- Cancer Information
- Practical concerns
- Cancer, work and you
- For workers
- Working during treatment and recovery
- Am I entitled to workers compensation?
Am I entitled to workers compensation?
Each year in Australia, about 5000 people are diagnosed with work-related cancers, and 34,000 non-melanoma skin cancers, due to exposure at work. This can be due to sunlight, toxic dusts and chemicals (e.g. asbestos, silica dust, pesticides), and ionising radiation.
You may be entitled to workers compensation if you are diagnosed with a work-related cancer. It’s important to get legal advice from a lawyer specialising in workers compensation (contact the law society in your state or territory). To make a claim, notify your state or territory WorkSafe authority.
In some states, you may lodge a claim with your employer. A time limit may apply, so get advice early. For more information, download the Compensation for work-related cancers or call Cancer Council 13 11 20.
Check your insurance
Disability or income protection insurance pays a portion of your income if you can’t work. You may have a policy, or it may be part of your superannuation.
Find out from your employer or superannuation fund:
- your superannuation balance
- if you have income protection insurance (or salary continuance)
- the amount or percentage of pay (e.g. they pay 80% of your salary)
- how soon a claim is paid (usually after 60 or 90 days of not working)
- how many years it will pay you for.
Some people have insurance on their mortgage or credit card that makes repayments if you can’t. Ask your bank/creditor if this applies to you.
If you are thinking of resigning from your job, check any insurance coverage first, because leaving work may affect your entitlements.
See Cancer and your finances for more information about finances, insurance and superannuation, and speak to a financial adviser for advice.
Podcast for people affected by cancer
Brooke Russell, Principal Occupational Therapist, WA Cancer Occupational Therapy, WA; Bianca Alessi, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Dr Prunella Blinman, Medical Oncologist, Concord Cancer Centre, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, NSW; James Chirgwin, Physiotherapist, The Wesley Hospital, QLD; Danielle Curnoe, Consumer; Simon Gates, Barrister, Tasmanian Bar, TAS; Justin Hargreaves, Medical Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Bendigo Health Cancer Centre, VIC; Kaylene Jacques, Director, People and Communications, Cancer Council NSW; Alex Kelly, Senior People Attraction Advisor, Human Resources, Allianz Australia Insurance, NSW; Legal reviewer; Georgina Lohse, Social Worker, GV Health, VIC; Lesley McQuire, Consumer, Cancer Voices NSW.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.