What is a WorkCover Claim?
If you have been injured at work, you may be thinking whether you should lodge a WorkCover claim. In Queensland, the WorkCover system is known as a “no fault” scheme, whereby employees are entitled to receive statutory benefits if –
- The employee is considered a ‘worker’ under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld); and
- The injury was sustained during the course of employment.
If you are found to have met the above requirements, your WorkCover claim should be accepted, and you will be in receipt of statutory benefits. The advantages of lodging a WorkCover claim is that you are entitled to receive the following benefits:
- Medical treatment;
- Rehabilitative treatment;
- Loss of wages; and
- Travel expenses.
You will be entitled to the above until your injuries are considered stable and stationary, meaning your condition is not likely to improve with further medical or surgical treatment.
Five things to do when lodging a WorkCover Queensland claim:
We understand that lodging a WorkCover clam can be a daunting and overwhelming process. If you have been injured at work and are looking at lodging a WorkCover claim, we would recommend that you consider the following five steps:
1. Report your Injury:
As soon as you are injured during the course of your employment, it is imperative that you report such incident to your employer as soon as possible. This may be done by completing an incident report or by verbally informing them of what had happened. Even if you do not intend to lodge a claim right away, you should still ensure that the injury is reported to reduce the risks of your claim being rejected or any other disputes down the track.
In addition to this, it is also important that you seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the workplace incident and report your injuries to your doctor. By seeking treatment at the get go, you are not only receiving the medical care you need but you are also keeping a record of what happened to you and your injuries.
2. Provide as much detail as possible:
When reporting your injuries to not only your employer and your doctor, but also WorkCover Queensland when you lodge a claim, it is imperative that you provide as much detail as possible in respect to your injuries and how the incident occurred. We recommend that you provide such entities with the following information:
- The specific date and time the incident occurred;
- Details of what you were doing when the incident occurred;
- How the incident occurred; and
- The injuries you have sustained as a result of the incident.
It can sometimes be difficult to explain how an incident occurred whilst at work, causing the listener to not understand the mechanism of your injuries and how they were caused. If you have a chance to do so, it is recommended that you take photographs of the incident site and your injuries, to show both WorkCover and your medical providers. If there are any items, tools or pieces of equipment involved in the injury occurring, you should take photographs of these items as well. By doing so, this will allow such entities to obtain a better understanding of what happened.
3. Lodge a claim as soon as possible:
If you have been injured during the course of your employment and require urgent medical care or time off work, it is strongly recommended that you lodge a WorkCover claim as soon as possible. Under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld), your WorkCover claim must be filed within 6 months of the injury occurring.
WorkCover may waive the six months’ time frame, provided that they are satisfied that your failure to lodge the application was due to –
- mistake; or
- you were absent from the state; or
- a reasonable cause.
To prevent any delays in having your WorkCover claim accepted, it is strongly advised that you lodge such claim within 6 months of the injury occurring. This will allow you to receive the recommended treatment without any costs to you and allow you to continue receiving an income for loss of wages.
By not lodging a claim as soon as possible, you may be putting yourself at a disadvantage as you will not be receiving the necessary treatment for your recovery. Thus, possibly resulting in your recovery time being extended.
4. Keep any evidence:
When lodging a WorkCover claim, it is important that you keep all evidence that relates to your injuries and how the incident occurred. If you were to have issues with having your claim accepted by WorkCover Queensland, you may be able to rely on such evidence to assist having your claim approved. Such evidence includes:
- A copy of the Incident Report;
- Photographs of your injuries;
- Photographs of the incident site;
- Keep a diary of your injuries and their impacts including symptoms and their interference with your ability to work;
- Any text messages or emails with your employer that details how the incident occurred;
- Statements of co-workers;
- Medical Reports;
- Radiology Reports;
- Receipts for purchases that relate to your injuries (e.g., medication, rehabilitation services or medical treatment).
5. Seek Legal Advice:
If you have been injured at work, seek legal advice as soon as possible. Even if your WorkCover claim has been accepted and you are receiving statutory benefits, it is still imperative that you seek legal advice from a firm that specialises in workers’ compensation matters so that you know where you stand and what your rights are.
Firms such as Turner Freeman Lawyers will not only be able to assist you and guide you through the statutory claims process, but we will also provide you with advice in regards to other rights you may be entitled to, this may include:
- Receiving a lump-sum payment for your injuries;
- Seeking reviews of any decisions made by WorkCover in the course of your statutory claim;
- Commencing a common law claim for damages; or
- Receiving disablement benefits under your superannuation policy.
Get in touch
We understand that being injured can be a stressful and overwhelming time. At Turner Freeman Lawyers, we are here to help you through the claims process and to relieve some of that stress and pressure from you. If you require our assistance, we encourage you to contact us on 13 43 63 for an obligation free case assessment.