MAKING A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIM
If you have been injured or suffer an illness or disease because of your work, you may be entitled to compensation from the Victorian Workcover Authority (VWA). Compensation can include weekly payments for loss of income, funding for medical and like expenses, a lump sum payment for a permanent impairment, and common law damages.
The AWU Victorian Branch Workers’ Compensation Officer Michael Stevenson has a wealth of experience in dealing with the issues encountered by our injured members.
Michael’s help is part of the service your union membership provides. He can advise you, help you lodge your claim, and be there for any conciliation hearings. He knows the pitfalls, and he understands your legal rights.
If you have an injury it is very important that you follow the right steps. For example, if you haven’t reported your problem within 30 days, you are going to have a lot of trouble making a successful claim.
It may be that your injury is something you regard as not very serious. Michael often sees people whose minor complaint has grown into something more complex, but because there was never an initial report there is an uphill battle for a fair outcome.
There are a number of steps you should follow if you do suffer an injury or illness:
- report your injury or illness to your employer as soon as possible. You, or someone on your behalf, should make sure something is written in an incident or injury book (Register of Injury) within 30 days. Keep a copy of the report.
- see your own doctor (and other health care providers, such as physiotherapists or chiropractors), and get a Certificate of Capacity from your doctor if you can’t perform your normal duties. Remember you do not need to be treated by a company doctor.
- complete a WorkCover claim form. You must complete a claim form if you want to be compensated. Claim forms are available from a post office and the AWU. We can help you complete the claim form.
- give the WorkCover claim form and Certificate of Capacity to your employer as soon as possible! Make sure you keep copies of the claim form and certificates. You should also send a copy of the claim form directly to the VWA. Your employer and your employer’s insurer have a maximum time limit of 38 days in which to make a decision. If you are employed by a self-insurer a decision has to be made within 28 days.
- if your injury is the result of a motor vehicle accident, remember, you must report it to police as soon as it happens.
Your doctor will know all about the Certificate of Capacity, and The AWU Victorian Branch Workers’ Compensation Officer Michael Stevenson is available to help you. He can be contacted on 03 8327 0888 or 0402 748 829.