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Psychological Injury Claims in Western Australia
Types of Workcover Stress Claims for Psychological Injuries
Foyle Legal psychological injury lawyers represent clients in Workcover stress claims, PTSD claims, motor vehicle stress claims, TPD claim for mental health, and dependency claims due to work-related suicide.
Workcover Stress Claims
For an accepted Workcover stress claim and psychological injury claims, it should be considered whether the injured person will also have common law benefits as well as workers compensation benefits. Your legibility of common law workers compensation claim depends on WPI rating and whether the negligence of others causes your psychological injury at work.
- If your WPI is less than 15%: you may be entitled to a no-fault workers compensation claim for stress and anxiety.
- If your WPI is great than 15% and you can prove that your employer is negligent in causing your psychological injury at work: you may be entitled to common law claim damages for psychological injury at work.
For Workcover stress claims, workers are entitled to Workcover stress leave while receiving workers compensation payments though some exceptions do apply.
TPD claim for Mental Health
Separate to a Workers Compensation Stress claim, If your work-related mental injury has affected your mental health so severely to the extent of total and permanent disability. You may be entitled to TPD claims. This also applies in a stress injury is not work related.
If the work stress has left to suicide, dependents of the deceased worker may be entitled to fatal injury dependency claim.
Common Issues with Stress at Work Compensation
One of the common issues associated with stress claims is that workers compensation insurer often disputes or rejects a workers comp for stress. Common reasons to deny Workcover stress claims are:
- Workers compensation insurers allege that there is no evidence to link your psychological injury to employment; or
- Workers compensation insurers allege that there is no evidence to prove your incapacity is caused by work-related mental stress
- The factors Stated in Section 5(4) of the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act which preclude a claim from succeeding.
To be successful at work stress claims, an injured worker who intends to make a workplace stress claim needs to report the injury as soon as possible and have witness statements to support their Workcover stress claim.
Common Law Claims Psychological Injury
If you make a claim for workers compensation for a psychological injury and you are found to have a whole person impairment by an approved medical specialist, usually a Psychiatrist, of not less than 15% then you will have the choice to elect to sue your employer for damages in a common law claim regarding the psychological injury.
You must elect to pursue common law damages regarding a psychological injury before the termination date which is generally one year from the date a claim for workers compensation is made (though it can be extended for an additional year).
Pursuing a common law claims psychological injury action is often very difficult and there are usually complex issues regarding pre-existing conditions, the circumstances in which the injury was sustained and the extent of any damages including pain and suffering, the need for medical treatment and economic loss.
What to Say to Doctor to Get Stress Leave?
It is common to feel confused and do not know what to say to the doctor to get stress leave by the time your work-related stress has escalated to the need of stress leave, and the worker often has lots of built-up emotions, thoughts, feelings, and anxiety.
Doctors can help to treat your mental stress, anxiety, or depression. It is best if you are honest and upfront to your doctor when talking about your stress and psychological injury and make sure all the circumstances arising from your work related stress are documented. Doctors are there to help you to get better. When talking to the doctor, please be sure to mention:
- What happened at work
- How did it impact your mental health
- As a result of the stress at work, what tasks or duties that you are no longer to do
- If you have tried to self-medicate, please mention what you have tried and the outcome
If you feel tired, frustrated, angry, stressed, on the verge of a nervous breakdown while telling your story, do not hide it from your doctor. They are trained to help you. Based on your consultation, your doctor will then recommend a suitable treatment, stress leave from work, or other further actions.
Please note that If you decided to make a workers compensation claim for stress, your discussion with the doctor could be vital evidence to link your psychological injury to your employment and the degree of incapacity that the mental injury has caused you. Please check out this blog on how to best work with doctors for medical evidence.
Compensation Payouts for Psychological Injury at Work
Compensation payouts for psychological injury can vary primarily based on the evidence presented to support your future loss of earnings (need for weekly payments of compensation) and future needs. Timing of settling your psychological injury at work is also essential. Workers compensation insurers often make low offers at the very early stage to settle workers compensation psychological injury claims. If you have made a Workcover stress claim, please be sure that you do not settle your stress claim too early.
No-fault workers compensation stress claims
If you have an accepted Workcover stress claim in WA, you can not claim pain and suffering. As at FY2021, the maximum payment for your psychological injury at work claim is $235,971 for weekly payments of compensation.
Common Law Claims for Psychological Injury at Work
If your WPI is less than 25%, you can claim pain and suffering. As at FY2021, the maximum payment for psychological injury at work claim is $495,542 minus any workers compensation payments.
Work-Related Suicide / Death Claims
If you have an accepted workplace injury dependency claim for a workplace death. At FY2021, the maximum payment for psychological injury at work claim is $589,542.
Claiming Stress Leave from Work vs Workcover Stress Claims
Workcover stress leave is different from taking sick leave or personal leave due to stress at work.
What is stress leave?
Technically, stress leave is not a category of leave by itself but in Australia there is an entitlement to 10 days sick leave (or pro-rata amount). If your workplace stress has an impact on your ability to perform work duties and caused a psychological injury to you, and you may qualify for Workcover stress leave entitlements. If you have an accepted Workcover stress claim, your Workcover stress leave entitlement is the same as your workers comp entitlement.
If you found yourself having to take stress leave from work frequently and your metal condition has affected your capacity to do work, it is essential to talk to your doctor to evaluate if your workplace stress has resulted in psychological injury at work.
If you have made a claim for the work-related mental health claim, contact one of our Perth based workplace injury lawyers for your obligation free claim review.
Is stress leave sick leave?
Yes. Unless you are applying for Workcover sick leave. Workcover sick leave is a workers compensation stress claim.
Grounds for stress leave in WA?
If you are claiming stress leave as sick leave, all you need to do is the speak to your employer and supply a medical certificate upon request.
If you are claiming Workcover stress leave, you must produce proof that you meet the conditions to make a workers compensation psychological injury claim.
How to apply for stress leave?
If you are applying a few days sick leave for stress, you need to follow the leave application process at your workplace.
If you are applying for Workcover stress leave, you need to follow the Workcover procedure to make a workers compensation claim.
Is stress leave paid?
Yes, unless you are taking unpaid sick leave. In one year the entitlement to paid sick leave is based on an employee’s usual hours of work (e.g. part time or full time). The entitlement is 10 days paid sick leave for full time employees and pro-rata for part-time employees.
For paid sick leave due to mental stress, your employer pays your stress leave entitlements.
For a Workcover stress leave, your employer’s workers compensation insurer pays your stress leave entitlements.
Foyle Legal Provides WorkCover Legal Services to all of WA
Foyle Legal is one of the leading WA’s local personal injury law firms in Perth. We are a 100% WA owned and operated compensation law firm and committed to service clients all of Western Australia. If you have made a personal injury claim in Western Australia, trust your WA’s local personal injury lawyers at Foyle Legal. We have helped hundreds of Western Australians, and we can help you too!
What suburbs in Perth does Foyle Legal provide legal representation to?
Looking for best personal injury & workers compensation lawyers in Perth? Foyle Legal injury compensation lawyers provide legal advice to all suburbs in Perth metro areas and Perth’s surrounding areas.
North of the river – Northern Suburbs
Ballajura, Bassendean, Bayswater, Beechboro, Carine, Carramar, Clarkson, Connolly, Currambine, Dianella, Doubleview, Duncraig, Eden Hill, Edgewater, Embleton, Glendalough, Greenwood, Gwelup, Heathridge, Hillarys, Inglewood, Innaloo, Joondalup, Kallaroo, Karrinyup, Kingsley, Landsdale, Maida Vale, Malaga, Marangaroo, Mindarie, Mindarie Keys, Morley, Mullaloo, Munster, North Beach, Osborne Park, Padbury, Scarborough, Shenton Park, Sorrento, Trigg, Tuart Hill, Wanneroo, Warwick, Waterman, Wembley Downs, Woodlands, Woodvale, Yanchep.
Ascot, Belmont, Carlisle, Kewdale, Newburn, Redcliffe, Rivervale.
Perth Inner City
Burswood, Perth CBD, Northbridge, East Perth, Highgate, Leederville, Maylands, Mount Hawthorn, Mount Lawley, North Perth, South Perth, Subiaco, Victoria Park, West Leederville, West Perth, CBD, Kings Park, Northbridge, Perth.
East Fremantle, Fremantle, Hamilton Hill, North Fremantle, O’Connor, South Fremantle.
South of the River – Southern Suburbs
Alfred Cove, Applecross, Ardross, Attadale, Bateman, Beaconsfield, Beeliar, Bentley, Bibra Lake, Bicton, Booragoon, Bullcreek, Canning Bridge, Canning Vale, Cannington, Casuarina, Cockburn, Como, Coogee, East Victoria Park, Forrestdale, Gosnells, Jandakot, Karawara, Kelmscott, Kwinana, Melville, Mount Pleasant, Palmyra, Shelley, Spearwood, Success, Wattle Grove, Welshpool, Willetton, Wilson, Winthrop.
Churchlands, City Beach, Claremont, Cottesloe, Crawley, Daglish, Dalkeith, Floreat, Mosman Park, Mount Claremont, Nedlands, Swanbourne, Wembley.
Armadale, Bedfordale, Bickley, Byford, Carmel, Chidlow, Darling Downs, Darlington, Forrestfield, Gidgegannup, Glen Forrest, Gooseberry Hill, Greenmount, High Wycombe, Hovea, Jarrahdale, Kalamunda, Karragullen, Lesmurdie, Mount Helena, Mundaring, Mundijong, Orange Grove, Parkerville, Paulls Valley, Pickering Brook, Roleystone, Stoneville, Wungong
Baskerville, Belhus, Bellevue, Brigadoon, Bullsbrook, Caversham, Ellenbrook, Guildford, Hazelmere, Henley Brook, Herne Hill, Middle Swan, Midland, Midvale, Millendon, South Guildford, Swan Valley, The Vines, Upper Swan, Viveash, West Midland, West Swan, Whiteman
Does Foyle Legal provide Legal Representation to surrounding areas of Perth?
Yes, Foyle Legal extends legal presentation to surrounding areas of Perth. This includes but limited to Avon Valley, North Coast & Valleys, Peel areas, Perth Hills, Rottnest Island, and Swan Valley.
Avon Valley, New Norcia, Northam, Other Avon Valley Areas, Toodyay, York, Clackline, Wooroloo
North Coast & Valleys
Bindoon, Chittering, Gingin, Guilderton, Lancelin, Ledge Point, Lower Chittering, Moore River, Neeragabby, Upper Chittering, Wanerie, Woodridge
Mandurah, Peel Coast, Peel Inland, Baldivis, Barragup, Boddington, Dawesville, Dwellingup, Falcon, Greenfields, Halls Head, Karnup, Mandurah, Mandurah East, Meadow Springs, Pinjarr, Port Kennedy, Quindanning, Ravenswood, Rockingham, Rockingham Beach, Safety Bay, Secret Harbour, Serpentine, Shoalwater, South Yunderup, Wannanup, Waroona, West Pinjarra
Does Foyle Legal provide legal service to clients in Regional WA?
Yes, Foyle Legal service all of WA, including remote or regional areas of Western Australia. Check out our the services we offer in your area.
- Kalgoorlie – Boulder
- Port Hedland