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Northern Territory Work Claims

Work Injury Compensation

When you are injured on the job as a worker in the Northern Territory, you can apply for and receive work injury compensation benefits. You have 6 months from date of injury to apply for workers' compensation.

We recommend you submit your application as soon as possible. If you are late, we suggest you get legal advice before submitting your application – sometimes a late application will be accepted.

Often referred to as “statutory compensation”, the benefits paid usually consist of wages while off work, payment of approved medical expenses and rehabilitation required to return to work.

Employers and their insurers are required to assess and manage all work injury compensation claims in accordance with the rules set out in the Return to Work Act.

As an injured worker, you also have some things you need to do to, such as:
• Report the incident and your injury to your employer as soon as practicable;
• Obtain a Workers' Compensation Medical Certificate from the Doctor;
• Submit this certificate to your employer. NOTE: you do not have to see the employer’s doctor; you can and should choose your own treating doctor; • Obtain a Workers' Compensation Claim Form from your employer, or NT Worksafe. Complete this form and return it to your employer;
• Keep copies of all documents handed to your employer, their insurer or a doctor;
• Submit your application for work injury compensation as soon as possible but within 6 months from date of injury;
• Cooperate with the employer and insurer with any reasonable requests regarding medical appointments for independent assessment and the return to work program. NOTE: The insurer or your employer should not ever come into a doctor's appointment with you.

 

The above is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. You should not rely on this information to make decisions but should seek expert legal advice about your specific circumstances.

Permanent Impairment Advice

If your injury leaves you with permanent impairment, you can ask for a permanent impairment assessment and a lump sum payment. If the insurer has you assessed for permanent impairment and you disagree with the assessment, you can challenge the assessment.

To challenge or dispute the assessment, you need to advise NT Worksafe within 1 month of receiving the assessment and medical report from the insurer.

 

The above is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. You should not rely on this information to make decisions but should seek expert legal advice about your specific circumstances.

Mediation

Throughout the life of your claim, the insurer and employer will be making decisions about you, sometimes not in consultation with you. When you disagree with something they are doing, you can dispute that decision.

A dispute arises when you do not agree with a decision made by the employer/insurer. You may wish to dispute:
• Liability for workplace injury compensation claimed by you (rejection of the claim); or
• Cancellation or reduction of wage compensation being paid to you;
• Cancellation or refusal to pay for care and assistance at home or medical treatment and medical expenses such as prosthetics and aids.

If you want to dispute a decision of the insurer, then you have 90 days from the date of receipt of insurer’s decision to lodge a dispute with NT Worksafe where the matter will proceed to a mediation.

Going to mediation is mandatory, before any matter can be started in the Work Health Court.

You should get legal advice before attending a mediation. Remember the insurers have legal training to attend mediations and they go to them all the time; you do not. In some cases, the mediator will order for the employer or insurer to pay your lawyers to attend the mediation with you.

In our experience, all injured workers participating in a mediation process without legal assistance of some type are at an unfair disadvantage. The mediator is there to facilitate a discussion about the issues to help the parties resolve the matter. They are not there to assist or advise you about the merit of the claim, or your chances of winning the dispute if it is taken to the Work Health Court. This is why you need some legal assistance prior to a mediation, as well as at a mediation.

At the conclusion of the mediation, the mediator will issue a Mediator's Certificate documenting the outcome.

 

The above is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. You should not rely on this information to make decisions but should seek expert legal advice about your specific circumstances.

Work Health Court Disputes

Following a mediation, if the dispute is not resolved you can take the matter to the Work Health Court.

You have 28 days from date of the Mediator's Certificate to file a claim with the Work Health Court disputing the decision about the acceptance or rejection of a claim or the cessation of benefits such as wages.

The Work Health Court has the power to hear and determine all matters and disputes that arise in relation to the Return to Work Act.

 

The above is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. You should not rely on this information to make decisions but should seek expert legal advice about your specific circumstances.

Lump Sum Settlement

There is no avenue to make a negligence claim against an employer in the Northern Territory. You cannot sue your boss when you sustain a work injury, even if it was their fault.

If you have a work injury compensation claim, you can, in the right circumstances, negotiate with the employer and insurer to pay out the value of your claim as a lump sum payment. This is referred to as a workers' compensation agreement, but is better known as a Hopkins Agreement.

Not every work injury and claim is or can be finalised this way, so it is recommended that you always seek legal advice when you sustain an injury at work. This way you know you are accessing and receiving all of your entitlements under the Return to Work Act.

We only work for and represent injured workers and can assist and advise you about:
• Claiming workers compensation;
• Rejected or cancelled claims;
• Rejection of medical treatment and care and assistance during a claim;
• Disputes progressing through the mediation process;
• A claim in the Work Health Court;
• Lump sum settlements and Hopkins Agreements; and
• Permanent impairment assessments.

 

The above is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. You should not rely on this information to make decisions but should seek expert legal advice about your specific circumstances.