If your workers’ compensation claim is accepted, then you have several entitlements under the law. Each claim is assessed individually, but in this post, we’ll break these WorkCover claim entitlements down, so you know roughly what to expect if your claim is accepted.
Weekly Compensation Payments
Whether you’re partially or totally unable to work as a result of your work injury, you’re entitled to compensation, which is paid weekly.
The exact amount you’re paid will depend on a range of circumstances, including the date of the injury, the length of the claim and whether your employment is governed by an industrial instrument. As a result, we highly recommend that you obtain legal advice on whether the amount of money offered as part of your WorkCover claim is fair. However, if you’re just looking for a general guide, then this WorkCover Queensland page sets out the weekly compensation payable.
For your claim, you will receive weekly payments until:
- You are no longer incapacitated and can return to work
- You receive a lump sum
- You have received the benefit for five years
- You have received the maximum amount for weekly payments
Tax is deductible from weekly compensation, and WorkCover do not make superannuation deductions. You’ll need to check your circumstances, as some industrial instruments require an employer to continue paying superannuation while a worker is receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
If you’re hospitalised or require medical treatment as a result of a work injury, then you’re entitled to the cost of treatment, rehabilitation and travel expenses (as long as the treatment is considered reasonable).
There are set fees for most medical treatments, these can be found here for medical fees and here for allied health services. If your treatment from a practitioner is over the limit, you’re responsible for paying ‘the gap’.
Lump Sum Payments
If you’ve suffered from a workplace injury and have a permanent impairment as a result, then you’re entitled to request an assessment for a lump sum payment. The degree to which you are permanently impaired will then be assessed by:
- An audiologist if you believe you have industrial deafness
- A medical assessment tribunal, if you believe you have a psychological or psychiatric injury
- A doctor, for all other injuries
If you’ve suffered multiple injuries (for example you have deafness and psychological trauma), then these will be combined to understand the overall degree of impairment.
If your degree of impairment is assessed to be below 20%, then you must make an irrevocable decision where you either accept the lump sum, defer the offer, or reject the offer and seek common law damages. If your degree of impairment is above 20%, you can accept the offer and seek common law damages.
You should seek legal advice immediately following an assessment of your workplace injury.
If you need to travel to and from appointments for medical care, medical assessment tribunals or independent examination appointments, you can claim for travel expenses.
There is no standard rate of reimbursement and payment is not made per kilometre. Instead, travel is reimbursed based on what is deemed to be the most reasonable method of transport (which is generally deemed to be public transport).
Trips below 20 kilometres one way are generally excluded, as are trips made where a different provider is located closer to you but you’ve made the decision to travel further afield.
Travel expenses can also be used to cover parking charges for medical treatment, for the cost of meals when travelling all day or overnight and itemised chemist expenses.
Remember that each workers’ compensation claim is assessed individually. If you’ve recently been involved in a work accident, would like help lodging a claim or need legal advice regarding a compensation offer, then please contact us.