The ‘WorkCover’ scheme in South Australia was replaced by the ‘Return to Work’ scheme on 1 July 2015. As the name suggests, there is now a greater emphasis on returning injured workers to the workforce.
As a result, the changes in the system have been significant. Unless classified as a ‘Seriously Injured Worker’, an injured worker will only be entitled to a maximum of two years income maintenance payments, and a maximum of a further one year of medical expenses. If you have suffered a workplace injury it is therefore crucial that you obtain legal advice at your earliest convenience to ensure you receive all you are entitled to.
So what is a workers compensation claim? If you are employed or contracted to do work, you may have a claim for workers’ compensation for an injury or illness (including psychological) that occurs or is related to work. It is not necessary to prove that someone else was at fault under the Return to Work Scheme or the special provisions for government workers. If successful you may have an entitlement to payments of income maintenance, reasonable medical expenses and potentially a lump sum payment for disability. If your injury occurs after 1 July 2015, you may also have an entitlement to a lump sum payment for economic loss.
If you have suffered a substantial injury, it is possible that you will be classified a ‘Seriously Injured Worker’ which would provide you with further entitlements to income maintenance and medical expenses. Generally, in order to be considered a ‘Seriously Injured Worker’ you have to be assessed as suffering over 30% ‘Whole Person Impairment’. You now only have one chance at your ‘Whole Person Impairment’ assessment, so it is crucial that it is done right.
If you have a claim then we will handle negotiations with your employer, and the third party (if one is involved) or their insurance companies. We will get medical reports from doctors relating to your injury or illness and have your capacity to work assessed. Throughout your claim we will liaise with you, your employer, the third party and the doctors to gather enough information to accurately assess your compensation claim, and to ensure you receive the appropriate rehabilitation services, but are not pressured to return to work before you are duly rehabilitated
The time taken for your workers’ compensation claim to finish depends upon how long it takes for your injuries to stabilise and if/when you are able to return to the workforce.
In the event a settlement has already been reached, if you are concerned about compensation payments that you are already receiving you should seek legal advice. Similarly, we can assist you if you are concerned about the work duties that you are being asked to perform while you are incapacitated.