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As an injured employee, you have the right to claim for benefits and entitlements under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act), including the payment of reasonable medical expenses and incapacity payments for time off work.
- Read more about what you need to do as an employee when lodging a claim.
The employee's rights
An employee has a right to:
- their entitlements under the SRC Act
- access documents that relate to their claim
- ask for certain decisions to be reconsidered.
Under the SRC Act reasonable medical treatment will be paid based on an employee's individual situation. Medical treatment includes services that are provided by, or under the supervision of, a legally qualified medical practitioner, and may include treatment by health professionals such as physiotherapists, osteopaths, dentists, as well as prescribed medications.
When an employee has time off work, or sees their pay reduced due to their condition, then they may receive fortnightly incapacity payments. Medical evidence linking their absence from work with their condition must be provided.
The information provided by an employee to allow their claim to be determined is subject to the 'privacy principles' under the Privacy Act.
Access to claim material
If an employee would like to view their file Comcare will arrange to give them a copy of documents held in relation to the claim. Employees simply need to submit their request in writing. This is to make sure the employee's documents are not provided to someone else. There is no charge for the information provided.
An employee's responsibilities include:
- Promptly reporting to their employer the details of any accident, injury or disease that might be related to their work.
- Co-operating with their employer, case manager and rehabilitation provider to achieve a full return to work if this is appropriate.
Employees may also be required to attend a medical appointment if arranged by Comcare or another determining authority, notify Comcare or the determining authority of any third party action taken, aw well as any change to their personal circumstances.
Attendance at medical appointments made by Comcare
The employee is obliged to attend any medical examination arranged by Comcare or another determining authority unless they are able to provide a reasonable excuse as to why they cannot attend. If the employee does not attend an examination or obstructs an examination, without providing a reasonable excuse, their rights to compensation benefits and all other activity on the claim will be suspended until the examination takes place.
Reporting change of circumstances
Employees receiving compensation benefits should advise any change to their:
- number or circumstances of their dependents
- employment (including employment outside the Commonwealth or ACT government, whether voluntary or otherwise)
- medical condition
- bank account details (if their incapacity benefit is being paid directly into their bank account)
Third party action
If an employee, their dependents, or another person, starts legal action against a third party or against a Commonwealth or ACT Government employer in relation to their work-related injury or illness, Comcare or the relevant determining authority must be notified, in writing, within seven days, that those proceedings have been started.
Providing misleading or false information
If at any stage the employee becomes aware that they have made a misleading statement (for example on a claim form) they can amend this by writing to their Claims Services Officer. Uncorrected false or misleading statements may lead to delays in a decision on the claim. In certain cases, it may also lead to Comcare taking action under the Crimes Act 1914. From time to time, Comcare may undertake investigations into the legitimacy of a claim if it appears, amongst other things, that the information provided may be false or misleading. This helps ensure only legitimate compensation claims are accepted.