HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED AT WORK?
WHAT DO YOU DO IF THE DOCTOR SAYS YOU NEED TREATMENT OR TIME OFF WORK?
The first thing you must do is complete a WorkCover claim form.
You then hand the claim form to your employer.
If you need time off work to recover, you must also submit a WorkCover Certificate of Capacity.
If you need help completing a WorkCover claim form we can help you.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER YOUR CLAIM IS SUBMITTED?
Your employer must also sign your claim form and then forward it to a WorkCover claims agent.
To make sure WorkCover receive your claim form quickly it is a good idea to send a copy of your claim form and Certificate of Capacity to the claims agent. Don’t just rely upon the employer sending in your claim form.
The claims agent then investigates your claim. You could be sent to see another doctor. If an appointment is arranged you must attend. An investigator could be sent out to speak to you or other people in your workplace. You do not have to speak to the investigator.
The WorkCover claims agent should send you a letter advising if they accept your claim within 39 days from when your claim is submitted.
WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOUR CLAIM IS REJECTED, OR YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A DECISION?
You must submit a Request for Conciliation to the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service (“the ACCS”). If you need a Request for Conciliation form we can give you one and we can assist you with this process.
A conciliation conference is arranged by the ACCS. You can be helped at the conference by WorkCover Assist, or Union Assist (if you are a union member). It is a good idea to nominate on the Request for Conciliation form that you want help from WorkCover Assist or Union Assist.
You may need to provide medical reports in support of your claim. These can be from your local doctor or a specialist. It is a good idea to talk to a lawyer at the time you submit a Request for Conciliation. We can write to the doctor on your behalf and ask the right questions.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN AT THE CONCILIATION CONFERENCE?
You will meet with a Conciliator and a representative of the WorkCover claims agent. Occasionally someone from your workplace might also come to the conference. The representative from WorkCover will explain why they made the decision to reject your claim and you will be allowed to explain why you disagree. The Conciliator may then talk to both you and the WorkCover agent separately.
One of 4 things can happen at the end of the conference:
1. Your claim is accepted;
2. You are offered a limited number of weekly payments of compensation or limited medical treatment to resolve your claim;
3. If there is a medical dispute you may agree to see a Panel of Doctors who will decide the medical dispute; or
4. The Conciliator can decide that there is a genuine dispute between you and WorkCover which cannot be resolved at Conciliation.
You should talk to us about these options before making a decision.
WHAT HAPPENS after conciliation if your dispute couldn’t be resolved?
You need to decide if you want to accept WorkCover’s decision or fight the decision. If you decide to fight, your claim needs to be filed in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. We can fight for you.
Your claim can be filed and prepared for hearing. It is common that before a case is heard by the Magistrate that that there are discussions between you (and your lawyers) and WorkCover’s lawyers to see if your claim can be resolved.
WHAT HAPPENS if your claim IS ACCEPTED?
WorkCover can pay you benefits including:
The cost of medical treatment such as the cost of seeing doctors, medication, travel costs, rehabilitation, retraining and home help; and
Weekly payments of compensation.
RETURNING TO WORK
WorkCover will want you to return to work as quickly as possible after your injury. It could be that you are offered different duties or shorter hours. If you are offered a return to work but refuse to return without a good reason, WorkCover might suspend or stop paying you weekly payments.
It is a good idea to discuss with your doctor your concerns about the duties offered and then follow your doctor’s advice about which duties you can and can’t perform.
WHAT IF YOUR INJURY IS PERMANENT?
You can apply for lump sum compensation for permanent impairment, pain and suffering damages and/or loss of wages and future earning capacity.
Some claims have time limits that apply and it is a good idea to speak to a lawyer before too much time has passed so you don’t miss out.
If you injury is permanent you should talk to us and find out what lump sum compensation you should receive.
CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION
18 Harrington Square
(03) 9392 9000
PO Box 448, Altona, Vic, 3018
209 Glenroy Road
Glenroy, Victoria, 3046
(03) 8311 1888
PO BOX 679, Glenroy, Vic, 3046