1. What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ Compensation is basically financial compensation provided to workers who get injured or ill from work.
Regardless of who was at fault to cause the injury, workers who suffer a work-related injury or disease requiring medical treatment or time off work are entitled to claim Workers’ Compensation.
Workers’ Compensation may include:
- weekly payments to cover loss of earnings;
- assistance with medical and related expenses;
- workplace rehabilitation services; and
- lump sum payments in case of permanent impairment.
2. Workers’ Compensation Law in Western Australia
In Western Australia, the Workers’ Compensation scheme is administered by WorkCover WA in accordance with the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 (the Act).
The two main purposes of the Act are:
- ensuring that the workplace enables a worker’s prompt and safe return to work following an injury; and
- ensuring that injured workers are compensated for loss of earnings, medical expenses and other related costs while they are unable to work.
By Law, employers are required to have:
- an existing Workers’ Compensation insurance policy covering all workers;
- a documented injury management system for their workplace; and
- a Workers’ Compensation claim is managed in accordance with the Act.
3. Requirements for Workers’ Compensation Eligibility
Generally, you are entitled to claim Workers’ Compensation if you have an injury from work, and you are defined by Law as a worker.
According to section 5 of the Act, the definition of a worker includes:
- Full time workers on a wage or salary;
- Part time, causal and seasonal workers;
- Workers on commission;
- Piece workers;
- Contractors and sun-contractors (in some circumstances); and
- Working directors (in some circumstances)
4. How to make a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
To make a claim for Workers’ Compensation, you will first need a medical practitioner to verify that your injury is caused from your work.
Once it is determined by your treating doctor that your injury is work-related, then you will be issued with a Workers’ Compensation First Certificate of Capacity. This certificate will outline the type and extent of your injury, your fitness to work, and any restrictions on work duties as a result of the injury.
After that, you and your employer are required to complete a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form, which will provide details on where and when the injury occurred, the circumstances surrounding the injury and any contributing factors.
Both documents (the certificate and claim form) will need to be submitted to the insurer, who will then use the information provided to assess your eligibility to claim for Workers’ Compensation.
5. What can an injured worker claim from Workers’ Compensation?
If your claim is accepted, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation. The entitlements for an injured worker vary based on the circumstances of individual claims.
Workers’ Compensation may include payments for:
Loss of earnings
Payment amounts based on the worker’s award type (industrial or non-industrial), and basis of employment (full time, part time or casual).
Reasonable expenses are able to claim for treatments, such as first aid and ambulance, medication, medical or surgical attendance, dental, physiotherapy, chiropractic, hospital and other specialist treatments.
Workplace rehabilitation expenses
This is a specific service that assists an injured worker in staying or returning to work after an injury incident.
Travel and other expenses
Reasonable travel expenses can be claimed for trips to and from rehabilitation and medical treatments. This entitlement may also include reasonable meals and accommodation expenses if the injured worker lives in a regional area.
A lump sum compensation payment is available for workers who sustain permanent impairment, such as physical or psychological impairment as a result from their work.
If you are a worker or prospective worker and you feel you have been discriminated against because of your work related injury or your previous workers compensation claim, you should seek legal advice about your workplace rights and entitlements.
Talk to one of our experienced lawyer now at (08) 6161 0243 or firstname.lastname@example.org for any inquiries.
*Referenced from Work Cover WA