Can You Reopen a WorkCover Claim in Queensland?


Yes, in certain circumstances, you might be able to reopen a previously closed WorkCover claim in Queensland. This could be necessary if your symptoms worsen, you develop new complications related to your original injury, or you require further treatment down the line.

However, if you decide to pursue a common law claim for damages for your work-related injury, your entitlement to compensation from WorkCover ends when your common law claim for damages has been finalised, and you receive a settlement payment (damages) for your injuries. 

Common Circumstances for Reopening a WorkCover Claim

Here are some situations where reopening a WorkCover claim is possible:

  • Deterioration of your condition: Your initial injury has gotten worse, resulting in greater pain, impairment, or a greater need for medical treatment.
  • New related injury: You've developed a new condition directly stemming from your original work-related injury.
  • Recurrence of symptoms: If symptoms of your original injury have returned after a period of improvement.
  • Need for further treatment: Additional medical tests, diagnoses, or treatments were previously unavailable or are now deemed necessary.

How to Reopen a WorkCover Claim: Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Consult Your Doctor: Obtain a current medical assessment from your doctor or specialist that connects your worsened condition or new developments to your original injury. Make sure they provide up-to-date Work Capacity Certificates.
  2. Contact WorkCover Queensland: Notify WorkCover (or your employer's self-insurer) that you would like to reopen your claim. You can complete a 'Notification of recurrence, deterioration, or new condition' form on their website at
  3. Provide Evidence: You'll need to submit detailed medical reports and any other relevant documents supporting the recurrence or worsening of your injury.
  4. Decision Process: WorkCover will examine the new evidence. They may approve the reopening of your claim, request additional information, or deny the request if there's insufficient proof.
  5. Seek Legal Advice: If your claim reopening is complex or is denied, you may greatly benefit from consulting a personal injury lawyer specialising in WorkCover claims for guidance and representation. Smith’s Lawyers are work injury claim experts and offer free initial advice.

Important Considerations

  • Time limits: There are timeframes for when you can reopen a closed WorkCover claim; these limits depend on the nature of your injury. If unsure, seeking legal advice promptly is important.
  • WorkCover's Discretion: Even with supportive evidence, WorkCover Queensland has the discretion to determine whether reopening your claim is justified.
  • Independent Medical Examinations: Your insurer may ask you to attend an independent medical examination (IME) conducted by a doctor they select. It is a good idea to discuss this with your lawyer if this happens.

Last updated:
March 11, 2024

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 help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.

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