Workers Compensation – If your employer is not supportive of you lodging a WorkCover application

If an employee is injured in the course of their employment in Queensland, they are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits.  

WorkCover Queensland (“WorkCover”) 

WorkCover is the Queensland workers compensation scheme that provides benefits and compensation to persons who are injured in workplace accidents. Some larger employers have special licences to handle their own compensation claims. These employers are known as self-insurers. 

WorkCover provides a ‘no fault’ scheme whereby an employee will be entitled to receive statutory compensation if the employee is considered a ‘worker’ and sustains an injury that arises out of, or in the course of, employment.  

If a person has been injured or has aggravated an injury, or their health has been affected by their workplace, they may be entitled to compensation from WorkCover. 

The benefits available to an injured worker through the WorkCover include weekly wages, medical expenses, lump sum payments for the injured worker’s permanent impairment, and travel expenses for medical appointments.  

The injured worker is required to report their injury to their employer and complete a WorkCover claim form. The injured worker is also required to have their doctor complete a WorkCover Medical Certificate. WorkCover will then assess the injured employee’s claim to determine whether to accept it or decline it.  

Unsupportive Employers  

Usually, as a part of their process of evaluating a claim, WorkCover will reach out to the employer to confirm the accident happened at work, as well as how it happened. In some circumstances, employers may not be supportive of employees making an application. This can be either because they were not aware that their employee sustained an injury in the workplace, or simply because they just don’t want their employees’ making claims. As such, it is important for the injured employee to provide WorkCover with as much evidence as possible to support how the accident or injury occurred. This may include witness statements, an incident report, or CCTV footage if the injured employee has access to it. 

If you are an injured employee reading this article and are uncertain about what can be used to corroborate your version of events, you should contact Littles Lawyers to obtain legal advice about how to get your claim accepted. The WorkCover system can be difficult to navigate, but our friendly staff are happy to help give your application the best possible chance of being accepted the first time around. 

At the end of the day, an employee should never feel bad about making a WorkCover application if they have been injured in their workplace. At the end of the day, that is why employers have WorkCover insurance policies.  

  1. Time Limits 

In regards to WorkCover claims, an injured person must notify their employer of their injury as soon as practicable. A claim for statutory compensation is generally only valid if it is lodge within six (6) months after the entitlement to compensation arises. This typically when the injury occurs.   

In Queensland, an injured worker has three (3) years from the date of injury to commence common law proceedings.  

This time limit can be extended in certain circumstances: 

  1. If it is before 6 months prior to the end of the 3-year limitation period, the insurer gives a Notice of Assessment for an injury, a proceeding may be brought: 

 a. Within 6 months after the insurer gives a Notice of Assessment; or 

 b. If within 6 months after the insurer gives the Notice of Assessment, the injured person advises the insurer they do not agree with the degree of permanent impairment, within 6 months after a Medical Assessment Tribunal decides the degree of permanent impairment. 

  2. If it is before the end of the 3-year limitation period, the injured person asks the insurer to assess their degree of permanent impairment and the insurer has not yet given them a Notice of Assessment: 

 a. Within 6 months after the insurer gives the Notice of Assessment; or 

 b. As 1b above, within 6 months of a Medical Assessment Tribunal deciding the disputed degree of permanent impairment.  

  3. If it is before the end of the 3-year limitation period and the injured person lodged an application for compensation which became the subject of review or appeal and the application had not been accepted, a proceeding may be brought: 

 a. Within 6 months after the application for compensation is accepted; or 

 b. If, before the 3-year time limit expires an injured person asks the insurer to have their injury assessed but does not agree with the degree of permanent impairment, within 6 months after the Medical Assessment Tribunal decides the degree of permanent impairment.  

Superannuation and Disability Insurance  

If a person is unable to work due to illness or injury, they may be entitled to benefits through their superannuation or other insurance policies. Contact Littles Lawyers to discuss your eligibility to make an insurance claim.  

Emily Wright and our team are specialist personal injury lawyers who can assist you with your claim on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis. If you would like advice in relation to a personal injury claim, including a medical negligence claim, please reach out to Emily Wright and Littles Lawyers today. 

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