Amending the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (WIRC Act) and Accident Compensation Act 1985 (AC Act), the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment 2013 (Provisional Payments) Bill 2020 will see the introduction of provisional payments for work-related mental health injuries.
This means that from 1 July 2021, Victorian workers with work-related mental health injuries can access treatment and services whilst their claim is being determined. Even if a claim is rejected, up to three weeks of continuous services are permitted.
Typically mental health claims take the longest to be determined whilst workers are often left without the financial means to access treatment. The Provisional Payments Bill aims to reduce that burden.
Employers who are notified of mental health injury claims must report these to their insurance agent within three days and the agent will have two days to decide if the worker is eligible for provisional payments. In a best-case scenario, workers can receive payments for medical and like expenses within five days of lodging their claim.
Brave Legal applauds the government for this initiative and hopes that Agents embrace the spirit of the Bill but more importantly, that the severity of psychological injuries can be reduced as early intervention becomes financially possible for workers.