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Information for Seafarers - Questions and answers

Q: What happens if I was injured and received Seacare workers' compensation before the Aucote decision?

A: Your compensation will not be affected by the Amendment Act. If you are still receiving compensation, it will continue to be paid.

Q: I was injured before the decision and received state workers' compensation. Do I have to repay my compensation?

A: The Amendment Act clears the way for state governments to take the necessary steps to ensure that your compensation is valid. The Commonwealth Government will work with state governments to assist them with this.

Q: I was injured before the decision and received state workers' compensation. Am I also eligible for compensation under the Seacare scheme?

A: Following the passage of the Amendment Act, unless you made a claim for compensation under the Seacare scheme before 26 February 2015, you are not eligible for compensation under the Seacare scheme for the same injury.

Q: I made a claim for compensation before 26 February 2015. Does the Amendment Act affect my claim?

A: Any claim for compensation under the Seacare scheme lodged before 26 February 2015 is not affected by the Amendment Act.

State legislation applies to your compensation claim unless you were covered by the Seacare scheme.

Q: I was injured before 26 February 2015 but did not lodge my claim until after this date. Does the Amendment Act affect my claim?

A: If you provided notice of injury before 26 February 2015 with the intention of making a compensation claim under the Seacare scheme, and have not made a claim for compensation under state workers' compensation legislation, the Amendment Act does not affect your claim.

If you did not provide notice of injury before 26 February 2015, then your claim is affected by the Amendment Act and will be considered in the same way as that of a person injured after the Amendment Act was passed by Parliament (see below).

Q: How does the Amendment Act affect my compensation if I am injured in future?

A: Because of the Seacare Authority exemptions and Minister's Seafarers Act declaration, your claim will be assessed under the jurisdiction that covered you prior to the Aucote decision.

If you were covered by the Seacare scheme before the Aucote decision (for example, you work on a ship engaged in coastal trading), you are eligible for compensation under the Seacare scheme.

If you were covered by state workers' compensation legislation before the Aucote decision (for example, you work on a ship that only voyages within a single state), you are eligible for compensation under state legislation.

Q: I was recently diagnosed with a disease. How does the Amendment Act affect my claim?

A: Under the Seafarers Act, your deemed date of injury for a disease is the date you first sought treatment for that disease or were incapacitated.

If this date was after 26 February 2015, the Amendment Act affects your claim in the same way as it affects someone who is injured in future.

If you were covered by the Seacare scheme before the Aucote decision (for example, you work on a ship engaged in coastal trading), you are eligible for compensation under the Seacare scheme.

If you were covered by state workers' compensation legislation before the Aucote decision (for example, you work on a ship that only voyages within a single state), you are eligible for compensation under state legislation.

Q: I was recently diagnosed with hearing loss. How does the Amendment Act affect my claim?

A: Under the Seafarers Act, your deemed date of injury for a disease is the date you first gave notice of the hearing loss to your employer.

If this date was after 26 February 2015, the Amendment Act affects your claim in the same way as it affects someone who is injured in future.

If you were covered by the Seacare scheme before the Aucote decision (for example, you work on a ship engaged in coastal trading), you are eligible for compensation under the Seacare scheme.

If you were covered by state workers' compensation legislation before the Aucote decision (for example, you work on a ship that only voyages within a single state), you are eligible for compensation under state legislation.

Q: Do the exemptions and declarations still apply following the passage of the Amendment Act?

A: Yes, the Seacare Authority exemptions and Minister's Seafarers Act and OHS(MI) Act declarations still apply from the date they came into effect.

The Seacare Authority exemptions apply for one year from the date they came into effect. The declarations cease after two years.

Q: What is the Government doing about the future coverage of the Seacare scheme?

A: The exemptions and declarations currently in place provide immediate certainty to stakeholders on the coverage of the Seacare scheme. They provide that employees on ships engaged in intra-state trade are not covered by the Seacare scheme.

The Government is engaging in consultation with maritime industry stakeholders on the future coverage of the Seacare scheme. It is intended that legislation on broad reform of the Seacare scheme, including amendments to coverage, will be introduced into Parliament later this year.

Q: What is the past and current coverage of the Seacare scheme?

A: The Amendment Act, exemptions and declarations together provide that the Seacare scheme has and continues to cover the same employees that it was broadly understood to cover prior to the Aucote decision. These are employees on ships engaged in interstate or international trade or commerce, as well as employees on certain other ships such as those engaged in coastal trading under a general licence or those subject to certain declarations under the old Navigation Act.


Last updated: 13 Jul 2015