Making a workers comp claim for COVID-19

Last Updated:14 May 2020 11:14am

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Under the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988, a worker can make a claim for workers compensation where they have suffered an injury that arose out of or in the course of their employment; or contracted a disease that their employment contributed to by a substantial degree.

Information for workers

To make a workers compensation claim for COVID-19:

  • you must be diagnosed with COVID-19 and
  • your employment must have contributed to a substantial degree. You should provide evidence of pathology testing confirming your diagnosis.

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19:

  • your treating medical practitioner should provide you with an Initial Workers Compensation Medical Certificate to that effect
  • you will need to provide information to support how the diagnosis is related to work
  • you should notify your employer immediately, who should provide you with a workers compensation claim form.

Your claim will then follow the normal claims process and be considered by your employer or their insurer, taking into account the particular circumstances and evidence of your claim. See more information about the claims process.

Due to the nature of viruses, it may be difficult to determine that employment was the main contributing factor. Therefore each claim will be assessed on its individual merits.

You are not entitled to workers compensation in circumstances where you choose to self-isolate because you believe you may have been exposed to or contracted COVID-19, or you’ve been advised or required to self-isolate by your employer or other authority.

Information for employers

If a worker wishes to make a workers compensation claim for COVID-19:

  • they must be diagnosed with COVID-19 and
  • their employment must have contributed to a substantial degree.

Where a workers compensation claim is submitted for COVID-19 it will follow the normal claims process, and should be considered by you and/or your insurer, taking into account the particular circumstances and evidence of your claim. You must notify your insurer that a worker has contracted COVID-19 and is incapacitated for work. This should be done within 3 working days. See more information about the claims process.

Workers are not entitled to workers compensation in circumstances where they choose to self-isolate because they believe they may have been exposed to or may have contracted COVID-19, or have been advised or required to self-isolate by you or another authority.

You are encouraged to inform your workers of their rights and responsibilities about the use of leave other than workers compensation, where self-isolation is required in circumstances where a diagnosis of COVID-19 has not been made.

Information for medical practitioners

If a worker wishes to make a workers compensation claim for COVID-19:

  • they must be diagnosed with COVID-19 and
  • their employment must have contributed to a substantial degree.

You should only issue a workers compensation medical certificate where a worker has formally tested positive for COVID-19, stating this diagnosis. See more information about workers compensation medical certificates.

You must also include evidence of the worker testing positive to COVID-19 and include any other relevant facts that show how the contraction of the disease was work-related.

Workers are not entitled to workers compensation in circumstances where they choose to self-isolate because they believe they may have been exposed to or may have contracted COVID-19, or have been advised or required to self-isolate by you or another authority.

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