What is a WorkCover Notice of Assessment (NOA)?

In Queensland, a WorkCover Notice of Assessment (NOA) is a critical document issued to workers who have sustained injuries at their workplace. This document plays a pivotal role in the workers' compensation process, detailing the extent of the injuries and the degree of permanent impairment (DPI) suffered by the worker. 

Understanding the NOA, its contents, and the implications of the decisions you make upon receiving it is essential for ensuring you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

When Do You Receive a Notice of Assessment (NOA)?

A Notice of Assessment is typically issued once your injuries have become "stable and stationary," meaning they are unlikely to improve or worsen significantly with further treatment. This stage marks the end of your statutory workers' compensation benefits. WorkCover Queensland or a self-insurer will arrange a medical assessment to determine your DPI. Once this assessment is completed, the NOA is issued within 10 business days.

What is Included in the Notice of Assessment (NOA)?

The NOA contains several key pieces of information:

  1. Details of the Injuries: A comprehensive list of the injuries you have sustained at your workplace.
  2. Degree of Permanent Impairment (DPI): The percentage rating that quantifies the extent of your permanent impairment. This rating is crucial as it influences the compensation you are entitled to receive.
  3. Statutory Lump Sum Offer: A monetary offer based on your DPI, intended to compensate you for your injuries. This offer is calculated using a set formula stipulated in the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld).

How is the Degree of Permanent Impairment (DPI) Assessed?

The DPI is assessed by a trained medical professional using the Guidelines for the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (GEPI). This assessment involves a thorough medical examination and review of your medical history, clinical evaluations, and any relevant investigations. The assessment aims to determine the extent to which your injury has permanently impacted your ability to perform daily activities, including work.

For physical injuries, assessment is done by a doctor trained in the Queensland Guide. For psychological injuries, the assessment must be conducted by the Medical Assessment Tribunal (MAT), whose decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

What is the Statutory Lump Sum Offer?

The Statutory Lump Sum Offer is a one-time payment made to compensate you for your permanent impairment. The amount is calculated based on your DPI and the maximum statutory compensation payable, which is indexed annually. For example, if your DPI is 5%, and the maximum statutory compensation is $380,575.31, your lump sum offer would be $19,028.76 (5% of $380,575.31).

How Long Do You Have to Decide?

Upon receiving the NOA, you have 20 business days to respond. During this period, you must decide whether to accept, reject, or defer the lump sum offer. If you do not respond within this timeframe, the offer is automatically deferred.

Note: If there was negligence involved by your employer or another party then you may be eligible for a common law claim which can often provide a much higher payout. Smith’s Lawyers are experts in Queensland work injury common law claims, and in getting you the compensation you are rightfully entitled to. 

Options for Responding to the NOA

  1. Accept the Lump Sum Offer: If you accept the offer, your statutory claim is finalised, and you cannot pursue a common law claim for damages. This decision is irrevocable.
  2. Reject the Lump Sum Offer: If you reject the offer, you can pursue a common law claim for damages. This option allows you to seek compensation for pain and suffering, past and future loss of income, and other expenses. However, if your common law claim is unsuccessful, you cannot later accept the lump sum offer.
  3. Defer the Decision: Deferring the decision allows you to consider your options further. You can decide to accept or reject the offer at a later date. However, once you commence a common law claim, you can no longer accept the lump sum offer.

Seeking Legal Advice

It is highly recommended to seek independent legal advice before making any decision regarding the NOA. Legal professionals can provide personalised guidance, help you understand the implications of your choices, and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

Why Your NOA is Important for Making a Compensation Claim 

A WorkCover Notice of Assessment (NOA) is a crucial document in the workers' compensation process in Queensland. It details your injuries, assesses your degree of permanent impairment, and includes a statutory lump sum offer.

Understanding the contents of the NOA, the assessment process, and your options for responding is essential for making informed decisions about your compensation. Navigating this complex process can be challenging, and seeking legal advice is crucial to ensure you make the best decisions for your situation.

Contact Smith's Lawyers at 1800 960 482 or request a free case review online.

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Last updated:

June 26, 2024

Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.

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