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 two options:
- where your first pay day is within 14 days of lodging your 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
- where your first pay day is more than 14 days after lodging your claim, weekly payments must start on this pay day (this usually happens where workers are paid monthly).
Your employer 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.
If you lodged your claim:
- within 14 days of your injury, weekly payments must be paid from the date of injury
- more than 14 days after your injury, you are only entitled to be back paid weekly payments to 14 days before the date you lodged your claim.
If you initially took ‘sick leave’ for this period, your employer must re-credit it.
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.
When you receive an account for a medical or other expense, you must forward this to your employer within 7 days.
Once your employer receives the account, they must forward it to their insurer within 7 days.
Your employer must:
- pay an account within 28 days of receiving it or advise you in writing why it will not be paid
- notify the person/business that generated the account of why it will not be paid.
Your employer is 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.
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.
Tasmania’s Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 does not deal with the accrual of leave.
To work out if you can accrue leave, you should check the conditions of your award or agreement, then contact your employer and/or with the Fair Work Ombudsman.