What is WorkCover?
WorkCover is a compulsory insurance that covers all Australian employees, providing protection against workplace-related injuries or illnesses regardless of who is at fault.
Most organisations must provide this insurance to its full-time, part-time and casual workforce. WorkSafe insurance is often referred to as ‘workers compensation’ and its purpose it to ensure workers receive support via benefits and financial compensation as a result of a work-related injury or illness.
Making a WorkCover claim
If you've suffered from an injury or disease you think might be related to your work, then you may be entitled to claim WorkCover compensation.
To make a WorkCover claim, follow these steps below:
- See your doctor for treatment and give them details about how you were injured.
- Report the injury to your employer. This must be done in writing within 30 days of becoming aware of the injury.
You can report the injury by making an entry in the accident book or the register of injuries at your workplace. By law, every employer must have an injury book. As an alternative you can report the injury by lodging a claim for compensation with your employer.
Caution: If you do not notify your employer in writing within 30 days of becoming aware of the injury, then your claim may be rejected.
- If you do not need to take any time off but you want WorkCover to pay for the medical expenses you incur because of the injury, you should lodge a WorkCover claim form attaching any accounts/invoices relating to your medical treatment with your employer.
If you need to take time off work because of your injury, the WorkCover claim form must be accompanied by a certificate of capacity completed by your doctor. The claim and certificate must be lodged as soon as possible.
- Once you have lodged the WorkCover claim with your employer, the employer has 10 days to forward the documents on to their WorkCover claims agent.
Where do I get a WorkCover claim form?
- Post office
- Your doctor
- The WorkCover authority in your state (see below)
- Post office
- The WorkCover claims agent then has a further 28 days to advise you whether or not your claim has been accepted.
- If your claim is rejected, or if you haven’t received any response to your claim, you should call us to discuss within 60 days.
WorkCover in your state
The administration of the WorkCover scheme differs slightly in each state and territory, so it’s important for employers and employees to familiarise themselves with the workers compensation scheme in their location.
Australian Capital Territory
WorkSafe ACT is the government body responsible for the administration of workers compensation in the ACT. Information about claims, compensation, how to obtain insurance and general workplace health and safety is available on its website.
New South Wales
The NSW workers compensation scheme, and the regulation of workplace health and safety, is administered by WorkCover Authority of NSW (WorkCover).
Businesses and workers can seek detailed information about staying safe at work, workers compensation, including how to make a claim, and rights and responsibilities by visiting the NT WorkSafe website.
WorkCover Queensland’s online service WorkCover Connect enables employers to manage their workers compensation insurance policies, track claims and analyse industry trends via a secure login.
Workers can also access all the relevant information they need to start the process of making a claim, or understanding more about work-related injuries and illnesses by visiting the WorkCover Queensland website.
ReturnToWorkSA is the government body that provides advice, support and insurance services to South Australian business and employees. All work injury and illness-related resources, together with workers compensation claim information can be found on the ReturnToWorkSA website.
Workers compensation in Tasmania is regulated and administered by WorkSafe Tasmania. The Workers Compensation Handbook and The Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Guide are two key resources available on their website to help both employers and workers understand their obligations during the claim process.
WorkSafe Victoria is responsible for managing the state’s workers compensation scheme as well as enforcing occupational health and safety laws. Employers and workers can access information, tools and resources to guide them through the claims process resulting from a work-related injury or illness.
WorkCover WA is the government’s administrative agency for the state's workers compensation scheme. Whether you need to obtain insurance as an employer, make a claim or get advice, Western Australians should seek information on the website.
If you've suffered an injury or illness at work, you may be entitled to:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income (in the form of a weekly benefit)
- Rehabilitation services
- Lump sum compensation
- Legal costs
Speak to us today
Our priority at Slater and Gordon is to ensure you:
Feel supported through the workers compensation process
Understand your rights and entitlements
Assist you with disputes which may arise with the workcover insurer
Maximise your compensation
Provide you with clear and accurate advice about your prospects of success
You should contact us if:
You have suffered an injury at work
You have suffered a flare-up of an existing injury or disease whilst at work
You have suffered a psychological injury at work
You want to know more about your potential to obtain lump sum compensation
Your workcover claim has been rejected
Your employer is pressuring you to return to work
The insurer won't pay for a particular expense
You've never received advice about a workplace injury
You want to know where you stand within the law.