Guide to Workers Compensation in Tasmania
If you’ve been injured or have suffered from an illness related to your work, you may be entitled to financial compensation. For Tasmanian workers, this compensation can help cover your medical expenses and lost income as a result of having to take time off work.
If you’re considering making a workers compensation claim in Tasmania, this guide will cover:
- The definition of workers compensation in Tasmania
- Tasmanian workers compensation legislation and guidelines
- How workers compensation works in Tasmania
- How to make a Tasmanian workers compensation claim
- What you can claim
- Age limits and timeframes
- Rules about working while receiving workers compensation
- Tasmanian workers compensation payouts
What is workers compensation in Tasmania?
In Tasmania, as in all other Australian states and territories, employers are required to have workers compensation insurance to protect their employees. If you are injured or become sick as a result of doing your job, you are legally entitled to compensation.
All Tasmanian workers are eligible for workers compensation if they suffer an injury or contract an illness while they are at work. Each year, thousands of Tasmanian workers lodge claims to receive the compensation they deserve.
Each state and territory has its own regulatory authority. In the next sections we’ll explain the specifics of workers compensation legislation in Tasmania.
What is the Tasmanian workers compensation act?
The Tasmanian Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act (1988) sets out the law relating to workers compensation in Tasmania.
This Act aims to ensure that:
- Workplace injuries are dealt with promptly, helping injured workers to return to work as soon as possible
- Fair and appropriate compensation is provided to workers for workplace injuries and illnesses
- The health, safety and welfare of workers is promoted
- There are effective mechanisms for resolving disputes relating to workers compensation in Tasmania
Who is the workers compensation regulator in Tasmania?
WorkSafe Tasmania administers the laws that regulate:
- Workers compensation
- Work health and safety
- Occupational licensing
- Asbestos compensation
- Dangerous goods
Is workers compensation insurance compulsory in Tasmania?
Yes, workers compensation insurance is compulsory for every business in Tasmania that has employees. Under the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act (1988) in Tasmania, employers must either:
- Take out a workers compensation insurance policy to cover them for claims made by their workers, or;
- Apply to the WorkCover Tasmania Board for a permit to self-insure (the latter is usually for large businesses).
What can I claim on workers compensation in Tasmania?
Several different types of compensation can be claimed for physical and/or psychological illnesses and injuries. These include:
- Compensation for permanent impairment
- Lost income or lost potential future income
- Medical, hospital, rehabilitation and in-home care expenses
- Medical equipment you might need for your condition
- Necessary changes to your home or vehicle
- Assistance with returning to work
What does workers compensation not cover in Tasmania?
In Tasmania, there are some situations where you cannot claim workers compensation. These include:
- Injuries that occur when travelling between your home and work
- Injuries that occur during unauthorised absences from the workplace
- Injuries caused by a worker’s wilful misconduct (unless the injury results in death or serious and permanent incapacity)
- Intentionally self-inflicted injuries
After how many days can I claim workers compensation Tasmania?
In Tasmania, a workers compensation claim must be made within 6 months after the date that you suffer injury or become aware that you have suffered injury.
You must give written or oral notice to your employer about your injury as soon as possible after the injury has occurred, and before you leave that specific employer. You must submit a completed workers compensation claim form with a medical certificate before you leave that specific employer.
Once your LHD Lawyer has notified your employer of your intent to claim, your employer has 28 days to respond, by either:
- Notifying us that they’ve accepted (or not accepted) liability for the injury to which the claim relates, or;
- Notifying us of the reasons why they have not been able to decide whether to accept liability for the injury, and the steps they intend to take before making a decision.
Is there an age limit for workers compensation in Tasmania?
There is no minimum age limit for workers compensation claims in Tasmania. However, workers are no longer entitled to compensation payments once they reach pension age (this age is defined by the Social Security Act 1991 of the Commonwealth).
There are a few things to note with this rule:
- If you are injured in the 12 months before you reach pension age, your weekly payments will cease when you reach pension age.
- If your injury occurs less than 12 months before you reach the pension age, your weekly payments will cease one year from the date of your injury.
- If your terms of employment allow you to work beyond the pension age, you can apply to the workers compensation tribunal in Tasmania to extend your entitlements beyond the pension age.
Can I dispute a workers compensation claim in Tasmania?
If you disagree with your employer’s decision regarding your workers compensation claim, we can refer the matter to the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The Tribunal works through a conciliation process to resolve matters relating to:
- Whether your employer is liable for your injury or illness
- Permanent impairment compensation
- Issues concerning your weekly compensation payments
- Payment for your medical services and other needs
- Travelling expense reimbursement
- Issues relating to injury management
How do I claim workers compensation in Tasmania?
Claiming workers compensation can be daunting and time-consuming. For assistance, we recommend that you get in touch with our specialist team of Tasmanian workers compensation lawyers.
The process will depend on your situation. The following is an outline of how workers compensation claims usually progress:
- Meet with your assigned specialist LHD Lawyer in Hobart, Burnie, Devonport or Launceston to discuss your claim
- LHD will send out a notice of your claim to the other party
- Our lawyers will attempt to arrange an agreement on your behalf with the other party (or their insurer)
- If there’s a dispute, court proceedings will be initiated
- Your claim will be resolved out of court, or sent to a judge for a final determination
When you apply for your claim, you’ll need to provide us with evidence that we can present on your behalf (we’ll advise you on the specific type of evidence needed). If you don’t have relevant evidence available, we can help you find an alternative way to support your claim.
How do I fill in the Tasmanian workers compensation claim form?
The form can be found on the WorkSafe Tasmania website. Since filling in the required information can be confusing, we recommend getting in touch with the experienced team at LHD Lawyers. The assistance of a legal professional can also give you the best chance of getting the maximum compensation for your workplace injury or illness.
Employers’ obligations for workers compensation in Tasmania
If you’re an employer in Tasmania, read on to understand more about your obligations regarding workers compensation claims.
Can casual employees claim workers compensation in Tasmania?
Yes. In Tasmania, all employees (whether casual, part-time or full-time) who have suffered an injury or illness at work are entitled to workers compensation benefits.
To be entitled to workers compensation in Tasmania, a person must be classified as a ‘worker’. This is anyone who works under a contract of service or a training agreement, including casual employment. It’s important to note that this ‘contract’ does not have to be a formal, written document. An implied or verbal agreement can suffice in the claims process.
Can volunteers claim workers compensation in Tasmania?
Yes, volunteers are deemed to be ‘workers’ under the Tasmanian workers compensation legislation, so are therefore entitled to claim for workers compensation.
Does annual leave accrue on workers compensation in Tasmania?
Tasmania’s Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 does not deal with leave accrual. To determine if you can accrue leave whilst receiving workers compensation, you should check the conditions of your award or agreement, then contact your employer and the Fair Work Ombudsman for further clarification.
Note: Employees don’t get public holidays while on workers compensation in Tasmania.
Tasmanian Workers Compensation Payout Guide
Understanding how workers compensation payouts work in Tasmania can be complex. Our Workers Compensation Payout Guide can help you identify how much you may be eligible for and answer frequently asked questions about workers compensation payouts.
Generally, three main factors determine a workers compensation payout:
- An expert medical assessment of the extent of the injuries suffered any consequential impairment
- The amount of lost earnings due to not being able to work
- The extent to which future earning potential has been impacted
Workers compensation payouts come in several different forms, outlined below.
|Weekly payments||If your claim is accepted, weekly compensation payouts will usually commence within 7 days of acceptance.|
|Medical expenses||Medical expense receipts need to be provided to your employer so they can be reimbursed by their insurer.|
|Impairment benefits||If you’re permanently injured, you could receive a lump sum payment, however your claim can only be lodged 12 months after your injury has occurred and when your injury has stabilised.|
|Work injury damages payout||This lump sum payment is awarded when an injury was due to an employer’s negligence and resulted in at least 20% permanent impairment.|
If your workers compensation claim is successful and you’re awarded weekly compensation payments, they’ll traditionally be in line with your average pre-injury weekly wages, with this percentage usually slightly decreasing and then stabilising for the entire period you’re off work.
Here’s a breakdown of these percentages and periods for Tasmania:
|Period of time||Percentage of pre-injury income|
|First 13 weeks||100%|
|14 to 26 weeks||100%|
|27 to 52 weeks||90%|
|53 to 78 weeks||90%|
|79 to 104 weeks||85%|
|104+ weeks onwards||80%|
How long can you stay on workers compensation in Tasmania?
In Tasmania, the guidelines for how long you can stay on workers compensation are generally 3 years starting from the date your injury was discovered, or 12 years starting on the date of the act or omission that caused your injury or illness – whichever date is earliest.
Examples of successful Tasmanian workers compensation payouts
One LHD Lawyers client was employed as a machine operator. They sustained an injury to their neck and shoulder whilst they were removing a steel tube from a machine. The injury was originally reported as only an injury to their shoulder, when referred for scans an investigation; it was revealed they had suffered a neck injury, and hence the employer issued a Section 88A. LHD Lawyers settled the matter & our client received $300,000.00
For more case studies, visit our Workers Compensation Payout Hub.