Workcover resources – Queensland (QLD)
QLD Workcover – This is QLD’s main provider of workers’ compensation insurance for Queensland employers since 1997.
View or download QLD’s Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003
A worker who suffers injury in Queensland in the course of employment is able to make a claim for statutory worker’s compensation benefits. In Queensland employees are also covered for journeys on their way to or from their place of employment. Generally a Queensland statutory WorkCover claim must be lodged on the employer and WorkCover Qld within six months from the date of the accident. Some employers in Queensland are self-insurers which means the claim must be directly lodged upon them.
If an employee has a work related injury then the worker should immediately fill in a worker’s compensation claim form together with a medical certificate in the prescribed form from their GP which should be sent to WorkCover Qld. Reports of injury can also be made over the telephone to WorkCover Qld.
If the compensation claim is rejected there is a 3 month time limit in referring the claim to QComp for appeal. This strict time limit must be complied with as failure to comply with that time limit may preclude any future common law claim. WorkCover Qld will then pay statutory benefits in the form of medical expenses and weekly payments until the injuries are medically stable and stationary. This is normally a minimum of 12 months post injury. The worker is then referred to a WorkCover doctor to assess the permanent impairment. WorkCover then send to the worker a Notice of Assessment which specifies the degree of work related impairment and makes an offer of lump sum compensation based on the degree of that permanent impairment.
Common Law Damages
If the employee has been injured in circumstances which involves negligence on the part of the employer, the worker may have a much larger claim for common law damages.
The assessment by WorkCover only provides for payment for the permanent impairment, it does not include any amounts for past and future medical expenses or past and future economic loss. If negligence can be established then a common law claim against the employer can be lodged against WorkCover Qld making a claim for pain and suffering and loss of amenities of life, past and future medical expenses, past and future economic loss and in some very limited situations, a claim for domestic assistance.
Depending on the level of work related impairment the worker has different rights with respect to the acceptance of that offer. If the work related impairment is under 20% the worker must either accept the statutory lump sum offered by WorkCover or claim damages at common law from the employer. If the work related impairment is above 20% the worker is in a much better position and can accept the statutory lump sum compensation offered by WorkCover and also claim damages at common law from the employer. It is essential that if you are given a Notice of Assessment from WorkCover that you obtain legal advice immediately before you accept or reject a lump sum as the acceptance of the lump sum in some circumstances can preclude you from making a common law claim against your employer and you may miss out on thousands of dollars in compensation if that election is made.
In most circumstances it is more preferable to defer the offer until all elements of negligence have been discussed and examined to determine whether the worker has a much larger claim at common law. Once the statutory claim benefits have ceased with the offering of a Notice of Assessment the worker is able to pursue a common law claim in circumstances where negligence can be found. The worker then serves a Notice of Claim for Damages form on WorkCover Qld which carefully sets out the heads of damage that the worker is able to recover under a common law claim which includes the heads of damages mentioned above. Please note the service of the Notice of Claim for Damages form must be done within 3 years from the date of the accident or else the claim will become statute barred. It is more preferable to serve the Notice of Claim for Damages at approximately no later than 2 years and 6 months from the date of the accident to ensure that proper compliance is received through WorkCover Qld. WorkCover will then examine the Notice of Claim for Damages and provide a response to the common law damages claim within 6 months of the notice being provided. WorkCover will either admit or deny liability for the injury and will either accept or reject the offer that was being put forward in the Notice of Claim form. WorkCover will sometimes make an offer of settlement and determine the claim before the full 6 months has expired. WorkCover may also oblige you to attend upon one of their doctors which the worker can elect from a panel of 3.
If the matter does not settle beforehand a compulsory conference is held between the worker and WorkCover representatives with a mandatory requirement before the claim can proceed to court. 90% of Qld WorkCover claims are settled a compulsory conference without the need to go to a court hearing. With the service of a Notice of Claim form the time limit is effectively frozen from that date and the 3 year limitation period is then extended until 60 days after the compulsory conference is held. It is important again to understand that if the Notice of Claim is not served and deemed compliant within the 3 year period the action will become statute barred.
There are various technical provisions that surround the making of a claim for common law damages arising from a workplace incident in Queensland and any worker who is offered a lump sum from WorkCover Qld should immediately contact a solicitor for advice before accepting the offer.
Who can claim QLD Workers Compensation?
To claim Workers Compensation in the state of Queensland you have to be identified as a Queensland Worker and you have to sustain a workplace injury in Queensland.
Do I have a limitation date to claim QLD Workers Compensation?
Yes, you have three (3) years for your date of injury to pursue a Queensland Workers Compensation Claim. Your claim may be become statue barred if outside of this three year limitation.
What are my legal entitlements for compensation?
To receive any entitlements for workers compensation you must first notify our employer of the accident and an injury have been sustained as a result.
Thereafter, you need to lodge your claim with your employer’s insurance company along with a medical certificate from your doctor. After your Queensland Workers Compensation Claim is accepted by your employers’ insurance company, your legal entitlements may include:
- Reimbursement for your medical and out of pocket expenses if they all relate to your workplace injury and you have kept receipts’ and/or documentation.
- Your wages being paid directly to you while off work.
What are my legal rights to pursue a Queensland Common Law Claim
To pursue a Queensland Common Law Claim you have to establish that your workplace accident was caused by someone else’s negligence. If negligence is not established then you may not be in a position to claim workers compensation.
What are the benefits to me pursuing a Common Law Claim?
Pursuing a Common Law Claim is beneficial for injured people of Queensland as the insurance company ONLY produces their compensation payable to you by a computer. They do not take your past and future losses into account as well as pain and suffering, therefore your compensation is limited. Pursuing a Queensland Common Law Claim is through the legal system and assists with getting you a payout for the following:
- Past and future financial losses
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future out of pocket costs
- Pain and suffering
Useful Documents and links
Link on a report done up by the Queensland law society about the work-cover system. click “here” if you wish to read. happy reading
Some court transcripts of people appealing against q-comp. so in qld its workcover if they deny your claim goes to q comp if they deny you goes to court and here are the decisions and transcripts of these. http://www.qirc.qld.gov.au/published/index.htm hope there is some good reading
Good read this one http://www.qirc.qld.gov.au/resources/pdf…2012_091112.pdf