If you’re a health care worker and contract COVID-19, you may be entitled to workers compensation to support your recovery.
A presumption for COVID-19 affected workers means that nurses and midwives do not have to prove they have contracted it at work when making a claim (unless the contrary is subsequently established).
This includes casual workers if any shifts are worked in the weeks prior to falling ill.
The presumption covers workers in prescribed employment, including:
- the health care sector, including nurses, midwives, ambulance officers and public health employees,
- the retail industry (other than businesses providing only on-line retail),
- disability and aged care facilities,
- educational institutions, including pre-schools, schools and tertiary institutions (other than establishments providing only on-line teaching services),
- police and emergency services (including fire brigades and rural fire services),
- refuges, halfway houses and homeless shelters,
- passenger transport services,
- courts and tribunals,
- correctional centres and detention centres,
- restaurants, clubs and hotels,
- the construction industry,
- places of public entertainment or instruction (including cinemas, museums, galleries, cultural institutions and casinos),
- the cleaning industry
- funeral homes
- childcare facilities.
Liability for confirmed COVID-19 claims is assessed on a case-by-case basis and the insurer will need to establish facts and evidence for each claim. For more information, click here.
If you test positive to COVID-19, you should notify your employer immediately.
Your employer will then notify the insurer within 48 hours of receiving your notification.
Workers in prescribed employment are automatically presumed to have contracted COVID-19 at work, unless the contrary is established.
The insurer must start provisional weekly payments of compensation within 7 days of notification, unless they have a reasonable excuse.
Why is this important?
Besides being paid any leave entitlements, if liability is agreed through the assessment carried out by the insurer, you may have some out-of-pocket costs covered through workers’ compensation.
If you have not been notified of the insurer’s decision within 7 days, you can contact SIRA (State Insurance Regulatory Authority) for help on 13 10 50 or by email at email@example.com
SIRA has also developed a FAQ page that provides useful information about how COVID-19 is operating within the workers compensation scheme. Click here to access.
The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association can provide assistance for members whose employers are not progressing their claim. Contact us here.