A Guide to Work Injury Compensation Insurance in Singapore

Work injuries are inevitable. Singapore’s constitution acknowledges that workers are entitled to compensation should they get injured as they go through their day-to-day duties in their place of work. Work injury compensation insurance is one of the compulsory policies that entrepreneurs are expected to take to protect workers in case of an accident.

Between 2014 and 2018, insurance companies in Singapore paid out an average of 350 million Singapore dollars annually to cover workers compensation. Compensation often depends on the severity of the injury, with incapacitated people getting more than those who can still work when they recover.

Claims that a worker is entitled to in Singapore

The Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) notes that workers can claim medical expenses, medical leave wages, and lumpsum compensation in case of incapacitation or death. One may then ask, should a worker expect compensation if the employer also provides health insurance cover?

WICA states limits for compensation, especially for short-term injuries. This Act takes into account that some injuries result in loss of income. This is the key difference between health insurance and work injury compensation insurance.

When a worker is unwell, he gets to use health insurance. However, if the worker suffers an injury that necessitates him taking light duties or staying away from work for some time, resulting in loss of income, then work injury compensation is necessary.

Employers are expected to report work-related accidents.

Although employees are expected to play a role in following up on work injury compensation insurance claims, employers also have a responsibility. When a work-related accident occurs, employers are required to make a report to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

When an employer reports the accident, the employee will have an easier time making a claim, especially if the employee is protected under WICA.

Start the compensation process early 

An employee’s first step after being involved in an accident at work is to report it to the employer. This record is very critical in work injury compensation insurance. When you start the process early, the faster you will receive compensation.

The employer is expected to cater for the medical expenses and the medical leave wages as you await the work injury compensation claims to be fulfilled. WICA expects injured workers to start the process of requesting compensation within the first 12 months after the accident.

If the accident resulted in death, the worker’s family is expected to follow through with the compensation claim within a year.

Follow through with all medical appointments.

Work injury compensation insurance will rely on medical records to process the claim. This means the employee needs to follow through with the doctor’s appointments to document the progress.

The doctor’s report will show the extent of the injury and whether the damage is short term or permanent. An employee who neglects to follow the doctor’s recommendations risks losing part or the entire claim.

MOM takes work injury compensation claims seriously, especially for employees covered under the Work Injury Compensation Act. Temporary injury and permanent incapacitation claims vary. Having complete records will make the process seamless, and the worker will get the compensation to which he is entitled.