If I get injured at work do I get paid?
If you get injured at work, and that injury is in some way related to your employment, then it is possible to be paid compensation for some of your lost earnings if your ability to work is impacted.
In order to be paid, you must first lodge a WorkCover claim form.
Your WorkCover claim must be accepted.
It will be processed by a WorkCover Insurer who will make a decision on the claim within about a month, generally speaking.
If your claim is accepted, you’ll be entitled to the payment of weekly payments.
In general however, you are entitled to the payment of 130 weeks of weekly payments if your ability to work is impacted by by the work related injury.
It is important to keep in mind that you will not be paid 100% of your lost earnings in most cases. This issue is explored further here.
WorkCover will pay for the first 13 weeks at 95% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings (this is an average of your earnings in the 12 months prior to suffering the injury, or if you have not been at the job for a minimum of 12 months, then an average of the earnings over the period that you’ve been employed).
After 13 weeks you’ll be paid at the rate of 80% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings.
Once you hit the 130 week mark, then you are entitled to be paid weekly payments only if you have no work capacity which is likely to continue into the future.
If you have a work capacity, which is determined by doctors, then Payments will cease.
In order to be paid following an injury, you need to have some in capacity for work that is connected to the injury.
You need to obtain certificates of capacity from your doctor or other health practitioner and these need to be provided to the employer/insurance company.
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No fault required
In Victoria, we have what is called a no fault WorkCover system.
This means that you do not need to show that someone else was at fault in order to have an accepted WorkCover claim and have weekly payments paid by the insurer.
In fact, you could potentially be responsible for the injury yourself and the law says that you are still entitled to lodge a WorkCover claim and have an entitlement to the payment of weekly payments.
It’s important to note however that you do need to show fault if you intend to pursue a common law lump sum claim. You can read more about common law lump sum claims here.
Are there options other than WorkCover?
If you are injured at work you are able to potentially claim income protection benefits via your superannuation.
You can read more about that here, which details the pros and cons of income protection and WorkCover payments.
In some cases, employers will pay for time off work but this is not the norm.
You can also take sick leave if you have a sufficient amount accrued. However, we generally recommend that people save their sick leave for non work related injuries or conditions.
Yes, if you’re injured at work you can be paid if your ability to work is impacted.
You can be paid via a WorkCover claim (weekly payments), or income protection benefits, or you can take your accrued sick leave.