Lawyers that are approved by WIRO (ALSPs) may apply for grants of funding to provide legal advice and assistance to injured workers pursuing workers compensation entitlements.
Procedures for administering grants of assistance
WIROs procedures for administering these grants of assistance are set out in the ILARS Policy.
Purpose of the ILARS funding
The purpose of ILARS funding is to ensure that injured workers are able to:
- Access legal assistance to explore their rights and entitlements under the workers compensation legislation;
- Access legal assistance to attempt resolution of their claim as soon as possible; and
- Have their claim determined in the Workers Compensation Commission or other appropriate forum where a dispute is unable to be resolved by agreement.
When an injured worker seeks legal assistance the ALSP will take basic instructions from the worker and complete an Application for ILARS Grant which sets out essential facts and indicates what grant type is sought
That application, which is lodged by email, is then considered by one of the ILARS principal lawyers, who will determine whether, on the basis of the information provided, it is reasonable to fund preliminary enquiries and evidence gathering to support the claim.
What does the grant of assistance cover?
The grant of assistance will cover the cost of medical reports and clinical notes, as well as providing funding, in appropriate cases, for the lawyer to obtain further reports consistent with the proper conduct and preparation of the claim.
Fast track applications
ILARS adopts flexible practices including the introduction of fast track applications if required, for example, as the result of changes to legislation or judicial determinations. In November 2016 ILARS introduced a fast track application for funding with respect to advice about cessation of a worker’s weekly benefits at the expiration of 260 weeks pursuant to section 39 of the 1987 Act.
Referral to the WIRO Solutions Group
Some grant applications may be referred to the Solutions Group if it appears the dispute is capable of early or simple resolution. WIRO is focused on resolving disputes quickly, fairly and cheaply and we encourage lawyers to adopt the same practical approach.
Amounts of funding available
The amounts of funding available for particular types of legal work are set out in Schedule 6 of the Workers Compensation Regulation 2016. Where the Regulation is silent or ILARS Policy differs from the Regulation the ILARS Grant amount guide applies.