Workplace accidents can occur without warning, anywhere and at any time, and compromise the health and safety of workers. A slip, fall, being hit by a moving object, or machine-inflicted injuries can lead to severe disability and even fatalities in extreme cases.
Workers’ compensation policies help protect workers and employers against the severe financial repercussions that may loom in the aftermath of a work-related injury or sickness.
Decoding Workers’ Compensation Policies: How Does the Claim Process Work?
It’s mandatory for every employer in Western Australia to have workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation includes benefits such as:
- Payment for medical treatment and hospital expenses;
- Coverage of wages while you’re unable to work due to injury;
- Lump-sum claim payments if the injury leads to permanent impairment; and
- Payment to the family in case of work-related death.
Any business in Western Australia that employs full-time, part-time, casual, or contract workers must have workers’ compensation insurance to cover all its workers. Failure to have insurance for workers’ compensation can cause irreparable financial harm to employers and increase the risks of legal repercussions.
Making a Workers Compensation Claim
Without workers’ compensation, it can be difficult to make ends meet after a work-related injury.
Unfortunately, many workers make mistakes when filing workers’ compensation claims, leading to negative outcomes. If you’ve suffered a work-related injury and need assistance with your claim, it’s a good idea to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer for reliable legal services.
An experienced lawyer can help injured workers fill in the claim form and assist you with every step from start to finish.
Eligibility Criteria for Workers’ Compensation
If you’re eligible for Workers’ Compensation, you’ll get the benefits regardless of who was at fault for the injury. To begin with, you need to be eligible to claim workers’ compensation in that:
- You must be an employee;
- The injury or illness must be work-related; and
- Injured workers must make a claim within 12 months of the injury (with some exceptions).
While there are some special rules for certain categories of employees like agricultural or farm workers, domestic labour etc., the above eligibility criteria apply to most workers.
What should you do in order to make a claim in case of a workplace injury? Let’s take a closer look at all the essential things to consider before filing for workers’ compensation benefits.
Step 1: Notify Your Employer Immediately
The first step is to notify or inform your employer of the injury through message or email. Your employer may require you to fill out an Incident Report Form detailing the circumstances of the accident and your injury.
Step 2: Obtain a First Certificate of Capacity
When you attend your GP for treatment of any injuries you sustained at work, you should ask your GP for a First Certificate of Capacity.
Your GP must provide you with a WorkCover WA First Certificate before you can start a Workers’ Compensation Claim.
Ensure that you describe your injury in detail to your doctor, even seemingly minor things. It can be very difficult to get details added on at a later date once the First Certificate is completed and signed.
To commence the claims process, you must serve the claim form and Frist Certificate of Capacity on your employer. Perth City Legal can assist you with this process.
Step 3: Exercise Caution and Be Wary of Making Statements
Be wary of making any statements to investigators. As seasoned legal consultants in Perth, we have seen deserving employees struggle to get their workers compensation claims accepted – simply because they couldn’t grasp the significance of the document they were signing.
At times, insurance investigators may ask for very specific information and transcribe your answers into statements that may not always reflect the truth.
Once lodged, your employer’s insurer will inform you whether your claim is accepted, rejected, or put on hold pending further medical or factual investigation. If in doubt, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice: We can help you with the claims process.
Step 4: What to Do in Case Your Workers’ Comp Claim Is Rejected
We strongly encourage you to avoid giving up hope if your claim is rejected.
If your claim is not accepted by your employers’ Workers’ Compensation insurer then we can file an application at WorkCover WA to have an Arbitrator determine whether your claim should be accepted.
Need Help with Workers Compensation?
Our competent workers’ compensation lawyers will be happy to explain the benefits that you’re entitled to under the workers’ compensation laws in Western Australia.
Perth City Legal is happy to assist workers who need advice about workers’ compensation, filling in a claim form, making a claim, or understanding your entitlements by law.