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If you have sustained a physical injury at work, developed a work-related illness or your psychological wellbeing has been impacted, you may be entitled to compensation under the Victorian WorkCover scheme. Compensation is provided regardless of who was at fault for the injury of illness. WorkCover Victoria’s ‘no fault’ system ensures that you can claim compensation without the need to prove who was responsible for the injury.

At Gordon Legal, we recognise the complexity and emotional weight that comes with navigating a workplace injury in Victoria. It is not just about understanding the law, but also your situation. We’re here to provide not only professional advice, but also a compassionate ear and a guiding hand through this process. Contact our personal injury lawyers on 03 9603 3000 and we can assist you on how to claim workers comp in Victoria.

What does worker’s compensation in Victoria cover?

If you have sustained a work-related injury, you may be entitled to:

  • be paid a part of your wages while you recover from your injury away from work
  • reasonable medical and hospital treatment
  • a lump sum payment if you have a permanent impairment

It is important to note that WorkSafe, the authority responsible for administering the WorkCover scheme, will only pay for ‘reasonable’ treatment. Sometimes there might be a gap between what a healthcare provider charges and what WorkSafe can pay.

The benefits that you may be entitled to receive will depend on your specific injury or illness. Contact us on 03 9603 3000 to discuss what your entitlements may be.

How do I report a workplace injury in Victoria?

Reporting a workplace injury in Victoria is the first critical step towards claiming your rightful compensation.

If you suffer an injury at work, or develop work-related illnesses, it is important to record the incident in your workplace’s injury register. This documentation is a vital part of the claim process.

Next, you should complete the Worker’s Injury Claim Form and provide it to your employer as soon as possible.

Additionally, if your injury or illness prevents you from working your usual hours or duties, you should consult your doctor and obtain a WorkSafe Certificate of Capacity. This form should be completed by your doctor and handed to your employer as soon as possible. It’s crucial that the injuries or illnesses listed on the certificate match those you’re claiming compensation for. If your claim is accepted, the insurer will also work with your doctor to create your return-to-work plan as you recover from your injury.

If I am a casual or part-time worker, can I still claim compensation?

Absolutely. Whether you’re working full-time, part-time, or on a casual basis, you’re covered under the eligibility criteria for workers compensation in Victoria. This includes apprentices, volunteers, and even interstate/overseas workers. You’re part of the workforce, and your rights matter, regardless of your employment status.

What kind of compensation am I able to claim?

If your claim is accepted, you may be eligible for compensation which may include time off work and treatment expenses.

Claiming for weekly payments for time lost from work

If you are injured and need time off work, you can make a claim for weekly payments to cover part of your lost income.

Your weekly payments will be based on your pre-injury average weekly earnings (PIAWE) for the last 52-weeks, which is made up of your base rate of pay and can include overtime and shift allowances. If you have been with your employer for less than 1-year (52-weeks), your PIAWE will be calculated based on the amount of time you have been employed there.

The compensation rates will differ based on whether you are able to do some work or if you cannot work at all:

Duration of Claim Work Capacity Compensation Details
First 13-weeks No current work capacity 95% of pre-injury average weekly earnings (PIAWE), capped at double the Victorian average weekly earnings (currently $2,865.20* per week).
Some current work capacity 95% of PIAWE, minus current earnings, capped at double the Victorian average weekly earnings (currently $2,865.20* per week).
Week 14 to 130 No current work capacity 80% of PIAWE, with the same cap. Overtime and shift allowances are excluded from PIAWE after 52 weeks.
Some current work capacity 80% of PIAWE, subject to the statutory maximum of double the Victorian average weekly earnings (currently $2,660* per week).
After 130 weeks No current work capacity (and indefinite and assessed with a 21% whole person impairment or more) 80% of PIAWE, subject to the statutory maximum of double the Victorian average weekly earnings (currently $2,660* per week).
Some current work capacity Weekly payments may continue if: working at least 15 hours per week and earning at least $228** per week; and unlikely to increase work capacity in the future due to injury or illness; and assessed with a 21% whole person impairment or more.

Claiming for treatment expenses

WorkSafe can cover the reasonable costs of treatment, helping you focus on your recovery without the burden of financial stress. These medical and like expenses can be paid directly to your provider or reimbursed to you. Remember to keep your receipts.

While you do not require a WorkSafe Certificate of Capacity if you are claiming for medical and like expenses only, you may need referrals from your doctor to access some treatments.

If you have a mental health claim, you can access early treatment and support while you wait for the outcome of your claim. If you are entitled to these provisional payments, WorkSafe can cover the reasonable costs of treatment for 13-weeks. Even if the claim is rejected, WorkSafe can continue to cover these costs for up to 13-weeks.

Claiming for a permanent impairment

If you have a work-related injury or illness that has left you with a permanent impairment (for example, reduced shoulder movement or an amputated finger), you may also be entitled to a lump sum payment called an impairment benefit. However, you must wait until your injury has stabilised (generally 12-months after your injury) to make an impairment benefits claim.

If you have an accepted WorkCover claim and have sustained a permanent impairment, contact our specialist lawyers on 03 9603 3000 to obtain advice on your prospects for a lump sum claim.

What if my employer disputes my compensation claim?

If your employer disputes your claim, know that you have the right to push forward. They are required to complete their part of the claim form and submit it within the time limits.

If your employer wants to dispute liability, the insurer may commission what’s called a circumstance investigation report. This involves speaking with the employer or relevant people and taking statements from them.

If your claim is rejected, the first step is to seek conciliation. If unresolved, you have the right to appeal the matter to the Magistrates Court.

Understanding your rights and the intricacies of the workers comp in Victoria, including eligibility criteria and workers compensation dispute resolution, is crucial. Gordon Legal has a proud history of supporting injured worker rights and assisting clients in securing their entitlements under Victorian WorkCover scheme. If you or your loved one have sustained a workplace injury in Victoria, contact us on 03 9603 3000 to get in touch with our personal injury team.

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