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WINNER Personal Injury Law Firm of the Year

Bulging Disc Workers Compensation Payouts Australia – Your Guide.

Injuries to the discs in your back and neck can be caused by a wide range of jobs from intense manual labour to office work, by a single, traumatic injury or years of wear and tear, poor posture, and repetitive stress.

However, many people are at risk of missing out on bulging disc compensation payouts in Australia because they just accept problems like wear and tear injuries and think it’s too late to claim.

Compensation can pay the costs of your medical bills and wages while you’re off work, but you won’t automatically receive your full entitlements for your bulging disc compensation claim, especially if you’re entitled to a lump sum. Read on to learn how to make sure you don’t miss out on any compensation or lump sum payments you’re entitled to, even if you think your injury was caused by wear and tear or happened too long ago.

Claiming workers compensation for a bulging disc – what you need to know.

If you’ve injured a disc in your back or neck at work the first thing you need to do is to have your injuries medically treated and assessed and report them to your employer. Your employer should then report your injury to their workers compensation insurer.

Many people come to us needing help with one of these five common situations:

1- You’ve got a bulging disc caused by long-term wear and tear but don’t know if you can claim for it.

Disc injuries in your back and neck can be caused by long-term wear and tear and age, but you may still be eligible for workers compensation if we can prove that your job contributed to it.

2- You’ve got a bulging disc caused by a work accident but haven’t claimed yet.

If you don’t know where to begin we can help you with your claim from start to finish.

3- You’re already receiving weekly benefits for your bulging disc but want to know about additional entitlements.

This is a really common query. Many of our clients with disc injuries are entitled to lump sums they haven’t been told about.

4- You’ve had specific benefits for your bulging disc denied or cut off.

This is also a common situation. We’ve had lots of clients approach us because they’ve had essential disc surgery or treatment denied by an insurer.

5. Your bulging disc claim was rejected.

Claims are often rejected on the basis that the disc injury wasn’t caused by a work accident or was a pre-existing condition caused by non-work related wear and tear or age. You may still be eligible for compensation if we can show that your job contributed to your injury.

Whether you’re about to submit a claim or you fall into one of these categories, read on to learn how to get your full entitlements.

What compensation can I claim for my bulging disc?

If you’ve sustained a disc injury at work in NSW and you make a claim for workers compensation, the following table shows what you may be eligible for:

Workers Compensation Payments NSWDescription
Weekly paymentsThese are payments to compensate you for lost income while you’re off work due to your disc injury.
Medical expensesPayment of your medical, hospital, ambulance, rehabilitation (including home help) and travel expenses.
Permanent impairment payoutA lump sum compensation payout to cover a permanent impairment as a result of your disc injury.
Work Injury Damages payoutAlso known as a common law claim, this is a lump sum payout for damages if your disc injury was caused by your employer’s negligence.

Permanent impairment and work injury damages lump sums for disc injuries are not paid to you automatically; you need to apply for them separately, even if you’re already receiving weekly benefits.

Call 13 15 15 or chat to us now for free advice

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What are the different disc injuries that qualify for workers compensation settlements / payouts?

We’ve settled many workers compensation disc injury claims. Disc injuries in the back and neck are usually caused by damage or degeneration to the discs that act as cushions between your spinal vertebrae/bones. Here are seven of the most common claims:

A herniated disc occurs when the inner, jelly-like part of the disc protrudes or leaks through the tough outer layer of the disc. It can compress nearby nerves, leading to pain, numbness, or weakness in your arms or legs. This is sometimes also called a ruptured disc. Herniated discs may require surgery which could result in large workers compensation payouts.

Over time, the discs in your spine can naturally degenerate, losing their cushioning ability and height. This can cause pain and reduced mobility in your neck or back. If you need time off work for treatment you could be eligible for workers compensation payments.

Similar to a herniated disc, a prolapsed disc involves the inner disc material protruding through the outer layer but not rupturing. It can also put pressure on spinal nerves. Prolapsed discs require treatment ranging from rest to surgery and could qualify for workers compensation.

A bulging disc occurs when the disc extends beyond its normal boundary but doesn’t rupture. It can still put pressure on nearby nerves and cause symptoms. Bulging discs caused by work are eligible for workers compensation payments.

An annular tear involves a tear or crack in the tough outer layer of the disc, which can cause localised pain and sometimes lead to other disc problems. As is usually the case with disc injuries, treatment starts with rest and activity modification, and progresses to surgery in the most serious cases. These are all eligible for varying degrees of workers compensation.

Sometimes the term slipped disc is used instead of herniated or bulging disc, but it generally refers to when your disc’s inner material has moved out of its normal position. As already mentioned these conditions may be eligible for workers compensation.

When your disc injury or herniation compresses a spinal nerve, it can result in pain, tingling, or weakness radiating down your arm (from your neck) or your leg (from your lower back). This may be called sciatica. Treatment for this would generally be rest, painkillers and physiotherapy but in some cases could still require surgery.

Which jobs are most at risk of bulging disc work injuries?

Here are the top 10 types of jobs where you’re at risk of disc injuries:

  1. Manual labour and construction
  2. Healthcare professionals
  3. Warehouse and material handling
  4. Delivery drivers and truck drivers
  5. Agricultural workers
  6. Office workers 
  7. Mechanics
  8. Factory workers
  9. Professional drivers
  10. Fitness instructors and personal trainers

These disc injuries can be caused by various factors, including age-related wear and tear, traumatic injury, poor posture, or repetitive stress. Treatment options may include rest, physical therapy, medication, and in severe cases, surgery. It’s important to see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

What’s the average payout for a disc injury at work?

In the 12 months to February 2024, 113,709 workers compensation claims were submitted in NSW, and $5.8 billion was paid out in benefits and lump sums. That’s $51,007 paid out for every new claim submitted.*

However, herniated disc claims may be higher than the average claim if they involve significant time off work or surgery. 

*According to SIRA Open Data, May 2024

Can I claim a lump sum for my disc injury?

There are two ways you may qualify for lump sums:

Permanent impairment lump sum – you can claim this if your permanent impairment rating is assessed as 11% or more.

Many people with herniated or bulging discs miss out on permanent impairment lump sums because they don’t meet the impairment rating threshold of 11%. But if your assessment wasn’t done correctly and fails to consider the full impact of your injury, you could be entitled to the lump sum.

Work injury damages – a lump sum payout for damages if your disc injury was caused by your employer’s negligence.

To make a work injury damages claim for a disc injury, you need a workers compensation lawyer with experience in back and neck disc injury claims to build the evidence that your employer’s negligence caused your accident. 

If you think you’ve missed out on a lump sum you’re entitled to (for example, your level of impairment wasn’t assessed correctly) or you need help with your claim you can call 13 15 15 for free legal advice.

Call 13 15 15 or chat to us now for free advice

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Find out how much you can claim.

Get started

Common questions and answers on disc injury workers compensation.

If you’re no longer able to work at all you might qualify for a TPD lump sum payment. If you can still work, but in a different role to the one you were previously qualified for you may still be eligible for a TPD lump sum depending on your insurance company’s terms. You can call us on 13 15 15 to find out.

  • Bulging disc injury claims should generally be submitted within 6 months
  • This can be extended to 3 years in certain circumstances
  • This can be more than 3 years if it relates to an injury resulting in death or serious and permanent impairment
  • If a period greater than 3 years has passed since the accident then a claim may still be made with SIRA approval

You may have had a work accident that caused your disc injury and is easy to prove. If your disc injury has developed over a long period of time, through wear and tear and repetitive activities, you may still be eligible for workers compensation payments if our lawyers can prove your job contributed to it.

There are ways we can challenge the insurer’s decision for you if your ruptured disc surgery claim is denied. Our team has a strong track record in getting claim denials overturned and you can get free legal advice on your options by calling 13 15 15.

Bulging Disc Injury Workers Compensation Lawyers.

Disc injury claims can vary greatly. In many cases, disc injuries lead to other complications that affect your ability to live and work in the same way you did before the accident. It’s really important that your injuries are assessed and your claim is prepared thoroughly to make sure you receive all the compensation you’re entitled to.

At Law Partners, we take time to get to know you personally. We look at what your life was like before your disc injury, then we look at what’s changed. It’s this more personal approach that’s enabled us to win more compensation for our clients. We work on a no win, no fee basis, and we win over 99% of our cases.

Chantille Khoury bio pic

Chantille Khoury


A Doyle’s Guide listed personal injury law professional and one of the country’s preeminent workers compensation specialists, with over 15 years’ experience in delivering optimal outcomes to injured Australians.