Workplace Injury In Singapore: How Can You Claim For It?
A workplace injury is a type of personal injury experienced due to third party actions. Personal injury is a general term that applies to various settings including the workplace, road, or public areas (e.g. hospitals). In Singapore, workplace injuries are governed by the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA).
What is WICA?
WICA applies to all local and foreign employees in Singapore, with some exceptions. It allows workers to claim compensation for personal injury experienced as a result of work without filing a civil suit. Affected workers may claim medical leave wages, medical expenses, or lump-sum compensation (permanent incapacity or death) up to 1 year from the accident.
How do I claim personal injury under WICA?
To make a claim under WICA for temporary incapacity, you must:
- Get medical help immediately after the incident has occurred
- Inform your employer
- Obtain an original medical certificate (MC)
- Claim medical leave wages or medical bills from your employer using the original MC (A report can be filed with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) if your employer disputes or does not pay the medical bills or lost earnings)
In the event of serious or fatal injuries, here are the steps for making a claim under permanent incapacity:
- Report injury to employer who should report it to MOM (Claims processing should start automatically once MOM or the insurer has been informed)
- Receive a claims processing form requesting more details
- Fill in and submit the claims processing form (you can withdraw within 2 weeks if you do not wish to proceed)
- Provide medical assessments where required to examine the extent of incapacity (all appointments must be attended, or your claim may be suspended)
- Receive a Notice of Assessment (NOA) that informs you, your employer, or your employer’s insurer of the compensation amount (objections can be filed within 14 days from date of service of NOA)
What are the limitations of WICA?
WICA does not apply to independent contractors, freelance workers, domestic workers, or uniformed personnel, and can only be claimed up to 1 year from the accident. Compensation is also formula-based with certain set limits.
While WICA claims can be handled on their own, it can be confusing and overwhelming to the worker or their family. Contacting our personal injury lawyers in Singapore can help you navigate the process without worry.
When should I file a civil claim?
There are some situations where a civil claim may be more appropriate:
- If you do not meet WICA eligibility requirements (e.g. you are not covered under WICA, or have suffered permanent incapacity but it has been more than 1 year since the accident)
- If you can prove your employer is liable for your work injury (if you cannot prove the claim, it can be suspended and you may not receive compensation).
- If it is up to 3 years after the incident (3 years is commonly considered the ‘limitation’ period for workplace personal injury claims)
Do note that you cannot receive compensation for civil and WICA claims concurrently.
Seeking legal aid for workplace injury
A workplace injury can have a lasting impact on both the worker and their loved ones. Workers can often feel intimidated when filing a workplace personal injury claim, underestimate how the injury’s lifelong impact, or face difficulty understanding the full extent of their rights. Reach out to our team of experienced personal injury lawyers for more information today.
For more information, please contact our Business Development Manager, Ricky Soetikno, at [email protected].