Making a Workers Compensation Claim
When you have been injured at work, figuring out how to start a claim can be confusing. The process is relatively straight forward but there a few steps.
Get Immediate Treatment
If your work injury needs immediate medical attention, take care of this first. Whatever may happen with your workers compensation claim, your health is the paramount concern and that means getting proper treatment quickly.
Notify Your Employer
After addressing any immediate medical concerns, the first step is to make sure your employer knows about your injury. It is a good idea to do this by email because that will create a paper trail. Even if your employer was present when the accident or injury occurred, confirming by email will help ensure the matter is progressed properly.
Get A Claim Form
When you tell your employer about a work injury, you should be given a Workers Compensation Claim form to complete. However, you can also download the form directly from your the WorkCover website.
Once you have the Workers Compensation Claim Form, you will need to sit down and complete it. It is fairly straight forward and does not allow much room for expansion. If more than one injury was suffered, or more bodily locations were affected, simply list them generally.
When completed, this form should be given to your employer with your first workers compensation medical certificate called “WorkCoverWA - FIRST certificate of capacity”.
Get the First Medical Certificate
To make an Workers Compensation Claim, you will need a “First Certificate of Capacity” completed by a doctor.
To get this certificate, you will need to see a GP. Tell the doctor that the injury is work related and ask them to give you the first workers compensation medical certificate. They should have the medical certificate at their medical practice but it can also be downloaded from the WorkCover site.
We recommend you see your own family GP and not specialist workers compensation GP.
If your work injury required emergency treatment at a hospital or emergency department, you may not be able to get the initial workers compensation certificate from them. That is okay. After getting the immediate treatment, make a follow up appointment with your family GP and ask them to provide you with the certificate.
Make Another GP Appointment
You are required to be “covered” by medical certificates while your workers compensation claim is ongoing. Normal Certificates can cover up to 28 days, and they are normally issued for that full time. If another appointment is not automatically made within the duration of your current certificate, make one and continue to do so each time you see your GP.
Injured workers who live outside WA can get a special interstate medical certificate that lasts about 3 months. This is because it is acknowledged that managing a Western Australian workers compensation claim outside the State is more difficult and time consuming, and interstate medical practitioners will not be as well versed in Western Australia workers compensation requirements.
Whatever the certificate time frame applies to you, nothing stops you seeing your doctor more frequently if required by your medical needs - just try make sure that you are always covered by a medical certificate as your claim progresses.
Give Your Employer The Forms
You should now have both:
- The completed Workers Compensation Claim Form; and
- The complete First Certificate of Capacity form.
Hand those two forms to your employer but keep copies for yourself.
You have now made your workers compensation claim. From here, your employer will provide those forms to their workers compensation insurer. Their insurer will then assess your claim and respond to you with a decision - either accepting your claim, rejecting your claim or deferring making a decision about your claim.
If you need help with a workers compensation claim, or a work accident common law claim, then feel free to use our free Case Assessment service and get no-obligation advice from an experienced workers compensation lawyer.