Knowledge base

How to Make a WorkCover Claim in Queensland

Whether you wish to make a statutory WorkCover claim or a common law work injury claim, you must start by lodging a statutory claim.

Construction worker using saw

Being injured at work can be traumatic. It is important to know what your rights are if you have been injured so that you can take steps towards recovery with the appropriate compensation in place.

Recovering from any kind of injury is stressful, let alone having to manage an injury while you are going through a WorkCover claim. Many people who have been injured are the sole or majority income providers in their household, so they are naturally worried about income and compensation.

Injured? Get expert advice now: Smith's are Queensland's only 100% risk-free work injury compensation lawyers. Insist on our 'No Win. No Fee. No Catch' ® promise. Check your rights with no risk or obligations now and talk direct to our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith. Call 1800 266 801 OR  check if you can claim

How to lodge a WorkCover claim

WorkCover is there to compensate workers who have been injured while at work, so whether you wish to make a statutory WorkCover claim or a common law work injury claim, you must start by lodging a statutory claim.

Here’s what you need to do to commence your statutory WorkCover claim successfully:

Lodging a WorkCover claim
  1. Notify your employer of any injury as soon as possible after it happens
  2. See a doctor and obtain a Workers’ Compensation Medical Certificate
  3. Complete the WorkCover Application for Compensation form. Access it online here
  4. Provide the completed WorkCover Application form and your Workers’ Compensation Medical Certificate to your employer
  5. Let WorkCover know if your condition changes

It is important to lodge your claim as soon as is reasonably possible. Some employers will have in-house rehabilitation, and other employers will offer various programs to get you back on your feet – but note that some employers will offer these programs without requiring a claim. You do not want to move beyond any applicable time limits and risk missing out on appropriate compensation.

Common questions

It’s common to feel overwhelmed and to have a lot of questions; after all, this is likely not a situation you have experienced before and there is a lot to do. Some of the common questions people have when they have been injured at work include:

Who do I need to tell about my injury?

Reporting your workplace injury

In most cases you will need to tell your immediate supervisor. Of course, it will probably also be necessary to let the manager or owner of your business know as well, but that may fall to your supervisor to do. Once you let your employer know you have been injured you may be required to fill out an incident report.

  • If your injuries are severe enough to require immediate medical attention it’s important to prioritise your medical treatment. Paperwork can wait.
  • You may need on the spot medical treatment at work, or you may need an ambulance to go to hospital
  • Any costs incurred as part of your travel to the hospital will be covered by WorkCover

How do I lodge my WorkCover forms?

It is a requirement under the Act that your employer assist you in lodging your claim. However, you’re not obligated to allow your employer to help you, and if you want to deal with the claim yourself you can lodge with WorkCover directly. If your employer is self-insured, you can also lodge with the self-insurance team at work workplace.

  • You will usually lodge with your employer, but can lodge directly with WorkCover online or by post
  • You’ll need to have a comprehensive amount of detail to lodge your claim, including information about the incident, who was involved, the events that led to the incident, the overall outcome, any information about machinery involved if applicable, and anything else relevant
  • The more information you have to provide the better, as it will make it easier to move your claim forward

What if my employer doesn’t want me to lodge a claim?

Phone call records after suffering a workplace injury

Every employee in Queensland has to be insured under their employer’s insurance. This insurance is there to protect you in the event that you are injured. If for some reason your employer is reluctant for you to make a claim for WorkCover it is important that you do so regardless. It can be helpful to track some details of your incident and any further correspondence. Things like:

  • A detailed report of the incident from your perspective
  • Photographs and medical reports of your injuries
  • Any records of phone calls, messages and emails sent from and to your employer

You are not obligated to report your WorkCover claim through your employer, and in fact you can lodge it directly through WorkCover. If your employer is not assisting you with your claim it’s vital that you seek legal advice, so you know what your rights are.

Do I have to go to a specialist doctor?

Your employer may recommend a doctor, but you are not obliged to use them. Again, if your injuries are severe enough to require immediate medical attention you should prioritise your treatment. But once your initial treatment is taken care of you can then attend your preferred doctor for treatment. Further into a claim you may be asked to go for an 'Independent Medical Examination' (IME) by WorkCover or your employees insurer.

  • Your employer cannot dictate a particular practitioner
  • You are entitled to receive a second opinion
  • It is your right to choose the doctor you wish to receive treatment from

Do I have to sign an authority form for my employer to see my medical records?

Signing authority form to access medical records

Your employer may ask you to sign a form allowing them to access your medical information from your doctor. You are not obligated to sign anything. There are privacy laws in place to protect the information shared between you and your doctor.

  • If for any reason you do not want your employer to access your information directly (or if you would prefer for your employer to communicate with your doctor through you) then do not sign the authority form
  • You are not obliged to sign an authority form
  • Your information is private and cannot be released without your authorisation

How much will I be paid?

How much you get paid while on WorkCover will depend on how much you are able to work. If you are on total incapacitation you will be paid 85% of your Normal Weekly Earning (NWE) for the first six months that you are unable to work, and then you will receive 65% of your NWE after that. Your employer might have you working on alternative duties which means you will be paid 100% for the work you are doing, and then you’ll also receive 85% if the difference between your ordinary wage and the wage for the job you are doing while you recover. More info here.

Calculator to estimate amount to be paid through WorkCover

At some point you will stop being paid ongoing payments from WorkCover and will be assessed with a permanent impairment rating if the impacts are long term. This will result in a lump sum offer. In many cases then accepting this will waive your right to a compensation claim via a work injury lawyer.

Strict time limits apply - seek legal advice ASAP - In most circumstances, the time limit to start a compensation claim is 3 years from the date of incident. Some processes need to be started much sooner. Seek expert legal advice ASAP. Call us on 1800 266 801 or start a live chat.

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Last update on:
June 1, 2021
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 expert advice call 1800 266 801 or chat via live chat to arrange free initial advice with our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

Next steps — get advice now

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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