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Psychological or psychiatric injuries

Need urgent help?

If you need urgent support for a mental health or related issue, there are some services that might help you. Visit the links in the What support is available section at the bottom of this page or you can call WorkCover on 1300 362 128 for more information.

What is a psychological or psychiatric injury?

A work-related psychological or psychiatric injury is a disorder or illness that affects your mood, feelings, thoughts or behaviour that has resulted from your job. These types of conditions can include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and more, and can be caused by a single event or develop over time.

Examples of things that can contribute to these conditions may include:

  • a single event such as an armed robbery
  • workplace bullying and/or harassment
  • unreasonable action taken by management

Is my injury eligible for compensation?

For your injury to be eligible for compensation, your employment needs to be a ‘significant contributing factor’. This means doing your job or being at work needs to be a large part of what caused your injury. This is in line with the requirements of the Worker’s Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 and is one of the things considered when WorkCover decides your claim.

Not all psychological or psychiatric injuries arising from your job are eligible for compensation though.

Sometimes your employer might need to make decisions about your employment with them. If your condition has occurred as a result of ‘reasonable management action’ by your employer in relation to your job, you may not be eligible to be compensated.

Some actions that might be considered ‘reasonable management’ are:

Action taken to:

  • transfer a worker
  • demote a worker
  • discipline a worker
  • redeploy a worker
  • retrench or dismiss a worker.

A decision not to:

  • award or provide a promotion to a worker
  • transfer or reclassify a worker
  • grant leave of absence or other benefit.

Due to recent changes in the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, WorkCover can help you get the treatment you need sooner.

For injuries that occurred on or after 30 October 2019, while your claim is being determined, we can assist with coordinating early psychological services like:

  • general practitioner appointments
  • counselling or psychology sessions
  • psychiatry appointments
  • psychotropic medication relating to your condition
  • mediation services
  • some hospital costs.

To be able to access these support services, you'll be required to make a valid application for compensation including a certificate from a doctor diagnosing you with a medically recognised psychiatric or psychological injury.

We’ll contact you after your claim has been lodged to discuss available options. If you have any questions you can contact us on 1300 362 128.

Mental health support

Financial hardship

Victim of Crime

If you’re a victim of a violent crime, there are support services including possible financial support available. Information about available support can be found through Victim Assist Queensland.

MATES in Construction

MATES in Construction is an initiative of Building Employees Redundancy Trust (BERT) and other key parts of the Queensland construction industry. It’s based on best practice principles and expert advice relating to suicide prevention.

MATES in Construction was set up to identify workers who show early warning signs of a suicidal attempt, connect them with support and contribute to a more resilient and healthier industry.

Visit MATES in Construction for more information.

Related links