Psychological injury workers compensation in NSW
Work health and safety laws (WHS) in New South Wales (NSW) define work-related injuries/accidents also on psychological/psychiatric grounds. Accordingly, primary psychological injuries caused by employment are included in the NSW workers compensation system while secondary psychological/psychiatric problems emerging as a result of another work injury are precluded from this scheme
Psychological injuries must be diagnosable to be considered in the compensation scheme, emotional or nervous responses such as anger, frustration, and anxiety do not qualify as primary psychological injuries. Receiving medical treatment will be an indicator of the extent of injury you are going through and make you eligible for claiming compensation.
Most common work-related psychological injury claims emanate from toxic work environments where employees become subject to bullying, assaults, sexual harassment, and workplace conflicts.
SafeWork Australia actively works on taking appropriate measures for introducing effective mechanisms to ease psychological injury compensation claims management on the part of employers.
What can you claim for psychological injury compensation?
You may be entitled to weekly payments, medical expenses, and lump sum payment in case of whole person impairment if you sustained work-related psychological/psychiatric injuries. The extent of compensation will depend on the seriousness of your condition and you can be eligible for lump sum payment only if your injury are assessed at 15% whole person impairment or greater.
How to make a claim for psychological injury compensation
Both physical and psychological injuries are under the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW) and the process of making a claim for both types of injuries will not differ as much. As soon as you are aware of your situation, you should contact your employer and notify them about it. Then make sure you have sufficient medical proof of your injury as that will legally clarify your suffering as injury. You should be able to get a “Certificate of Capacity” from your doctor.
Afterwards, fill out and submit a Work Injury Claim form to your employer or the insurer.
Bullying and harassment experienced at work can lead to psychological injury as well as problems like stress, anxiety and reduced work capacity. Bullying in the workplace can be defined as a systematic offence, humiliation or intimidation directed from one or more employees to another through gossip, social exclusion, aggressive behaviour, sexual harassment, cyber-bullying etc. It can result in negative consequences on a bullied person’s mental health by creating distress and low self-confidence which may eventually give way to psychological injury from a legal point of view.
If you believe you are an object of bullying in your workplace, you are advised to take necessary steps such as reporting it to your manager even if you are not suffering from a mental illness because of it. Immediate action can help protect your mental well-being in the long run. It could also be used against you that you did not report the bullying to the employer. It is also important to report the bullying in writing as you may require evidence later.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I hire a psychological injury lawyer?
You can benefit from consulting a workers compensation lawyer for your psychological injury at any stage of your workers compensation claim regarding a work-related psychological injury.
Our workers compensation lawyers can help you correctly identify your situation (whether your case qualifies as an injury from the legal framework, for example), break down the claim making process for you, let you know about your rights and even act on your behalf in your workers compensation claim, depending on the situation. Our workers compensation lawyers will also offer critical guidance if your claim is rejected by insurers or employers.
Psychological injury cases differ from physical ones since it is harder to pinpoint mental health problems and employers may refuse to accept that the bullying or harassment occurred in their workplace or claim that your injury is not related to work.
Is work-related stress covered by workers compensation?
Work-related stress may significantly affect an employee’s mental well-being. Although stress does not qualify as an injury in workers compensation system of NSW by itself, the aggravation of it due to an employer’s negligence may result in psychological injury. Claiming compensation for this type of injury requires medical proof and evidence.
How long after a psychological injury can I claim compensation?
Workers compensation claims should be made within 6 months after the date that you are aware of the injury. In some situations like absence from the state, a claim can be made up to three years. It is important to contact our workers compensation lawyers to advise you on your specific situation. The sooner you lodge the work injury claim form the better and safer it is for your claim to be accepted.
When should I speak to a psychological injury lawyer?
If you sustained a psychological injury due to employment, you can consult our workers compensation lawyers at any point in your claim process. However, it is important to see our workers compensation lawyers as soon as possible to ensure you are receiving all of your entitlements. You should also speak to our workers compensation lawyers if the insurer has denied your claim.
Do I have to be in Sydney to make a psychological injury compensation claim?
You do not have to be in Sydney to make a compensation claim if you sustained a work-related psychological injury. Regardless of where you are located in NSW, the law and process is the same. Our workers compensation lawyers are conveniently located in Sydney, Parramatta, Penrith, Liverpool and Wollongong.
How much compensation can I get from a psychological injury claim?
The benefits you may obtain at the end of your claim will depend on the specific circumstances of your case of injury, like the seriousness of your injury. Consulting our experienced workers compensation lawyer can help you in anticipating the best results of your claim.
Do I have to pay legal costs for my workers compensation claim?
We understand that workers compensation can be stressful, confusing and hard to overwhelming. Fortunately you do not have to our workers compensation lawyers for legal costs and disbursements as the Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO) pays for our legal costs and disbursements to advise you and act on your behalf.
No Win No Fee Psychological Injury Compensation Lawyers
The team at Withstand Lawyers is conventionality located at Sydney, Parramatta, Penrith, Liverpool and Wollongong. Call us on 1800 952 898 or book a consultation to meet our lawyers in any location in NSW.