Victorians are entitled to a range of compensation
If you have been injured because of work you may be eligible for compensation from WorkSafe.
Types of support summary
1. Weekly payments (for time off work)
If your claim is accepted WorkSafe pays weekly payments until you can return to pre-injury work. There are statutory time limits – for example your payments are highest during the first 13 weeks. However many injured workers find they can return to work well before this time.
In most cases weekly payments are processed through your employer and paid in the same way as your usual wage.
Weekly payments are usually based on the average of your ordinary earnings from the last 52 weeks. These are referred to as pre-injury average weekly earnings or PIAWE.
2. Treatment expenses (for costs associated with your treatment)
If you have a work-related injury or illness, you may also be compensated for the cost of your treatment.
WorkSafe can pay reasonable costs of approved services but reasonable costs doesn’t always mean payment of the full costs. Sometimes there might be a difference or gap between what a healthcare provider charges and what WorkSafe can pay.
Some types treatment can be accessed without a referral, however other treatment may require a referral or approval from your WorkSafe agent.
3. Permanent impairment benefit (for people with permanent disabilities)
If you have a work-related injury or illness that has left you with a permanent impairment, you may also be entitled to a lump sum payment called an impairment benefit. Any entitlement cannot be established until any permanent injury has stabilised - generally at least 12 months after your injury.
An impairment benefit payment is separate to any payment for lost income and medical expenses, and you need to meet certain thresholds to be eligible. Examples of a permanent impairment can include:
- reduced shoulder movement
- a spinal cord injury
- amputated finger.
Your WorkSafe agent can help you with making a claim for an impairment benefit. As part of this process you’ll need to have a medical assessment by a WorkSafe approve doctor called an Independent Impairment Assessor.
4. Superannuation payments (post-52 weeks to cover lost super)
If you're receiving weekly payments because of a work-related injury, you might also be eligible for the superannuation entitlement - a contribution paid on top of your weekly payment. Any entitlement will not be until after a period of 52 weeks, and only if your pre-injury employer has no legal obligation to continue superannuation payments.
Your WorkSafe agent will let you know if you are eligible for this entitlement and will organise for payment into your superannuation fund. You can also nominate a different fund by sending the choice of superannuation fund form to your WorkSafe agent.
5. Entitlements following a work-related death (for dependant partners)
WorkSafe provides support and financial compensation to the families of people who have died as a result of a work-related injury or illness. WorkSafe can cover expenses including medical services for the deceased person such as ambulance, hospital and treatment, burial or cremation and family counselling services.
Lump sum payments or weekly pensions may be available for dependent partners and children, and in some cases, non-dependent family members for reimbursement of expenses in cases of financial hardship.
6. Claim for damages (for workers who have a basis to sue their employer)
If you have a work-related injury or illness, you might also have an entitlement to sue for damages from your employer. You’ll need legal advice prior to going down this path.
To bring proceedings for damages to court, your injury has to meet the definition of 'serious' in Victorian workers compensation legislation. This means your legal practitioner will need to complete and submit a serious injury application to WorkSafe before any court proceedings can begin.