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March 25, 2024 • 9 min read

How to lodge a Workers Compensation (WorkCover) Claim?

Learn the dos and don’ts of starting a Workers Compensation claim. 

Written by: Stephen Zeng

Navigating the process of lodging a workers’ compensation claim in New South Wales (NSW), oftens proves challenging. As an employee, understanding your rights and the necessary steps is crucial for a successful claim. At AusRehab, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive support and guidance in workplace rehabilitation, ensuring you are well-informed and supported throughout your recovery journey.

NSW’s Workers’ compensation system aims to support employees who have sustained workplace-related injuries or illnesses. This insurance scheme covers medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs, supporting workers on their path to recovery.

How to Guide: Lodging a Claim

Step 1: Notify Your Employer

Promptly informing your employer about your injury is crucial. Early notification streamlines the claims process and helps you access your entitlements faster.

We advocate for an early discussion with your employer regarding your intention to lodge a claim. However, if direct communication is not feasible, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Notify other parties

Directly notify your workplace injury and intention to lodge a workers’ compensation claim with iCare through their online portal. iCare facilitates injury notification and claim lodgement from the following parties:

  1. Employer
  2. Injured person
  3. Authorised representative

Completing the notification form usually takes 20-30 minutes, and using a desktop computer is advisable due to the form’s length. The link is found here.

*Please note: if you work for a NSW Government Agency and you wish to lodge a claim, please notify your employer representative who will lodge the claim on your behalf with your Agency’s claims service provider. More information on claim lodgment if you are a government employee can be found here.

**It’s also important to note that the form will ask you to upload a Certificate of Capacity (COC), but it is not a required item in order for you to submit the form. You are able to upload a copy later, after you have consulted with your treating doctor. Many injured workers ask about this, as doctors often require payment upfront before a formal claim lodgment. Dealing with hefty doctor’s fees while injured and stressed is far from ideal.

Step 3: Seek Medical Attention

Immediately seek medical attention for your injury, ensuring the medical provider knows the injury is work-related. This visit generates a Certificate of Capacity, vital for your claim process.

Adhere to the limitations specified in your Certificate of Capacity to ensure a smooth recovery and claim process.

Step 4: Submit the Claim Form and Medical Certificate

Submit the claim form and Certificate of Capacity to your employer and the managing insurance company. Ensure you keep copies of all submitted documents for your personal records.

Step 5: Await Insurer’s Response

The insurer, upon receiving your claim, will acknowledge it within seven days and decide on liability within 21 days. They may seek additional information or schedule an assessment to ascertain the severity of your injuries and the fitting compensation.

What Happens After Your Claim is Accepted?

Following your claim’s acceptance, you will start receiving benefits for medical expenses and potentially lost wages. Maintaining open communication with your employer and the insurer, while following the recommended treatment and rehabilitation plans, is cruical.

The Role of AusRehab in Your Recovery

At AusRehab, we specialize in providing tailored workplace rehabilitation services for complicated workplace injuries. We help injured workers and companies alike. Our team assists with:

  • Navigating the workers’ compensation claims process
  • Advice on barriers and potential solutions
  • Analyze job tasks
  • Liaising and negotiating with medical professionals, insurers, and employers
  • Developing personalized rehabilitation plans to support your return to work

For more information on how we can assist you, visit our Workplace Rehabilitation page.

Lodging a workers’ compensation claim in NSW requires a clear understanding of the process and diligent follow-through. With the support of AusRehab, you can navigate this journey more effectively, ensuring you receive the necessary support and compensation for a successful recovery.

Understanding your rights and the procedures to follow after a workplace injury in NSW is crucial. In New South Wales (NSW), specific procedures and legal requirements are set by SafeWork NSW to ensure workplace safety and manage incidents effectively. This guide provides an overview of the steps to take if you’re involved in a work-related incident or injury in NSW, emphasizing the importance of immediate action, documentation, and compliance with regulations.


Who benefits from vocational assessment?

Vocational assessment for workplace rehabilitation benefits a wide range of individuals, following workplace injuries or health conditions that affect their ability to work. They must also need vocational rehabilitation services to obtain, maintain, or return to a job and are expected to benefit from employment that the services will help them secure​.

The benefits of vocational rehabilitation are tailored to individual needs and can include counseling, vocational assessment to evaluate skills and interests for job placement, and on-the-job training. This personalised approach ensures that each individual receives the support they need to return to work effectively, taking into account their abilities and medical constraints. For example, in some cases, minor adjustments to the job or workplace may be sufficient, while in others, more extensive support and training may be necessary​​.

This comprehensive approach aids in the reintegration of individuals into the workforce, making vocational assessment a crucial component of workplace rehabilitation. It not only helps in identifying suitable employment opportunities but also provides the necessary training and support, enabling individuals to achieve and maintain employment, thus fostering independence and improving their quality of life.

What can be expected after a vocational assessment?

After a vocational assessment for workplace rehabilitation, several steps and services can be expected to facilitate the return to work. A vocational evaluation is conducted to ascertain the individual’s abilities, aptitudes, and interests. Based on this, a return-to-work plan is developed, which may include resume development, job development, placement services, and potentially retraining or job redesign if returning to the previous employer is not viable​​.

Rehabilitation services also focus on identifying suitable new employment pathways, tailoring plans to the individual’s needs, abilities, and interests, and considering retraining and upskilling where necessary. This holistic approach aims to improve motivation, develop job-seeking skills, and facilitate a successful return to work​​.

In summary, after a vocational assessment, one can expect a comprehensive and supportive process aimed at returning to work, which may include evaluations, plan development, training, and legal avenues for disputes or appeals. This process is designed to ensure the individual can return to suitable employment, considering their physical and psychological capacities.

Can vocational assessments assist with accommodation in the workplace?

Vocational assessments can indeed assist with accommodations in the workplace for rehabilitation. These assessments help facilitate the interaction between the employee/applicant and the employer, building confidence that the individual can perform the essential job functions with or without reasonable accommodations. The process is tailored to individual needs, considering various factors such as job requirements, the individual’s abilities, and potential accommodations to support their return to work or retention in employment.

*The details in this article were correct and current when it was written. However, changes in business practices, policies, and other pertinent areas may have occurred since then. Readers should confirm the current validity of the content on their own.

Stephen Zeng
Stephen is the director and the principal writer at AusRehab, leading workplace rehabilitation provider, with a focus on addressing and resolving workplace injuries.

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