We think you are in Victoria. If not please click 'Change'

In your state, you are required to confirm you wish to access this information. Please enter 'QLD' or 'WA' in the field below to continue.

No thanks

Changes to NSW workers’ compensation: Will your benefits be cut?


Have you recently received a letter from your workers’ compensation insurance company informing you that your weekly benefits will cease? If so, you may have been caught by section 39.

In 2012, major amendments were introduced to the NSW workers’ compensation scheme – amendments that have resulted in ongoing instability for injured workers across the state. The most recent of these changes to have drastic impact on those affected is found in s39 of the Workers’ Compensation Act 1987 (NSW).

What is section 39?

Section 39 states that the recipient of a workers’ compensation claim is not entitled to any further weekly payments after a period of five years or 260 weeks (consecutive or non-consecutive) if they have a whole person impairment of less than 21%.

The calculation of these weekly payments commenced on 1 January 2013, meaning for many workers, the 260-week period will expire toward the end of 2017.

As a result, workers’ compensation insurance companies have started writing to injured workers with an impairment of less than 21% notifying them that their weekly payments will cease toward the end of the year.

For further information on section 39, see this article written by Shine Lawyers‘ NSW General Manager James Chrara.

Have you received a letter?

If you have received a letter from your insurer, it should either invite you to attend an Independent Medical Examination (IME), or provide you with a copy of the assessment that has been relied upon to determine your whole person impairment.

Importantly, you are entitled to receive independent legal advice regarding this letter to ensure your injuries are appropriately classified and your impairment is accurately calculated.


Seeking legal advice

Section 39 is estimated to impact over seven thousand workers across the state; if you’ve been affected, you are not alone.

It is essential that all injured workers understand their rights to compensation. If you’ve received a letter from your workers’ compensation insurer, or are simply unsure of your rights, get in touch with your local Shine Lawyers branch today.

A member of our legal staff will be available to answer your questions and provide you with tailored advice to ensure your workers’ compensation rights are protected.

Written by Shine Lawyers on . Last modified: July 20, 2017.

Join the discussion

Share this article:

  • Hyogoo Lee wrote:

    Thanks to give a latest information.

  • Be here for the holidays: Stay safe at work

    For most of us, Christmas is a time to take a break from the pressures of work and relax with family. Sadly, for some Australians it’s also one of the most dangerous times of the year. According to WorkSafe Victoria, nearly 25% of workplace fatalities occur in the lead-up to Christmas as bosses and employees […]

    Read more

    Workers compensation claims: Why do I need a lawyer?

    Legal jargon is notoriously difficult to understand, requiring lawyers to complete years of study to master the complex language of legislation. For the majority of the population, trying to understand legal rules can be a nightmare.  Workplace injury claims are no exception. Workplace accidents: The legal scheme If you sustain a workplace injury, your life […]

    Read more

    Fruit pickers, take note

    Come harvest time, most Australian farmers are desperate for good workers.  For backpackers fruit picking is a relatively easy job to secure between December and July, but the work itself is far from a walk in the park.  Days are long, with repetitive and physically demanding tasks in very hot and humid conditions. Backpackers, know […]

    Read more

    Client says workers compensation reforms will leave him destitute

    Workers compensation recipients will be left destitute this Christmas as workers compensation reforms threaten to take away two-thirds of their pay. Shine Lawyer’s client, Anthony McGarrell fears “ending up on the street”, following news his workers compensation payments will cease as of the 26th December. “It’s an inhumane thing for the government to do at […]

    Read more

    Call Us Now

    Our friendly consultants are available to talk Monday to Friday, 8:15am to 6:00pm AEST.

    1800 618 851

    Live Chat

    Chat with Shine Lawyers through the livechat system without leaving your computer. No downloading, completely private and best of all - its easy to use.

    Start a live chat now

    Enquire Now

    Enquire now