How to get legal help for a workers compensation matter
The Minister established the Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service (ILARS) to facilitate access to free, independent legal advice for injured workers in circumstances where there is a disagreement with insurers regarding entitlements.
Most complaints can be solved by our contact centre within a few days. Some issues are a bit more complicated and need legal help. Some of the matters we help with include:
- compensation for whole person permanent impairment
- medical treatment including the provision of hearing aids
- liability disputes.
We have a list of Approved Lawyers to make sure injured workers have access to lawyers who practise regularly in workers compensation matters. We issue grants of legal assistance to these Approved Lawyers for disputes that cannot be solved by our complaints team. A grant will be provided if there is an arguable chance of success. A grant will pay for your legal fees and medical reports so you receive your proper entitlements.
How it works
If an injured worker has an issue and needs legal advice, we can help. We provide grants that pay for your lawyer and the out of pocket expenses your lawyer might incur to prepare your case.
To get a grant, you should see an Approved Lawyer – that is someone who is experienced in providing advice about workers compensation and is accredited by WIRO. There are over 900 Approved Lawyers across NSW.
Once the lawyer has the required information about the case from an injured worker, they send it to our ILARS team for review. Our lawyers have an in depth understanding of the workers compensation legislation . To remain independent, we do not provide injured workers with legal advice.
Our ILARS team will assess your case and will provide your lawyer with funding to obtain the required evidence. If there are some prospects of success, a grant will be provided to your lawyer to progress your case.
How long will it take?
We aim to respond to the application within 5 business days. On average, WIRO currently processes over 150 applications each week.
There are a few reasons why we might not provide a grant. If it is a simple problem, we may work directly with the insurer to get a solution. In some cases WIRO determines that the case does not have a chance of success and should not be funded.
You may still take the case to the Workers Compensation Commission if we do not fund the case, although this will be at your expense.
We recommend if you have a problem with your workers compensation claim, contact us or your lawyer as soon as you can. There are some time limits that apply with the legislation so the earlier the better.