Declined liability and impairment disputes

If the insurer declines liability for your claim or you disagree with the level of impairment, there are ways you can dispute the decision. 

For initial advice on how to dispute a claim, you can contact:

Insurer declining liability for a claim

Request the insurer conduct a further review of the decision

Attached to the dispute notice you received from the insurer will be an application form to request the insurer review their decision.

You must always ask the insurer to review the decision in the first instance.

On the application form you should explain why you are requesting the review and include any additional information you think is relevant to the decision.

It's very important you include all relevant information at the review stage as you may not be allowed to introduce new material if you later choose to lodge an application at the Workers Compensation Commission.

The insurer must respond to you in writing within 14 days of receiving the request for a review. The insurer will either decide to accept the claim or maintain its decision.

Lodge an application with the Workers Compensation Commission

If you are not satisfied with the insurer's decision you can choose to lodge an application to dispute the decision with the Workers Compensation Commission.

If you do apply to have the dispute resolved, only the information included with the dispute notice or application for review will be considered. Therefore, it is important for you to include all relevant information at the review stage as you may not be allowed to introduce new material after an application has been lodged unless the Commission is satisfied that it is necessary to do so in the interests of justice.

If the insurer inadvertently fails to attach all relevant documents or communicate everything they are required to in the notice, then the insurer has an obligation to remedy any defective dispute notices as soon as they become aware.

In the first instance, the injured worker should contact the insurer and ask them to remedy the defect. If they do not, then the injured worker can contact our Customer Service Centre on 13 10 50 or ask their union or legal representative to assist them.  

In addition, the WIRO has the power to investigate complaints about an act or omission by an insurer. You can contact the WIRO on 13 94 76 or by email at

The Workers Compensation Commission also provides detailed information on resolving disputes and you can call the Workers Compensation Commission on 1300 368 040  

Workers Compensation Independent Review Officer

If you are dissatisfied at any stage throughout this process, you can contact the Workers Compensation Independent Review Officer (WIRO) at or call them on 13 94 76. 

The WIRO has the power to investigate complaints and make recommendations about an act or omission by insurers that affect the rights and responsibilities of workers under the workers compensation legislation. 

Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service

You are responsible for your own legal costs if you dispute a decision of an insurer to deny liability for a claim. However the Workers Compensation Independent Review Officer (WIRO) has established the Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service which provides access to free independent legal advice for injured workers through the provision of a grant to assist you with the dispute.

You can call the WIRO on 13 94 76 or contact them by email to

Permanent impairment disputes

If the dispute is about the level of permanent impairment, an approved medical specialist appointed by the Workers Compensation Commission will review all medical evidence and then make an assessment and determination on the level of permanent impairment for a lump sum compensation payment.