Workers Compensation Lawyer – How many Medical Assessment Certificates is a worker entitled to?
In a recent workers compensation case, the worker sought a Medical Assessment Certificate for the purpose of proving that she was a worker with high or highest needs (i.e. that she had greater than 20% whole person impairment or greater than 30% whole person impairment, respectively) and was therefore entitled to continuing weekly benefits after 260 weeks of workers compensation payments.
This followed a previous medical assessment and complying agreement received in January 2013 which confirmed her whole person impairment at 12%. The complying agreement had subsequently enabled the worker to receive lump sum compensation.
The employer disputed the worker’s action on the basis that she was prevented by s 322A of the legislation from obtaining another Medical Assessment Certificate and by s 66(1A) from making a claim for further permanent impairment lump sum compensation.
The Arbitrator found in the worker’s favour.
Firstly, it was determined that s 66(1A) did not have any application in this case. That section only restricts multiple claims for permanent impairment compensation. It does not place any restriction on the number of medical assessments to be made.
Secondly, the restrictions of s 322A did not preclude further medical assessment of permanent impairment for the purpose of determining whether the worker was entitled to ongoing weekly benefits. According to the 2016 workers compensation legislation amendments, one further assessment could be undertaken for that purpose.
Thirdly, the earlier complying agreement did not prevent the worker making a further claim for lump sum compensation because that agreement concerned an issue that was capable of change (i.e. the degree of permanent impairment).
The matter was remitted to the Registrar for referral to an Approved Medical Specialist to conduct the medical assessment.
If you believe you have a workers compensation claim, an expert compensation lawyer can advise you in relation to this complex area of law.
Our Compensation Lawyers can provide practical solutions and exceptional results in relation to your compensation claim on a No Win, No Fee basis. Call 1300 773 529 or email a Compensation lawyer at email@example.com. We can then arrange an initial telephone conference to discuss.
Matthews Folbigg has over 50 years’ experience protecting personal injury and compensation rights of people living in Parramatta and the Hills.