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icare CEO Richard Harding. Source: icare
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  • NSW public insurer icare announces today it will pay out a combined $38 million to at least 53,000 injured workers on the back of a string of historical calculation errors
  • The payments will be made proactively to workers most likely to be affected by a miscalculation issue identified by icare in 2019
  • Icare says since 2020, it has written to over 280,000 workers and reviewed over 16,000 of the highest impacted claim files to address the possible miscalculation errors
  • The state-owned body says though the underpayment amount currently averages less than $26 per week, it begin reimbursing workers between $100 and $5000 for underpayments
  • CEO Richard Harding today offered an apology to the workers who had been affected by the mistake

New South Wales public insurer icare announced today it will pay out a combined $38 million to at least 53,000 injured workers on the back of a string of historical calculation errors.

The announcement follows a scandal that unfolded in 2019 when icare identified an error in the way it was calculating pre-injury weekly earnings, resulting in thousands of those receiving workers compensation being underpaid.

Icare said since 2020, it has written to over 280,000 workers and reviewed over 16,000 of the highest impacted claim files to address the possible miscalculation errors.

The insurance body is employer-funded and owned by the state of New South Wales but independent from the government.

CEO Richard Harding today offered an apology to the workers who had been affected by the mistake.

“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, the State Insurance Regulation Authority (SIRA), and employers to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” Mr Harding said.

“We have pro-actively reviewed those that were the most vulnerable and likely to have had a financial impact. Our focus has been on remediating these people as quickly as possible.”

Icare said the underpayment amount currently averages less than $26 per week, though it will move proactively to pay the workers most likely to be affected by its miscalculation issue.

In a Facebook post, icare said it would begin reimbursing workers between $100 and $5000 for underpayments.

The payouts will be made in the form of an adjustment to weekly benefits for the weeks already paid to workers. According to icare, the payments will be based on individual workers’ claim characteristics and will factor in weeks off works, amounts already received in weekly payments, and the nature of their injury.

Icare said the miscalculation error was likely because of the “complex process” behind working out an injured worker’s pre-injury average weekly earnings (PIAWE).

“Employers found it difficult to provide insurers with the required data and information to determine an injured worker’s weekly workers compensation payments, and insurers were only able to pay an injured worker’s weekly payments based on the information provided to them by employers,” icare explained.

Further, icare said under NSW legislation, insurers needed to assess and commence provisional weekly payments within seven days after being notified of an injury, but this timeframe meant initial payments were often based on incomplete information.

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