Who is eligible to claim for workers' compensation?

All employees of the University of Sydney, including casual staff, can claim compensation for wages and medical costs under the NSW Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 as amended, if they suffer an injury or illness arising out of, or in the course of their employment.

How do I lodge a claim for workers' compensation?

Late reporting of injury and illness can delay the insurer acceptance of your claim and payment of benefits.

If you sustain an injury or illness in the course of your employment:

  • seek appropriate medical attention and obtain a NSW WorkCover medical certificate from your doctor
  • report your incident or injury as soon as possible on RiskWare the University's online incident and injury reporting system
  • notify your manager/supervisor and Injury Management Services
  • complete relevant insurer forms as instructed by Injury Management Services as soon as possible
  • remember to keep your manager/supervisor informed and submit copies of your medical certificates to them.

How soon can I receive workers' compensation benefits?

Early reporting of work related injury and illness facilitates prompt access to workers' compensation benefits. The insurer must notify staff within 7 days of being notified of a new injury or illness regarding their decision to pay for reasonable medical treatment and wages for time off work.

If an injury or illness is reported more than 2 months after it occurred, the insurer has the right to withhold approval of benefits for treatment and wages until they fully assess the claim within 21 days of their receipt of completed claim forms.

How is my pay affected under a workers' compensation claim?

There are various legislated limits that can affect the level of a staff members pay under a workers compensation claim.

  • At the commencement of benefits, wages will be calculated at 95% of the pre-injury average weekly earnings.
  • This payment can continue for up to 13 weeks. After 13 weeks, payments will be made based on your situation. Please contact your Injury Management Coordinator should you find yourself in this position to discuss what is available to you.

How can I get my treatment paid for by the insurer?

The insurer must notify staff within 7 days of being notified of a new injury or illness regarding their decision to pay for reasonable medical treatment.

Please note: if an injury/illness is reported more than 2 months after it occurred then the insurer has the right to withhold treatment approval until they fully assess the claim within 21 days of their receipt of completed claim forms.

Pre-approval is required for most treatment. Please contact your Injury Management Coordinator for assistance.

Throughout the duration of a workers' compensation claim, the insurer routinely re-assesses their approval of reasonable treatment costs and may decide to cease funding of previously approved treatment, for example, if they determine further benefit is not being gained.

How can I get assistance with returning to work?

As is required by NSW Workers Compensation legislation, it is the University’s policy to offer suitable duties wherever possible to staff on workers compensation claims to facilitate a safe and durable return to work. Staff are required to actively participate in rehabilitation and their return to work plans to remain eligible for workers compensation benefits.

Return-to-work plans for staff on suitable duties are coordinated by Injury Management Services.

Injury Management Services, with the approval of the insurer, may utilise the services of an accredited rehabilitation provider to assist in the coordinating and monitoring of a staff members return to work program.

Details of the University’s policy and procedures in relation to return-to-work programs for staff with workers' compensation claims can be found in the Injury Management Policy. Or call the Injury Management Services.

What if my workers' compensation claim is declined?

The insurer must formally notify staff if their claim has been declined, indicating the reason for this decision and noting the available avenues of appeal for staff.

After a decline of a claim any ongoing medical costs are the responsibility of the staff member.

Staff should continue to submit any relevant medical certificates and leave forms to their supervisor after the decline of a claim.

What if I am left with a permanent injury or disability?

The workers' compensation legislation allows for staff to receive a financial benefit if they have sustained a permanent injury or loss of function based on strict eligibility criteria. Such assessment of permanent injury can usually only be accurately made some time after a serious injury has occurred, to allow time for maximal recovery.

If you feel you have sustained a permanent injury you should consider seeking legal advice on submitting relevant documents to the insurer to commence negotiation regarding any entitlements in this area.

If an insurer independent medical examiner indicates to the insurer you have sustained a permanent injury that meets the legislated eligibility criteria, then the insurer must notify you of this finding and will recommend you seek independent legal advice on this matter.

What is the role of the insurer in my workers' compensation claim?

The insurer makes decisions in regard to approval or decline of a workers' compensation claim.

The insurer is required to contact all staff with new claims where they have medical recommendations for restrictions to their duties at work.

The insurer makes decisions regarding what treatment is approved for each claim based on the medical advice available and what they consider to be reasonable.

The insurer may choose to send staff to independent medical examinations to assist in clarifying the progress in injury recovery and to review treatment needs. Attendance at these insurer medical examinations is compulsory.

The insurer may also choose to appoint an independent investigator to a claim to conduct factual interviews with various key parties. This is commonly the case with claims for psychological injury or illness. This type of factual investigation is aimed at assisting the insurer in determining their acceptance or decline of the claim.