Employers in every state and territory in Australia are required by law to cover their employees with a workers' compensation scheme. Workers' compensation refers to payment made to employees that get hurt at work or develop health problems due to their work. It is meant to provide income replacement (lost wages while employees are not able to work) and coverage of medical and rehabilitation expenses to eligible workers. But who is eligible to receive workers' compensation under Australian law? 

Here's a breakdown of three pre-requisites that a person must meet before they can be entitled to receive workers' compensation:

The person is an employee as defined by the law of their jurisdiction. 

Workers' compensation laws are imposed on employers by state and territorial authorities. These jurisdictions dictate the requirements that must be fulfilled for employer-employee relationships to be considered legitimate. Generally speaking, an 'employee' is considered to be any person that provides labour and receives a salary or wages for it. As long as a person can prove that they have been working and receiving remuneration and other working benefits from their employer, they are entitled to receive workers' compensation. 

The person is injured due to their work.

To be eligible for workers' compensation in Australia, employees also need to prove that their injury arose out of employment. Injury, in this context, includes any physical injury or medical condition that may arise out of the execution of work-related duties and responsibilities, or the exacerbation of pre-existing injuries. An employee seeking workers' compensation should be able to provide medical reports compiled by a qualified medical practitioner proving that their injury occurred as a result of employment. If there is no direct relationship between the injury that the employee has suffered and their employment, then such an employee does not qualify for workers' compensation. 

The person has lost income.

The third requirement that an employee needs to meet to be eligible for workers' compensation is proof that they have lost income. Lost income, in this sense, refers to the payment that the employee could have earned if they were able to work, as well as personal monies they might have spent while receiving medical treatment. 

As long as the above pre-requisites are fulfilled, any person is eligible to receive workers' compensation. It is, however, important to keep in mind that workers' compensation is not available for general pain and suffering that employees may undergo due to their work — that falls under personal injury claims.

Contact local workers' compensation lawyers for more information and assistance.