Who is Entitled to WorkCover in Victoria?
Work is a significant part of many people’s lives, and everyone has the right to be safe and protected in their workplace. Sometimes things go wrong, and if you’re in a position where you’re injured at work, WorkSafe Victoria is a regulatory body that exists to help you pay for treatments and recovery costs and may even award you a lump sum payment. If you’re wondering who is entitled to WorkCover in Victoria or want to know when WorkCover offers a compensation payout, then continue reading to find out if you can make a claim, and what you might be entitled to.
Am I entitled to WorkCover in Victoria?
Australia has a no-fault workers compensation policy, which means that if you’re injured at work, you’re covered by WorkCover even if you were partially at fault. There are lots of ways you can get injured at work and if you have to take time off because of your injuries, or you’re paying for doctor’s appointments and treatment, then it’s likely that you’ll be able to make a WorkCover claim.
Getting injured isn’t always physical, and you can make a claim if you’ve suffered a psychological injury like depression, anxiety, or PTSD because of work. Professionals like teachers, nurses, doctors, and emergency service workers can be at higher risk of developing psychological injuries, but anyone can be impacted. Physical injuries can include breaks, cuts, tears, or strain injuries. You’ll also be covered by WorkCover if you’ve developed a disease caused by your job, such as respiratory conditions if you’ve been working around dust or particle matter.
If you’re injured while you’re doing your job, even if you’re working from home, then you’re likely entitled to make a WorkCover claim in Victoria. Making a claim can remove the financial burden of your recovery by paying for your lost wages, medical bills, and treatment appointments.
At Law Partners, we’re experts in the WorkCover claims process, and we can tell you exactly who is entitled to WorkCover in Victoria. If you’d like to be sure about whether you’re eligible to make a claim, get in touch with us today and speak to one of our WorkCover lawyers for some personalised advice, completely free.
What WorkCover benefits am I entitled to in Victoria?
Once you know that you’re entitled to make a WorkCover claim, it’s important to know what that claim will cover. We’ve put together an overview of the WorkCover benefits you can access like weekly payments, treatment costs, and lump sums, so keep reading to find out more.
When you’re injured at work, you’ll need to inform your employer and get a doctor’s certificate, known as a certificate of capacity, and then WorkSafe will start paying a percentage of your pre-injury earnings. For a more detailed explanation of this process, see our WorkCover claims guide for a step-by-step breakdown of what you need to do. This table gives you an overview of how much weekly compensation you’ll receive, and for how long:
|Time Frame||Entitlement through WorkCover|
|Weeks 1-13||95% pre-injury earnings|
|Weeks 13-130||80% pre-injury earnings|
|130+ weeks and unlikely to improve||80% pre-injury earnings indefinitely*|
Being injured and juggling recovery with treatment costs can be completely overwhelming, but a WorkCover claim can mean that WorkSafe pays for your doctor’s appointments, medications, treatment expenses and necessary medical devices you need because of your injury, like glasses or hearing aids.
This is separate from your weekly payments, and once you’ve lodged your WorkCover claim, each expense will need to be approved by WorkSafe before you have the appointment. If you’ve seen doctors before making a claim then WorkSafe may reimburse you for those costs, so keep a record of everything you’ve paid for.
When does WorkCover offer a compensation payout?
Unfortunately, some injuries can cause long term or ongoing impacts, and this is known as ‘permanent impairment’. Your doctor will consider your level of whole person impairment (WPI) and if you’re assessed as having at least 5% WPI for musculoskeletal injuries, 10% for physical injuries, or 30% for psychological injuries then you’ll be eligible to make a lump sum WorkCover claim.
These claims are usually made at least 12 months after your initial injury so that you’ve had time to stabilise, and doctors can make an accurate assessment of how you’ve been impacted overall. This table gives you an idea of what you may be able to claim, based on your WPI assessment:
|Whole Person Impairment (WPI) %||Lump sum payment range 2022/2021|
|5-9%||$3,870 – $23,326|
|10-19%||$25,690 – $54,478|
|20-29%||$57,670 – $86,398|
|30-39%||$89,590 – $139,990|
|40-49%||$145,590 – $195,990|
|50-59%||$201,590 – $251,900|
|60-69%||$257,590 – $307,990|
|70-79%||$313,590 – $626,100|
Claim for damages
As well as a permanent impairment claim, you may also be eligible to make a common law claim for damages, known as a work injury damages claim (WID). You can make a WID claim when you’re injured at work because of someone else’s negligence, like if you weren’t provided proper training or safety equipment, or if you asked for support in the workplace that wasn’t followed up, and you were injured as a result. In these cases, you’ll be suing your employer directly.
To be entitled to make a WorkSafe claim for common law damages, you’ll need to:
- Have received a WPI assessment of 30% or more, or
- Explain your injuries to WorkSafe and have them recognise your injuries as ‘serious’
Lump sum payouts can be complex, and even one injury not taken into consideration can mean that you could potentially miss out on thousands of dollars of compensation that you’re entitled to. This is why it’s so important to have a WorkCover lawyer on your side. At Law Partners, we’ll get to know you personally and gain a full understanding of how you’ve been impacted, so that we can help you access the maximum amount of compensation you’re eligible for. To find out how we can help you, call us today on 13 15 15, or chat to us live.
Why would a WorkCover claim be rejected?
There are several common reasons why your WorkCover claim could be denied, including:
- If the injury didn’t happen at work or was unrelated to your employment
- You weren’t considered an employee
- You didn’t report your injury in a timely fashion (the time limit is three years, though it will be easier if you report within 30 days)
- If the circumstances of the injury are being disputed by your employer
- If your injury is the result of reasonable action taken in a reasonable manner (for example, if you develop anxiety and depression because of a role restructure, reasonable reprimand, or disciplinary action for misconduct)
If your WorkCover claim is rejected and you feel the decision is unfair, it doesn’t have to be the end of the road. Speak to a lawyer who specialises in WorkCover claims to see what options are available, and if you can appeal WorkSafe’s decision.
Nobody ever expects to be injured, but if you are, knowing who is entitled to make a WorkCover claim in Victoria and how to go about it can make a huge difference to your recovery. Accessing financial support like weekly payments, medical treatments, and lump sum claims is the best way to get your life back on track. Many people who are injured at work don’t realise what they’re entitled to, and they’re at risk of missing out. If you’d like to find out more about who is entitled to make a WorkCover claim in Victoria, or how we can help you, get in touch with us today for a free consultation about your options.
Do I have a case?
Our senior lawyers will assess your case for free.