1222 workers’ compensation claims for COVID-19 last year

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of the Workplace Health and Safety profession. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Thursday, 13 May, 2021 - 12:30
Industry news
National News

There were 1222 workers’ compensation claims related to COVID-19 lodged in 2020, and of these, 974 claims were accepted, 127 were rejected and 121 are still pending, according to new Safe Work Australia data.

Of the 1095 accepted and pending claims lodged last year, 826 were for workers who had contracted COVID-19, 212 were for mental health impacts related to the virus, and 57 were related to testing or isolation requirements.

Safe Work Australia’s COVID-19 related workers’ compensation claims data for 2020 also found 751 (69 per cent) of accepted and pending claims were from the healthcare and social assistance industry, followed by the public administration and safety industry (114 claims) and education and training sector (55 claims).

In terms of occupations, professionals had the highest number of claims (472) followed by community and personal services workers (328) and technicians and trade workers (114).

Victoria had the highest number of accepted and pending claims by jurisdiction with 809 claims, followed by NSW with 161 claims and Tasmania with 55 claims.

The report uses preliminary data from Commonwealth, state and territory workers’ compensation authorities and details COVID-19 related workers’ compensation claims by type, industry, occupation and jurisdiction.

Safe Work Australia noted there are significant variations in the way jurisdictions collect and report data on COVID-19, and claims unrelated to COVID-19 made while working from home were not included in the data.

Furthermore, if a worker is suspected of having contracted COVID-19, but ultimately found to not have contracted the disease, Safe Work Australia said they may still claim for medical tests or isolation requirements.