SIRA & New Insurer Partners Are Trialing a Pilot Program Through The NSW Workers Compensation Scheme Called Workers Compensation Assist
The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) is launching a new pilot program, Workers Compensation Assist, with the help of some new insurer partners to increase support for injured workers in New South Wales.
The Workers Compensation Assist program is managed by SIRA, modelled on the success of their NSW CTP Assist program. Working with insurer partners, the program’s objective is to get support and information to injured workers during the initial stages of a claim to improve recovery outcomes.
SIRA & Partners to Show How Insurers Can Better Manage Workers Compensation Claims
The first insurer partners to participate in the program include ALDI (self-insurer), Toll (self-insurer), and Catholic Church Insurance (specialised insurer), which will operate through the NSW workers compensation system. The companies have committed to making outbound calls to their workers as early as possible in the claims process. By contacting workers earlier in the process, these insurers will be providing early access support that will assist their workers throughout the entire process and reduce their risks of delayed recovery.
What is the NSW Workers Compensation System?
According to icare, the NSW workers compensation system provides support to people injured at work, including assistance with recovering and returning to work wherever possible.
The system enables support and assistance to injured workers, primarily in the form of:
- Compensation for wages lost – this could be in the form of weekly payments or a lump sum payment depending on a variety of factors (i.e. severity of injury, length of recovery, permanent impairment).
- Medical expenses such as hospital cover, medical treatment, injury management, rehabilitation expenses, and more.
- Return to work assistance.
- Potentially compensation for non-economic loss (usually a lump sum payment).
The system is regulated by SIRA, which is an NSW government agency and involves three types of insurers – icare workers insurance (NSW government agency), self-insurers, and specialised insurers.
Early Pilot Program Results Show Improved Client Understanding of Recovery & Return to Work Outcomes
“In the first 10 weeks of the pilot, 85% of customers reported an improved understanding of their return to work and recovery as a result of Workers Compensation Assist,” said SIRA Chief Executive Adam Dent.
The goal of the program is to provide extra support that aims to ensure workers have the right information regarding their workers compensation insurance policy and the tools they need to navigate their claims to return to work sooner.
“Early access to support in the initial stages of a claim results in better recovery outcomes down the track,” Mr Dent said.
“With system return to work rates stagnating, even when unemployment is at its lowest levels, SIRA is stepping up to educate and empower workers.’
“SIRA is calling workers with psychological injuries, COVID-19 claims, and people with physical injuries to help them direct their claims journey, understand the health benefits of good work, and take an active role in their recovery.”
Navigating a workers compensation claim can often be a confusing and difficult process, especially while managing a work injury without the appropriate support. This is why SIRA is cooperating with workers compensation specialists for this program. The program will show how reaching out to workers early on in the claims process (providing them with the support, resources, and tools they need to navigate their claim) is critical to ensuring successful outcomes more efficiently.
This approach was originally tested during SIRA’s CTP Assist program, which was highly successful.
“The early results [of Workers Compensation Assist] build on the success of SIRA’s CTP Assist in the motor accidents insurance scheme,” explained Mr Dent.
“The benefits of CTP Assist were recognised in the Statutory Review of the Motor Accidents Injuries Act 2017 and the Legal Supports Review, with both reviews making recommendations to expand this service.”
Will More Insurers Join the Workers Compensation Assist NSW Program?
SIRA’s insurer partners in the program so far include ALDI, Toll, and Catholic Church Insurance, with no updates yet regarding future partners.
“I welcome other insurers to come on board to improve the support that is available to their injured workers,” said Mr Dent.
ALDI National Work Health & Safety Director Simon Borham said that the Workers Compensation Assist program has been a welcome resource to their employees.
“The Workers Compensation Assist pilot has been a positive additional resource to ensure ALDI employees receive independent information to bolster the quality conversations from the claims teams,” Mr Borham said.
“ALDI employees are reporting a positive experience from the pilot and the insights provided by SIRA each month help us drive continuous improvement within our workers compensation program.”
SIRA is continuing to develop and expand the Workers Compensation Assist NSW program, using its data collected during the program and by onboarding additional partner insurers.
Suffered a Work-Related Injury? Need Legal Advice on Workers Compensation Insurance? Contact BurkeMead Lawyers Today
If you believe you may be entitled to make a workers compensation claim or are having difficulty with an insurer regarding an existing claim, seek legal advice as soon as possible.
BurkeMead Lawyers are a team of qualified compensation lawyers operating across Newcastle, the Hunter Maitland Region and the Central Coast. Our team of professionals have helped countless individuals with their compensation claims – read more about workers compensation or contact our legal experts at [email protected] or call us on (02) 4902 3800.