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    How long does it take to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits?

    Apr 24, 2024 | Compensation Law

    How long does it take to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits?

    At such an uncertain time, we understand you want to know how long you need to wait for your claim to be accepted. There are two types of workers’ compensation and they each have their own timelines.

    Statutory Workers’ Compensation

    If you have lodged your claim and medical certificate (capacity to work certificate) with WorkCover, they will aim to make a decision within 20 days. They need to be satisfied that you were:

      1. A worker, as defined by the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld); and
      2. That you sustained an injury/illness in connection with your work 

    Assuming you satisfy those conditions, your claim will be accepted and you will gain access to medical treatment and weekly benefits in place of lost wages.

    Common Law Claim

    A common law claim for damages, for pain and suffering and future lost wages and expenses is a more long-term consideration.

    How long will it take to settle a common law claim?

    Unfortunately there is no way to give you a specific or certain answer on how long it will take to reach a settlement in a common law claim. How long a claim takes to settle will depend on the unique circumstances of each case.

    Once a settlement is reached in a case it is called a once and for all settlement. This means it is final and you can not come back seeing further compensation relating to that matter at a later time. So it is important that all losses and, as best as you can predict, future losses be taken into account when you reach a settlement. In assessing past and future losses it is important that your injury is stable, that means it has reached the maximum medical improvement, a simpler term for this is that the injury has stabilised, it isn’t getting better and isn’t getting worse. Lawyers have no way of knowing when your injury will reach this point and all losses can be assessed, this is why it is difficult to give you an exact time frame on how long it will take to reach settlement.

    As a guide as to how long a claim might take to settle, settlement data suggests the average time to settle a claim from date of injury is approximately 18 months. Of course each case will depend on the specific and unique circumstances. A good workers’ compensation lawyer will work to protect your interests within the required time frames and work efficiently to gather the necessary evidence so that when your injuries are stable and all evidence is available they are in a position to advise you and promptly work towards reaching a settlement in your claim.

    Learn more about the Workers’ Compensation process


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    Kathryn MacDonell

    Kathryn MacDonell

    Chief Executive Officer