The workers' compensation insurer is not obligated to get you back to work
Many workers think that Workcover or the self-insurer is obligated to get you back to work after an injury. Although return to work programs are usually part of rehabilitation provided in a workers' compensation claim, where an injured worker is no longer suited to the work they were doing prior to their injury and cannot return to it, Workcover or the self-insurer is not obligated to find the worker alternate employment.
In October 2013, legislative changes were introduced into the Workers’ Compensation & Rehabilitation Act 2003, placing increased focus on employers, insurers and QComp getting injured workers back to work following the finalisation of their workers’ compensation claims. It is yet to be seen how effective these legislative changes are in the future.
You may have a claim for Common Law Damages for your injury
Of course, if you are unable to return to work following a work injury, and your injury was caused by the negligence or wrongful act or omission of your employer or another party, then you may have a claim for Common Law Damages, and a right to recover lost income, both past and future, as well as other damages resulting from your work injury.
Register with Centrelink and investigate potential disability claims or hardship claims attached to Superannuation Funds
If at the end of your workers' compensation claim, you are not able to return to your work with the employer, you should contact Centrelink as soon as possible to register for Newstart or Disability Benefits whilst you look for suitable employment, or if you are unable to work due to your work injuries.
Alternatively, you may hold disability insurances attached to your Superannuation scheme or through other private insurance arrangements. You should make enquiries with these entities as to whether you have a claim for income payments whilst you are unable to work due to your injuries. If you are suffering severe financial hardship, you may be able to draw on your Superannuation and you should make enquiries with your Superannuation Fund to see how you can apply for release of funds in the case of hardship.
If you have a mortgage, credit card repayments or car repayments etc, you may have disability insurances attached to your mortgage or loan agreements which can assist you whilst you are unable to work due to your injury. You should look into this with your lenders.
You may be able to obtain a 'litigation loan' whilst waiting for your claim to resolve
Additionally, if you have a Common Law Claim for Damages on foot, then there are Litigation Lending companies that may lend you lump sum amounts to aid you with meeting your financial commitments whilst you are waiting for your Common Law claim to resolve.
To learn more about what your entitlements are after suffering a work injury and what options you have if you are unable to return to work following a work injury, contact The Personal Injury Lawyers on 1300 782 202 or submit a claim enquiry form and we will contact you. Alternatively, you can submit one of our claim enquiry forms and we will contact you.
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