The Western Australian workers’ compensation and injury management scheme is based on a ‘no-fault’ principle. This means you do not have to establish that your employer was at fault or negligent to make a claim. You are entitled to compensation if you are a worker, suffer an injury or develop a disease at work and require medical treatment or time off work as a result.

This section contains information about making a claim and attending medical reviews.

Am I a worker?

The legal definition of a worker includes full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal, piece and commission workers. Working directors, contractors and sub-contractors may also be defined as workers depending on their working arrangements.

It is important to note that a volunteer generally does not fall under the definition of a worker under the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981.

How do I make a claim?

If you are injured, follow these steps to make a claim for workers’ compensation.

  1. Immediately seek first aid and report the injury to your employer.
  2. As soon as possible, see a doctor of your choice and ask for a First Certificate of Capacity.
  3. Fill out a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (available on the Worker forms page). If you have difficulty completing the form, speak to your employer. If after speaking to your employer you are still unsure, contact Advice and Assistance on 1300 794 744.
  4. Make copies of the Certificate and Claim Form for your records and give the original documents to your employer.
  5. Your employer has five working days to complete their section of the Claim Form and lodge both documents with their insurer. Penalties can apply for failing to lodge the claim within five working days.
  6. The insurer will notify you within 14 days after receiving your claim form. The notification will indicate if the claim has been:
    • Accepted

      If your claim is accepted you will receive weekly compensation payments (if your injury prevents you from working) and compensation for your reasonable expenses.

    • Disputed

      If your claim is disputed, no compensation will be paid and the insurer will advise you of the reason. If you disagree with the insurer’s decision, you can approach the insurer to re-assess the decision. If still unresolved, you may lodge an application with the Workers’ Compensation Conciliation Service.

    • Pended

      The insurer may put your claim on hold pending further information. The insurer then has another 10 days to make a decision on your claim. If the claim is still undecided after the 10 days have passed, the claim is deemed to be in dispute. You can approach the insurer to request a decision be made. If still unresolved, you may lodge an application with the Workers’ Compensation Conciliation Service.

Review by employer's medical practitioner

Your employer or their insurer may refer you to a medical practitioner of their choice before or after your claim has been accepted.

If you do not attend an appointment or obstruct an examination, it may impact your entitlement to compensation.

There are limits on when and how often an employer or insurer can require you to attend a medical examination.

You cannot be required to attend medical reviews:

  • within 1 month from the date of a First Certificate of Capacity which states a further appointment has been made within 14 days
  • more frequently than once every two weeks
  • at any time other than during reasonable hours
  • with more than three medical practitioners who are specialists in the same field of medicine.

An employer cannot insist on being present at an injured worker’s medical appointment.

Returning to work
If your doctor indicates on your Certificate of Capacity that you have total capacity to return to work, it’s likely you’ll return to your previously held position. If your doctor assesses that you have only partial capacity to return to work, your employer will consult with you in implementing a Return to Work Program.

For more information, see Returning to work.