Common myths about workers compensation in Australia

Australia has one of the best work health and safety systems in the world. But, unfortunately, accidents can and do happen in the workplace. Thankfully, workers compensation is there to cover staff who are hurt or become ill due to their work. However, there are many misconceptions & myths about workers compensation about workers compensation – and believing them could prevent you getting the help you need and are eligible for. In this article, we’ll bust these myths!

What is workers compensation?

Workers compensation – or WorkCover – compensates workers for medical expenses and lost wages if they’re harmed due to their work. In Australia, any business that employs workers must have workers compensation unless they’re eligible to self-insure.

NSW and Queensland have ‘no-fault schemes’, which means an injured worker can receive compensation no matter who caused the injury. They can make a ‘common law claim’ for damages if the employer’s negligence caused the injury.

Common myths about WorkCover

I will lose my job if I claim

After your WorkCover claim is accepted and you’re well enough to work in some capacity, your employer is required to give you modified duties for up to a year in line with your doctor’s advice. This helps you recover from your injury and continue to work but still managed by a medical professional.

I won’t get another job if I claim

By law, an employer can’t refuse to hire you because you’ve claimed workers compensation in the past.

I can’t choose my treatment options if I claim

You can always choose your own treatment providers after claiming workers compensation. You just need to check that your employer’s insurance covers your treatment choice, so you don’t end up with out-of-pocket expenses.

My employer has to lodge the claim

This isn’t true – you actually have several options:

  • Lodge your claim form online directly with the insurer.
  • Lodge your claim form via post – usually registered post.
  • Provide your claim form to your employer so they can lodge it for you.

You can pick up a WorkCover claim form from the post office or your doctor.

My injury needs to be serious to claim

Even seemingly minor injuries can turn out to be more serious than you think. Or it might get worse over time. For this reason, you should always report your injury to your employer in writing so there’s a record of what happened. And get professional advice from a workers compensation lawyer about your options.

I can’t seek legal advice about my claim

You absolutely can get legal advice about your workers compensation claim. These claims can be complex and time consuming, so you need an expert to help manage the process while you recover.

Getting a workers compensation payout is easy

Claiming WorkCover isn’t as simple as providing a doctor’s certificate. There’s a strict process to follow and your employer’s insurer will want evidence of your injury or illness. You might need to obtain witness statements, photos and other supporting documents. Your workplace will also have an incident reporting process to follow.

Also, a payout isn’t guaranteed. Your employer’s insurer will try to minimise or even dismiss your claim. They will assess the evidence and do their own investigation, checking things like social media and video footage to check your claims.

How Main Lawyers can help

At Main Lawyers, our WorkCover lawyers have many years of experience in helping clients get the compensation they deserve.

Don’t fall for the common myths about workers compensation – contact us today for an obligation-free consultation to see how we can help.

 

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