WorkCover psychological injury – claiming for work stress & depression

Psychological or psychiatric injuries may include work related stress, anxiety, depression or post traumatic stress disorder

To receive compensation for these types of psychological injuries, the injury must have occurred at work and resulted from a single event or over a period of time.

Examples of causes may include workplace bullying, harassment, unfair action taken by management or an excessive workload.

For a worker to have their mental illness accepted as an “injury” compensable under the Workers Compensation & Rehabilitation Act 2003, the work event, or exposure over a period of time in the workplace, must be the major significant contributing factor to the psychological or psychiatric injury occurring.

How WorkCover or the self insurer decide the success of your psychological injury claims

When making a decision on a psychological or psychiatric injury, the workers’ compensation insurer will apply criteria and exclusions as outlined in the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003.

The Act states that ‘an injury does not include a psychiatric or psychological disorder arising out of, or in the course of, any of the following circumstances’:

  • reasonable management action taken in a reasonable way by the employer in connection with a worker’s employment;

  • a worker’s expectation or perception of reasonable management action being taken against a worker;

  • action by the authority or an insurer in connection with a worker’s application for compensation

Examples of actions that may be reasonable management action

Examples of actions that may be reasonable management action taken in a reasonable way include:

  • action taken to transfer, demote, discipline, redeploy, retrench or dismiss a worker;

  • a decision not to award a promotion, reclassification (or transfer of), leave of absence or benefit in connection with the worker’s employment


You will need to supply WorkCover or the self-insurer with details of the main factors

When making a psychological or psychiatric injury claim, you will need to supply WorkCover or the self-insurer with details of the main factors or events you believe caused your injury, including dates and information to support the claim.

WorkCover or the self-insurer may also seek information from your doctor, or any direct witnesses, and even seek independent medical evidence and opinions.

WorkCover or the self-insurer will supply these factors to your employer to give them an opportunity to respond.

Once the employer’s response has been received, you will have the opportunity to provide any additional information before a final decision is made about your claim for psychological injury workers compensation.

The onus is on you to prove your psychological claims

When you try to make a workers compensation claim, no matter what psychiatric injury or mental health claims you are seeking comp for, the onus is on you. When you claim psychological injury you must yourself prove the mental health condition is a direct result of unreasonable management action or workplace causes.

Once the workers’ compensation insurer gathers all the information it requires for your psychological injury claim, it will determine your claim and inform both you, and your employer, of the decision.

To get the best possible result out of your personal injury claim, seek expert help from our team. When you claim compensation for psychological, psychiatric, or even physical injury through The Personal Injury Lawyers, you can rest assured that your workers compensation claims are in the best hands.

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