Injured People

How does WorkCover in WA work?

Personal Injury Lawyer Tim White’s step-by-step guide to making a WorkCover claim in Western Australia.

Personal Injury Lawyer Tim White’s step-by-step guide to making a WorkCover claim in Western Australia.


 

What are the critical steps I should take if injured at work?

1. It is essential that you inform your employer or supervisor immediately if you are injured at work. It is vital to ensure that the incident and your injury is formally documented as having occurred at work and the circumstances as to how it occurred as well.  This should involve you and the employer or the supervisor completing an incident report.

2. You should promptly consult your usual treating doctor, so that you can report to them exactly how the injury occurred and the injuries that you have sustained. Note, you are entitled to see a doctor of your choice and you do not have to see a doctor that your employer nominates.

3. If you have lost time from work it is vital that you obtain a workers compensation medical certificate during the initial consultation with your doctor. That document will support and outline the injuries that you had sustained and it is vital with regard to putting your employer on notice as to the nature of the injuries you have suffered at work.

WorkCover WA – First Certificate of Capacity 

4. Once you have obtained a workers compensation medical certificate you must also obtain a workers compensation claim form. This claim form is the initial paperwork that is needed to be completed and lodged with your employer. It will set out the specifics of how the injury occurred at your workplace and what the specific details of the injury/ injuries are that you have sustained.

WorkCover WA – Workers’ Compensation Claim Form

5. It is important to ensure that with the workers compensation claim form you also attach the medical certificate you obtained from your doctor. Both of these documents are needed to put your employer on notice of your work injury.

6. Once you have provided the two documents above to your employer it is their duty to provide that material to their insurer within five days. Failure to do that is in breach of the legislation and could result in the employer being fined.

7. The next step is that the insurer must then make a decision in relation to your claim. That decision may be to accept or reject your claim, however, it must be made within 14 days of being received by the insurer.

8. Generally there is a time limit within which to make a claim under the workers compensation scheme, it should be filed within at least 12 months from the date of the injury. There are some exceptions to being able to make a claim outside the 12 month period, but legal advice should be sought as to what those requirements are, as it can involve complex considerations.

Making a claim for workers compensation can be a complex and ongoing process, seeking the assistance of a lawyer in the early stages of your claim is always advisable as they will be able to minimise your stress and give you the best chance of a positive outcome.

Disputing a Decision: These are the typical stages of a workers compensation dispute.

1. Your dispute must be filed within strict timeframes and must be in an established form (see link below). Initially the dispute will be referred for conciliation. You have the right to be represented by a solicitor during the conciliation process.

WorkCover WA – Application for Conciliation

2. Following the conciliation process your dispute could be referred for arbitration, to be determined by a qualified arbitrator. As with conciliation, you are entitled to legal representation during the arbitration process.  Your matter cannot be referred for arbitration until you have proceeded through the conciliation process. To start arbitration you must complete the application for arbitration, Form 150.

WorkCover Wa – Application for Arbitration

3. If your dispute cannot be resolved through arbitration, a formal Arbitration Hearing will then be listed. Essentially, a decision is made by an arbitrator.

4. If you have completed the above process and are not satisfied with the decision of the arbitrator you may be able to undertake an appeal to the District Court. Enlisting the services of a legal practitioner is essential at this stage.

The workers compensation process can be complex, seeking the assistance of a lawyer in the early stages of your claim is always advisable as they will be able to minimise your stress and give you the best chance of a positive outcome.

*If you have not yet made a claim, disregard this publication.

For a free initial interview about your workers compensation claim contact us