Police Officer Workers Compensation Overview.
Our emergency service workers operate 24/7, every day of the year, to keep Australians safe. But who’s looking out for them? This article offers a brief overview of what kinds of claims you can make if you’re a police officer who’s been injured at work, and what you might be entitled to. Police workers compensation claims are very different to typical workers compensation claims and should be treated differently to a standard claim. Having a specialised police workers compensation lawyer on your side is the best way to access everything you may be entitled to, and make sure you don’t miss out on benefits that you didn’t even know about.
For a more in-depth explanation about police workers compensation claims, visit our ‘workers compensation for police officers claims guide’.
What can police officers claim for?
Here’s a brief overview of how police workers compensation entitlements differ from a standard claim.
|Standard workers comp claims||Police workers comp claims|
|– Weekly payments up to 95% of lost earnings for the first 13 weeks|
– Medical expenses
– Permanent impairment payout (after 15% physical Whole Person Impairment)
– Work Injury Damages payout
|– Weekly payments up to 100% of lost earnings for the first 26 weeks|
– Medical expenses related to the injury for life
– Permanent impairment payout (After 1% physical Whole Person Impairment)
– Work Injury Damages payout
– Pain and Suffering payout
– Superannuation police pension upon retirement or medical discharge
– Can access up to 80% of your salary for 52 weeks while retraining or job hunting
Read on for more information about specific payments you may be entitled to or contact us to speak to a specialised police workers compensation lawyer for personalised advice about your claim.
Psychological injuries and PTSD
You may experience a psychological injury like depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of another injury or caused by your work directly. Unfortunately, one in five police officers is at risk of developing PTSD because of their job. Psychological injuries are just as serious as physical injuries.
If you think you may be experiencing PTSD, ask yourself:
- Do you experience recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of a traumatic event?
- Do you get flashbacks as though you’re reliving the traumatic event?
- Do you have nightmares about what happened?
- Do you feel severe distress or physical reactions to anything that reminds you of the event?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions then you may be experiencing PTSD, and you can access support and medical treatment through a police workers compensation claim. At Law Partners we have solicitors who specialise in police workers compensation cases and can help you get the best possible outcome.
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Types of police compensation claims
If you’re a police officer receiving workers compensation, you can access:
- 100% of your pre-injury earnings
- 75% of your pre-injury earnings – after nine months and you’re still unable to work. This will continue for seven years, or until you turn 60
- 80% of your pre-injury earnings for up to a year – if you are unable to return to police work and are completing training for another job with an approved provider^
^NSW Government, Understanding Finances
Lump sum compensation
There are three types of lump sum compensation payment available for police officers injured on duty:
- Whole Person Impairment (WPI)
- Pain and Suffering
- Work Injury Damages (WID)
For emergency service workers like police officers, you only need to demonstrate 1% physical WPI to qualify for a payment. The higher your impairment, the more compensation you’ll be entitled to. The threshold is 15% for psychological injuries. Receiving a WPI payout doesn’t stop you from receiving weekly benefits for as long as you’re entitled to them.
A pain and suffering case is run and settled at the same time as a WPI claim. For police officers who’ve experienced 10% or more WPI, they can access this payment as financial compensation for difficulties faced because of an injury on duty.
At Law Partners, we’ll take time to get to know you personally. We win over 99% of our cases, and have extensive experience with police officer workers compensation claims. If you’re unsure about what kind of lump sum payments may be available to you, or how to start with a claim, contact us for free and personalised advice about your specific situation.
Work Injury Damages (WID)
You’re eligible for a WID payment if your employer’s negligence caused your injury. Negligence can cause physical injuries, like if your employer doesn’t provide proper safety gear and you get hurt as a result. Negligence can also cause mental injuries like depression and PTSD. For some officers, the pressures of their work begin to mount, and a lack of appropriate support services for dealing with the aftermath of trauma can lead to serious psychological injuries. Unfortunately, in many of these cases their employer’s lack of support directly causes these injuries, which is considered negligence.
If you’re deemed unfit to return to police work then you’ll be medically discharged, and you may be entitled to Income Protection, which covers up to 75% of your pre-injury salary (your base salary, excluding overtime, plus 17% loading for non-commissioned officers) for up to seven years with on-duty claims, two years with off-duty claims, or until you turn 60**.
If you’ve been medically discharged due to an injury on duty, it’s critical to seek appropriate medical treatment to help you heal. We can help you access doctors, rehabilitation options, and navigate the process with your employer.
**NSW Police Force, Medical retirement frequently asked questions and answers
Medical and treatment expenses
As emergency service workers, police officers are entitled to have any work-related treatment costs covered for the rest of their lives. This can include your surgery costs, rehabilitation, specialist treatments, domestic assistance, or anything involved in your recovery.
It’s important to know what your rights are. For help with the process, send us an email, message, or give us a call and we’ll support you at every step of the way. At Law Partners we win over 99% of our claims and can deal with the insurer on your behalf to give you the best chance at accessing everything you may be entitled to.
There are many safety nets in place to protect police officers injured in the line of duty. For more details about each type of claim and information about further entitlements, check out our LINK ONCE LIVE ‘compensation for police officers injured on duty claims guide’. If you’d like to make a claim, or simply want more information, we have extensive knowledge and experience advocating on behalf of police officers and can assist you with every step of the process.
A Doyle’s Guide listed personal injury law professional and one of the country’s preeminent workers compensation specialists, with over 15 years’ experience in delivering optimal outcomes to injured Australians.
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