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Workers compensation claims: who is a worker with highest needs and high needs?

On 5 August 2015, the New South Wales government introduced a series of reforms to the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW) (the 1987 Act).

Workers were previously defined as seriously injured workers for the purposes of compensation if they were assessed as having a whole person impairment (WPI) of more than 30%.

Under recent changes, injured workers are now defined as those with high needs and those with highest needs.

Where an injured worker falls on the scale of whole person impairment will determine their category and limit the payment for the insurer has to pay weekly payments and medical expenses.


Term Definiti0n
Worker with highest needs. Worker with greater than 30% Whole Person Impairment
Worker with high needs. Worker that falls between 21% and 30% Whole Person Impairment.


A worker who is assessed at 31% WPI or more are entitled to weekly payments of $788.32 indexed twice weekly up until 12 months after reaching retirement age.

Workers with high needs who are assessed at more than 20% WPI and who are able to work are no longer required to work to a minimum of 15 hours and earn a minimum of $176.00 in order to receive payments after 130 weeks. Previously, workers with more than 20% WPI of capacity for work were required to work a minimum of 15 hours a week and earn a minimum of $176.00 in order to receive weekly payments.

At Stacks Goudkamp Solicitors our lawyers are specialists in handling workers compensation claims, and providing advice as to entitlements.

Our legal team are ILARS approved solicitors, which means we can make an application on your behalf to the WorkCover Independent Review Office (WIRO) for a grant of legal funding to investigate whole person impairment as well as providing advice on a claim.

If you or somebody you know has suffered an injury in the workplace, do not hesitate to contact Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 45 8142 to speak to one of our friendly compensation lawyers, or make an online enquiry for a free no obligation assessment of your claim.

Written by Anna Tavianatos.

Anna Tavianatos is a Practice Group Leader at Stacks Goudkamp. She has experience acting for clients in a variety of different areas, including workers compensation, motor vehicle accidents and public liability claims.

2017-06-22T10:48:42+00:00 August 15th, 2016|