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Claiming Compensation for a Serious Adverse Reaction to a COVID-19 Vaccination.

For the majority of people who get a COVID-19 vaccination, any adverse reaction is likely to be mild and only last a day or two. But what happens if you get an adverse reaction that’s more serious, and you need time off work or medical treatment? Can you claim compensation to cover your losses?

The short answer is yes, in some circumstances you can. In this article we explain what compensation may be available to you and how to claim it.

Man with a band-aid after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine

Can you claim workers compensation?

In some situations, workers compensation could be available to you if you’ve had a serious adverse reaction or side effects from a COVID-19 vaccination. There are no hard and fast rules about who’s eligible, and each claim is assessed on its own merits, but essentially you need to show that:

When is a COVID-19 vaccination considered to be work-related?

If you had to have the vaccine because of your job, then you’re more likely to be eligible for workers compensation if you have an adverse reaction. But this raises the question – were you vaccinated because it was mandatory for your job, or was it your choice to be vaccinated?

Here are four questions to consider:

  1. Did your employer take steps to arrange for you to be vaccinated?
  2. Did your employer encourage or induce you to get vaccinated to benefit their business?
  3. Did your employer permit or direct you to have the vaccination during your ordinary working hours?
  4. Did your employer provide instructions to you regarding the administration of the vaccine?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be able claim workers compensation.

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Is your adverse reaction serious enough to claim compensation?

When you claim workers compensation, you’re claiming for losses you’ve incurred as a result of your injury or illness, such as lost wages, medical expenses and rehabilitation. So if your illness or injury caused by the vaccine has resulted in time off work, or you’ve incurred any medical or treatment expenses, then it’s likely to be serious enough to warrant a claim.

How can you get help with a COVID-19 workers compensation claim?

An injury or illness caused by a COVID-19 vaccination is a new and relatively untested area of workers compensation law. If you’re planning to make a claim, it’s strongly advised that you speak to a workers compensation lawyer first and get advice. Law Partners is running COVID-19 – related claims and can provide you with free advice over the phone on your eligibility to claim and your likelihood of success. If you decide to proceed with your claim, we can run it for you, and we’ll apply for IRO (Independent Review Office) funding on your behalf to cover our legal fees.

Can you also claim under the COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme?

The Australian Federal Government is rolling out a Vaccine Claims Scheme. From 6 September 2021, Australians who suffer injury or loss of income due to the administration of a COVID-19 vaccine or due to an adverse event that is considered to be caused by a COVID-19 vaccine are able to register their intent to claim.

At the time of writing this article, making a claim through this scheme doesn’t prevent you from making any other claim (such as a workers compensation claim). However, some of the scheme’s guidelines are still under development, so that could change. If you’re thinking about making a claim, it makes sense to speak to a specialist workers compensation lawyer first, to make sure you’re claiming your full entitlements. You can call 13 15 15 to speak to a lawyer – there’s no cost for this service.

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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.

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