WIRO was established in 2012. It is on independent statutory office.
As a consequence of the Workers Compensation Commission being made a no -cost jurisdiction following the 2012 amendments, costs are now payable by and through the WIRO.
Before proceeding to represent an injured worker, it is necessary to become an approved lawyer (Approved Legal Service Provider – ALSP) and an application form needs to be completed and it is available on the WIRO website.
Lawyers that are approved by WIRO may apply for grants of funding for legal assistance to represent injured workers pursuing Workers Compensation claims.
The amounts of funding available for particular types of legal work are set out in Schedule 6 of the Workers Compensation Regulation 2010.
At the conclusion of work undertaken on behalf of an injured worker, the ALSP should invoice WIRO in accordance with their tax invoice guide. It is important to note that grants are not retrospective and that all work must be pre-approved by WIRO. If work is undertaken or expenses incurred prior to approval then they will not be reimbursed nor paid.
Generally speaking, WIRO will grant funding where it can be made out that the worker has some prospects of success with respect to the claim. WIRO will grant funding in regards to the preliminary investigation of lump sum entitlements or in regards to challenging decisions or liability decisions made by insurance companies.