Is Worker’s Compensation Enough?

Is Worker’s Compensation Enough?

Whether you’re a white-collar worker hammering away at your keyboard from 9 to 5, or a tradie getting your hands dirty day-in and day-out, you run the risk of getting sick or injured at work. 

That’s why every Australian workplace has health and safety obligations: they must provide safe work premises, assess risk and have workers compensation insurance. 

What Worker’s Compensation Covers

As outlined from the Fair Work Ombudsman, workers compensation may be paid out if you are injured at work, or if you become sick due to your work.

Payments could cover your wages while you can’t work, your medical expenses, rehabilitation costs or a lump sum payment if you become permanently disabled or pass away. 

It’s also important to note that in order to receive workers compensation you must prove that your injury is work related. Your entitlements and eligibility for various payments may vary from state to state. 

NSW has the toughest worker’s compensation program as far as we’re concerned, with Victoria coming in a close second. WA looks fairly good, but the thing about worker’s compensation is that you never know. You never really know what you’re entitled to, you never really know when it might cut out. There’s a level of uncertainty that makes us uncomfortable if you’re only relying on worker’s compensation to protect yourself (and your family).

When Worker’s Compensation May Not be Enough

Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that most injuries (27%) take place during leisure time.ii However, workers compensation will only cover you for work-related injuries and illnesses. 

What would happen if you broke your leg tripping over the dog at home? Or if you fell from the roof and sustained a head injury while removing a rogue tennis ball from the guttering? 

If you’re unable to work and not eligible to receive a workers’ compensation payment, you could be without a wage to cover your family’s regular food, accommodation and living expenses, not to mention the medical and rehabilitation costs that pile up. 

Self-Employed

Workers compensation schemes may not cover you if you’re self-employed, a sole trader or an independent contractor, as stated on the business.gov.au website.iii Always ensure you check whether you’re covered by a workers compensation scheme. If you are not covered and became sick or injured, would your savings be enough to support you and your family while you recover? 

Not only will you have living expenses, but meeting ongoing business expenses such as payments to suppliers or commercial leases may become challenging. 

Income Protection Insurance

Income Protection Insurance offers peace of mind and the cover you may need that could cover you for injuries and illnesses sustained both at and away from work.  

It goes to work when you can’t; ensuring that the bills are paid, rent/mortgage is paid, food is on the table, and all the other things you rely on your everyday income for.

It covers you if you’re a PAYG employee, contractor or self-employed.

It covers you 24/7, worldwide. We’ve had clients make claims for a snapped Achilles tendon whilst on holiday in Africa, a broken collarbone from coming off a scooter, a broken shoulder blade from falling from a tree whilst doing yard work and many more claims.

For more information on Income Protection click here. If you’d like to discuss your Income Protection options or a review of your current policy please contact us by filling out this form and we’ll be in touch within 24 working hours.

 

https://www.fairwork.gov.au 
ii http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4825.0.55.001 
iii https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/insurance/workers-compensation-insurance

 

Sacha Loutkovsky
sacha.l@orionfg.com.au
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