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Further Information about WorkCover Compensation Claims

WorkCover is the body that oversees workers compensation and injury management in Australia. Every employer who runs a business must take out workers compensation insurance so that they are covered in the event of injury or harm to staff through the course of their employment.

If you have sustained an injury at work, it’s possible you may have a claim for compensation through WorkCover. WorkCover’s job does not revolve around maximising your entitlements, taking into account and recovering compensation for the widespread impact of your injuries following your accident at work. This is why it’s always best to seek expert legal help following your injury so you can ensure you get what you are entitled to.

Common Questions

What is claimable under WorkCover varies from state to state.

Generally speaking, the following is usually covered:

  • Injuries that occur at work or during work activities (including lunch breaks)
  • Injuries suffered whilst travelling as part of work
  • Injuries suffered whilst having medical treatment for a separate work injury
  • Any disease caused by work (including mesothelioma, industrial asthma etc.)
  • Any disease or pre-existing condition made worse by work

You are entitled to receive medical treatment from the medical practitioner of your choice. You are not obliged to obtain treatment from your employer’s doctor.

For major procedures, prior approval from WorkCover is usually necessary unless the treatment is urgent.

A lawyer will be able to tell you what is available for your situation once they know more about your case.

In the event that work has caused you to suffer from a disease, or if your workplace played a part in making a pre-existing condition or disease worse – then it’s possible you may be able to claim compensation for what has happened. It doesn’t matter if work was only partially responsible for your disease, you may still have a WorkCover claim.

Diseases which can be covered by WorkCover include:

Most employers in Australia have to take out WorkCover workers compensation insurance so that their employees are covered in the event of an accident at work.

This means that most workers are covered for injuries that occur at work, including:

  • A casual or permanent employee
  • A full-time or part-time worker
  • An “outworker” (working at home)
  • Work experience students
  • Jurors
  • Volunteers (depending on their situation)
  • Self-employed workers (depending on their situation)

If you are employed by the commonwealth government or one of its agencies, then you will likely be covered by ComCare, which is a different scheme. If you are unsure which scheme you may be covered by, contact a lawyer who can help you look into your situation.

Some large multi-state companies are able to become self-insurers under the ComCare scheme. This usually includes some banks and transport companies.

WorkCover workers compensation is available for injuries suffered in most workplaces.

Compensation can cover:

  • Medical treatment and rehabilitation costs
  • Loss of wages
  • Travelling expenses
  • Permanent impairment compensation
  • Return to work services
  • Death compensation claims

If you have suffered an injury at work it can have a profound impact on your life. Depending on the seriousness of your injury you may never be able to return to work in the same capacity. Recovering compensation is something people can pursue as an option well within their legal rights, whether they are still at their place of employment working, or otherwise, and seeking this compensation shouldn’t affect how you are treated at all.

Where your employer has offered you a different kind of job within the company, they are required to provide you with equivalent work if you recover fully or suitable employment if you do not. If an employer fails to provide appropriate work it can be an offence under the WorkCover legislation.

If you are being treated unfairly at work as a result of your claim, or if you are concerned about any role your employer has offered you, you must seek expert legal help to ensure your rights are protected. You should also speak to your treating GP about the appropriateness of any duties you are being directed to carry out.

There is not always an obligation on your employer to contribute to your superannuation fund whilst you are absent from work on WorkCover. The obligation to contribute to superannuation under the Commonwealth legislation only applies to wages and salary that you receive whilst you are actually working. In Victoria, however, if you continue to receive weekly payments from your employer a year from the date of your injury, then your employer must recommence paying their compulsory superannuation contributions.

Under some industrial agreements, awards, workplace agreements or contracts, some employers are obliged to continue superannuation contributions for a limited period whilst a claimant is on WorkCover, for example, up to 12 months.

Many people receive weekly repayments from WorkCover following their injury at work.

These payments vary from worker to worker, and depend on:

  • The amount of your pre-injury earnings
  • The level of your incapacity
  • The length of time you have received payments
  • Whether or not your employer has offered suitable work

If your weekly payments have stopped, but you are still too injured to work in the same capacity – it’s possible you may still have a claim. Contact a lawyer so they can look at your situation and see if there is room to dispute the decision from WorkCover.

If your weekly repayment amount doesn’t seem correct, it’s important you review and seek expert legal help.

If a person dies as a result of an injury at work or a medical condition that developed or was made worse through work, it’s possible that compensation may be made available.

You may be able to make a claim for a work related death if your relation to the deceased worker is:

  • A spouse even if they also work);
  • Dependent children including full time students up to age 25;
  • A partner (including a same sex partner) of the deceased worker; and
  • Anyone else who was wholly or partly dependent.

The amount you can claimfor a work related death depends on a number of factors, including the number of dependants, the type of work, the state laws, among many other things.

A lawyer will be able to give you a good indication of how much compensation is available once they know the facts of your situation.

Yes. There are strict time limits when it comes to making a claim for workers compensation. It’s important you seek expert legal help as soon as possible and prior to accepting any lump sum offer or attending any impairment assessment.

Shine Lawyers has offices in the following locations across Australia. As part of our service offering, home or hospital appointments can be arranged at your convenience.

Shine Lawyers has expert injury and workers compensation lawyers that can help you determine your rights and bring forward a claim for compensation on your behalf. The below links contain further information regarding your legal options.

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