Comcare is the Australian government agency that is responsible for workplace safety, rehabilitation and compensation.
Comcare provides coverage for all full-time, part-time or casual employees of:
- The Commonwealth Government and ACT Government.
- Corporations with a licence to self-insure under the Comcare Scheme.
Comcare operates under the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (the SRC Act).
Lodging a claim with Comcare
Employees under the Comcare Scheme can lodge a claim when they suffer:
- Work-related injuries.
- Diseases or conditions caused or exacerbated as a result of their work (this can include asthma, cancer, degenerative diseases, heart condition, psychological conditions or stroke).
Types of cover an employee can claim
An employee suffering a work-related injury or a disease/condition attributed to work can claim medical expenses, household and attendant care fees, aids and appliances, incapacity benefits, permanent impairment benefits, travel and death benefits.
When can an employee lodge a claim?
An employee can put in a claim if the injury or disease/condition is suffered while:
- at work (ordinary recess or break during work included),
- working or engaging in work-related activities, or
- travelling for work or on work-related assignments.
Procedures to lodge a claim
After an injury, disease or condition is diagnosed, the employee must notify their employer and Comcare.
Claims must be lodged using the Claim for Workers Compensation Form.
All claims must be supported by medical certificate(s) with a precise diagnosis of the injury or disease/condition. This report must include:
- The type of injury or disease/condition.
- The identified cause.
- The date that the injury or disease/condition was discovered.
- The fitness of the employee in relation to work.
- A list of recommended treatments and other information that can support the lodgement.
The second portion of the form must be completed and signed by the employer who will then submit it to Comcare.
If an employee chooses to lodge a claim directly to Comcare, then the same process will apply (i.e. the form will be sent to his/her employer to be completed).
Only completed forms by both employee and employer will be considered.
When assessments are completed, Comcare or the licensed insurer of the employer will provide the employee with a written decision.
This document also provides the employee with information on what to do if they do not agree with the ruling.
Accessing compensation entitlements under the Comcare Scheme is complicated and time-consuming. Strict time limits apply to many of the different steps involved in the claims process.
If you are an employee under the Comcare Scheme and you suffer an injury or are diagnosed with a disease/condition as a result of your work, you should seek legal advice from your union representative or a personal injury lawyer with experience in Comcare claims to protect your rights and entitlements.