In the Western Australian workers’ compensation system the permanent impairment of an injured worker is determined by reference to the American Medical Association Guide to Permanent Impairment and WorkCover WA Guidelines for the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. These are relatively strict guides and provide criteria which must be met for a person to obtain a certain level of whole person impairment.
New Version of the Guides
Recently WorkCover WA has issued the WorkCover WA Guidelines for the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, fourth edition (the Guidelines) with an operational date of 1 December 2016.
Registrations are now open for information sessions on the changes from the third edition of the Guidelines.
To register to attend, please contact WorkCover WA by 14 November 2016 with your preferred session, by email to [email protected]
or phone (08) 9388 5676.
In the Western Australian workers’ compensation system, a person’s impairment percentage is very important. If an injured person is assessed as having a whole person impairment of not less than 15% then in certain circumstances they will be able to sue their employer in negligence, depending on the circumstances of the claim this may result in them getting more compensation.
Another way that a permanent impairment percentage is important is that if an injured person remains in the statutory no fault workers’ compensation system then it is usually the case that before they settle their case they should obtain a permanent impairment percentage for schedule two purposes which will often be worth a considerable amount of money.
The new guides have altered the way that many whole person impairment percentages have been assessed. A summary of the changes can be found through the WorkCover WA website.
How to request a permanent impairment assessment
As part of managing your workers’ compensation claim, your employer’s insurer may arrange for you to be reviewed by an AMS. Should you wish to arrange an assessment by an AMS of your choice, follow the steps below.
1. Look up the register of approved medical specialists on the WorkCover WA website.
2. Choose an approved medical specialist (AMS) from the register. Before finalising your choice regarding an AMS you should contact the AMS to check that they are available and that they are suitable to assess the impairment.
3. Formally request an assessment by completing the Form AMS 1: Request for Assessment by Approved Medical Specialist of a Workers’ Degree of Permanent Impairment available from the Workers forms page.
4. Provide the Form AMS 1 and any further information that may be requested to the AMS.
5. Attend the AMS for assessment at the date and at the time you have arranged.
6. Receive their written report and a certificate of assessment (Form AMS 7 and 8 if your condition has not stabilised – see Condition not stabilised) and/or Form AMS 5 and 6 if your condition has stabilised.
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