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Permanent impairment claims and WorkCover

Workers' compensation

If you have suffered a work-related injury,  you may be entitled to make a claim for lump sum compensation for permanent impairment. 

In Australia, there are 11 different workers’ compensation schemes, operated under different state, territory and Commonwealth laws. Seek legal advice from a workers’ compensation expert as soon as possible: 

  • After your injury 

  • Before any WorkCover or SafeWork impairment assessment 

Expert legal advice at an early stage ensures you understand your rights and your chances of maximising your permanent injury compensation entitlements.  

Check if you have a claim with our simple, free online tool.

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What we will ask: 

  • Details about the accident and injuries that have happened to you or your loved one 

  • Basic personal information that is relevant and necessary for your claim

What happens next:  

  • Either book a no obligation appointment with a compensation law expert right away or,    

  • Speak with our team about your options

Under the WorkCover scheme, injuries are usually assessed for the degree of permanent impairment of an individual. It’s important to obtain expert legal advice prior to any WorkCover impairment assessment, because failing to put forward a strong case at this assessment can severely impact your ability to maximise your entitlements. 

What is permanent impairment? 

Permanent impairment is interpreted differently across Australia’s workers’ compensation schemes. In general terms, permanent impairment is a physical or psychological injury that partly or completely permanently impacts a person’s: 

  • Use of a body part 

  • Bodily system or function 

  • Psychiatric functioning  

The partial or complete permanent impairment you or your loved one experiences stabilises at a certain point in time and doesn’t resolve or improve with medical treatment. This can impact your ability to perform certain functions ever again.  

If you or your loved one has suffered a work-related injury they are entitled to pursue a permanent impairment assessment.  

What is permanent impairment assessment with WorkCover? 

To bring about a lump sum compensation claim for permanent impairment in your state or territory, you’ll have to be medically or clinically assessed by an independent medical or allied health professional. This professional would consider, for example: 

  • Any permanent restrictions you have.  

  • The likelihood of improvement, for example through medical, surgical or rehabilitative treatment 

  • Whether you have taken all available and reasonable treatment for your injury 

 The degree of your permanent impairment is assessed by an appropriately qualified independent medical professional, for example: 

The ‘degree’ of your permanent impairment is expressed as a percentage, to enable the calculation of your lump sum compensation for permanent impairment.  Some Australian workers’ compensation schemes require a specific permanent impairment threshold to qualify for an impairment benefit. Our expert workers’ compensation lawyers will assist you

Why seek legal help before the WorkCover statement or impairment assessment? 

It’s important to seek expert legal help as soon as possible following your injury, and most certainly before your permanent impairment assessment. This is so: 

  • The full scope, scale and impact of your injuries are recognised 

  • Evidence is provided to maximise your entitlement to lump sum compensation for the permanent impairment. 

Some words that can be included in a statement, which may appear to be harmless, can cause serious complications further on in the case that will restrict your right to further compensation.

For example, if you’ve suffered a major injury, and in describing your injury you stated “it is possible that I may have been distracted”, this might be used later on by WorkCover as the basis of an allegation of contributory negligence. Without doing so you may not be putting a strong case forward to WorkCover that takes into account the long-term effects of your injury.

Once your permanent impairment assessment takes place, it can be difficult to later present a stronger case. 

Superannuation and Disability Insurance 

If you can’t work due to work-related illness or injury you may be entitled to benefits through your superannuation or other insurance policies. Our experts can help, with a a quick, obligation-free analysis of your situation to determine your rights and ability to make a claim.  

Learn more about Superannuation and Disability Insurance Claims

How Shine can help with your workers' compensation claim

We have helped thousands of Australians right wrong and access more than $1 billion in entitlements and compensation through our expert services.  

95% of the cases we represent are settled without the stress of going to court. 

We offer access to affordable legal advice including on a No Win, No Fee* basis and an obligation free initial consultation so you can understand your rights and know where you stand.  

*Conditions apply  

We are ready to take action to get you access to compensation, protect your future and right wrong.  Find out more today:

Permanent impairment FAQs

Can I represent myself, or do I need a permanent impairment lawyer?   

It is possible to legally represent yourself when making a permanent impairment benefit claim however, doing so successfully will likely require a thorough understanding of the law, your legal rights and entitlements, and a commitment to actively pursue the case to move it forward. 

Without an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in your corner, it can be difficult to identify and highlight the strengths of your case or obtain all of the necessary evidence and you  

may not receive the compensation you're entitled to. A lawyer can help you maximise your lump sum entitlements. 

Why trust Shine to be my permanent impairment lawyers? 

At Shine Lawyers, we put you first. We’ve been standing up for the rights of everyday Australians for over 45 years. As one of Australia’s largest litigation law firms, we are here to help you get the justice you deserve.  

Our empathy, understanding and expertise is why we’re ahead of the pack. We’ll stand with you and guide you through every step of the way. 

Where are Shine permanent impairment lawyers located? 

With more than 40 branches across Australia and 1000+ team members, location is no barrier when it comes to accessing Shine Lawyers legal advice and support.  

If you’d like to speak to our workers’ compensation team in person, you can see our full list of locations here. 

If you aren't able to find a location near you, we can easily arrange an obligation-free virtual appointment. No matter where you are located, we will always provide the same, expert advice and manage your claim with the same level of quality and commitment. 

Do you have a claim?  

We’re here to make the claims process as simple and stress-free as possible.

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