IAN ROCHE of the Firm has been approved as a Legal Service Provider to the Workcover Independent Review Office (WIRO).
WIRO has established a new system to deal with the amendment recently made to the workers compensation legislation which changed the way in which legal costs would be provided for under the act. Previously proper legal costs were paid by the particular insurance company in the dispute with the worker. As a result of the amendments made there is now no power in the commission to make any award of costs. This means that all workers will have to pay their own costs.
Usually they simply do not have money to do that.
As an approved legal service provider we will on your behalf submit an application to WIRO for your costs to be paid. You do not need to change solicitors as we will be able to do the work after the approval for payment of the costs has been made.
The service is available but there are certain requirements which will have to be met before a grant can be obtained. The most important part of the requirements is that you have a legitimate claim. Many applications will not be accepted, but at this stage it is impossible to give you any good indication of the outcome until the system has been in operation for a time.
As a separate update a copy of the complaints procedure is published below. We hope that this will give you some guidance. Please feel free to contact us for an initial consultation about the kind of problem which you face with your workers compensation insurer, and we will be able to guide you from there.
WORKCOVER INDEPENDENT REVIEW OFFICE FACT SHEET
If you have a complaint about a decision or conduct of an insurer which affects your entitlements, rights or obligations under NSW workers’ compensation legislation, including complaints concerning a denial of liability, we may be able to help.
When can I make a complaint to WIRO?
If you have a complaint you should at first try to resolve it with by raising your concern with your insurer or employer’s claim manager through their internal complaint service or through WorkCover’s Claims Assistance service.
How do I make a complaint?
How are complaints handled?
Upon receipt of a complaint, WIRO will review the relevant facts and circumstances. In most cases we will seek to resolve the dispute through normal alternative dispute resolution (ADR) approaches such as negotiation, conciliation or- mediation.
We expect that all parties will cooperate with our investigation and will, for instance, supply information and documents which might be requested by its investigation or dispute resolution officers.
Where a complainant does not, without good reason, provide the assistance requested, WIRO may exercise its discretion to terminate the investigation without proceeding to any finding, report or recommendation.
If ADR is not appropriate, or is not successful, we will complete a formal investigation and prepare a report of its findings to the complainant and insurer or employer, together with a recommendation.
How long will it take to resolve my complaint?
We will endeavour to complete an investigation within the prescribed timeframe of 30 days from the date of the complaint. Where we are unable to complete our investigation with 30 days, we will contact all the parties to advise them of the extended timeframe needed and the reasons why.
Can I make a complaint anonymously?
We do not respond to anonymous complaints received.
What happens if my complaint raises legal issues?
Where WIRO believes that a complaint raises substantial legal issues, including a denial of liability, it will immediately refer the complaint to the Independent Legal Assistance and Review Scheme (ILARS) which it administers.