icare to pay out $38 million to 53,000 injured workers
Today icare announced that it will proactively pay $38 million to 53,000 injured workers affected by historic weekly payment calculation errors, in order to get benefits back to the people who need them most.
Since 2020 icare has written to 280,000 injured workers, conducted a state-wide awareness campaign and reviewed over 16,000 of the potentially highest-impacted claim files to address possible miscalculation errors in weekly payments between 2012 and 2019.
To date 3.5 per cent of files reviewed have been identified as having received underpayments, with the underpayment averaging less than $26 per week. It was also discovered 2.3 per cent of files received overpayments of similar value, which will not be recouped.
The icare Board and the cross-government steering committee consisting of icare, NSW Treasury and the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) have considered this approach and endorsed the proactive payment option following an independent review by Deloitte (PDF 1.2 MB).
"I would like to offer my sincere apology to any injured worker who has been affected by this calculation error. icare is working closely with the NSW Government, SIRA and employers to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” icare CEO, Richard Harding said.
"We have proactively reviewed those that were the most vulnerable and likely to have had a financial impact. Our focus has been on remediating these people as a quickly as possible.
"I am pleased that we are now in a position to make this right and get these payments to the injured workers who need them," he said.
The payment will come in the form of an adjustment of weekly benefits for the weeks already paid to workers and will be based on an individual worker’s claim characteristics. This will include individual worker factors such as weeks off work, amounts already received in weekly entitlements and the nature of their injury.
We will now begin contacting all workers identified as suitable to receive the proactive payment so that payments can be processed in the near future.
This accelerated payment approach does not limit injured workers from requesting a further review and they can do this by lodging a request through our Weekly payments reassessment form page or contacting their case manager.