I’ve Had an Injury at Work and My Employer Does Not Want Me to Lodge a Workcover Claim – They Want to Pay Me Privately. What Do I Do?
The following are some of the benefits of lodging a WorkCover claim:
- If you are unable to return to work due to a work-related injury, the WorkCover insurer will pay you 95% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings for the first 13 weeks and thereafter 80% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings for 130 weeks. Payments may continue beyond 130 weeks in limited circumstances.
- You will also be paid reasonable medical and like expenses which will include medical treatment for your injury and other related expenses such as household assistance and travel expenses.
- While you are focusing on recovery from your work-related injury, the WorkCover scheme will also ensure that your employment is protected as the employer cannot terminate you for the first 12 months of sustaining the work-related injury and if are not able to return to work.
- There will be proper return to work plans put in place for when you are able to return to work. The employer cannot put unnecessary pressure on you to immediately return to pre-injury duties.
- You may also be entitled to lump sum compensation.
What do I do if I sustain an injury at work?
- Immediately inform your employer that you have sustained an injury at work.
- Attend your General Practitioner and obtain a WorkCover Certificate/s of Capacity. Be clear about the circumstances of the injury to your doctor. Your employer cannot force you to attend a medical practitioner of their preference. It is your right to choose which doctor you wish to attend.
- Complete a Worker’s Injury Claim form and hand this over to your employer with your Certificate/s of Capacity. The employer will then forward this form to their worker’s compensation insurer within 10 calendar days. If the employer refuses and/or fails to do so, send this form/copy of the form directly to WorkSafe. You can also lodge the Worker’s Injury claim form immediately after the injury, prior to seeing your doctor and obtaining a Certificate of Capacity.
- Even if your employer does not have worker’s compensation in place, you should still hand this claim form to the employer as the employer is obligated to send it to WorkSafe within 5 days.
- Once your WorkCover claim is accepted, the worker’s compensation insurer will be in touch with you and you will be paid your weekly payments, including back payments and reasonable medical and like expenses.
Informing your employer about an injury sustained at work, can be a daunting process to many, due to fears about losing the job and mistreatment at work. However, you need to keep in mind that it is your legal right to lodge a WorkCover claim and your employer cannot put undue pressure on you not to do so or terminate your employment for doing so. If your employer insists on paying your medical expenses privately, talk to them and be persistent with your need to lodge a WorkCover claim.
If you are a worker who has sustained work related injury, and your employer is making things difficult for you or will not let you lodge a WorkCover claim, one of our expert lawyers at Zaparas Lawyers will be able to assist you navigate through the WorkCover system. At Zaparas Lawyers, we work on a no win no fee basis and you can contact one of our expert lawyers for an obligation free consultation on (03) 8527 0200.