If you suffer from a workplace injury or have been diagnosed with a disease from workplace exposure, you can access lost wages and payment of medical expenses through the Workers' Compensation scheme. 

You don’t need to prove anyone’s fault to be eligible.

Typically, employees are covered by the employer's insurer.  In Victoria this is the WorkCover compensation scheme.

If you are an employee of a Commonwealth or prescribed large business, compensation is available to you under the national Comcare scheme.  Visit our Comcare page for information specific to this scheme.  

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What are my options?

If you have an accepted WorkCover claim you may be able to access multiple levels of compensation based on the severity of your injury/illness and whether your employer was at fault.

Level 1: No fault benefits

WorkCover benefits include "weekly payments" of lost income and a financial contribution towards medical expenses such as:

  • 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).

Level 2: Permanent injury lump sum payment

The calculation of this payment is based on the level of your assessed permanent impairment.  This payment is available regardless of fault.

This is separate, and in addition to, weekly payments and medical & like expenses.

Level 3: Sue for further compensation

If your injury/illness is determined to be a "serious injury" and was caused due to the fault of another party, you can sue for further monetary compensation.  This refers to the "pain and suffering" you have endured and will continue to endure; and for the "economic loss" of wages and superannuation you would have earnt into the future.

This is separate to weekly payments and medical & like expenses.

Often, cases resolve prior to attending court.


How do I make a WorkCover claim?

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Seek medical treatment

Even if your injury/illness appears to be minor, if you are involved in an accident at work it is important to visit a doctor to start an early record of symptoms, their cause and impact on your life.  This appointment will provide the historical background which will be critical to the success of your WorkCover claim.

If you need time off work, request a "certificate of capacity" from your doctor.

Most doctors, therapists and pharmacists should be able to bill the WorkCover insurer directly.  If they cannot, request a receipt for the treatment and send it in to your insurer to claim within six months of treatment.  Keep a copy of the receipt.

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Notify your employer

You need to notify your employer within 30 days of becoming aware you have a work injury/illness.

Further, you only have six years from your date of injury/illness to sue your employer if they were at fault.  This date may be extended in some circumstances, such as if you have only recently become aware of the seriousness of your injury/illness.

It is important that you do not sign anything without obtaining legal advice first.

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Lodge a WorkCover claim

WorkCover claim forms are available at the post office, one of our offices or you can request one by calling WorkSafe on 1800 136 089.

If you have medical expenses or need to take time off work, you will need to complete a WorkCover claim form and provide it to your employer.  A sample of a completed form is available here.

If you are claiming for time off work, you also need to have a "certificate of capacity" from your doctor.

If you need assistance completing your WorkCover claim form, please call one of our lawyers on (03) 9321 9988.

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Contact us

Even if you don’t think your injury is serious, we recommend discussing your injury/illness with a lawyer while the details are fresh in your mind.

Your time is important to us, so when you call (03) 9321 9988 during business hours Monday - Friday, your call will be answered by a lawyer.  We will be able to advise you on your potential rights and entitlements, and offer a free face-to-face meeting at an office closest to you.

Legal services are provided on a No Win No Fee basis.

Meet our WorkCover lawyers

Bree Knoester

Managing Partner

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Lisa Paul

Partner

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Lauren Freeman

Special Counsel

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Awards and Accolades

Doyle’s Guide

Leading law firm

Adviceline Injury Lawyers

Victorian Work Injury & Accident Compensation (2018 – 2019)

Second tier law firm

Adviceline Injury Lawyers

Victorian Work Injury & Accident Compensation (2020)

Preeminent practitioner

Partner, Bree Knoester

Work Injury Compensation (2020)

Leading practitioner

Partner, Bree Knoester

Work Injury Compensation in Victoria (2017 – 2019)

Best Lawyers

Lawyer of the Year

Partner, Bree Knoester

Personal Injury Litigation (2020)

Leading practitioner

Partner, Bree Knoester

Personal Injury Litigation (2019-2021)

Frequently Asked Questions

Read all WorkCover FAQs

I have been injured at work – what should I do?

If you have been injured at work, you need to notify your employer within 30 days of you becoming aware of your work related injury.  A good way to formally notify your employer is to fill out the Register of Injuries, which must be kept at each workplace.

You should seek any medical treatment necessary.  It is helpful to tell your doctor or health provider the circumstances of your work-related injury from the first consultation.

Make a claim

If you incur medical expenses or need to take time off work, you will need to complete a Worker’s Injury claim form.  Printed forms are available at the post office, one of our offices or request one by calling WorkSafe on 1800 136 089.

Your employer may also be able to provide you with a copy.

In the claim form there is a section dedicated to when your injury/condition occurred and when you first noticed it.  If your work injury or condition developed over a period of time, it is acceptable to write ‘injured over the course of employment’ on the claim form instead of a specific date and time of injury.  For tips and hints on filling out your Workers Injury Claim form, click here (https://advicelineinjurylawyers.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/TipsandHints_Worker-Injury-Claim-Form.pdf).

If you require assistance completing your claim form, you can contact one of our expert lawyers for free advice on (03) 9321 9988.

The claim form must be given to your employer either by hand or post.

Obtain a ‘Certificate of Capacity’ from your GP

If you are claiming for time off work, you also need to have a WorkCover Certificate of Capacity from your treating General Practitioner (GP).  An ordinary medical certificate will not be accepted.

The initial WorkCover Certificate of Capacity should cover a period of no more than 14 days and all subsequent certificates should be for a period of up to 28 days.

Lodge with the insurer

Your employer has 10 days from when it receives your claim to forward the claim to its authorised insurer (also known as claims agent).  It is possible to lodge a copy of a claim yourself with the authorised insurer.  This is recommended in circumstances where your employer is refusing to receive your claim, or where an employer cannot be located/found, no longer operates or if there is doubt as to whether the claim form will be passed on to the authorised insurer within the required time.  Penalties can be imposed on employers when claims are not forwarded to the authorised insurer.

Once the authorised insurer receives a claim it has 28 days to accept or reject the claim.  If it rejects the claim it should provide written notice of the rejection.  If it does not reject the claim within 28 days, then the claim is treated as accepted.  Normally, before deciding whether to accept or reject the claim, the authorised insurer or claims agent will arrange for you to be examined by one of their doctors.

If you are concerned that your injury or condition could cause you to have ongoing problems, it is worthwhile to seek legal advice while the circumstances of the injury are still fresh in your mind.  For free initial legal advice over the telephone, call Adviceline Injury Lawyers on (03) 9321 9988 to speak directly to a lawyer.

How long do I have to make a WorkCover claim?

There is no strict time limit to bring a ‘no-fault’ WorkCover claim, but you do need to notify your employer within 30 days of you becoming aware of your work related injury.

A good way to formally notify your employer is to fill out the Register of Injuries, which must be kept at each workplace.

You only have 6 years from your date of injury to bring a common law claim against your employer.  This date may be extended in some circumstances, such as if you have only recently become aware of the seriousness of your injury.

How long does the authorised insurer have to accept or reject my claim?

Once the authorised insurer receives a WorkCover claim it has 28 days in which to accept or reject the claim.

If it rejects the claim, it should provide you with written notice of the rejection.  If the authorised insurer does not provide written notice of its decision within 28 days, the claim is deemed to have been accepted.

Normally, before deciding whether to accept or reject the claim, the authorised insurer will arrange for you to be examined by one of their doctors.

Who is covered under WorkCover?

In order to be covered by WorkCover, the following criteria must be met:

  • you must be a worker
  • the injury must be a work-related injury.  That is, the injury arose out of or in the course of your employment or your employment is a significant contributing factor to the development of the injury/condition.

WorkCover is a workers’ compensation ‘no fault’ scheme established by law to compensate Victorian workers who are injured at work or who suffer from a work-related illness.

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

In certain circumstances, independent contractors may be eligible for workers compensation under the WorkCover scheme.  For instance, a contractor who works regular hours with one employer over a period of time may be eligible, even though tax is not deducted from their pay.  Clothing outworkers and local councillors as well as others are also considered ‘deemed workers’ under workers’ compensation law.

If you are unsure whether you will be considered a worker and eligible for benefits, contact Adviceline Injury Lawyers on (03) 9321 9988 for free legal advice.

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If we proceed with a claim you only have to pay legal costs if we are successful in getting you compensation.

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