FREQENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR A CLAIM TO BE DECIDED?
Your employer has five working days to submit your Claim Form and certificate of capacity to their insurer. The insurer has 14 days to make a decision on the claim. If they cannot make a decision on the required time frame it is usual to provide written notification outlining this and the reason for the delay.
WHO COVERS MY EXPENSES WHILE MY CLAIM IS BEING PROCESSED?
You cover the costs of your expenses while your claim is being processed. However, these will be reimbursed (paid back) if the claim is accepted. It is important that you keep all your receipts during this time. If you are unable to work while the claim is being processed, you can use your sick leave (make sure the lost time is covered by a medical certificate) or your annual leave and these must be re-credited to you if your claim is accepted
WHAT EXPENSES ARE COVERED BY YOUR CLAIM?
Most 'reasonable' medical costs relating to your workers' compensation injury are covered while you are on workers' compensation.
Reasonable medical expenses include:
• First aid and ambulance
• Medical or surgical attendance
• Treatment by specialists
• Charges for hospital treatment
• Other approved treatment (including osteopathy, clinical psychology, occupational therapy, speech pathology, exercise physiology).
CAN I CLAIM FOR A TAXI?
Check with your employer's insurer prior to making any booking. The insurer will usually determine whether this is a 'reasonable' cost by the availability of public transport and the type of injury suffered.
DO I ACCUMULATE LEAVE WHILE I'M ON WORKERS' COMPENSATION?
Unfortunately, the Workers' Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 does not make reference to leave entitlements. You should check with your employer or with Wageline to determine whether your employment contract or Award makes mention of this.
DOES MY EMPLOYER MAKE SUPERANNUATION CONTRIBUTIONS WHILE I'M ON WORKERS' COMPENSATION?
The workers' compensation legislation does not make reference to superannuation contributions. You will need to discuss this with the Australian Taxation Office on 13 10 20.
CAN I BE DISMISSED WHILE I'M NOT ABLE TO WORK?
Yes. While an employer is expected to keep your job open for 12 months or provide alternative employment, they can still terminate your employment.
However, the employer must complete a 'notice of intention to dismiss', provide 28 days notice, advise WorkCover WA and provide you with a copy of the notice.
An employer is still required to keep an injured worker's original position open or provide an alternative position if it is reasonable.
RETURNING TO WORK
WHAT ARE MY OBLIGATIONS IN THE RETURN TO WORK PROCESS?
Injured workers should fully participate and cooperate with their employer and medical practitioner in the development of a return to work programme.
WHAT IS EXPECTED OF INJURED WORKERS IN INJURY MANAGEMENT?
Injured workers are expected to participate in their workplace reganilitation, which includes:
· Collaborating in establishing a return to work programme; and
· Participating in a cooperative manner in a return to work programme, including attending appointments as required.
An injured worker should discuss with their treating medical practitioner and the employer what duties they feel they can realistically do, given their injury. It is reasonable to expect an injured worker to allow their employer to speak with their treating medical practitioner, either in person or by telephone, to discuss return to work options. An employer can ask an injured worker for written consent to achieve this. This may be incorporated into an injury management system, and is also provided for on the First Certificate of Capacity and the claim form.
WHAT IS AN APPROVED WORKPLACE REHABILITATION PROVIDER?
Approved Workplace Rehabilitation Providers have the qualifications, experience and expertise to maintain injured workers at work, or return them to work following an injury.
The costs of their services are covered within your workers' compensation claim.
WHAT IS COVERED UNDER VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION?
All activities undertaken to assist in maintaining a person at work, returning them to work or assisting them become work ready. These services can only be provided be accredited workplace rehabilitation providers who are appropriately qualified and trained.