• Alison Phillis

Are you receiving all of your workers compensation entitlements

For 20 years, readers of the Centralian Advocate looked forward to the Friday edition. Therein Povey Stirk Lawyers published a 300 word tale of fiction based on legally newsworthy events.

The following is a sample of these blogs.

2nd Feb 2015

Grace and Rebecca were travelling around Australia. They obtained employment at a supermarket. Unfortunately a rack of shelving fell on them, and they both sustained injuries. After initial treatment in Alice Springs, Grace was transferred to Perth and Rebecca was evacuated to her home country of Lebanon.


Rebecca was left with serious impairments and will never be able to return to work. After three months rehabilitation, Grace had scarring but no loss of function, and was able to return to work. Grace and Rebecca both applied for Worker’s Compensation benefits.


The insurer paid Rebecca weekly benefits for two years, and then refused to pay on the basis that she was not entitled to claim benefits after the first two years whilst residing overseas. Rebecca’s care is being provided by her parents in Lebanon, and she has no family in Australia that could assist her if she returned to Australia.


Grace had received weekly benefits; however these were based on her salary at the supermarket. She had been planning on returning to Perth the week after the accident to take up a modelling contract and expected to earn more in this employment than she did at the supermarket. Because of the prominent scarring she was unable to pursue this career.

Grace and Rebecca both sought advice from a solicitor. On her solicitor’s advice, Rebecca successfully applied to the Court for an extension of her weekly benefits for a further two years because of her exceptional circumstances.


Grace’s solicitor advised her that the insurer had correctly based her weekly benefits on her salary at the supermarket rather than her expected income as a model however, as she had also received a meal every evening, the value of the meals should have been included in her weekly benefits. She negotiated with the insurer to back-pay Grace $70 per week for the three months that she had been unable to work.


If you have sustained a workplace injury and believe that you may not be receiving your full entitlements, you should contact a solicitor for advice.

Disclaimer: This document provides general information and is not legal advice. While we endeavour to ensure the information is correct at the date of publication, laws frequently change. If anything in this post is relevant to you, please contact us for advice on your specific situation