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icare Fixes Historical Underpayments

icare Dust Disease Care – a New South Wales government organisation (which used to be known as the Dust Diseases Authority and before that the Dust Diseases Board) is one of the oldest government workers compensation providers in Australia.

icare Dust Disease Care provides benefits to workers and their families who have been impacted by NSW work-delated dust disease. The compensation available from icare provides a benefit payment (which is not means tested), as well as covering medical expenses and some other benefits.

The weekly benefits payable are determined by reference to the level of disability attributable to the disease (and for some conditions) and the extent to which the person was exposed to dust other than in NSW employment. The compensation is payable beyond retirement age and for the remainder of the worker’s life. icare also will meet the costs of reasonable medical, hospital, ambulance, and other related expenses of your work-related disease. Dependents of a person (such as spouse, or child under 18) are entitled to a lump sum benefit of the worker dies from the condition, as well as ongoing payments.

In 2021 an audit conducted by the NSW Auditor-General found that icare had underpaid 1,362 NSW workers (or their families) with dust diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and silicosis over an extended period. The auditor found that icare owed $39.3 million to workers because of these errors. The payment errors were associated with difficulty interpreting the 1942 and 1987 NSW Workers Compensation Acts and have caused decades of underpayment.

Due to the historic nature of the error, more than 75 per cent of the affected workers have died. $8 million has been repaid to the estates of around 800 people, and icare is currently in the process of trying to contact the remaining estates. Further, 276 cases relate to living participants of the dust disease care scheme, and repayment to these individuals has totalled $6.5million and has been paid to all but two workers. The underpayment was, on average, $27,000 for the first 26 weeks of the individual’s entitlement.

If you receive a benefit from icare and have received an additional lump sum payment from icare over the past year, this is the reason.

It is important to note that almost everyone who receives compensation from icare Dust Disease Care would be entitled to additional compensation by way of a common law claim. These claims do not impact or reduce the icare benefit and are generally worth significantly more than the icare benefit.

This is where Segelov Taylor Lawyers can help. Segelov Taylor Lawyers are experts in dust disease claims across Australia. Tanya Segelov has been working with people with dust diseases in NSW for more than 25 years.  She can help guide and support you through the compensation process and ensure you receive the best result. For an obligation free case assessment, contact our office on 02 8880 0500 or email Tanya directly tanya@segelovtaylor.com.au.

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