When does WorkCover offer a compensation payout?
WorkCover does not offer a compensation payout just because you have an accepted WorkCover claim. In order to be compensated by way of a lump sum, you need to first have the initial WorkCover claim accepted, and then make an application for one of the lump sums open to you to pursue.
In order to pursue either lump sum, your injury needs to be stabilised. This means it is not likely to get better, and not likely to get worse. A guideline as to when an injury is stable is at least 12 months from the date of injury.
There are two lump sums compensation avenues open to you to pursue under the WorkCover system:
- Impairment claim
- Common law claim
When you lodge the initial WorkCover claim, once that gets accepted you’re entitled to claim the payment of medical expenses as well as income benefits if your ability to work is impacted.
Once your injury has stabilised, that is, once it becomes clear that it’s not going to change significantly, you can elect to make a claim for lump sum compensation.
In most cases, WorkCover will not accept a lump sum application until 12 months have passed since you suffered an injury.
However, this is dependent upon the nature of your injury.
You can choose at this point to make an application for an impairment benefit, or you can skip the impairment benefit and pursue a common law claim.
Most people however usually pursue an impairment claim first, and then (if eligible to do so) pursue a common law claim.
In either case, WorkCover will not just offer these lump sums to you just because you have an accepted WorkCover claim. You will need to make a seperate application for both.
And just because WorkCover have accepted liability for your initial WorkCover claim, does not mean you will automatically succeed in your application for an impairment benefit or common law damages.
This is because both of those claims have certain criteria that you need to meet in order to be entitled to a compensation payout.
If you pursue an impairment claim, if you satisfy the relevant criteria, you can expect to receive an offer to resolve the claim from the insurer within about 3-4 months from when you lodged the claim.
If you pursue a common law claim, and again if you satisfy the relevant criteria, you can expect to receive an offer to resolve the claim anywhere from a couple of months all the way up to a few years. There is less certainty with this claim given there are more variables involved.
WorkCover won’t automatically offer you a compensation payout just because you have an accepted WorkCover claim.
In order to claim lump sum compensation, you need to make a seperate, specific application for either an impairment benefit or a common law claim for damages.
At a minimum, you can expect to wait at least 12 months after you suffer an injury before being able to make a claim for lump sum compensation (in general).
Once a claim has been made, for an impairment benefit you can expect to receive an offer within about 3-4 months from lodgement, and a common law claim anywhere from a couple of months to a few years from lodgement.