Published: 06 May 2016
Author: Ryan Carlisle Thomas
Comcare – how to make a compensation claim
Most Victorian are familiar with WorkSafe and if injured, understand that they will cover medical bills and offer an alternative source of income should an injury be serious enough to keep someone out of work temporarily.
But less well known is the injury compensation scheme run by the Commonwealth Government called Comcare. Yet, both perform similar roles and in the case of Comcare, cover hundreds of thousands of Victorian workers.
While Comcare was established in order to protect commonwealth public servants, as a workers compensation agency, it offers an insurance alternative also to many large, national private sector employers such as Medibank Private, Linfox, the Telstra and Optus.
Similarly, like WorkSafe (or WorkCover), you can make an injury claim for compensation under Comcare.
Typical types of injuries or illnesses for which Comcare claims are made include the following:
- Back and shoulder injury
- Musculoskeletal injury
- Arm injury
- Hearing loss
- Stress and the effects of workplace bullying
- Stroke and heart problems
- Psychological injury
Casuals and part-timers covered by Comcare
The scheme also provides compensation and medical expenses incurred by casual and part time staff employed by any organisation covered by Comcare.
Making a Comcare claim – be careful how you fill in the form
While the Comcare claim form is readily available it is tricky to fill out. Which is not a surprise because as an insurance agency, Comcare is run to reduce its level of exposure to claims made against it in order to limit any cost increases in premiums for its clients, such as The Commonwealth Bank and Telstra.
So while Comcare does offer support for injured workers, it does have commercial interests to protect.
Which means you need to take care to fill in the Comcare claim form so that you do not give them ammunition with which to shoot down your claim for compensation.
Here are some simple tips
1. Report the injury
You should report the incident or accident as soon as possible no minor it may seem at the time.
2. Get your doctor to fill in a Comcare approved medical certificate
Visit your own doctor. Make sure your doctor gives you with a medical certificate on one of the Comcare approved forms. Examples can be downloaded here:
Hand the certificate to your supervisor, or your lawyer. They will attach it to your claim form and send it to Comcare.
3. Lodge a claim form
Incident reports and claim forms are available from your supervisors or union. The Comcare claim form can be downloaded here: http://www.comcare.gov.au/Forms_and_Publications/forms2/claims_forms2?result_101687_result_page=1.
How much can I claim against Comcare?
This is one of questions that my clients most commonly ask, and it’s difficult to be precise. But if you’d like to get a rough idea of the scale of payouts available, visit our Comcare Rough Guide here. http://rct-law.com.au/lawyers-for-work/comcare-and-seacare-lawyers
And remember, it almost always pays to get the advice of a good Comcare compensation lawyer.