WorkCover is an insurance scheme provided by the Government which provides ‘no fault’ cover in the event of an injury. If you are a worker who has been injured, and your injury arose out of or in the course of your employment you can seek compensation through WorkCover.
Workplace injuries can be traumatic, and you may need time off work to recover from your injuries. Despite this, there are certain time limits which must be adhered to in order for a claim to be validly lodged with WorkCover.
As a rule you need to ensure you inform your employer that you have been injured as soon as practicable. After you have informed your employer you have six months after your injury took place to report your claim to WorkCover to be eligible to receive compensation.
The date of your injury is the standard date from which a time limit for reporting is assessed, but can also be assessed by the day on which you are examined by a doctor, nurse, or dentist.
Note that time limits for lodging your application to WorkCover dictate that if you lodge your application more than 20 business days after you injury, WorkCover will only be liable to pay compensation no more than 20 business days before the day your application was lodged.
When you have been injured at work and you are not at fault you need to make an application to WorkCover within the six month period to be eligible for compensation. You will need to have two key documents to apply; a WorkCover claim form and a WorkCover medical certificate.
You can lodge your claim form to WorkCover in a number of ways including over the phone, in person, by fax, or online. You will also need to give a copy of your claim form to your employer, and you will need to keep a copy for yourself, noting the date that you lodged your claim.
After you have lodged your claim form and medical certificate to WorkCover, there is a period of 20 business days in which WorkCover must decide whether to accept your application for compensation.
When WorkCover assesses your claim they will be ensuring that your claim is sufficiently detailed to make a judgement about your injuries and the claim you are making. Any request for more information will be done so that WorkCover can make an appropriate assessment.
Once you have made a successful claim for WorkCover compensation within the appropriate time limits you will be paid weekly compensation in substitution for your weekly wage. The payment that you receive from WorkCover will not form the full amount of your salary; you will be paid:
Note that if you are deemed to be unfit for work after two years has elapsed there will likely be an assessment of permanent incapacity for work. This can result in a payment of a lump sum amount instead of ongoing compensation.
If you are deemed to be permanently impaired as a result of your workplace injury (this will need to be assessed by a medical professional) you may be entitled to receive a lump sum payment from WorkCover.
There is no time limit on applying for this payment, so long as WorkCover originally accepted liability for your claim for weekly payments and medical expenses relating to your injury.
If you have been rejected in your claim by WorkCover you have the right to appeal this. Or, if a decision has been made to terminate your payment and you do not believe it is correct, you have options to appeal or review this decision.
There are strict time limits which apply to appeal a decision by WorkCover and it is vital that you seek legal advice if a decision has been made which you do not agree with.
It is important to note that legal advice can assist you in identifying if you have a good case for appeal or review. If you have received a decision that you believe is incorrect, it may be worth speaking to a legal professional to find out what your rights are and where you stand.
It’s important to get advice for your specific situation. Check if you can make a risk-free compensation claim and get free initial advice from our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.
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