Skip to content

What benefits and services does workers’ compensation fund?

There are a variety of different payments and services that workers’ compensation systems provide to or on behalf of injured workers. These are also sometimes called benefits.

Some benefits are only available to certain people, for example people with very severe or complex injuries or diseases, or those with life-long disability resulting from the injury.

While the specific benefits may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the severity of the person’s injury, here are some of the main ones:

  • Medical and treatment expenses. Workers’ compensation typically covers the cost of treatment that is considered reasonably necessary. These include doctor visits, hospitalisation, surgery, medications, physical therapy or psychological therapy.
  • Wage replacement. If an injured person is unable to work after their injury, workers’ compensation may provide wage replacement benefits. This is usually a portion of the workers regular wages, usually a percentage, to help compensate for the lost income during the recovery period.
  • Permanent impairment payments. Some people have a permanent impairment resulting from their injury, and may be eligible for a one-off lump sum payment as compensation.
  • Workplace rehabilitation. In cases where an injury prevents the worker from returning to their previous job, vocational rehabilitation services may be funded by a workers’ compensation insurer. These can include services to support the worker return to their pre-injury workplace, or to find employment in a different workplace.  
  • Death Benefits: In the event of a work-related fatality, workers’ compensation provides death benefits to the dependents or beneficiaries of the deceased worker. These benefits typically include financial assistance, funeral expenses, and ongoing support for family members.

It is important to check the rules in your jurisdiction to determine the types of benefits and services that may be available, and any rules around who is eligible and benefit limits.

For example, there are often limits on the amount of time wage replacement payments and medical expenses can be paid in Australian workers’ compensation schemes.