Compensation payments & expenses

Payments

Once your employer receives your claim for compensation, they must start making weekly payments of compensation if you have been certified as totally or partially incapacitated for work. There are 2 options for this:

  1. where the worker's first pay day is within 14 days of lodging their claim, weekly payments must start on this pay day (if it is not reasonably practicable to do this, payment must be made no later than 14 days after the employer received the claim), or
  2. where the worker's first pay day is more than 14 days after lodging their claim, weekly payments must start on this pay day (this usually happens where workers are paid monthly).

They must also start paying for medical and associated expenses up to $5,000, unless they think the claimed expenses are unreasonable or unnecessary.

These payments are to start regardless of whether the employer disputes liability for your claim.

Medical expenses

Your employer is liable for the cost of all reasonable expenses you necessarily incur for:

  • medical services
  • hospital services
  • household services, for the proper running and maintenance of your home (such as cleaning, laundry and gardening)
  • nursing services
  • constant attendant services, including the constant or regular personal attendance on you provided by someone who is not a member of your family (for example, to shower, dress or feed you)
  • rehabilitation services
  • ambulance services.

Travelling

Your employer is also liable to pay reasonable expenses for you to travel to any medical, hospital or rehabilitation service or to attend any medical examination organised by your employer.

The amount payable for using a private vehicle is calculated with the occasional user rates set out in the Tasmanian State Service Award under Public Sector Awards.

Medical accounts

When you receive an account for a medical or other expense, forward this to your employer within 7 days.

Once they receive the account, your employer must forward it to their insurer within 7 days.

Annual leave accrual

The question of whether a worker continues to accrue leave while they are not working and are receiving workers compensation benefits is a complex one, and the answer has historically differed depending on the state or territory they work in.

The Tasmanian Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 does not deal with the accrual of leave.

Workers with questions about their personal circumstances are encouraged to check the conditions of their award or agreement, and then contact their employer and/or the Fair Work Ombudsman: call 13 13 94 or go to its website.