Every day, employees around the world face the possibility of workplace accidents. These incidents, often resulting from employer negligence, can range from minor mishaps to life-altering events. A simple injury might require just a notification under workplace health and safety guidelines. However, severe incidents necessitate significantly more, leading to claims for workers’ compensation.
In Australia, the frequency of such grave workplace accidents is alarming. According to Safe Work Australia, 2020 witnessed over 120,000 serious injury claims submitted to the relevant state authorities. This figure doesn’t even begin to account for those injuries that remained unreported.
Topping this daunting statistic, there were 194 fatalities due to workplace injuries during the same year. New South Wales led with 53 fatalities, followed by Victoria (51 fatalities) and Queensland (34 fatalities).
The reported work-related injuries encompassed a range of afflictions, which included:
This guide on how to make a workers comp claim seeks to illuminate the often complicated process of filing a workers’ compensation claim, making it comprehensible for anyone who might need to navigate it.
There are six main steps involved in the workers’ compensation claim process. These are:
The paramount action following a workplace accident is to promptly acquire medical care, irrespective of the perceived severity of your injuries. In many instances, the comprehensive impact of an injury only becomes apparent over time. Therefore, it is crucial to furnish your healthcare provider with a detailed account of the circumstances under which the injury occurred.
Heed their advice diligently, adhering to their recommendations for rehabilitation and subsequent medical treatments. Remember, the primary goal is to restore your health and recover from your injuries.
During your medical consultation, it is imperative to provide a comprehensive account of your injuries, detailing the circumstances under which they occurred. This information is crucial not only for appropriate treatment but also for the initiation of your workers’ compensation claim.
At this stage, make sure to inform your doctor about your intention to lodge a workers’ compensation claim. Your physician, in turn, will issue a Certificate of Capacity. This document is a key element in the claims process. The Certificate of Capacity serves as an official record detailing your injury or illness, the proposed treatment plan, and your work capabilities during recovery.
Under the regulations stipulated by the Workplace Health and Safety rules, it’s mandatory for employers to establish a procedure and policy to manage workplace injuries. As part of their induction, every employee should be familiarised with the injury management process and the protocol for reporting injuries.
This could include maintaining an injury log book or using an online system, liaising with a dedicated health and safety officer, and completing all necessary paperwork encompassing an incident report and claim form.
In the absence of an established injury management policy at your workplace, it’s still crucial to provide written details of your injury to your employer. This could be achieved through means such as an email. Always retain a copy of any written notice and the claim form for your personal records.
Keep in mind that it’s imperative to notify your employer in writing within 30 days of becoming aware of the injury. Failure to comply with this stipulation may result in your claim form being declared void and subsequently rejected.
Upon preparing to lodge your claim, you must ensure that your form is detail-oriented and comprehensive. Key information, such as the exact date, location, and circumstances of the incident, must be accurately provided.
It’s essential to compile a coherent and complete claim form, incorporating all these details for a smooth claim process. Succeeding the completion of your claim form, you are required to append your Certificate of Capacity. Subsequently, submit these documents to your employer. Always retain duplicates of the finalised form, certificate, and any additional documentation provided for your personal records.
Upon submission of your workers’ compensation claim, it enters a phase of assessment. The body responsible for this process has an obligation to render a decision within a span of 20 business days, which pertains to the acceptance or rejection of your claim.
During this critical period, they will initiate an investigation by liaising with your employer’s insurance provider. Should your claim prove successful, the two entities collaborate to arrange the disbursement of your payments. To ensure your claim’s thorough evaluation and ultimate finalisation, WorkCover may reach out to you to solicit additional information if necessary. Do not hesitate to inquire if you require further information or clarification about your claim’s status.
The process of filing a workers’ compensation claim can be overwhelming and complicated. However, by following these six essential steps, you can ensure that your claim is accurately filed and processed in a timely manner.