Injured worker? Start here
The Workers Compensation Commission resolves disputes between workers, employers and insurers across New South Wales. We work with all parties throughout the process to explore ways of resolving a dispute. When the parties are not able to reach their own resolution, the Commission will decide the dispute. Learn more about the role of the Commission and the people who work in the Commission.
The Commission also has a series of informational videos available that can help injured workers understand the role of the Commission and what to expect at different stages of the dispute resolution process. They are available in English and six community languages.
Can you lodge a dispute?
Before you can lodge a dispute with us, you must have first submitted a claim to your employer or their insurer. For more information on making a claim for workers compensation, visit the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) website.
Once you have made a claim for compensation, you can lodge a dispute with us if:
- you have not received a decision about your claim from the insurer,
- you have received a notice from the insurer saying that your claim has not been accepted,
- you have received a letter from the insurer saying that they have accepted your claim, but you disagree with the amount of compensation payable.
You may also ask your insurer to review their decision before lodging a dispute with the Commission.
How to lodge a dispute
The first step towards resolving your dispute is to complete and lodge the appropriate application form. If you are not sure which form to use, please contact us for advice. If you are legally represented, your lawyer will select the appropriate form.
Generally, we’ll register your application and provide copies to you (or your legal representative) to send to your employer and their insurer.
After you send a copy of your application to your employer and their insurer, the insurer will lodge a reply to the application with the Commission. We usually register the reply and return sealed copies to the insurer. The insurer is required to send a copy to you (or your legal representative).
The Commission requires all relevant information that a party intends to rely on to be lodged with the application or reply.
You can request from your employer or their insurer any information they have that may be relevant to your dispute, for example, reports from treating doctors and wages information. The employer also can request information they feel may be relevant to your dispute, for example, clinical notes from treating doctors.
It may not be possible to include further information later in the dispute resolution process, so it is best to wait until you have all relevant information before you lodge an application. The respondent will also need to include all relevant material with their reply. This early exchange of information assists with discussions to help resolve the dispute.
Once the Commission receives the application and the reply, the dispute will be assigned to the most appropriate dispute resolution pathway.
The Commission will decide on the most appropriate pathway, depending on the type of claim, the issues in dispute and the compensation being sought.
The below table outlines the most common disputed claims that are lodged with the Commission, the types of forms and the dispute resolution pathways. It is not an exhaustive list; disputes can be complicated and the Commission may decide to change the pathway for a dispute at any time.
|Type of claim||Type of form||Usual pathway|
|Weekly benefits (work capacity only)||Form 1||Expedited assessment|
|Weekly benefits up to 12 weeks and/or past medical expenses up to $9,250.50||Form 1||Expedited assessment|
|Weekly benefits work capacity and past medical expenses greater than $9,250.50 and/or any future medical expenses||Form 2||Legal dispute|
|Weekly benefits more than 12 weeks and/or past medical expenses greater than $9,250.50 and/or any future medical expenses||Form 2||Legal dispute|
|Compensation for permanent impairment||Form 2||Legal disputes (liability) or medical disputes (quantum)|
|Compensation for pain and suffering||Form 2||Legal disputes|
|Compensation for property damage||Form 2||Legal disputes|
|Domestic assistance||Form 2||Legal disputes|
|Any combination of both category 1 and category 2||Form 2||Legal disputes|
|Threshold assessments||Form 7||Medical disputes and legal disputes|
|Work injury damages||Form 11C||Work injury damages|
|Workplace injury management||Form 6||Expedited assessments|
|Miscellaneous disputes||Form 20||Dependent on the circumstances, but generally legal disputes|
Most parties are legally represented in the Commission’s dispute resolution proceedings.
Workers are usually entitled to government funding for legal assistance when their claim is disputed. Applications for legal assistance funding should be made to the Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service (ILARS). Your legal representative will usually apply to ILARS on your behalf for legal assistance funding. If you don’t have a lawyer, ILARS may also be able to assist you to locate one. ILARS is administered through the Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO). Call WIRO on 13 94 76 for more information.
The following bodies may also be able to assist you to locate a lawyer:
- The Law Society Solicitor Referral Service (telephone (02) 9926 0333). This service helps members of the public find lawyers that are appropriate for their individual circumstances and needs.
- LawAccess NSW is a free government telephone service that provides legal information, referrals and in some cases, advice for people who require legal assistance.
You can choose to represent yourself, but you must indicate this on the front page of your application form.
Equal access to our services at no cost
The Commission is committed to providing equal access to our services. The Commission conducts proceedings in various regional locations, in addition to our location in Sydney.
We can provide accessibility assistance to contact the Commission, to attend proceedings or our medical assessments. All Commission offices, including regional venues, provide for disability needs and we will make arrangements to ensure you have the necessary support.
We can also arrange interpreters, at no cost, to assist you with your dispute resolution application and proceedings. An interpreter will also be provided if you are required to attend a medical assessment.
Learn more about our accessibility and interpreter support.
The Commission’s dispute resolution services are free, including medical assessments.