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Commonwealth workers

Information about employees and workers who are employed by the commonwealth government or their agents.

Who is eligible for protection?

People who work for the Commonwealth Government and for the government's agencies and statutory authorities are not protected by WorkSafe Victoria. The Comcare scheme is responsible for insurance, implementing payments, rehabilitation and for monitoring the occupational health and safety of workers employed under commonwealth jurisdiction. The Comcare system is similar to the Victorian system.

Workers who are not sure who is responsible for processing an injury claim should ask their employer.

See s. 5—Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth)(opens in a new window).

Making a claim

Workers who are injured in the course of their employment must notify their employer as soon as possible after the injury happens. The injured worker will need to get a medical certificate that gives a precise diagnosis.

They will then have to fill out a workers' compensation claim form. This is available from the employer or from the Comcare website (link below). The claim form and attached doctor's certificate has to be sent to the employer. The worker should keep a copy of the claim and any doctor receipts and other related expenses that they pay for.

The employer is responsible for letting Comcare know about the injury.

See s. 6—Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth)(opens in a new window) and Forms.

Review of Comcare decision

Employees who do not agree with a Comcare decision can ask that they reconsider their decision. If their original decision is confirmed the employee can ask for a tribunal review by filing an application with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The employee should get advice from their trade union or a lawyer.

See ss. 62-64— Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth)(opens in a new window).

Time limit

Applications to the tribunal for review of a Comcare decision should be lodged within 60 days of getting reasons for the decision. The tribunal may extend the time limit for lodging an application for review if it believes that this is reasonable.


Going back to work

The employer is responsible to managing the return to work of an injured employee. They must follow the rehabilitation guidelines that apply under the Act.

Workplace death

If a worker dies as a direct result of a work-related injury or illness the dependents of the worker may be eligible for compensation.

See 'Entitlements following a work-related death' under 'Supports for your recovery and benefits' in Comcare—Claims and rehabilitation(opens in a new window).

More information


Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth)

  • s. 5—explains who is covered; who is an 'employee' under this Act
  • s. 5A—defines injury
  • ss. 6, 6A—injury arising out of the course of employment
  • Part ll—compensation
  • s. 14—compensation for injuries
  • Part lll—rehabilitation
  • Part ll Div 2—injuries that result in death
  • Part lV—liabilities arising under the Act (common law claims, actions for damages)
  • s. 41—requirement for rehabilitation guidelines for employers
  • Part v—claims for compensation
  • s. 62—reconsideration of Comcare by another decision maker who was not involved in the original decision
  • s. 64—applications to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal
  • s. 65—modifies the time limit for applying for a review to 60 days from reasons for decision
  • s. 69—functions of Comcare

See Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth)(opens in a new window).

Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth)

  • s. 29—applications to the tribunal for review

See Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth)(opens in a new window).



Comcare is responsible for the implementation of the Commonwealth policies in relation to health, safety and welfare of workers who are covered by the Comcare scheme (Commonwealth Government and other prescribed agency employees).


Administrative Appeals Tribunal

The Commonwealth tribunal provides a mechanism for review of administrative decisions that are made by Australian Government ministers, departments, agencies, authorities and other tribunals.

See Administrative Appeals Tribunal(opens in a new window).