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What is and isn’t Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation payments are intended to ease the financial burden that can be placed on workers that have been injured on the job. By examining a number of factors such as your wages, the length of time you are away from work, medical expenses and more, your compensation payment can be determined.

But it begs the question:

Are there any instances where being injured on the job would leave you ineligible to receive workers’ compensation?

The short answer is yes, but only in special cases. First, we’ll dive into some of the more common situations that would allow you to receive workers’ compensation payments.

What is Covered under Workers’ Compensation?

Workplace injuries can materialise in a number of forms, ranging from physical injury to psychological harm. Work-related injuries can also be sustained in a number of different contexts. You may be injured during your normal working hours, in your travels for work, while you’re on a scheduled break during work hours, or in general as a direct result of doing your job.

  1. Physical Injuries
    These injuries can be physical injuries such as lacerations, burns, puncture wounds, fractures and more. These types of injuries are more typically sustained in manual jobs, but are not restricted to workers in these roles.
  2. Psychological Injuries
    They can also be psychological or psychiatric in nature, such as stress-related depression or anxiety to name a few.
  3. Diseases
    Diseases such as silicosis that have been triggered by exposure to unsafe work conditions may also allow you to claim workers’ compensation. Some common conditions here include silicosis or asbestos exposure.
  4. Aggravation of Previous Injuries
    Finally, aggravation of pre-existing or ongoing injuries because of your working conditions can make you eligible for workers’ compensation. In this case, the pre-existing injury doesn’t have to come about initially as a result of work. For example, it could have been a sporting injury that has resurfaced because of your working conditions.

What is NOT Covered under Workers’ Compensation?

Provided the previously mentioned conditions are met, there are not many situations where workers’ compensation is not available to you, at least in some capacity.

If you have sustained an injury during the course of your employment that can be clearly attributed to your working situation, then workers compensation is an option that you can pursue.

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Valid Claims for Workers’ Compensation

Some may feel discouraged to claim workers’ compensation because they are unaware of what makes them ineligible. In reality, every case is different and must be treated as such. The following are some of the cases in which you may be unaware of your entitlement to successfully claim compensation.

  1. Travelling for work
    If you’re travelling for work when you are injured, you may still be eligible to claim compensation. This varies by situation, and some injuries sustained while travelling will not be eligible. For example, if you have deviated significantly from your normal route to work, or you have not yet left your home you may not be eligible for workers’ compensation
  2. Being injured on your break
    If you’re on your scheduled break from work when you sustain an injury, such as your lunch break; you may still be eligible to receive workers’ compensation payments to aid in your recovery. Although you may feel as though you’re technically not ‘on the job’, you are still owed a safe environment by your employer.
  3. If you’re at fault for your injury
    If your injury can be attributed in part to your own doing, then you may be forgiven for thinking that your workers’ compensation claim may be unsuccessful. This isn’t necessarily the case. The degree to which your own negligence contributed to your injury is calculated using contributory negligence.

If you have been injured at work, the experts at GC Law can be instrumental in helping you to navigate your workers’ compensation claims process. For more information about whether or not your injury is covered as part of workers’ compensation law in Queensland, contact us today!

 

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