Getting legal help through the NSW Independent Review Office
The Independent Review Office (IRO) investigates and solves complaints about workers compensation and motor accident insurers. This NSW statutory body helps people who have been injured at work or in a motor vehicle accident.
The IRO has an Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service (ILARS) that funds lawyers to assist injured workers with more complex issues. It’s like legal aid for people with workers compensation disputes.
At Main Lawyers, we are IRO-accredited and experts in workers compensation, so we can help you with your claim or complaint. And it won’t cost you a thing!
Read more about how we can help you with a complaint about your insurer.
Note: The IRO can’t assist Commonwealth public servants or injured workers in the Comcare system. These workers should contact Comcare.
How the IRO helps
The IRO solves problems with insurers that affect your entitlements, rights or obligations under NSW workers compensation or motor accident compensation legislation.
This includes complaints about weekly benefits, medical treatment, declined claims and insurer delays.
The IRO investigates disputes, listens to both sides and reviews the facts. They can usually resolve an issue through negotiation or by clearing up any confusion. They can also make non-binding recommendations.
Complaints are usually resolved within 30 days unless the IRO needs longer.
Complaints that the IRO can’t help with
The IRO doesn’t deal with complaints that:
- belong to a more appropriate forum like the Personal Injury Commission
- fall outside their jurisdiction, such as complaints by and about employers
- they have already dealt with (unless new information is available)
- have been made on someone else’s behalf without their consent
- are frivolous or vexatious.
Information you need to provide
The IRO doesn’t investigate anonymous complaints and enquiries, so you must identify yourself.
You will need to give them:
- your claim number
- your contact details
- your concerns about the insurer
- details of your attempts to discuss your concerns with the insurer.
Free legal help
For more complex complaints, you need legal help. In this case, the IRO can give you access to independent legal advice at no cost to you!
The IRO provides funding for workers compensation lawyers (like Main Lawyers) to give you independent advice and assistance. This funding covers legal fees and other expenses, such as medical reports.
When you first contact us about your complaint, we can determine whether you have a case and, if so, apply for IRO funding.
The IRO usually responds to our funding application within five business days. They may not approve the funding if it’s a simple problem that they can resolve without legal assistance or they believe the case won’t succeed.
If the IRO decides not to fund your case, you can try contacting the Personal Injury Commission, but you will need to pay a fee.
Want to know more?
As some complaints have strict time limits, the IRO recommends getting help as soon as possible if you have a problem with your workers compensation claim.
Start by contacting our workers compensation lawyers for a no-obligation discussion about your circumstances.