I’ve Suffered a Work Related Injury. What Do I Do?

If you have been injured at work and it has resulted in a loss of earnings due to reduced hours, you may be entitled to a weekly payment from WorkCover Queensland or your employer’s self-insurer. WorkCover is obligated to keep you on track and to reduce the overall impact of your work-related injury, and while a key part of this is your physical recovery the financial side of things is important as well. Under WorkCover you will not receive your full salary, but you are entitled to a percentage of your salary.

HOW MUCH COMPENSATION WILL I GET?

The amount of the weekly payments you will receive is dependent on a number of factors including:

  • the date of your injury
  • the length of time your doctor has said you should be off work
  • the length of your claim; and
  • whether an award or workplace agreement applies to you.

You will be paid a percentage of your normal weekly pay. Your normal weekly pay based on what you have earned each week from your employment during the 12 months before your injury. It only takes into account regular payments which would have continued if you hadn’t been injured and includes:

  • salary or wages
  • duties
  • penalties
  • allowances
  • overtime

If you have had a work-related injury in Queensland that has resulted in a loss of earnings due to reduced hours, you may be entitled to a weekly payment from WorkCover Queensland (or your employers self-insurer). Typically, you will be paid a percentage of your typical weekly pay. Check on the WorkCover Queensland website for more details.

WHAT IF I CAN DO MY JOB AT ONLY HALF CAPACITY?

In many cases people who are injured need to go onto light duties, known as suitable duties, for a period of time while they recover. If this is the case, then any pay difference between the usual salary an employee receives, and the percentage required to be paid under WorkCover will be topped up. It is important to be aware of how much you are being paid and whether you are eligible to receive more in workers compensation while you recover.

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR A TOP UP FROM WORKCOVER?

If you are being paid under an industrial instrument, then you are eligible to receive the greater of 85% of your normal weekly earnings or the amount payable under the instrument. If you are not being paid under an industrial instrument you are eligible to receive the greater of 85% of your normal weekly earnings or 80% of the Queensland full time adult’s ordinary time earnings.

“Our clients will often return to work on suitable duties plan with their employer, but they might have been doing a lot of overtime prior to their injury. Obviously both the employer and WorkCover do not want the employee doing overtime while they are still recovering. But did you know that you can top up your wage entitlement each week or fortnight through WorkCover so that you are not missing out on your usual weekly entitlements? In one case we had a client who has been on ‘suitable duties’ for the past eight months.

He had not received any other payment other than what his employer was paying him each fortnight. When we took this case under review to WorkCover Queensland, we were able to get the client backpay to the start of his suitable duties which was almost $13,000. Given that this client’s WorkCover claim had just closed, and he was searching for work this was a huge relief.”

WHAT IF I DO NOT AGREE WITH THE WAY IN WHICH WAGES HAVE BEEN CALCULATED?

If you disagree with the way your wage entitlement has been calculated, then you can submit a review of the decision under the Workers Compensation Regulator. If you are considering this route, then it is important that you seek legal advice.

This is because there can be some complicated factors at play, and if you are grappling with an injury and trying to submit a review of your WorkCover claim at the same time it can be difficult.

If you have any questions no matter how small, then give Castle Compensation Partners a call. We can do a FREE Assessment and see what you can be entitled to. Once done, a lawyer will give you a call and you can see what’s the best way forward. The best part is you’re not on your own.

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