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Workers’ Compensation Claims QLD

When can a person make a Workers’ Compensation claim?

Anyone who is injured at work can apply for workers’ compensation regardless of who or what caused the injury. Applications for Workers’ Compensation must be lodged within six (6) months from the date of the injury or the appearance of symptoms.

In Queensland an injured worker may have two avenues for compensation:-
•    Statutory Benefits Claim; or
•    Common Law Claim.

Statutory Benefits Claim

A worker who suffers an injury at work is entitled to statutory benefits under a
‘no fault’ system.  This means they are entitled to statutory benefits if their injury was caused by work, irrespective of whether the employer was at fault for the injury.  These benefits include hospital and medical expenses, lost






























































wages or a lump sum compensation payment for permanent impairment.

Common Law Claim

A worker who suffers an injury at work due to the negligence of their employer may lodge a common law claim.  Almost all injuries that occur at the workplace are preventable and occur as a result of the negligence of the employer.  Generally, the compensation recoverable at common law is significantly greater than statutory lump sum offers made by WorkCover.  A worker has three (3) years from the date of their injury to lodge a common law claim.  Additionally, for all injuries sustained on or after 15th October 2013 are subject to a 5% threshold DPI (Degree of Permanent Impairment) before a common law claim can be prosecuted.

Irrevocable Election

Most injured workers who are offered a lump sum of compensation from WorkCover, are required to make a decision about whether to accept the lump sum, or bring a common law claim.  If you are made a lump sum offer of compensation by WorkCover, then you should obtain legal advice immediately, before making any decision about accepting the lump sum.

Who is a “worker”?

Anyone who is employed under a contract of service or anyone deemed to be an employee under the ATO rules is regarded as a worker for worker’s compensation.

A new definition of “worker” came into effect on the 1st July 2012 which aligns the definition with the PAYG test applied by the Australian Taxation Office.  The new definition of a worker is a person who works under a contract and in relation to the work is an employee for the purpose of assessment for PAYG withholding under the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth).  Please note with these changes some contractors are no longer employed as workers, for example people who supply and operate their own plant such as earthmoving equipment or trucks as part of their contract.

If a person is unsure about whether they are a “worker”, they should still lodge an Application for Compensation or telephone Kelli Costin, Department Manager on 07 5506 8220 or email


WorkCover Queensland
GPO Box 2459 Brisbane Qld 4001
Phone: 1300 362 128
Fax: 1300 651 387