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How long can you stay on Workcover Queensland?

WorkCover Queensland is the largest workers’ compensation insurer in Queensland, Australia. If you’ve been injured at work, WorkCover may provide you with financial and medical support during your recovery period.

The length of time you can stay on WorkCover Queensland depends on several factors, such as the severity of your injury, your medical needs, and your ability to return to work. In general, WorkCover will provide support until you have fully recovered and can return to work, or until it is clear that your injury is permanent and you are unable to work.

If your injury is severe and your recovery will take longer, WorkCover may provide ongoing financial and medical support until you are medically stable or have reached maximum medical improvement. This is commonly described by doctors as your injuries becoming ‘stable and stationary’. If Workcover sends you for an independent medical examination, it may be an indication that you’ve reached maximum improvement.

WorkCover will regularly review your situation to ensure that you are receiving appropriate support and that your circumstances haven’t changed.

After 5 years, the weekly workers’ compensation benefit payments will cease, along with any funding for ongoing medical treatment.[1]

Wage benefits payable to you

When you have an accepted Workcover claim and require time off work, wages are paid by the workers’ compensation insurer on the following basis:

  • The first 6 months of incapacity: 85% of your normal weekly wage
  • From 6 months to 24 months of your incapacity: 75% of your normal weekly wage
  • From 24 months to 5 years of your incapacity: either continued at 75% of your normal weekly wage or the single person pension rate (around $500/wk) depending on the severity of your injuries.

Workcover will also reimburse your receipts for your injury-related expenses so it is important to keep copies of your records.

There is a convenient Workcover app known as Worker Assist that allows injured workers to simply upload photographs of receipts, track payments, and manage appointments.

Workcover Assist App

If your injuries are permanent

If your injuries become stable and stationary but you’ve still not fully recovered, you will be considered to have sustained a degree of permanent impairment.

In this case, WorkCover should send you for a final medical assessment and issue you with a Notice of Assessment. A Notice of Assessment describes your residual permanent impairment as a percentage score out of 100, and includes an accompanying offer of lump sum compensation.

Permanent injuries can often entitle you to make other claims in addition to the Workcover claim, such as a claim for total permanent disability benefits through your superannuation fund.

Workers’ compensation laws and regulations can be complex. It’s essential to keep in touch with your WorkCover case manager and healthcare providers to discuss your progress and any changes in your condition. If you have any questions about your entitlements or how long you can stay on WorkCover, it’s best to contact WorkCover Queensland directly or seek legal advice from one of Roche Legal’s workers’ compensation lawyers.

[1] Sections 144A – 144B, Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2014 (Qld).

This commentary is published by Roche Legal for general information purposes only and should not be relied on as specific advice. The content relates to Queensland law only and is subject to change over time. You should seek legal advice for any question, or for any specific situation or proposal, before making any decision.