The claims process under the Workers Compensation Act 1951 (ACT) should be easy, as long as you take some very simple steps soon after you are injured at work.
1. Early notice to the employer
Tell your employer that you were injured at work as soon as you possibly can, and make sure to register the details of your injury in your employer’s register of injuries. It is mandatory for an employer in the ACT to keep a register of injuries, and if your employer does not have one, you should seek legal advice. The benefit of registering your injury in this way is that the employer must report your injury to its workers’ compensation insurer within 48 hours, which means that the insurer can get involved quickly. However, this does not mean that you have made a claim – see below under “making a claim”.
2. Go to your doctor
Go to your doctor as soon as you possibly can, following a workplace injury. You should tell your doctor exactly how the injury happened and at the end of the consultation you should ask your doctor to give you an ACT Workers’ Compensation Medical Certificate. This isn’t the usual certificate that your doctor gives you if you have a day of work unrelated to a claim. The ACT Workers’ Compensation Medical Certificate requires your doctor to provide specific details about your injury and must be given to your employer (or the workers compensation insurer) when you make your claim.
3. Making a claim for compensation
Once you have notified your employer (above) and seen your doctor, you should make a formal claim for workers’ compensation entitlements. As soon as you can, ask your employer for a workers’ compensation claim form – your employer must give you one. Fill out the form and return it to your employer with a copy of your ACT Workers’ Compensation Medical Certificate. Your employer is then obliged to pass those documents on to its insurer.
If you have any difficulty completing the form, Chamberlains can assist you to complete this.
4. Keep all of your receipts
If you are injured at work, all of your reasonable expenses (visits to your GP, medications, etc.) should be paid by the workers’ compensation insurer. Sometimes the workers compensation insurer can take time to make a decision about your claim; in the meantime, you should keep copies of all receipts and tax invoices spent on your treatment.
Tip: If you go to the same provider (GP, pharmacy, physiotherapist, etc.) it will be much easier to keep track of your expenses. Usually those providers are happy to provide you with a print out of all treatment or medication provided to you.
5. Seek legal advice
Strict time limits apply to most stages of a workers’ compensation claim. Even if the process seems simple enough, a good lawyer can often provide you with tips to make the process faster and smoother. At Chamberlains we are happy to meet with you to discuss your workers’ compensation claim.
Your initial appointment is free.