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Who can make a claim for workers compensation?

You may be able to claim workers' compensation if you've been in an accident either in the workplace or as part of your work and suffered a related injury or illness. You may also be able to make a work injury claim if you have a pre-existing injury or illness that worsened at work.

Eligible workers include:

  • full time workers
  • part-time workers
  • casual employees
  • subcontractors

Examples of eligible work related physical injuries:

  • lifting injuries
  • falls
  • muscular injuries
  • construction site accidents
  • repetitive strain injury (RSI)
  • slip and fall injuries
  • injuries caused by malfunctioning machines
  • industrial deafness

You can make a work injury claim if any of these apply:

  • A pre-existing injury has become worse
  • The injury has developed over a number of years
  • The injury occurred while travelling between jobs or worksites
  • The injury occurred while on a break at work or at a work event
  • If you were/are a sub-contractor or sole trader
  • A psychological illness has been sustained

Time limits for making a work injury claim

Time limits for work injury claims vary under the different laws, depending on where you live.

It’s important that you report your work-related injury to both your employer and the workers’ compensation authority that covers you as soon as possible. It’s best to do this within 30 days of the incident or once you’ve become aware of your injury or illness.

Work injury compensation and benefits

The work injury compensation and benefits you may receive depend on (the severity of) your injury, when it happened, the law you’re covered by and the state you live in.

How much you may receive will depend on your specific information. You may receive payments that are equal to a percentage of your weekly earnings and for all reasonable medical and associated expenses. You can claim a lump sum if the injury has caused permanent impairment.

Workers' compensation

Workers' compensation covers all 'reasonable' expenses such as:

  • medical, hospital and nursing
  • personal, household and occupational
  • doctors and chemists
  • physiotherapy and chiropractic care
  • rehabilitation
  • ambulance services

Your workers' compensation authority may also approve payment for:

  • attendant care
  • modifications to a home or car
  • home help
  • transportation costs

Additional superannuation compensation

In addition to workers' compensation, you might also be entitled to claim from your superannuation insurance policy.

Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) benefits

You may be eligible for a TPD compensation claim if you’re unable to do your normal job or any other work related to your training and experience.

Income protection benefits

Income protection claims provide you financial support when an injury or illness is holding you back from earning income from your regular job.

Death benefits

Death benefits are paid to a surviving partner, children or dependants, or to the deceased’s estate.

Additional common law compensation

If your injuries are (fully or partly) the fault of your employer or any other person, you may also be able to claim additional compensation under common law. Whether you're entitled to this claim depends on the state in which your work injury occurred. Time limits and complicated rules apply.

Common law claims usually include financial support being claimed for:

  • pain and suffering
  • past and future loss of earnings or loss of earning capacity
  • past and future loss of superannuation contributions.

Preparing your work injury claim

Before you make a work injury claim, there are a couple of things you need to prepare to ensure the process runs smoothly. 

Key things to prepare:

  1. Make sure you've reported your injury to your employer.
  2. Obtain a medical certificate. In most states this is called a work cover medical certificate, which you can obtain from your usual doctor.
  3. Lodge a worker's injury claim form. This is a standard form which you can obtain from your employer, from your workers' compensation insurer, or we can provide you with the form upon request.

Make sure to keep copies of both the claim form and the medical certificate before you give the originals to your employer or workers' compensation insurer. 

Process for making a claim

Our work injury lawyers will assist you with your claim and make sure you know about your rights and entitlements.

We'll keep you informed throughout the whole process and provide you with legal advice that is easy to understand.


Find out if you have a claim 

Use our free claim check tool and find out in minutes. Our experienced work injury lawyers will review your circumstances to provide you with the the best advice. 


We’ll prepare your claim.

Our work injury lawyers will take care of the legal process on your behalf. You will be kept informed of all stages along the way, including what fees are payable. 


Receive payment.

If your work injury claim is successful and damages are awarded, we'll process your payment as soon as we receive it.

It doesn't cost you anything to know where you stand 

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Our Canberra office is now closed, but our team continues to serve ACT clients and are available for phone and video appointments. If you need legal advice, please call us on 1800 675 346.

We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.