Time for Applying for Compensation

There are strict time limits prescribed by the Queensland workers’ compensation legislation, which if missed, can be fatal to an injured worker’s rights.

One such time limit is the period in which an injured worker has to lodge an application for statutory compensation.

The Queensland legislation prescribes: “An application for compensation for an injury is valid and enforceable only if the application is lodged by the claimant within 6 months after the entitlement to compensation for the injury arises.”

The “entitlement to compensation” is usually the day apon which the injury occurs. The legislation however does provide that the entitlement to compensation arises on the day the worker’s injury is assessed by a doctor; if the injury is minor – by a nurse practitioner; or in the case of an oral injury – by a dentist. So the application must be lodged within 6 months of that assessment date.

The 6 month period may be waived by WorkCover Queensland or a workers’ compensation self insurer, if the insurer is satisfied special circumstances of a medical nature, decided by a Medical Assessment Tribunal, exist.

Finally, an insurer may accept a late application for compensation if it is satisfied the failure to lodge in time was due to a mistake; the worker’s absence from the State or a reasonable cause.

We are happy to discuss your legal rights if you have suffered a work related injury. Always keep in mind that there are strict time limits for pursuing statutory and common law claims.