The Work Injury Compensation Act or WICA is a quick and efficient means that allows an employee to claim compensation for work related injuries or diseases without the need of legal procedures.
The First Step
In the case of an accident at work resulting in an injury or a disease, inform your employer as soon as possible. You can also report the incident to the Ministry of Manpower to avoid possible disputes. In fact, every employer has the liability to report to MOM if an accident at work has caused an employee to be hospitalized for 24 hours or to take medical leave for more than three days. The original Medical Certificate is to be given to the employer to claim medical leave wages. Your employer has the obligation, under WICA, to pay the medical bills incurred by the injury or the disease. Even if the employer is waiting for the insurance claim, he is required to pay the medical leave wages by the next payday. Hence, any failure in this matter can be reported to the MOM.
According to the changes in the Work Injury Compensation Act effective from 1 January 2016, treatments that are directed toward an employee’s quicker return to work are incorporated under the term medical expenses. Return to Work or RTW activities that can claim WICA compensation include case management, evaluation of functional capacity and assessment of worksite in view of the proper rehabilitation of injured workers.
In the case of an injury resulting in a permanent incapacity, you can claim the compensation amount set out by WICA by submitting the relevant claim form within one year, counting from the day of the accident. A waiting period of 3 to 6 months may be required for the doctor to assess the degree of permanent incapacity and submit his report. If you fail to make the required medical appointments, your claim may be suspended.
If you are the holder of a Work Permit, your employer has to provide you with accommodation and food during the recovery period.
The compensation amount is calculated based on the medical report sent by your hospital and MOM issues a notice of assessment or NOA to you, your employer and your employer’s insurer. An objection can be filed within 14 days and if not, the amount will be paid to you by the insurer.
In the case of the death of an employee, his family or dependents may claim the compensation sum. Even if the employer is no longer in business, he will have to pay the claim if it is eligible.