What is Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Disease Act (COIDA)
COIDA is the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Disease Act. This is the new name for WCA or Workmen’s Compensation Act.
The Act provides for compensation for disablement caused by injuries sustained or diseases contracted by employees in the course of their work, or death resulting from such injuries or diseases.
Who can claim Compensation under COIDA?
Anyone, who is employed under a contract of service and receiving wages, may claim compensation in terms of COIDA, except domestic workers in private homes. Dependents of an employee, who is fatally injured, can also claim compensation. Casual employees’ rights are exactly the same as fulltime employees’ rights.
What you must do when you are injured / became sick as a result of your work
1. Report your injury/accident /disease immediately to your employer or supervisor. Your
employer is legally responsible for reporting your injury on duty/disease to the Compensation Commissioner’s Office, as well as sending the necessary forms/ documents to the Compensation Office. A claim number will be allocated by the Compensation Office and you must have it ready when enquiring from the Compensation Office.
2. When you go to hospital/doctor you should take the form (W.Cl.2 – Part B), which has
been completed by your employer with you. This form is important as it contains all the correct information regarding your employer, your full names and how you were injured. It also shows that you were injured at work.
- Medical Report
3. When the doctor gives you the First Medical report (W. Cl.4) and Progress/Final Medical
Reports (W.Cl.5), you must give them to your employer to send to the Compensation
Commissioner’s Office. The First Medical Report is important to the Compensation Office,
because the doctor has given a detailed clinical description of your injury. The Final
Medical Report is also important, as it states the date when you are fit to go back to work
and describes your permanent disablement, if any, as a result of the accident.
- Keep in touch
4. Keep in touch with your employer and make sure that he/she can get into contact with
you. If you change your address, tell your employer as soon as possible. This is because
your compensation money, if any will be mailed to your employer’s address. Keeping in
contact is very important.
5. When your employer does not co-operate, assist you when you think your accident has
not been reported to the Compensation Commissioner’s Office, or if it is taking too
long, go to the local Department of Labour and report this.
Compensation you can expect
Compensation is money paid by the Compensation Office to employees who were
injured on duty, to replace loss of wages and/or to pay medical expenses.
If you are off work for three days or less, you will not receive compensation. Medical
expenses will be paid.
For the first three months you are booked off from work, your employer must pay you 75% of your wages/ salary as at the time of the accident. Your employer will claim this back from the Compensation Office.
If you are off work for more than three months the money (salary/wages) must be claimed directly from the Compensation Commissioner’s Office if the employer does not pay you anymore.
If the doctor indicates in the medical reports that you have a temporary disability ( an injury that gets better, such as a cut) you will only get 75% of your salary as at the time of the accident for the time you are unfit for duty. You will not get any more money for your injury. No payment can be made for pain and suffering.
If the doctor indicates in the medical reports that you have a Permanent Injury, such as deafness, blindness, amputation of a limb or an injury that permanently disables you (for the rest of your life), it will be assessed according to the percentage of disability laid down in the Act. If your disability is assessed at 30% or less, you will be paid a lump sum, which is a once off payment for that injury.
If your disability is assessed at more than 30% you will get an amount, which is the arrears payment from the date of stabilization of your condition, which is reflected on the Final Medical Report and a monthly pension for life. The amount of this pension is calculated on your salary at the time of the accident.
When an employee dies as a result of the injury/disease, his or her dependents (widow or widower) will get a pension for life. Allowances for up to three children under the age of 18 years, will be included as part of the parent / guardian’s pension. This allowance will stop when the child reach 18 years unless he/she is still at school or attending a tertiary institution.
For further information or any SA labour law related matters, you can contact Bernard Reisner: