Most injured workers don’t know their rights or entitlements. Here are 7 things you must know.
You can make a claim for compensation.
If you’ve been injured at work you can immediately start receiving compensation for loss of wages if you are unable to return to work and treatment expenses such as investigations (MRI & CT scans), physiotherapy, specialists consultations and surgery.
You have the right to choose your own doctors and treatment providers.
You can consult your own family doctor, specialists or rehabilitation providers to assist you in your treatment, recovery and return to work. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
You may be entitled to receive a tax free lump sum payment.
If your injuries become permanent you may be entitled to a tax free lump sum payment usually between $25,000 and $200,000. Your injuries will need to be assessed by an approved doctor.
If your injuries are serious or you are recovering from surgery you can apply to receive help around the home also known as domestic assistance.
Your injuries may prevent you from completing tasks around the home such as mowing the lawn and cleaning the house, if so the insurer may pay for these services on a temporary or ongoing basis.
Your workers compensation claim may not be the only claim for compensation you can make. There are times when others may be held responsible for your injuries.
There are times when others may be held responsible for your injuries and larger claims for compensation can be made, for example, if you are sent by your employer to a construction site managed by others, or involved in a car accident that was not your fault. If your injuries are serious, larger claims for compensation can be made against your employer and you may be eligible for total and permanent disability compensation through your superannuation fund.
If the insurer denies your claim or treatment they must provide you with a letter (usually titled a Section 74 Notice) explaining all the reasons for the denial.
You can usually fight any decision of the insurer at the Workers Compensation Commission with the assistance of a lawyer at no cost to you.
Injured workers are entitled to receive free legal representation.
Why struggle to deal with the insurer on your own when you can apply for free legal assistance. The Workers Independent Review Office (WIRO) will pay all your legal fees and will also pay for clinical records and medical reports from your treating doctors and reports from independent doctors needed to help prepare your case.