My workers' comp claim has finished but I cannot return to my job - what do I do?
Many workers think that Workcover or the self-insurer is obligated to get you back to work after an injury.
Return to work programs are usually part of rehabilitation provided in a workers' compensation claim, but where an injured worker is no longer suited to the work they were doing prior to their injury and cannot return to it, then Workcover or the self-insurer is not obligated to find the worker alternate employment.
The Workers’ Compensation & Rehabilitation Act 2003
In October 2013, legislative changes were introduced into the Workers’ Compensation & Rehabilitation Act 2003.
These changes placed 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
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.
This is your 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.
Getting Financial Help During A Claim
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 payments 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How much compensation will I receive for my injuries?
- How is past and future economic loss compensation calculated?
- What injury compensation or damages am I entitled to claim for?
- If I go back to work after my injury will this hurt my claim?
- When does my workers' compensation claim come to an end and what happens then?
- How can I find out quickly if I can make a compensation claim?
- What are emotional distress damages in personal injury cases?
- Are there time limits for bringing a claim for injury compensation in Queensland?
- How will my common law claim run and how long will it take?
- Is my compensation or damages payment taxable?
- What care and assistance can be claimed for in a personal injury claim in Queensland?
- Did you know that if you engage a domestic worker in your home, you could be liable to pay compensation if they are injured?
- What if I don't receive a 6% DPI in my Notice of Assessment but I want to sue my employer for my work injuries?
- What's the difference between workers' compensation claim & a common law claim for damages?
- What is a common law claim for damages for work injury in Queensland?
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