No 74: December 2017
Welcome to e-Bulletin No. 74 of the Workers Compensation Commission.
This bulletin outlines:
- Section 39 dispute applications – change to time for lodgment of response
- Issuing decisions and assessment certificates
- Christmas timetable
- Registry opening hours
- New interpreter arrangements
- Christmas message
Section 39 dispute applications
– change to time for lodgment of response
In November 2017 the Commission introduced a new procedure to expedite the resolution of disputes affected by s 39 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (see e-Bulletin No 73). The Commission undertook to serve the sealed Form 7 - Application for Assessment by an Approved Medical Specialist direct on the insurer at the time of registration, in lieu of service of the application by the worker. Insurers are required to lodge and serve a Form 7A – Response to the Application for Assessment by an Approved Medical Specialist within
7 days of the date of service by the Commission.
Given the difficulty meeting the shortened time to lodge a response, due to the impending Christmas holiday period, the time to lodge and serve the Form 7A response will be extended. The time for service and lodgment will be stated in the email that accompanies service of the Form 7 application.
The Commission will continue to serve the sealed Form 7 application.
The Approved Medical Specialist (AMS), appointment date and time, and a copy of the proposed referral to AMS, will be issued to parties with the sealed Form 7 application.
If liability issues are raised by the insurer, the matter will be expedited to an Arbitrator for determination prior to referral to an AMS.
Issuing decisions and assessment certificates
Certificates of Determination (CODs) and Medical Assessment Certificates (MACs) will not be issued from 22 December 2017 to 5 January 2018 inclusive, except in disputes affected by s 39 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987.
The issuing of CODs and MACs will recommence on 8 January 2018.
It should be noted that appeal time limits continue to apply for those CODs and MACs issued from 22 December 2017 to 5 January 2018.
Consent orders received from the parties will be signed, sealed and issued throughout the Christmas/New Year period.
The Commission will list telephone conferences, conciliation/arbitration hearings and mediation conferences up to and including Thursday, 21 December 2017 and will recommence listings on Monday, 8 January 2018.
Urgent matters may be listed, by request and with the consent of all parties, in the period from 22 December 2017 to 5 January 2018.
Registry opening hours
During the Christmas/New Year period, telephone and registry counter services will be provided on the dates and during the times listed below:
Monday, 25 December 2017: Closed
Tuesday, 26 December 2017: Closed
Wednesday, 27 December 2017: Closed
Thursday, 28 December 2017: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Friday, 29 December 2017: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Monday, 1 January 2018: Closed
Documents may be lodged electronically during the above period in compliance with the Workers Compensation Commission Rules 2011.
New interpreter arrangements
The Commission expects that all parties will be present and ready to participate in conciliation/arbitration hearings and mediation conferences at the starting time stated in the listing notice.
Legal representatives should ensure that client conferences are concluded before the designated commencement time of the Commission proceedings.
If an interpreter is requested for a conciliation/arbitration hearing or mediation conference, the Commission will make arrangements for the interpreter to be available 30 minutes prior to the nominated commencement time. If the proceedings are at the Commission’s Darlinghurst premises, the worker’s legal representative should advise the concierge on arrival so that the interpreter can be made available.
On behalf of the members and staff of the Commission, I extend best wishes for a happy holiday season.