This page explains what insurers need to know about the new Merit Review Portal.
What is the Merit Review Portal?
A new online platform called the Merit Review Portal is now available for SIRA’s Workers Compensation Merit Review Service (MRS). It provides another way for workers and their representatives to request a review of an insurer work capacity decision. It also allows insurers to reply and track the status of applications online.
Why has it been introduced?
- Improved accessibility – use the portal on any device, 24/7.
- Easier to meet submission deadlines.
- Greater transparency in the merit review process.
- Greater transparency through the exchange and availability of all information online.
Importantly, the new Merit Review Portal also represents the beginning of a larger digital roll-out for SIRA and whole of government services across the state.
What are the key benefits for insurers?
The Merit Review Portal will:
- allow you to lodge replies online on any device, 24/7.
- allow you to access, monitor and progress your merit review tasks in one easy location
- reduce delays in information exchange so you can reply to applications more efficiently
- have real-time tracking functionality so you know exactly where your cases are at any time
- allow greater transparency as you are able to see all documents relating to the merit review in one location
- provide simple reporting functionality so you can generate lodgement and outcome reports, as well as KPI metrics for your cases.
What are the key changes for insurers?
The online Merit Review Portal will enable insurers to manage responses to worker applications through the portal. This means doing two things differently:
- Submit your response to a worker’s application for merit review via the portal using any device 24/7.
- Lodge documents in categories so you can sort and see them easily.
You will also be able to self-manage your user access to the portal, meaning you can add or remove your own system users.
What do I need to do?
You should familiarise yourself with the new document categorisation functionality.
When the portal is launched, you will be able to classify documents at lodgement using the new document categorisation feature. This means identifying them as:
- application documents
- certificates of capacity
- medical information
- occupational rehabilitation services
- employment/pre-injury average weekly earnings (PIAWE)
Each category, and the sub-categories under them, will be easy to select. They will be explained in the updated Dispute Resolution Services guide to Workers Compensation Merits Reviews and the document categorisation guide.
What will remain the same?
The merit review process itself remains the same; it is just allowing a new lodgement channel for workers, and enabling insurers to work online with us.
Insurers are still required to:
- respond to the worker’s merit review application and supply documentation to support their decision regarding the worker’s work capacity
- submit their reply to the worker’s application and all supporting documents
- correspond with workers/representatives via their preferred method of communication.
Where can I find more information?
We are here to help. Information on workers compensation, work capacity disputes and the merit review process is available on the SIRA website.
For a detailed explanation of the merit review process, refer to the Dispute Resolution Services guide to Workers Compensation Merits Reviews and the Guidelines for claiming workers compensation [PDF].
There are a number of step-by-step guides to help you navigate the portal. You can find these with the portal at www.sira.nsw.gov.au/workcapacitydecisionreviews.
You can also contact the Merit Review Service on firstname.lastname@example.org or call (02) 9284 2284.
We are always on the lookout for ways to improve our customer service and we are eager to hear any feedback you might have.