Victorian workers who experience a work-related mental illness will benefit from having much quicker access to treatment and payments due to new legislation which allows for provisional payments to be made, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).
The Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Provisional Payments) Bill 2020 was introduced in Parliament this week and follows the success of a pilot program that offered provisional payments to emergency service workers and volunteers.
“Provisional payments really help people who are already distressed and vulnerable,” said Jeremy King, Victorian State President, Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA). “It means they can obtain medical and financial support straight away and don’t have to wait for their claim to be accepted.
“Provisional payments recognise that people’s lives and bills don’t stop after they have lodged a claim.
“Access to early treatment has been shown to achieve better return to work outcomes but it also helps alleviate the huge stresses people experience when lodging a claim and waiting for approval.
“The lack of provisional payments has been a significant gap in the Victorian workers compensation system. Even the NSW workers compensation scheme – widely regarded as one of the worst in the country for injured workers – has provisional weekly payments in place.”