Update on icare's Dust Diseases Care participant payment review
icare will commence its remediation program to repay Dust Disease Care participants following completion of the independent assurance report.
The independent assurance report validated icare's approach to address the historical payment practices issue.
Of 5,625 DDC participants icare has identified about 1400 files that may have been miscalculated, including 800 deceased estates. These will be proactively reviewed to calculate the correct payment, with work to be undertaken by a third-party partner, which will be announced shortly.
icare will contact every person or estate that is impacted over the coming months to discuss any changes before they are made. Any participant who has been overpaid will not be required to pay back any money
.A targeted communications campaign is also being developed to track down the estates of older claims in order to have files reviewed and any incorrect amounts paid.
icare identified and self-reported the issue in 2020, which resulted from decades-old legal interpretations of the 1942 and 1987 NSW Workers Compensation Acts. It has led to both underpayment and overpayment to participants or their estates.
To ensure the best outcomes for Dust Diseases Care participants, final independent assurance was undertaken by Deloitte experts in similar remediation matters who deemed icare's approach as 'fair, timely and appropriate'.
Deloitte made four key recommendations which icare will adopt in full:
- Data analysis conducted to determine proactive remediation criteria, and this be constantly reviewed as the program progresses.
- icare should monitor and seek data indicators to identify segments of the population that require further action.
- icare should consider adopting an interest rate that is appropriate, fair and aligned to standard industry practice.
- icare could consider implementing a process that enables the participant and/or legal representative to recover associated reasonable costs.
Read the full Deloitte report (PDF 1MB)
Participants have always had and will continue to have the ability for their entitlements to be reviewed at any time and icare will continue to review any participants' entitlements if they believe they are incorrect. Participants can contact icare via email DDCenquiries@icare.nsw.gov.au or call 02 8223 6600.
Existing arrangements will continue, with icare rectifying the issue for all current and future payments. DDC participants not required to do anything at this stage unless notified.
It is estimated this work will be completed by December 2021/early 2022.