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Lodging a Claim

Lodging a Claim

So, you’ve been injured at work and you’re looking for some help navigating the confusing systems of WorkCover, you’ve come to the right place. Navigating the claims system is complicated, time-consuming and mentally draining. That’s why this article will break down some of the very first few steps you should take as a newly injured worker to help make the process as easy as possible for yourself from the get-go.

The first 3 things you need to do are:

  1. Seek medical treatment
    Of course, the most important thing to do if you have a work-related injury or illness is to seek appropriate medical treatment from your treating doctor. Seeking treatment could be something as simple as using a first aid kit at your worksite, or it could mean taking leave from work to see specialists. Whatever the case, the first thing to do when you’ve been injured is to seek treatment quickly and effectively.
  2. Notify your employer
    You, or someone on your behalf, must notify your employer in writing of any work-related injury or illness as soon as possible. This will help make the process easier later on. You need to ensure that your injury is reported within 30 days otherwise you may not be entitled to compensation. You or your employer must record the details of your injury in the register of injuries at your workplace. Depending on your workplace, this might mean making a record of an incident in an online form, or a bound book in HRs office.

Whatever the case, record-keeping is vital when it comes to making claims further down the track and no detail is too small.

  1. Lodge a Claim for Workers Compensation

This is where things get complicated, stay with me on this one. Remember you can always ask your HSR/union/workplace union delegate for help at this stage.

Workers Compensation is available to all injured workers. This includes physical and mental injuries.

If you're injured at work and need medical treatment or time off work, you may be eligible for compensation which may include time off work and treatment expenses. You may also be able to get compensation if you've become permanently impaired, or if you find you need more than 52 weeks off work, you may also be eligible for superannuation benefits. The way to find out is to make your claim.

If you are injured and you can make a claim for weekly payments to cover part of your lost income A worker can lodge a claim: 

  • by giving it to or serving it on the employer, 
  • lodging it directly on the Agent or WorkSafe if direct lodgement applies. Your weekly payments will be based on your pre-injury average weekly earnings (PIAWE), entitlements to sick leave, annual leave and redundancy payments. COC (Certificate of Capacity).

You must get a Certificate of Capacity if you wish to claim for weekly payments. Then you must complete the injured worker’s claim form.

You can download a Worker’s Injury Claim Form from the WorkSafe website.

What is a Certificate of Capacity? 

A Certificate of Capacity is an official document that describes your injury, illness, capacity to work, and any limitations you must perform your regular work tasks. Do I need a certificate of capacity? If you are making a claim for weekly payments (money paid to you for time off work) or are not able to perform your pre-injury employment, you must have a certificate of capacity. If you are claiming for treatment expenses only, you do not require one. The initial certificate must be completed by a medical practitioner (your general practitioner, surgeon, or psychiatrist) if you need time off work or are not able to perform your pre-injury employment.

The different types of Certificate of Capacity are:

First Certificate of Capacity Only
A medical practitioner can issue the first Certificate of Capacity. It can be valid for a maximum of 14 days off work unless there are special reasons provided on the certificate, such as a severe injury or illness.

Subsequent Certificate of Capacity
The subsequent certificate can be valid for a maximum of 28 days unless the WorkSafe agent is satisfied that there are special reasons for the certificate to cover a longer period. Victorian workers compensation legislation states that a subsequent certificate of capacity can only be issued and signed by a medical practitioner, physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath.

To claim entitlements for a work-related injury or illness you must complete a WorkSafe Victoria (WorkSafe) approved Claim Form as soon as possible and give it to your employer.

So that helps cover the first few steps. As I mentioned, the whole process can be extremely complex and stressful, and in times where things are complex and stressful, a support network can offer guidance to see you through the process or even just an ear to voice your concerns with. A network of other injured workers who know the process inside and out.


The information on this website produced and distributed by the IWSN is of a general nature. We do our best to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but cannot take any responsibility for any loss arising out of its use. You should not rely on it applying in your own circumstances and should always take further advice from those with appropriate qualifications.

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