“When can I make a WorkCover claim?”

03 April 2024

One of the most common questions that we receive from ASU members is, “When can I make a WorkCover claim?”

The Victorian WorkCover system can be daunting to navigate, which is why we work closely with the ASU to ensure that all members who are injured at work receive the support that they need.

A WorkCover claim will cover the reasonable costs of your treatment and any surgery you need for your injury, reimburse you for any leave taken, and cover most of your income for the time you take off to rest, recover, and recuperate.

Here are a few common scenarios where you are entitled to lodge a WorkCover claim for your injuries:
  1. You have an incident through the completion of your work duties, otherwise known as a frank incident. For example, you get your hand caught in machinery while conducting maintenance to the equipment.
  2. Over the course of your employment. For example, you’ve worked in maintenance at a council depot for 20 years and your back has deteriorated from wear and tear.
  3. You have a pre-existing injury or impairment which deteriorates as a result of your work duties. For example, you injured your ankle playing footy when you were in your mid 20s, and 10 years working on that ankle made this injury worse.
  4. You have an incident at work, but you have no immediate impairment, but subsequently deteriorate outside of work. For example, you pull a muscle in your back at work and experience minor pain, then you deteriorate while playing with your kids on the weekend.
A common theme that we find when speaking with members who have been suffering with injuries sustained at work is, “I have a pre-existing injury so I can’t lodge a WorkCover claim.” Under the Victorian WorkCover legislation, you are entitled to lodge a claim after having a pre-existing injury, provided that work is a significant contributing factor in the deterioration of that injury.

Getting advice early makes these claims easier to pursue, so we highly recommend you come and speak to us as early as possible. Maurice Blackburn have offices right across Victoria, and can also assist you with lodging your claim, so get in touch with us if you want to discuss your situation.

The fact is that if you've suffered an injury at work, you're entitled to make a workers' compensation claim. Taking the time to rest, heal and receive medical treatment on your doctor's advice is likely to be better for you in the long run.

As an ASU member, it costs nothing to find out where you stand. For more information about how Maurice Blackburn Lawyers can help you on a no win, no charge basis, visit www.mauriceblackburn.com.au or free call 1800 810 812.