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Victorian Government WorkCover scheme set to limit workers access to benefits

Three mining workers walking down a dirt road during a rescue mission.

The Victorian Government WorkCover scheme is set to pass parliament, limiting workers’ compensation for mental health injuries such as stress and burnout.

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Announced via a press release on March 5, the Allan Labor Government announced the WorkCover Scheme Modernisation Bill will receive bipartisan support after limiting workers’ access to claims for mental health injuries and freezing premiums for businesses during the 2024-25 financial year.

Under the changes, workers experiencing stress and burnout will no longer be able to access weekly WorkCover benefits. Instead, the workers will be eligible for 13 weeks of provisional payments to cover medical treatment, along with access to enhanced psychosocial support services access. Additionally, workers will be assessed for WorkCover eligibility after being on the scheme for two and a half years, with an impairment threshold of more than 20 per cent being required to continue receiving benefits.

Changes to the Victorian Government WorkCover scheme were introduced by former Premier, Daniel Andrews, after it was revealed that claims liability had tripled since 2010 on the initial Cain Labor Government’s 1985 WorkCover bill.

“We were clear that WorkCover is fundamentally broken –we’re pleased we can now get on with delivering these important changes, making sure our scheme can continue to support Victorian workers when they need it most,” said Minister for WorkSafe and the TAC, Danny Pearson. “There’s nothing safe about being sick – we’re helping workers return to their jobs and making sure WorkCover leaves no injured worker behind for many years to come.”

Once the Bill has passed Parliament, Return to Work Victoria will be established alongside the touted changes.

The Victorian Government WorkCover scheme is set to be introduced before March 31, 2024.


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