Employees of the Commonwealth and prescribed large businesses are covered by a no-fault workers compensation scheme called Comcare.  

If your employer is covered by this scheme and you are injured by reason of your work, you can only claim compensation under the Comcare system – meaning that you cannot claim WorkCover.  

Have you or a family member suffered a work-related injury or illness while working for a Commonwealth employer?  Adviceline Injury Lawyers can help.

To speak directly to one of our expert Comcare lawyers, call (03) 9321 9988.  

Your first appointment is free and we offer a ‘No Win, No Fee’ service.


Questions to ask your lawyer.

I have been injured at work. What can I do?

Comcare is a national compensation scheme, originally established to provide standardised and consistent compensation for Commonwealth employees who are injured at work.  Currently there are over 35 companies who self-insure under the Comcare scheme.

Workers are covered by the Comcare scheme regardless of who was at fault.

In the unfortunate event that you or a family member is injured at work, it is important to get the right advice.  To start the process of claiming Comcare compensation you should:

  • Seek medical treatment
  • Notify your employer
  • Speak to a lawyer for independent advice.

Our industry recognised legal experts provide independent, clear and practical guidance and have extensive experience assisting workers access Comcare compensation.

How does the claims process work?

We offer a No Win, No Fee arrangement meaning that if we proceed with a claim you will only have to pay legal costs if you receive compensation.

We are committed to maximising the compensation to be received by injured workers. We only charge for the work we do and in most cases we cap our costs so that you receive the majority of your compensation.

Step 1

Seek medical treatment. 

It is helpful to tell your doctor or health provider the circumstances of your work-related injury/illness from the first consultation.  If you need time off work, you will also need a Medical Certificate from your doctor.  You should ask for this at the time you consult them about your injury.

Step 2

Notify your employer. 

If you have been injured at work you need to notify your employer as soon as practicable after becoming aware you have sustained a work injury/illness.  Further, you only have three years from your date of injury/illness to bring a common law claim against your Comcare employer.  This date may be extended in some circumstances, such as if you have only recently become aware of the seriousness of your injury/illness.

Step 3

Lodge a Comcare claim. 

Comcare are claim forms are available online, at one of our offices or you can request one by calling Comcare on 1300 366 979.  If you incur medical expenses or need to take time off work, you will need to complete a Comcare claim form and provide it to your employer.

If you need assistance completing your Comcare claim form, please contact one of our expert injury lawyers on (03) 9321 9988.

Step 4

Speak to a lawyer.  

Call one of our expert injury lawyers on (03) 9321 9988 and book your free appointment for preliminary advice about your rights and possible entitlements.  

Even if you don’t think your injury is serious, you should still obtain legal advice while the circumstances of your injury are fresh in your mind.

What are my entitlements?

No two claims are the same, and the amount of compensation claimable varies according to the severity of the injury or illness and the effect that it has had on your life.

To discuss your injury or illness and find out more about your entitlements, call and speak directly to one of our expert injury lawyers on (03) 9321 9988.  Your first appointment is free and we offer a ‘No Win, No Fee’ service.

No-fault benefits

Weekly payments

You may be entitled to weekly payments depending on how much you are able to work whilst suffering from a work-related injury/illness. 

Payments are calculated as a percentage of your pre-injury/illness weekly earnings.

Reasonable medical and like expenses

  • Ambulance and hospital expenses
  • Doctors and other medical attendances (including travel expenses)
  • Medications and aides
  • Personal and household expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs (including counselling and household assistance).

Lump sum compensation

You may be entitled to lump sum compensation if you are left with a permanent impairment because of your injury or illness.

How this benefit is calculated depends on the level of impairment you are assessed as having.  There are minimum levels of permanent impairment that you must have before you are entitled to a benefit, depending on when you were injured and what injury/illness you suffer.  This benefit does not impact on your entitlement to weekly payments, medical and like expenses. However it does impact your entitlement to a common law claim.

Can I dispute a decision about my entitlements?

If your claim is rejected or if a letter is received, for example, refusing to pay for a medical service and you want to dispute that decision, you will need to request a reconsideration of Comcare’s determination.

A reconsideration is a review of the decision by a different Comcare delegate, not a re-investigation of the claim. This request must be given to Comcare within 30 days after the day on which you received the determination (although extensions are available in certain circumstances). The request must be in writing and clearly set out the reasons for the request.

It is important that reasons for the application are accurately specified, as this can become particularly significant if the matter progresses. For this reason it is advisable to obtain legal advice early.

The outcome of the reconsideration will be in writing and is called a ‘reviewable decision’. Comcare may vary, affirm or revoke the original decision. If you are unhappy with the reviewable decision you can apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a ‘merits review’.

The AAT must take a fresh look at the decision, including considering any new information, and decide if it should remain or be changed. The AAT is a Commonwealth tribunal which operates much like a Court.

An application to the AAT must be made within 60 days of receiving the reviewable decision (extensions are available in certain circumstances), must be in writing, and must contain a statement of the reasons for the application.

Fault-based scheme

Common law claim

Some work related injuries are caused due to the fault or negligence of your employer or another party.  This can be because of your employer’s failure to provide a safe workplace, although it can include the acts of another party with no connection to your employer. 

A claim seeking compensation for an injury/illness where negligence is involved is called a common law claim and involves suing your employer.  The compensation is called ‘damages’.

The process is separate and in addition to your entitlements under the Comcare system, although there is an interaction between the two.

The claim must be lodged within three years and the process involves: 

  1. Making a successful lump sum claim
  2. Rejecting the lump sum amount offered by Comcare, and commencing common law proceedings

Note: If you accept the lump sum amount you are prevented from suing your Comcare employer for your injury. This decision is irrevocable.

A common law claim brought against a Comcare employer is restricted to a maximum payment of $110,000 and is payable for damages of pain and suffering only.

You cannot sue your Comcare employer for lost wages.

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