If you have sustained a physical or psychological injury during the course of your employment then you may be entitled to a number of benefits under the Victorian Workers Compensation Scheme.
What do I do if I have suffered an injury at work?
If you have suffered work-related physical or psychological injures it is important you complete a WorkCover claim form and provide it to your employer as soon as possible. Your employer then has 10 days to forward your claim form to the WorkCover insurer.
The WorkCover insurer will organise you to be medically assessed and provide their decision to accept or reject your claim within 28 days of receipt of the WorkCover claim form.
It is also important that you provide Certificates of Capacity from your treating Doctor to ensure timely payment of any entitlement to weekly wages.
Call our office as soon as possible on (03) 8658-0040 to organise your free, no-obligation initial appointment to see where you stand.
What if I disagree with a decision made by the WorkCover insurer?
If you disagree with a decision made by the WorkCover insurer, you can lodge a dispute application with the Accident Conciliation Compensation Service (ACCS). An application with the ACCS should generally be lodged within 60 days of the date of the insurer’s decision. It is possible to get an extension in some circumstances.
If you disagree with a decision made by the WorkCover insurer, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Contact our office for your free appointment.
What WorkCover benefits might I be entitled to?
If you’ve suffered injury and your work caused or significantly contributed to your injuries, then you may be entitled to a range of benefits including medical and related expenses, loss of income payments, and lump sum compensation.
Medical and related expenses
The WorkCover insurer will pay for all reasonable medical and related expenses which is required to help you recover from your work related injuries. These benefits continue as long as you need treatment for your work related injuries and do not stop if you receive compensation.
Examples of medical benefits you may have access to:
- Ambulance, nursing and hospital services and care
- General practitioner and specialist medical consultation
- Medicines and pain management
- Rehabilitation services including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, driving programs, exercise physiology and other services;
- Memberships including gym and hydrotherapy
- Home and community support assistance including child care services, home cleaning and garden maintenance
- Treatment and support for severely injured individuals or individuals with disability including vehicle and home modifications
Invoices and receipts should be provided to the WorkCover insurer as soon as possible.
Loss of income benefits
If you are unable to work due to work related circumstances, then you may be entitled to payment of weekly wages. This is generally calculated at 95% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings for the first 13 weeks and 80% of your pre-injury earnings thereafter until 130 weeks. You can also claim regular overtime as part of your weekly payments for the first 52 weeks.
In some circumstances, payments for loss of income can continue past 130 weeks depending on your capacity for work and whether this will continue indefinitely.
You will need to provide Certificates of Capacity from your Doctor to claim income payments for periods of work incapacity. These should be provided every 28 days.
If your physical and/or psychological injuries are ongoing, you may be entitled to an impairment benefit providing you meet certain criteria. Generally, a claim for an impairment assessment cannot be made until 12 months after the date of injury and until your injuries are stable.
Common Law Damages
You may also be able to receive common law damages if you have a serious injury and it can be proved that someone else was at fault for your injuries. This allows you to claim for economic loss and/or for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
There are strict time limits that apply when making a claim for compensation. It is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure all available options are discussed.
Contact our office today on (03) 8658-0040 to find out where you stand. Remember, the first appointment is free and no obligation, so you have nothing to lose.