When a worker has a dispute with a WorkCover insurer about weekly payments, medical and like expenses, or a number of other issues, they often need to make an application to the Magistrates Court to resolve the issue. The costs, time and stress of going to court has deterred many workers from pursuing their legitimate disputes.
The Victorian Government is implementing a new dispute resolution scheme to address this situation, authorising the Accident Compensation and Conciliation Service (ACCS) to hear and make binding decisions on genuine disputes not resolved at conciliation.
Under this new scheme, a worker can make an application to ACCS for a hearing as soon as they receive a Genuine Dispute Certificate. ACCS then needs to commence the hearing within 30 days and conclude the hearing 60 days after commencement. This scheme will be much less complex for workers than the current system where workers could wait over 12 months for a hearing date at the Magistrates Court.
With this new approach, WorkCover claimants will have a fairer, faster, and less stressful way of resolving their legitimate disputes, however the Victorian Government has not yet advised when this new scheme will begin.
If you would like to know more about what this scheme means for you or how we can assist with your WorkCover claim, contact us on (03) 9321 9988.
Authors: Catherine Sim & Zanna Gorfe, Paralegal