workers seek free legal advice through the Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service

For more information about how WIRO can help, you can: