Have you suffered an injury as a result of your work duties?
In order to make a claim for workers compensation, you must report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. Many workplaces will have an internal reporting form that employees are required to submit. Once a Certificate of Capacity together with a workers compensation claim form has been provided to the employer and it’s insurer (for iCare, this can be done via the online portal), the insurer will make a determination with respect to your claim.
If the insurer accepts liability for the claim, a key entitlement that you possess is compensation for the cost of medical treatment and associated expenses pursuant to Section 60 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987. This includes any reasonably necessary:
- Medical or related treatment
- Hospital treatment
- Ambulance services
- Workplace rehabilitation service
In order to aid your return to work, the insurer will create an injury management plan outlining the roles of relevant parties such as your treating doctor, the insurer, the employer and yourself in helping you recover from your injury.
Injured workers have the right to choose a nominated treating doctor, who will complete the certificates of capacity and assist in managing the worker’s recovery by recommending and arranging reasonable treatment and communicating with the insurer and employer. Typically, workers nominate their general practitioner as they will already possess a background on the worker’s health and history of injuries.
You may also be required to obtain treatment from other providers like physiotherapists, chiropractors, exercise physiologists, psychologists, counsellors and other allied health providers depending on the nature of your injury.
It will be their goal to enable you to make a smooth and long-term return to work duties. Provided that the insurer will only cover the cost of services deemed reasonably necessary, it is optimal to have the treatment pre-approved by the insurer to guarantee that you will be compensated.
A lesser known entitlement is the right of an injured worker to nominate their own rehabilitation provider as opposed to the provider referred by the employer or their insurer. Workers can apply to a SIRA approved rehabilitation provider of their choosing, ensuring that they will be comfortable during the recovery process and receive treatment that is ideal with regard to their injury. It is important to note that you cannot be forced to use the rehabilitation provider nominated by the workers compensation insurer.
While the nominated treating doctor will oversee your treatment progression whilst you are injured, it is the rehabilitation provider’s role to deal with issues you might face in your efforts to return to work, whether in a pre-injury or alternative capacity.