Workplace psychological injuries

Taylor Colvin

28 Mar 2022


  • Personal Injury

Individuals who suffer from stress and psychological injuries arising from their employment often seek the assistance of both their GP and a lawyer to assist them to navigate the claim process. It is not uncommon for there to be additional hurdles associated with claims for psychological injuries due to the complexities associated with both diagnosis, and also the relevant definitions.

In the ACT, the symptoms and conditions which may qualify as a compensable psychological injury varies between both the private and the public sector (often known as a Comcare or EML claim) workers compensation schemes.

Each scheme has its own criteria to be fulfilled for the worker’s claim to be accepted.

Private SectorPublic Sector
Accepted ifpsychological injury, including ‘stress’, or an aggravation, acceleration or recurrence of a pre-existing psychological injury.psychological injury or an aggravation of a psychological injury.
Subject to exclusionscompletely or mostly caused by ‘reasonable action’ taken, or proposed to be taken, by the employer.
Specific examples include:
• performance appraisal
• discipline
• dismissal
• transfer, demotion, promotion, retrenchment;
• failure to obtain an employment benefit
occurred because of ‘reasonable administrative action’ taken in a ‘reasonable manner’.
Specific examples include:
• performance appraisal;
• counselling action;
• suspension action;
• disciplinary action;
• failure to obtain a promotion, reclassification, transfer;
• failure to obtain or retain a benefit

Appealing insurer decisions

Irrespective of whether the worker is covered under the private or public sector workers compensation schemes, there are appeal routes available if a claim is wrongly denied. Lawyers and insurers often need the assistance of the treating GP to determine what factor(s) have given rise to an injury, and whether the injury is ongoing. The notes of an individual’s GP can be critical when considering an individual’s entitlement to compensation.

How Can We Help?

Contact the team here at Snedden Hall & Gallop to see how we can help you with any personal injury matter on 02 6285 8000 or by email.