The Worker’s Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (“the Act”) establishes a compensation scheme for Queensland.
What is a Workplace Injury, and Who Can Claim?
A workplace injury is defined by the Act. Workplace injuries can range from catastrophic damage to strains and sprains, including repetitive strain injury (RSI). A workplace injury under the Act can also include a disease contracted in the course of employment, loss of hearing, an aggravation of a pre-existing injury/disease or medical condition.
If you have sustained an injury at work, on your way to, or from, work and are a “worker” as defined by the Act, you may be entitled to WorkCover benefits and lump sum compensation.
In addition, WorkCover benefits and lump sum compensation may be available under the Act for the dependant/s
(as defined by the Act) of a deceased worker if their death was a result of injury or disease when their employment was a significant contributing factor to causing the injury/disease.
Under a statutory claim, you can apply for workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of who or what caused the work-related injury.
Benefits under this ‘no fault’ system may include:
- hospital and medical expenses
- lost wages
- travelling expenses
- rehabilitation treatment
- lump sum compensation payment for permanent impairment.
When WorkCover finalises your Statutory Claim
WorkCover will continue to work with you directly until such time as they determine that your work-related injuries have reached their maximum medical improvement, meaning that they are unlikely to improve with further medical or surgical treatment and that suitable rehabilitation has been carried out.
It is at this time that your Statutory Claim will be finalised and WorkCover should provide you with a Notice of Assessment. This document provides valuable information such as the statutory Lump Sum Offer and your Degree of Impairment (DOI).
A failure to seek legal advice is one of the most common mistakes people make when making a WorkCover claim. The reality is that many people are lulled into a false sense of security by insurance companies who seem eager to ‘help’. However, the complexity of the system and limited knowledge, means that agents will often neglect to tell you of your rights and full entitlements to compensation or damages.
STRICT TIME LIMITS APPLY WITH LODGING STATUTORY CLAIMS.
Generally, an Application for Compensation should be lodged by the claimant within 6 months after the entitlement to compensation for the injury arises.
In addition, there may be other critical timeframes for submitting documents or appealing decisions throughout the Statutory Claim process.
ENSURE YOU SPEAK TO YOUR RELEVENT INSURER OR WORKCOVER IN THIS TIME FRAME TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS.