Workers in Australia are protected by a special form of insurance known as Workers’ Compensation. In QLD, Workers’ Compensation is handled by a state government entity called WorkCover Queensland. If you become injured at work, you may be entitled to claim Workers’ Compensation through WorkCover.
Claims entitle you to the payment of wages while you are unfit for work, as well as any medical or rehabilitation expenses you incur.
Being unable to return to work when your compensation claim ends can be a significant hurdle, especially in cases where your injury is severe. For those times, it is essential to understand your rights and what you need to do next.
If you reach the end of your Workers’ Compensation claim and you are still unable to return to work, contact Centrelink as soon as possible.
Centrelink offers two primary forms of support:
- JobSeeker Payment. Introduced in 2020 as a replacement for the old Newstart Allowance, JobSeeker is available as financial help for people between 22 and Age Pension age, which is currently 66 years and 6 months in Australia. If you are injured and unable to do your normal work you may be entitled to JobSeeker under certain rules. You will need to supply a medical certificate when applying for JobSeeker following an injury.
- Disability Support Pension. For people with permanent physical disabilities that stop you from working, the Disability Support Pension (DSP) may be available. You will need to meet certain age and residency requirements, and your injury will need to be fully diagnosed and severe enough to stop you from working at least 15 hours a week during the next 2 years.
Assess Your Financial Situation
Being unable to return to work will often result in severe financial hardship. In that case, you may be able to draw on your superannuation. Your super fund handles early access to superannuation, and you will need to apply with them to access your money. You will only be eligible for early access to your super if you meet both of these conditions:
- You have received eligible income support payments from the government for 26 continuous weeks, and;
- You are unable to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses.
Due to financial hardship, you can access between $1,000 and $10,000 of your superannuation. However, you may only make one withdrawal from your superannuation in any 12-month period.
Some mortgages and other loan agreements also include disability insurance. These insurances make sure your loans are repaid if you become unable to do so due to injury. Carefully review any loan paperwork and speak to your lenders about whether you are covered.
Look for New Work
If you cannot return to your old work, you may still be able to perform a new job. A return-to-work program may be included in any rehabilitation you undertake as part of your Workers’ Compensation claim; however, keep in mind that in Queensland, WorkCover does not need to find you alternate work.
Workers’ Compensation is only required to pay your wage and fund any medical care or rehabilitation. Therefore, payments can end as soon as your injuries are stable, whether or not you can return to your previous job. If your compensation claim is ending and you are unable to return to normal work, then you need to begin looking for alternative careers.
The Revolution Law Team can Handle Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you have been injured at work, it is important to look after your future by investigating your Workers’ Compensation entitlements. We are not just talking about the latest Self-Care trends. Your Revolution Lawyer can tell you that in some cases, you can receive compensation and make a Common Law Damages claim against your employer. However, this process can be complicated, and there are time limits on making your claim, so you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Your local Revolution Law team can provide all the advice and support you need to handle your Workers’ Compensation claim and ensure you receive the full benefits you are entitled to. Pop into your local Revolution Law Office for a chat with our team to find out what they can do for you.