Serious injuries

If you have questions about a serious injury, please contact your case manager in the first instance or call 13 18 55.

ReturnToWorkSA will provide lifetime treatment, care and support to workers with a serious injury.

How we will support you

If you sustain a serious injury at work we will provide you with:

  • income support until retirement age
    • 100% notional weekly earnings in the first year
    • 80% notional weekly earnings for subsequent years
  • lifetime treatment, care and support services.

There is no obligation to return to work if you are seriously injured, but if you would like to, we will provide access to our full suite of return to work services.

How do I know if I am a seriously injured worker?

Since 1 July 2015, seriously injured workers are defined as having a work injury that has resulted in a permanent impairment and the degree of impairment has been assessed as 30% or more. If your injury is likely to be classified as serious, your case manager will refer you for a whole person impairment assessment when there is evidence that your injury has stabilised. If your case manager does not refer you and you think that you may require an assessment, you may request one.

Whole person impairment assessments are conducted by accredited impairment assessors once the injury has stabilised.

While you are waiting for your injury to stabilise, you may apply to ReturnToWorkSA to make an interim decision to classify your injury as serious until such time as you are able to undergo a permanent impairment assessment.

What happens if my level of whole person impairment is assessed as below 30%?

ReturnToWorkSA will provide a lump sum payment for non-economic loss to workers with a whole person impairment of 5-29%.  If you sustained your injury from 1 July 2015, we will also provide a lump sum payment for economic loss. These payments are in addition to the support we offer all workers to help them recover from their injury and return to work.

Common law and redemptions

If you are seriously injured at work you may be able to bring a common law claim for damages for economic loss if your employer's negligence caused or contributed to your injury.

If you choose to pursue a common law claim, we will provide you with information about common law processes and meet the cost of you obtaining advice about bringing a common law action, up to the limit prescribed by regulation.

If you are successful and recover damages at common law, we will continue to provide you with lifetime treatment, care and support for your injury. However, you will no longer have access to weekly payments of income support from the Return to Work scheme.