COVID-19 WORKCOVER FAQS HOME > COVID-19 WORKCOVER FAQS

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COVID-19 WORKCOVER FAQS

FOR EMPLOYERS

WorkCover Queensland acknowledges that many businesses will experience increased financial concerns as a result of COVID-19, and they are working to provide employers with advice and support with their premium. In general, their approach is:

  • Should an employer be in this situation, they should contact WorkCover to discuss arrangements
  • At first instance, WorkCover will work with employers to review the estimated wages they have previously supplied them for the current year and adjust them as appropriate
  • This may result in a reduction in premium or potentially a refund
  • In addition, WorkCover will also work with employers on alternative and extended payment arrangements where possible.

What safety measures do I need to take to protect my workers?

Please refer to guidance from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.
Do I need to send people home if they have cold and flu symptoms?

Please refer to the Queensland Government website for up-to-date health advice and recommendations for COVID-19.
Will my workers be covered under workers’ compensation if they are working from home due to COVID-19 restrictions?

It is important to remember that while workers are not working at their standard workplace, it is still your responsibility, as the employer, to provide a safe work environment and to have an accident insurance policy with WorkCover Queensland.

Employers should make sure that workers are aware of any on-going obligations around issues and policies such as confidentiality and safe work practices whilst working at home.
Please refer to guidance from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.
If a worker cannot be quarantined at home and is consequently required to go to another external location, can they claim any expenses incurred as a result of the relocation?

If your worker has an accepted workers’ compensation claim for their work related COVID-19, WorkCover will cover reasonable costs if there is a requirement, confirmed by a medical practitioner, for quarantine outside of the worker’s home.
If your worker does not have an accepted workers’ compensation claim,
please refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman, ph: 13 13 94.
Does WorkCover cover my worker’s wages during their quarantine period?

WorkCover will not cover wages during quarantine unless:

  • there is diagnosis of COVID-19;
  • the exposure has been confirmed in connection with work; and
  • there is an accepted workers’ compensation claim.

 

I’ve independently arranged for my worker to undergo testing for COVID-19. Will WorkCover reimburse me these costs?

WorkCover can only reimburse these costs if:

  • your worker is subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • the exposure is confirmed to be a work-related injury (see question above);
  • your worker has an accepted workers’ compensation claim; and
  • the costs are reasonable.

 

My worker has tested negative for COVID-19 right now, but what ongoing health monitoring will be needed?

Please refer to the Queensland Government for up-to-date
health advice and recommendations for COVID-19.

 

What is WorkCover’s stance on COVID-19 and accepting liability for workers’ who may contract the virus whilst at work or travelling for work purposes?

If we receive a claim for COVID-19, it will be assessed similarly to how we assess other statutory claims for viral diseases. There would need to be testing to confirm the worker has the virus and confirmation that the worker was exposed to another person in the workplace who has also was confirmed to have the virus.  We would then need to be satisfied that, on the balance of probabilities, the virus was contracted in the course of their employment and that employment was a significant contributing factor to the virus diagnosis.

More information about how we decide claims on available here.
Has WorkCover considered the impact that COVID-19
will have on processing of claims?

WorkCover is regularly monitoring the progress of COVID-19 and ensuring our preparedness to process and manage claims arising from the virus. We continue to follow the advice and recommendations from Queensland Government.

Any new claims in relation to COVID-19 will be determined and managed by a centralised team in line with the current legislation. WorkCover will work with workers, employers and treating providers to determine how workers have contracted COVID-19 and make decisions in accordance with the Act.

 

What impact will these claims have on my premium
and will I need to pay an excess?

 

Workers with accepted claims for COVID-19 will have access to the same compensation entitlements that other workers with an accepted statutory claim have access to e.g. weekly compensation, medical and rehabilitation expenses, return to work support etc. As the employer, you will also be required to pay an excess i.e. the first payment of weekly compensation.

More information is available on our website in relation to
payments and support and employer excess.

 

I am a Director—am I covered for COVID-19 testing/claim?

Under the Act, directors, partners of a partnership, sole traders and trustees are excluded from coverage as they are not considered a ‘worker’. As a director, you will not be covered for any testing costs and/or a claim under your Accident Insurance Policy.

If you have a Workplace Personal Injury Insurance Policy, you may be covered for these costs. More information about our Workplace Personal Injury Insurance Policy is available here.

FOR EMPLOYEES

Will I be covered under workers’ compensation if
I am working from home due to COVID-19 restrictions?

If you are working from home (either directed to by your employer, directed by other authorities and/or choose this option if available) and you do sustain an injury in the course of your work, WorkCover will apply specific criteria from the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, when deciding whether to accept a statutory claim for compensation. If you sustain an injury in the course of your work while at home, you may be covered if employment was ‘a significant contributing factor’ to your injury.

WorkCover will rely on information from yourself, your employer and medical practitioner when using the criteria to determine whether your claim will be accepted.
More information about how we decide claims is available here.

If my work has to close down due to COVID-19,
will I be covered for lost wages?

WorkCover is only able to cover your wages if you have an accepted workers’ compensation claim. If you currently have an accepted workers’ compensation claim, please contact your WorkCover representative to discuss your own circumstances.

If you do not have an accepted workers’ compensation claim, please discuss your leave options with your employer if you are required / instructed to stay at home due to COVID-19.

You can also refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman, ph: 13 13 94.

I’ve been told by my employer to undergo testing for COVID-19 and stay at home as I have symptoms such as coughing and a fever. Will WorkCover cover my wages while I am in quarantine until my test results come back?

WorkCover will not cover your wages during quarantine unless you are subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19 and WorkCover accepts your lodged statutory claim.

Please see below for further information regarding the criteria for accepting a claim for COVID-19.

What information do I need to provide to lodge a claim for COVID-19?
As with all statutory compensation claims, a claim will need to be lodged with WorkCover.  Information regarding how to lodge a claim is available on the website.
For potential COVID-19 claims, WorkCover will also require:

  • medical confirmation of COVID-19 diagnosis; and
  • evidence to demonstrate that your COVID-19 exposure occurred within your work environment; and
  • medical confirmation that your employment was a significant contributing factor to the contraction of COVID-19

Depending on the circumstances, WorkCover may require further information from yourself, your employer or a medical practitioner.

Will WorkCover accept my claim if I am diagnosed with COVID-19?

When deciding whether to accept a statutory claim for compensation, which includes a claim relating to a diagnosis of COVID-19 WorkCover will apply specific criteria from the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003. Criteria will include, but not be limited to, whether:

  • the claim was made within the required timeframes;
  • the worker was in fact a ‘worker’;
  • an injury (diagnosis of COVID-19) has occurred;
  • the exposure to COVID-19 occurred in the work environment; and
  • the work exposure was a significant contributing factor to the COVID-19 diagnosis.

WorkCover will rely on information from yourself, your employer and medical practitioner when using the criteria to determine whether your claim will be accepted. Please note that provisions exist under the Act to enable a worker to appeal a claim decision made by WorkCover.

What is considered a ‘work-related’ exposure?

Each claim lodged for COVID-19 will be considered based on its own individual circumstances. If confirmation is received that your exposure to COVID-19  occurred in the course of your employment, whether at or away from your place of employment, then WorkCover will need to determine if  your employment was ‘a significant contributing factor’ to your  confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. WorkCover will obtain medical information to help make this determination.

I have an accepted claim for COVID-19, what will be covered?

WorkCover is here to support you in your recovery from COVID-19. Each case is different, however as per all statutory claims, we will provide:

Where can I find my claims contact and information regarding my claim?

Use Worker Assist, our online portal to get the information you need about your workers’ compensation claim in a clean, simple, and easy to use format. View it on any device that suits you: desktop, tablet or mobile. You can download the smartphone app and stay connected with WorkCover on-the-go. It’s simple to use and is available anytime, anywhere.

I have a claim with WorkCover. I live in regional Queensland and am worried about exposure to COVID-19 while travelling long distances for medical appointments. Do I need to attend these appointments?

As part of your rehabilitation and return to work, it is important you attend your appointments as instructed by your medical providers.

Please visit the Queensland Government website for safe travel guidelines and talk to your medical practitioner regarding any concerns. If you have any concerns, please also talk to your Customer Advisor.

What if my Independent Medical Examination (IME), including the Medical Assessment Tribunal (MAT) are cancelled—how does this impact my claim?

WorkCover will continue to support you in your rehabilitation and recovery.  Please contact your WorkCover representative and we will work with you to find a suitable resolution to meet your needs.

What happens if my employer can’t offer suitable duties
or needs to cancel my host placement program?

WorkCover will continue to support you in your rehabilitation and recovery.  Please contact your WorkCover representative and we will work with you to find a suitable resolution to meet your needs.

What if my provider cancels my rehabilitation program or surgery?

WorkCover will continue to support you in your rehabilitation and recovery.  Please contact your WorkCover representative and we will work with you to find a suitable resolution to meet your needs.