Change in practice for PMI reassessments related to lung function
If you are receiving benefits as a result of a Permanent Medical Impairment (PMI) related to lung function, it’s important for you to know about a change in practice with regard to the way your benefits are re-assessed.
You should know that we would explain any change to you before a reassessment that could impact your benefits.
Permanent medical impairments where there is reduced lung function are reassessed at different intervals, depending on the details of each claim. For many years, when reassessment showed an improvement in your lung function, your PMI rating, and therefore your benefits, were maintained. As a result of an appeal decision earlier this year, this practice will change.
The change is as follows: Going forward, if your reassessment shows that your lung function has improved, your impairment rating would be reduced. The level of monthly benefits would also be reduced, accordingly, instead of maintained.
As always, if testing showed that your lung function had worsened, your benefits would increase. As always, if there is no change in your lung function, there would be no change in your benefits.
We will implement this change in practice effective immediately, for new reassessments. Workers would be advised of the change in practice at the time a new reassessment is booked.
Please note that for some workers, specifically on those claims where entitlement comes from Section 35 of the Workers’ Compensation Act, the previous practice will be maintained, pending recently introduced legislative changes.
Appointments for lung function reassessment will continue to be booked as per current practice. You would be advised at the time a reassessment is booked that their PMI rating could go up, down, or stay the same.
All workers will be advised in advance of any reassessment that could impact their benefits.
The change in practice primarily impacts reassessments for lung-related impairments. However, as details of every claim are different, and you may well have questions about how, or if, this change affects you.
Please contact your case worker directly should you have questions regarding how this change in practice may affect your claim.