WorkCover Claim Time Limits Victoria.
If you’ve been injured at work in Victoria, you generally have 30 days to report your injury to make a WorkCover claim. However, if more than 30 days have passed, you should still lodge a claim as soon as possible. There are some situations where you have longer than 30 days from the initial injury, and different rules apply for injuries that develop over a long period of time. There are also different time limits that apply to different types of WorkCover claims and disputes.
In this article, we explain all the WorkCover claim time limits that apply in Victoria so that you can understand how they apply to your situation, when you need to make your claim, and what you can do if you’ve missed a deadline.
WorkCover claim time limits Victoria – what you need to know.
Different WorkCover claim time limits apply depending on your situation, which is likely to fall into one of the following categories. You can use these links to jump straight to the relevant section in the article or read on to learn more about time limits.
- You were injured in an accident less than 30 days ago
- You were injured in an accident more than 30 days ago
- You’re not sure exactly when your injury occurred – it got worse over time
- You haven’t reported your injury as you’re not sure if it’s work-related
- You have an old injury you’ve never claimed for
Summary of WorkCover claim time limits.
The first thing to understand is the difference between the date of injury and the date of discovery.
- Date of injury is the date you were injured, like if you sustained a fracture, laceration or tear.
- Date of discovery is the date you found out about your injury, like a repetitive strain that developed over time.
Here’s a summary of the various WorkCover claim time limits that apply:
|Report your injury||30 days from date of injury OR date of discovery |
As soon as you realise you’re eligible to claim
|Claim for out-of-pocket medical expenses||Up to six months from the treatment or service date|
|Notify WorkSafe Victoria||Your employer has 10 days to notify WorkSafe|
|Raise a dispute||60 days to dispute a denied claim, or dispute your benefits amount|
|Seek referral of a dispute to the Workers Compensation Independent Review Service||Up to two years|
|Claim compensation for the death of a family member||Up to 2 years|
|Claim a ‘common law damages’ lump sum*||Up to six years|
*This is a lump sum you can claim if you suffer a serious work injury caused by someone else’s negligence.
WorkCover claim time limits that apply to you.
I’ve been injured in the last 30 days – when should I make my WorkCover claim?
If you’ve been injured in a work accident in Victoria in the last 30 days, you should:
- Inform your employer about your injury immediately
- Seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible
Once you’ve reported your work injury you’ll need to fill out a WorkCover claim form, explaining what happened to you. You must be honest and as detailed as possible, then you can submit the form to your employer, or to WorkSafe directly.
I was injured more than 30 days ago – can I still make a WorkCover claim?
If more than 30 days have passed since your injury, you should still lodge a claim as soon as possible.
If you’ve only just become aware you may be eligible for a WorkCover claim, you should notify your employer immediately and make it clear you were unaware.
If your injury initially seemed minor but has become worse, then you have 30 days from the ‘date of discovery’ to report it. For example, if you initially thought you just had a minor injury like a sore wrist, but have now been diagnosed with a fracture, you have 30 days from the date of your diagnosis.
I’m not sure when my injury occurred – it got worse over time. Can I make a WorkCover claim?
Many work injuries are not caused by a single accident – they develop over time. For example:
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Some back injuries
- Psychological injuries, such as PTSD
With these injuries there’s no way to pinpoint an injury date, so you have 30 days from the ‘date of discovery’ (the date your condition was diagnosed) to report your injury to your employer.
I’m not sure if my injury is work-related, so I haven’t reported it. Can I claim WorkCover?
If you have an injury like a repetitive strain, you may not be sure if it’s work-related.
However, if you have your injury assessed by a GP or specialist, they can give you a diagnosis and provide a report on the probable cause. If it’s determined that it’s likely to be work-related, or your work contributed to your injury, then you have 30 days from the date of diagnosis to report your injury to your employer and make a WorkCover claim.
If you’re not sure how to get your injury assessed, call 13 15 15 for free advice on your options.
I have an old injury I’ve never claimed for. Can I still claim WorkCover?
If your work injury happened some years ago, and you were aware it was work-related, it’s likely you missed the WorkCover claim time limit.
However, if you’ve only recently received a diagnosis for a long-term injury and been made aware that it was caused by your job, you may still be eligible to claim.
If you’re not sure if you can still make a claim, you can call 13 15 15 and get free legal advice from a specialist WorkCover lawyer.
How long do WorkCover claims take?
When you’re applying for personal injury benefits, you’ll usually know within three months if you’re eligible to receive compensation for:
- Your lost wages (due to time off work)
- Medical costs
- Doctors appointments
- Other reasonable costs
This table offers a breakdown of that three-month period:
|What happens next?||How long will it take?|
|Once you’ve suffered a workplace injury, you’ll need to inform your employer||You have 30 days to let them know|
|Your employer will notify WorkSafe Victoria||Your employer has 10 days to take this step|
|WorkSafe tells you if they’ve approved your claim||WorkSafe will inform you of their decision within 28 days|
Getting help with your WorkCover claim.
If you’re still not sure if you’re eligible to claim, or need help with your claim, we’re here for you. Law Partners is Australia’s largest specialist personal injury firm, and we have a team of Victorian WorkCover claims specialists who can provide free advice over the phone, or manage your claim for you. We win over 99% of our cases and we pride ourselves on winning more compensation for our clients.
Do I have a case?
Our senior lawyers will assess your case for free.