When can I make a WorkCover claim?
You can make a WorkCover claim any time after you suffer an injury or illness related to your employment. The sooner the better after suffering the injury or illness. However, you can lodge a WorkCover claim months or even years after, and it can still be accepted.
You also need to satisfy the three criteria to claim WorkCover: that you are considered a ‘worker’ under the relevant legislation, that you suffered an injury or illness arising out of or in the course of your employment, and that your employment has some connection to Victoria.
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Lodge a claim as soon as possible – but if not, then lodge when you can
Ideally, you should lodge a WorkCover claim as soon as you can after an injury occurs. This gives you the best chance of having the claim accepted.
However, keep in mind that there is no set deadline as to when you need to lodge a claim by.
You could suffer an injury at work, and then not lodge a claim for a couple of years and it could still potentially be accepted.
The key thing is the evidence. What evidence is there pointing to the fact that you suffered the injury in the circumstances in which you say it occurred?
The better the evidence, the better the chance of the WorkCover claim being accepted. Whether this is in the weeks after the injury occurred, or years after it occurred.If there is no evidence to establish that you suffered an injury connected to your employment, this can make it much more difficult to have a claim accepted.
Examples of evidence that may be helpful in having your claim accepted includes:
- Witness statements
- Written accounts of your injury
- Diary notes
- Consultation notes from doctors and other treating health practitioners
- Notes from hospitals that you’ve attended.
The less helpful evidence that exists, and the more time that has passed, generally speaking the more difficult if will be to have your claim accepted.
You should also be aware that you should let your employer know that you suffered an injury or illness related to your employment within 30 days of it occurring. If you fail to do so, your entitlement to compensation may be impacted.
However, this notice requirement can be waived if it wasn’t reasonably practicable for you to give notice, or if failing to give notice of the injury does not unfairly prejudice the employer, or if the failure to give notice within the 30 day time period would result in a serious injustice to you.
Bottom line – just because you never reported an injury to your employer does not preclude you from having a claim accepted.
A final thing to note in relation to the WorkCover lodgement time period is that, while there is no fixed time limit to lodging a WorkCover claim, there’s a six year deadline in which to bring a common law claim for damages. Copyright – this is original content from TheWorkInjurySite.com.au.
If you need a copy of the WorkCover claim form to initiate a claim, you can get a blank copy here.
An entitlement to claim WorkCover
1. An injury or illness arising out of or in the course of your employment
This also includes an aggravation, acceleration, deterioration or exacerbation of a pre existing disease or condition.
As well a disease contracted during the course of your employment, or industrial deafness.
2. A connection to Victoria
Your employment needs to be connected to Victoria in some way.
You can suffer an injury outside of Victoria or even Australia, and still be entitled to lodge a WorkCover claim if your employment is connected to Victoria.
You can establish a connection to Victoria if you normally work in Victoria.
Or, if you don’t normally work in Victoria, if you’re based in Victoria for the purposes of your employment, or your employers main place of business is located in Victoria. Copyright – this is original content from TheWorkInjurySite.com.au.
3. You must be a ‘worker’
A worker in Victoria is defined as someone who performs work or has an agreement with an employer to agree work at the direction or instruction of the employer.
A WorkCover claim can be made at any time after you suffer an injury or illness connected to your employment. However, the sooner you lodge a claim, generally speaking, the better. It will give you the best chance of having your claim accepted.
Remember, however, that you can lodge a WorkCover claim months or years after an injury or illness and it can still be accepted.
And in order to have your claim accepted, you need to satisfy the three criteria to having a WorkCover claim accepted. That is, that you have an injury or illness connected to your employment, that you’re considered a ‘worker’ and that your employment is in some way connected to Victoria.