People who work for Telstra, Australia Post, Commonwealth government departments and the Australian Defence Force are covered by this scheme.
Comcare is the federal workers’ compensation scheme. It provides for workers employed by the Commonwealth Government via government departments and its related agencies, such as Telstra and Australia Post.
The system has also been extended to apply to workers who are employed by particular national companies of a non-government nature which have obtained special permission to operate as self-insurers under the Comcare laws. The list of companies includes National Australia Bank, Optus, Chubb Security and Linfox Armaguard. These national companies are called “licensees”.
A worker is entitled to full pay at the level of their Normal Weekly Earnings for a period of 45 weeks and at 75 % of such pay from then on. This entitlement continues to age 65 if the worker remains totally incapacitated.
The calculation of the Normal Weekly Earnings is generally based upon a worker’s salary in the two weeks prior to injury, however if there is variance in the amount that they are paid week to week, an average is taken, which can be over a longer period if two weeks is not a fair representation.
Medical and like Expenses
Comcare will pay for medical and like expenses appropriate for the treatment of any given injury. This not only includes the direct treatment of injury, but indirect things such as medical aids and appliances required as a result of the injury. It can also extend to household help, and the like, if required. They will also pay for travel to appointments to a certain threshold.
Lump Sum Entitlements
Any person who has suffered a permanent injury as a result of their Commonwealth employment may be able to make a claim for lump-sum compensation in either the form of a permanent impairment claim or sometimes a claim can be made for damages. Such claims are only able to be made if you reach a certain threshold of injury.
The calculation of impairment is a complicated process, and as part of this process you may also be entitled to a pain and suffering component in addition to your impairment.
As a result, such claims generally require legal representation, and your solicitor at Arnold Dallas McPherson will be able to guide you through this process.
Whilst it is possible to sue under the Comcare scheme, this is rarely done. The maximum amount of damages that are payable to an injured worker under the Comcare scheme is $110,000.00. Furthermore, in order to make a claim for damages, you would have to elect not to receive any impairment benefit that may be afforded to you.
However, each circumstance is different, and your solicitor at Arnold Dallas McPherson would look at this on a case-by-case basis.